Densho Digital Archive
Japanese American National Museum Collection
Title: Norman Mineta Interview
Narrator: Norman Mineta
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Denver, Colorado
Date: July 4, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-mnorman-01-0007

NM: And so Jim Wright said, "I want that bill on the House floor on the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution." Just thinking about it makes me cry now. And he said, "I want you in the chair. You be Speaker pro tem." So he gave up the chair as Speaker of the House and had me as the Speaker pro tem chairing the house when we took up the bill. And that's a day I'll always remember.

TI: And was it that day that you gave your speech also?

NM: It was. You know, my dad was a, he came to this country by himself, fourteen years old. And I only saw him cry three times. Once was 7th of December, because he couldn't understand why the land of his birth was attacking the land of heart. Seventh of December, first time I ever saw him cry. Second time I saw him cry was March 29, 1942, when we were on the train moving out of San Jose and going to Santa Anita Racetrack, the assembly center we were going to. And I looked up, and the seats were facing each other with my dad, my mother and my sister, sister and brother and me here. And I looked up and saw these tears coming down from my dad. And the third time was in 1956 when my mother passed away. But those were the only three times I ever saw my dad cry, and so being on the floor that day, I talked about my dad and my mother.

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