Home Events Heart Mountain survivor Sam Mihara
Sam Mihara


May 21 2024


7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Heart Mountain survivor Sam Mihara

Join Museum staff for the conclusion of A Moab Prison Camp: Japanese American Incarceration in Grand County. Sam Mihara, a second-generation Japanese American (Nisei), born and raised in San Francisco and later incarcerated at Heart Mountain, Wyoming Prison Camp, presents on Tuesday, May 21st, 7 pm at Star Hall. Suggested Donation: $10.

When World War II broke out, the United States government’s armed military guards forced Sam, age 9, and his family to move to the Heart Mountain, Wyoming prison camp. It was one of 10 such camps in the country that together housed over 120,000 West Coast residents of Japanese ancestry, most of them U.S.-born American citizens. Mihara and his family lived in one room, 20×20 ft. square in a barrack for three years, with no utilities, poor food at the start, embarrassing toilets, severe medical problems, and cold winters as low as minus 28 deg. F. in blizzards.

Throughout Mihara’s 450 speeches to over 90,000 students of all ages in the U.S., Asia, and Europe, he has discussed many lessons learned from the injustice of incarceration and how the lessons apply to today’s problems such as immigration and race. In March 2019, Mihara gave speeches and wrote to Congressional members and staff on the lessons learned from the prison experience that apply to today’s issues including immigration and the need to support funding for education. In August 2022, Mihara was awarded the Japanese American Citizens League’s prestigious honor, The Biennium Award for Education.


Next Event