Remembering Minidoka 75 Years Later

Feb 20, 2017

From the Minidoka camp "yearbook" Minidoka Interlude 1942-1943.
Credit Robert C. Sims Collection on Minidoka and Japanese Americans / Special Collections and Archives, Boise State University

Sunday was the Day of Remembrance. Each year, organizers look back at a dark period of history in the American West - the internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War Two. Monday Idaho remembers the role it played in this history.

February 19, 1942 marks the date President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered Japanese people to be interned in the U.S. after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Close to 117,000 Japanese Americans were segregated into government camps, including at the Minidoka center in Idaho. There 10,000 people were held for three years during the war.

Dr. Cheryl Oestreicher oversees a special collection of artifacts from Minidoka at Boise State University. She says for decades the incident was largely forgotten.

“But over the past few decades, there's been a lot more about it. And with the 75th anniversary of President Roosevelt signing Executive Order 9066, it’s really a good time for reflection,” says Oestreicher.

Monday at 2:30 p.m. Lieutenant Governor Brad Little will hold a formal ceremony at the Statehouse and sign a proclamation for Idaho’s Day of Remembrance.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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