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Guide to the Norman Mineta Papers
MSS-1996-02-17  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Norman Mineta Papers, 1961-2001 (bulk 1975-1995) document the long-term political career of Norman Mineta. Mineta began his career in local politics as a member of the San José City Council in 1967 and served as mayor from 1971-1975. Mineta was the first American of Asian Pacific ancestry to serve as mayor of a large urban city. In 1974, Mineta was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 1975-1995. Mineta co-founded the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and played a leadership role in the establishment of the 1978 Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC). Mineta also secured passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, recognizing the wartime treatment of Japanese Americans. He provided additional leadership as the Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Public Works and Transportation (1992-1995). Mineta returned briefly to the private sector as the Vice President of Lockheed Martin Corporation. From 2000-2001, Mineta served under President Clinton as the Secretary of Commerce, and from 2001-2006, he served under President Bush as the United States Secretary of Transportation. Note that his district office files have been placed with the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles. This collection consists of Norman Mineta's Legislative Office files and is arranged into six series: Series I. Administrative Files, 1967-1995 (bulk 1975-1995); Series II. Awards & Memorabilia, 1971-1996 (bulk 1980-1996); Series III. Commerce Files, 1967-1994 (bulk 1977-1994); Series IV. Public Relations & Press Files, 1974-2001 (bulk 1980-1994); Series V. Subject Files, 1961-1996 (bulk 1977-1995); and Series VI. Transportation Files, 1974-1995 (bulk 1982-1995).
Background
Norman Y. Mineta was born in San José, California on November 12, 1931. His father immigrated to the U.S. from Japan as a boy, and went on to build a successful insurance company in San José, where the family was prominent in the community. Their lives were severely disrupted during World War II, with the issuance of Executive Order 9066, which mandated relocation of all Japanese Americans living on the Pacific Coast to internment camps. From 1943 to 1944, the Mineta family was interned at Heart Mountain internment camp in Wyoming. Local attorney James B. Peckham protected their home by taking title of the deed; he rented the home to Dr. Lucy Lawson, a professor at San José State University. The mortgage on their home was held by Parton Savings and Loan. During the war, Norman Mineta's father, Mr. Mineta, served as a volunteer, instructing American army officers in Japanese in Chicago; his insurance company shut down during the family's internment, and reopened in 1946 following their return to San José. Norman Mineta graduated from high school in San José in 1949, serving as student body president in his senior year. Following high school, he attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he received a degree in business in 1953. In the same year, he joined the Reserve Officer Training Program (ROTC) and served as an intelligence officer with the U.S. Army in Korea and Japan from 1953-1956. Following his military service, he returned to San José to work with his father in the insurance business.
Extent
349 boxes (435.250 linear feet)
Restrictions
Copyright is assigned to the San José State University Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives. Copyright restrictions may apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.
Availability
The collection is open for research.