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Former Heart Mountain internee to speak at CWC

Apr 14, 2013 - From staff reports

Sam Mihara, a former internee at a Japanese relocation camp in northwest Wyoming, speaks at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, at Central Wyoming College in the Little Theatre.

Mihara will share memories of Heart Mountain in an event sponsored by the CWC Diversity Committee. The public is invited.

A retired Boeing rocket scientist, Mihara developed "Memories of Heart Mountain" at the request of the staff at the new Interpretive Center at Heart Mountain to educate and to ensure civil rights violations are not repeated.

When World War II broke out, the U.S. government uprooted the Mihara family and 120,000 other West Coast residents of Japanese ancestry from their homes. Mihara's family was sent first to a detention camp in Pomona, Calif., and then to the "prison camp" between Cody and Powell in Park County.

Mihara's parents were born in Japan and immigrated to the United States in the 1920s. Mihara was born in the early 1930s and raised in San Francisco. The family was detained at Heart Mountain for three years, living in a single 20-by-20-foot room for their entire imprisonment.

Mihara has researched many government and private photo collections for his presentation, and with his own personal images, he has created an informative and entertaining program that describes the conditions experienced during the Japanese-American incarceration.

After the war ended and Mihara was released from the camp at Heart Mountain, he returned to San Francisco. He graduated from the University of California at Berkley and earned a graduate degree at UCLA. Following his retirement from Boeing, he created his own high-tech consulting firm.

Mihara is a member of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation.

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