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Norman Mineta Papers
MSS-1996-02-17  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Project Information
  • Biographical History
  • Related Material
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: SJSU Special Collections & Archives
    Title: Norman Mineta Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS-1996-02-17
    Physical Description: 366.0 boxes (368.72 linear feet)
    Date (inclusive): 1961-2001
    Date (bulk): 1975-1995
    Abstract: 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. In 1974, Mineta was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 1975-1995. Mineta retired from Congress in 1995, retuning briefly to San Jose; to assume the position of Vice President at the Lockheed Martin Corporation. Mineta became the first Asian Pacific American to serve under two Presidents. From 2000-2001, he 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.

    Access

    The collection is open for research. Due to their fragile nature, access to audio and video cassettes is restricted.

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    Norman Mineta Papers, MSS-1996-02-17, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Robert Donahue. Finding aid EAD encoded by Mary Ellen Petrich. Reviewed by Danelle Moon and Erin Louthen.

    Project Information

    This finding aid was created as part of the Survey and Cataloging Project, a two-year San José State University Library grant project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The project began in 2008. The Project Director is Danelle Moon. The Project Archivist is Erin Louthen.

    Biographical History

    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.
    A natural leader, Mineta worked closely with the Japanese Methodist Church, serving on the Santa Clara County Council of Churches. His appointment by San José Mayor Ron James to the Human Relations Council was an important stepping stone in his political career. Mineta served on the San José City Council from 1967-1971, when he became the first American of Asian Pacific ancestry to serve as mayor of a large urban city (1971-1974). In 1974, Mineta was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 1975-1995.
    In Congress, Mineta demonstrated his leadership in civil rights legislation, public works and transportation. He 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). In 1988, Mineta secured passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, recognizing the wartime treatment of Japanese Americans. From 1981-1988, he chaired the Aviation Subcommittee, and co-authored the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). This act increased control by state and local governments over highway and mass transit decisions that included fuel-efficient mass transit programs and the creation of bike lanes. Mineta's interest in aviation and surface transportation can be seen in his work as the Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Public Works and Transportation (1992-1995).
    Mineta retired from Congress in 1995, retuning briefly to San José to assume the position of Vice President at the Lockheed Martin Corporation. Mineta became the first Asian Pacific American to serve under two Presidents. From 2000-2001, he 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. Mineta's rich experiences in politics, particularly his expertise in transportation legislation, enabled him to succeed during the tumultuous period after 9/11, when he helped restore the confidence of the nation in the transportation system and played a key role in the establishment of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Norman Mineta has received numerous honors throughout his 40-year political career, including two local namesakes: the Mineta Transportation Institute, a research institute devoted to transportation policy located at San José State University (SJSU), and the Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport.
    Mineta lives in San José with his wife Danealia. He has two sons, David and Stuart Mineta, and two step-sons, Robert and Mark Brantner.

    Related Material

    Rod Diridon Papers, MSS-1995-03-02, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.
    Don Edwards Congressional Papers, MSS-1995-01, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.
    Janet Gray Hayes Papers, MSS-2002-01, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.
    Guide to the Norman Y. Mineta Papers, 1975-1996, Japanese American Museum, Los Angeles.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    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.

    Arrangement

    This collection consists of Norman Mineta's Legislative Office files and is arranged into nine 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); Series VI. Transportation Files, 1974-1995 (bulk 1982-1995). Series VII. Photographic and Visual Records, 1966-2006 and Series VIII. Video and Audio recordings, 1961-2001. Series IX. Congressional Directories

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Democratic Party (U.S.)
    United States -- Politics and government.
    United States. Dept. of Commerce. Office of the Secretary.
    Mayors -- California -- San José.
    Asian American legislators.
    City council members -- California -- San Jose (Calif.)
    Cabinet officers -- United States.
    Legislators -- United States.
    Transportation -- United States.
    San Jose (Calif.) -- Politics and government.
    California -- Politics and government.
    United States -- Commerce.
    Mineta, Norman Yoshio, 1931-