Education: One of the Rest

Sixteen-year-old Johnny Aiso was an honor student at Hollywood (Calif.) High School when he won the district oratory contest in 1926. His subject was "The American Constitution and What It Means to Me." By winning the district title, Johnny had put himself in the running for the state championship and the national finals in Washington, D.C. But there was one thing that set Johnny Aiso apart, or so some Hollywood people thought: though he was U.S.-born and raised, Johnny was the son of a Japanese gardener.

Johnny was persuaded to decline the honor in favor of his runner-up. His runner-up won...

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