Explore the Japanese American Internment
Home Help

Post War

"The 442nd was very much a part of what was happening… For all our Anglo-Saxon first names, we had gone off to war as the sons and grandsons of immigrants, heirs of an alien culture and very much expected – and, I suppose, expecting – to resume our unobtrusive minority status if and when we returned. But the Army had given us a taste of full citizenship, and an appetite for more of the same."

- From Senator Daniel Inouye’s autobiography, Journey to Washington (Simon & Schuster, 1967)



Beyond rebuilding their lives, some Japanese Americans, particularly in Hawaii and the West Coast sought electoral office and became active in public service on the local, regional and statewide levels.

In 1952, the Walter-McCarran Act was passed, largely through the efforts of Nisei legislators. This Act enabled Issei (first-generation, immigrant Japanese) and other Asian immigrants -- previously ineligible for citizenship --to become U.S. citizens. By 1965, over 48,000 had become proud naturalized citizens.

Norman Mineta, current U.S. Secretary of Transportation and member of President Bush's Cabinet was interned as a young boy at the Heart Mountain Camp.
In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state and Daniel Inouye, a veteran of the celebrated 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II, became the first Japanese American senator.

In 1964, Patsy Takemoto Mink became the first Japanese American woman elected to the House of Representatives. In 1974, Norman Mineta of San Jose became the first Japanese American Congressman from the U.S. mainland.

Other Japanese Americans pursued public service as well, thus establishing a presence in the various governmental institutions.

next topic
Civil Rights Movement



Site Overview Help
World War II & Roundup Camps Experience Post War & Impact Today
Home About the Project For Educators Other Resources

Day of Remembrance

Copyright 2002. National Asian American Telecommunications Association. All Rights Reserved.