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Norman Mineta on Principles & Values

Secretary of Transportation (Pres. Bush Cabinet)

 


Forced internment by US government during WWII

Executive Order 9066: one of the most shameful documents in American history. It was signed by President Franklin Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, to begin the forced internment of 120,000 residents of Japanese ancestry-- 77,000 of them American citizens [including Norman Mineta]. There were no hearings, no appeals. Executive Order 9066 was the codification of racism.
Source: The Greatest Generation, by Tom Brokaw, p.216-218 , Nov 30, 1998

First Japanese big city mayor; in Congress' Watergate class

When he ran for the San Jose city council his father warned him, "You're going to be like a nail sticking out of a board. You know what happens to that nail? It gets hammered. Are you ready to get hammered?"

The Mineta family had long been active in civic affairs but always within the Japanese community. Norman decided to expand their horizons. Apparently he was, for within 4 years he was elected mayor of San Jose, the first Japanese American to head a major city on the mainland. He was an instant success, a rising star in the Democratic party and a leading advocate of new approaches to old urban problems. In California's polyglot population he knew the feelings of an outsider, so he reached across invisible lines and brought in those who had not been represented in the seats of power, including Mexican Americans.

Source: The Greatest Generation, by Tom Brokaw, p.225-226 , Nov 30, 1998

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Page last updated: Sep 29, 2018