Next Wednesday, February 19, is Day of Remembrance. It’s the 78th anniversary of when President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which sent West Coast Japanese Americans to concentration camps. A note on terminology: These were not Nazi death camps in Europe, but they were spaces that Japanese Americans were forced to live in.
Norman Mineta, a San Jose native, lived in one of those camps as a boy. He would go on to serve in the cabinets of both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He says living in a concentration camp shaped his work as an elected official, for which he ultimately earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Mineta is also the subject of a new documentary film, “Norman Mineta and his Legacy: An American Story.” The film is screening at Fresno City College next week, and Secretary Mineta spoke to Valley Public Radio ahead of the event.
Listen to the interview above to hear Mineta speak about poltical partisanship, engaging youth, and his role in the redress movement.
Valley Public Radio is a media sponsor of the film screening event.