1975 January 3

Japanese-American Internment Victim Elected to Congress


Norman Minetta, who had been interned as a child as part of the Japanese-American evacuation and internment during World War II, took his seat in the House of Representatives on this day. Minetta represented the San Jose, California area, and served in the House until 1995. He later served as Secretary of Commerce under President Bill Clinton (2000–2001) and then Secretary of Transportation under President George W. Bush (2001–2006).

Minetta was not the only victim of the evacuation and internment to go on to a distinguished career. George Takei, who was interned as a child, became a star on the television series Star Trek, and later became a prominent advocate of lesbian and gay rights. On September 14, 2008, he married his same-sex partner.

Read President Roosevelt’s Order authorizing the evacuation: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/print.php?pid=61698

Visit the Japanese-American Museum: http://www.janm.org/

Learn more: Greg Robinson, By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans (2001)

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