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'Facing the Mountain:' Inspiring conversations for a better future

Minidoka under construction. Displays the solitude and expansive vistas of Minidoka.
Courtesy of the National Archives
Minidoka under construction. Displays the solitude and expansive vistas of Minidoka.

During World War II, over 13,000 Japanese Americans were held at Minidoka in the eastern Idaho desert and more than 120,000 were taken from their homes by the U.S. government.

While their parents were in camps like Minidoka, some young men volunteered to serve and were placed in a special Japanese-American Army unit which fought in places like Germany, Italy and France.

This chapter of American history was the basis for the book “Facing the Mountain” by author Daniel James Brown. Brown's book “The Boys in the Boat,” was made into a movie last year by George Clooney.

On Wednesday, Feb. 7, the Idaho Center for the Book and the Friends of Minidoka will sit down to talk about "Facing the Mountain" and are inviting everyone to join in and to learn more from a photo exhibit featuring the men in the unit.

We asked Gwyn Hervochon, librarian for Albertsons Library and coordinator for the Idaho Center for the Book along with Camille Daw, program and outreach manager with Friends of Minidoka and David Walker, associate professor with Boise State’s History Department to tell us more.

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As Senior Producer of our live daily talk show Idaho Matters, I’m able to indulge my love of storytelling and share all kinds of information (I was probably a Town Crier in a past life!). My career has allowed me to learn something new everyday and to share that knowledge with all my friends on the radio.