Archives On The Air 229: Heart Mountain — John A. Nelson Papers

Nov 14, 2020

In 1942, World War II was raging across the globe.

On the west coast of the United States, concern grew over the possibility of a Japanese invasion. The decision was made to relocate 110,000 people of Japanese descent away from the coast.

A newly created government agency, the War Relocation Authority was formed. The agency was tasked with the job of holding the Japanese and Japanese Americans until they could be resettled in an orderly fashion.

Approximately 10,000 of the internees were moved to Heart Mountain, near Cody, Wyoming. Conditions at Heart Mountain were difficult. A family of six was allotted a bare room measuring about twenty by twenty-five feet. Furniture had to be cobbled together with bits of scrap lumber. Meals were often meager and winter clothing was in short supply.

Read John A. Nelson's papers at UW's American Heritage Center to learn more about the internees at Heart Mountain.