Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story
Meet the statesman who served as cabinet secretary for Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush. Imprisoned by the U.S. during World War II for his Japanese ancestry, Mineta rose to become the first Asian American to serve in a presidential cabinet.
Norman Mineta recalls the bombing of Pearl Harbor when he was just 10 years old and its impact on Japanese-Americans. In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, moving those of Japanese ancestry away from the West Coast and eventually leading to the internment of thousands of Japanese-Americans.
In 1971, Norman Mineta’s political career took off in California where he ran and won election for mayor of San Jose, becoming one of the few Asian-Americans in office during this time.