In February 1942, months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. The order began the process of relocating between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry along the Pacific Coast. It affected both American citizens and resident aliens in the United States. It affected people from all walks of life and economic means.
Sam Mihara was born in San Francisco, California in the early 1930s. His family, like many others, were forced from their homes. The Mihara Family spent time at a detention camp in Pomona, California before Federal authorities moved them further inland. Their final destination was a remote camp in Northwestern Wyoming between the communities of Cody and Powell, Heart Mountain. Over the next three years, the Mihara Family, like others at the camp, lived in a 20-foot by 20-foot section of barracks.
After the end of World War II, the Mihara Family returned to California. Sam graduated high school and went on to attend college at University of California-Berkeley and UCLA, earning and advanced degree in engineering. He went to work as a rocket engineer for Boeing and later consultant work in the tech industry. However, he never forgot his time at Heart Mountain.
Join the Sheridan County Historical Society & Museum and Whitney Center for the Arts in welcoming Sam Mihara to Sheridan on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at the Whitney Center for the Arts at Sheridan College. The program will begin at 7:00 pm. Sam will be sharing his memories at the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp, the experiences of other internees, and parallels between the 1940s and the present day. The program is free, and everyone is welcome to attend.
This program is made possible by the Wyoming Humanities Council, Homer A. & Mildred S. Scott Foundation, Sheridan County Historical Society & Museum, and Whitney Center for the Arts.
Pictures courtesy of Sam Mihara and National Archives and Records Administration