Content of Sam Mihara’s “Memories of Five Nisei” Presentation

Here is a glimpse of what you will learn about in Sam’s compelling presentation about the imprisonment of Japanese American citizens during World War II:

small-venueSam’s family background
Japan Town, San Francisco, before World War II
Historic photographs by Dorothea Lange
Racial hatred and hysteria by the media
Who created an Exclusion Zone and why?
Executive Order 9066
Six steps of forced removal from homes
Three objectors to removal – the Korematsu, Hirabayashi and Yasui cases
Forced removal from homes

  • High risk prisoners into Department of Justice camps
  • Rest of Japanese race – 120,000 people – into War Relocation Authority camps

Living in horse stalls at first prison camps, or “Assembly Centers”
Trains to permanent camps – “Relocation Centers”
Map of all camps in the U.S.
Attitudes of local people in the camp areas

  • Video clip of Senator Alan Simpson
  • The Salt Lake City conference of governors
  • Creation of prison design with armed guards

Heart Mountain, Wyoming, prison camp description

  • Location
  • Construction
  • Evidence of “imprisonment”
  • Map of camp
  • Food
  • Weather
  • Toilets and bathing
  • Farms
  • Schools
  • Weddings and births
  • Fire and police
  • Medical aid in camp

Comparison of Heart Mountain to other camps
Major issues during camp

  • Loyalty questionnaire and No-No’s
  • Segregation camp and torture
  • Killing of prisoners by guards
  • Renunciants and trade with U.S. prisoners overseas
  • Military draft and resisters

Leave policy and local racial hatred
How we got out – James Purcell / Mitsue Endo case
Camp closed
The return home

  • Conditions of racial hatred and unemployment
  • The Toshi Ito video clip

What happened to camp property?
The Heart Mountain Homesteaders
Redress legislation – Civil Liberties Act of 1988
Letter of Apology
Heart Mountain today – new Interpretive Center
Why camps existed and can it happen again?
Recent indications of new imprisonment
Never again

Letter of Recommendation

from the Virginia Holocaust Museum

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