Alan K. Simpson has been a Wyoming institution for decades. As a state representative, U.S. senator, bipartisan statesman, and recent recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he has led his state and nation toward a better future.
Now, as he approaches his 91st birthday on September 2, the Hughes Charitable Foundation and the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation have organized a tribute to this great American leader.
The Hughes Charitable Foundation has awarded a $500,000 challenge grant that will enable the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation to complete construction and launch operation of The Mineta-Simpson Institute at Heart Mountain, a visionary expansion to the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center that is inspired by the lives and careers of Secretary Norman Y. Mineta and Senator Alan K. Simpson.
Our aim is to raise the $500,000 necessary to complete that match from friends and admirers of Al Simpson.
Starting August 24, we invite you to show your love for Al Simpson by supporting The Mineta-Simpson Institute at Heart Mountain, Al and his family’s most cherished cause.
Those who contribute by September 2 will be invited to a special online birthday party for Al (SAVE THE DATE! September 8 at 4:00pm MT / 6:00pm ET).
This institute will be the nation’s foremost tribute to the intertwined lives of Al and Norm. We believe there is no better way to honor Al’s legacy than establishing and sustaining the Mineta-Simpson Institute at Heart Mountain.
The Mineta-Simpson Institute at Heart Mountain
The Mineta-Simpson Institute harnesses the bipartisan spirit of Norman Mineta and Alan Simpson, icons of democracy who first met as Boy Scouts behind the barbed wire of the Heart Mountain prison camp during World War II.
There were vast differences in the two mens’ experiences. Norm and his family, like many Japanese Americans, were forced from their home on the West Coast and incarcerated after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Al was a multi-generation Wyomingite who grew up in nearby Cody.
Mineta’s ideals as a liberal Democrat and Simpson’s ideals as a conservative Republican were foundational to their parallel careers. Nevertheless, when both men were elected to Congress in the 1970s, they were prepared to work with all Americans, regardless of political affiliation. They continued that ethic long after leaving Congress, and each was awarded the Medal of Freedom by a president of the opposite party.
Inspired by Al and Norm’s example, The Mineta-Simpson Institute at Heart Mountain will bring together thought-leaders of all persuasions, leveraging the power of place while reaching a global audience. This physical addition to the existing museum will feature a conference space, digital production studio, research wing, and exhibit hall, with programming designed to foster empathy, courage, and cooperation across differences.