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January 1, 2013

Former Heart Mountain internee speaks at CWC April 17

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

Sponsored by the CWC Diversity Committee, Mihara shares memories of Heart Mountain at 1:30 p.m. and 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 U.S. in the 1920s. Sam was born in the early 1930s and was raised in San Francisco. The family was detained at Heart Mountain for three years, living in a single 20-by20 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.