From 1942 through most of 1945, about 10,000 Japanese-Americans from the West Coast of United States lived behind barbed wire in tarpaper barracks at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center between Cody and Powell, Wyo. in Park County—one of ten such camps around the nation during World War II. The center was briefly Wyoming’s third-largest town. When hundreds of young men in the camp were drafted into the U.S. military, 63 resisted, feeling they had been denied their constitutional rights. They and seven more leaders of the group were sentenced to federal prison. In the 1980s, Congress passed a law granting an apology and $20,000 to every survivor of the camps.
Steven Bingo was hired by Washington State University to process and digitize collections related to the Japanese-American incarceration, including the George and Frank C. Hirahara Collection. He has presented his work to the Spokane chapter of the Japanese-American Citizens' League and the Library of Congress American Folklife Center.