Heart Mountain

Parker, Tom, Photographer (NARA record: 4682167) - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain

Earlier this year, the Trump Administration put its zero-tolerance policy into place at the border, leading to the separation of immigrant parents and children. Now some people are looking back at history to try to understand how this policy truly affects those involved. 

Archives On The Air 48: Best Sumo Wrestling In Wyoming—Bill Manbo Papers

Aug 23, 2018
American Heritage Center

Swimming holes and sumo wrestling are not usually associated with barbed wire and guards, but all of these existed together at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center.

Archives On The Air 38: "Until Death, Or Relocation, Do Us Part"—Estelle Ishigo Drawings

Aug 8, 2018
American Heritage Center

When the Heart Mountain Relocation Center was established after Pearl Harbor, many of the Japanese-American internees found ways of documenting their experiences.

Stan Honda

A documentary and book explores what happened to the barracks at Heart Mountain detention camp for Japanese Americans after World War Two. The film released in December 2017, “Moving Walls: The Barracks of America’s Concentration Camps,” tells the little-known story of how hundreds of the barracks were sold to veterans to homestead in Northwest Wyoming. Sharon Yamato, the filmmaker, wanted to explore the connection between these two different communities in an effort to create a dialogue. Wyoming Public Radio’s Kamila Kudelska asked Yamato what was the significance of the barracks to the homesteaders.

Artist Estelle Ishigo was one of the few white women that went to a Wyoming Japanese-American internment camp. Estelle and her husband were imprisoned at Heart Mountain in 1942. During their three years at the camp, Estelle painted watercolors portraying the daily life. A new exhibit at Heart Mountain Interpretive Center called The Mountain Was Our Secret displays a collection of Estelle’s work. 

Heart Mountain Interpretive Center

The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation is spearheading an effort to improve communication between 10 former Japanese American Confinement Sites.

The All Camps Consortium is a group of Japanese-American advocates and people in charge of historic sites like Heart Mountain near Powell.

Kunio Yamamoto facing Heart Mountain, 1944.” George and Frank C. Hirahara Photograph Collection, 1932-2016 (SC14). Courtesy Manuscripts, Archives & Special Collections,Washington State University, Pullman.

This year is the 75th anniversary of the executive order that lead to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

To mark the occasion, the University Of Wyoming College Of Law is hosting Heart Mountain Week – a week of programming that explores what can be learned from this chapter in American History. Director of the International Human Rights Clinic and Assistant Professor of Law Suzie Pritchett joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about Heart Mountain Week.

 

Kunio Yamamoto facing Heart Mountain, 1944.” George and Frank C. Hirahara Photograph Collection, 1932-2016 (SC14). Courtesy Manuscripts, Archives & Special Collections,Washington State University, Pullman.

Next week the University Of Wyoming College Of Law will host “Heart Mountain Week.”

In a mock trial Monday, law students will debate the draft of incarcerated Japanese Americans at the Heart Mountain Internment Camp. Throughout the rest of the week, there will be panel discussions on the experiences of people affected by Heart Mountain, executive orders, and the impacts of current immigration orders, as well as a workshop on the rights of international and undocumented students.

The Modern West 20: U.S. Citizens Incarcerated In The West

Feb 20, 2017
Discover Nikkei

It’s the 75th anniversary of an executive order that incarcerated thousands of Japanese Americans in internment camps across the nation. This episode includes first-hand accounts from this era. 

Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation

Seventy-four years ago as of last Friday, President Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order to imprison thousands of Japanese Americans in internment camps nationwide. One of those camps was the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in northwest Wyoming, which operated for three years - from June 1942 to November 1945. More than 14,000 Japanese Americans passed through the complex.

StoryCorps

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.  

Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times

Wyoming Public Media's project, Wyoming Stories, was recently featured in an article by the Los Angeles Times by reporter John M. Glionna. Click here to read the full story.

Willow Belden

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.

Willow Belden

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 Heart Mountain reunion, Mineta appeals to youth

Jul 22, 2013
Willow Belden

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.

Heart Mountain – Powell

May 29, 2013
Okumoto Collection, HMWF

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.