This summer, StoryCorps set up a booth in Cheyenne to record Wyomingites interviewing one another and sharing their stories.
Today, we hear from two members of one of Wyoming’s most famous families. Milward Simpson, the grandson of former Governor and U.S. Senator Milward Simpson, interviews his father Pete Simpson, a noted historian, educator, Republican nominee for Governor, and former legislator. They begin their conversation talking about Pete’s parents.
Shigeru Yabu of Camarillo spent his childhood years during World War II at a Japanese American internment camp in Wyoming, where he cared for a magpie. He told his bird tale to the Wyoming Stories oral-history project.
Shigeru Yabu and his family were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center when he was 10. While there, he strove to make pets out of insects, worms, amphibians, and finally a bird. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden interviewed Yabu and produced this Wyoming Stories piece.
Sam Mihara is a rocket scientist who worked for Boeing and later started his own high-tech consulting firm. He was incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center during World War II, and he now travels around the country speaking about that experience. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden interviewed Mihara and produced this Wyoming Stories piece.
At the annual Heart Mountain Pilgrimage this weekend, former Secretary of Transportation and Commerce Norman Mineta appealed to young Japanese Americans to help ensure that the rights of minorities are not violated.
Heart Mountain was one of 10 relocation centers, or camps, where Japanese Americans were confined during World War II. Mineta and his family were among those incarcerated there. He said what happened at Heart Mountain should serve as a cautionary tale to future generations.
This month, the University of Wyoming will host a field course where students will explore the geographic, historical and religious significance of Heart Mountain in northern Wyoming.
Two educators will split the teaching of the course, one focusing on history, and the other on religion. The latter, Mary Keller, is a historian of religions and a lecturer at U-W. She spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez from the Big Horn Radio Network in Cody about what makes Heart Mountain so special.
The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation (HMWF) was formed in 1996, and in August 2011, completed the construction and opening of a world-class Interpretive Center located on the site of an internment camp for Japanese and Japanese Americans near Powell, Wyoming. The Heart Mountain Relocation Center opened in August 1942 and imprisoned more than 14,000 people during its three-year existence.
Japanese Americans whose families were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center during World War II will be gathering in Cody tomorrow and Saturday.
Former U.S. Senator Al Simpson, and former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta will join the group for panel discussions and documentary film screenings. Shirley Higuchi is one of the organizers, and she says participants will be discussing whether this type of thing could happen again.