Sam Mihara speaking to students at the George H W Bush Presidential Library

Heart Mountain Pair to Speak at George H.W. Bush Presidential Library

Sam Mihara, who was incarcerated as a child in Heart Mountain during World War II, will join Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation Executive Director Aura Sunada Newlin for two presentations Friday, May 3, at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum in College Station, Texas.

They will discuss the incarceration of 125,000 people of Japanese descent, two-thirds of them U.S. citizens, who were guilty of nothing more than looking like the enemy after the Imperial Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Mihara and Newlin will speak to K-12 students at 11 a.m. and then to the general public at 6 p.m. 

President Bush signed the letters that went to each surviving member of the Japanese American incarceration in 1990. Mihara will discuss what Bush’s “sincere apology” meant to him and others who received the apology and a $20,000 check as part of the Civil Liberties Act. 

Mihara is an accomplished speaker and historian who has addressed more than 100,000 people in person since he began touring the country 12 years ago. He is the recipient of the 2018 Paul Gagnon prize from the National Council for History Education for his educational work. Mihara was nine when he and his family were forced from their home in San Francisco and sent to Heart Mountain.

Newlin is a Wyoming native whose grandparents were incarcerated at Heart Mountain. Since taking over as executive director two years ago, she has led the construction of the new Mineta-Simpson Institute and the successful effort to become a Smithsonian Affiliate and a finalist for the Institute of Museum and Library Services National Medal.