U.S. government creates prison camps
During World War II, the United States government forced nine-year old Sam Mihara and his family to move from their home in San Francisco to Heart Mountain, a Wyoming prison camp for people of Japanese ancestry.
At 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 12, Mihara will speak about his wartime experience and the devastating effect it had on his family and the more than 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry who were forced into concentration camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Mihara will describe the deplorable conditions and share photos of the barbed wire-enclosed city that his family was forced to live in for three years. After three years in the prison, a U.S. Supreme Court decision resulted in the closing of the prison camp and Mihara and his family returned home to San Francisco.
The mandatory relocation mainly affected Japanese-Americans on the West Coast. Mihara will describe why military officers in other parts of the country did not remove Japanese, German and Italian families.
Mihara earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkley. After receiving graduate degrees in engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles, he joined the Boeing Company, serving as a rocket scientist and space program executive.
After retirement, Mihara became a national speaker on mass imprisonment and became a visiting lecturer at UCLA, speaking at Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Princeton and testifying to Congress. In 2018 Mihara was awarded the prestigious Paul Gagnon Prize from the National Council for History Education - the first time it was awarded to a Japanese-American and a first Californian. His podcast on Public Podcasting has reached over 2.5 million listeners.
After the lecture Mihara’s book, Blindsided – The Life and Times of Sam Mihara, will be available for sale.
DATE / TIME: Friday, Nov. 12, 7 - 8:30 p.m.
For more information:
Blindsided – The Life and Times of Sam Mihara by Sam Mihara