Minenta Makes It to Smithsonian

Norman Mineta
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A portrait of Norman Mineta is being installed in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery Monday.

Mineta is probably best known here in the Bay Area for the airport that is named in his honor in San Jose, but he was also the first Asian Pacific American to hold a presidential cabinet post.

That was not the only first for the man. In 1971, Mineta was elected mayor of San Jose, making him the first Asian American mayor of a major U.S. city.
The portrait of former U.S. Transportation and Commerce Secretary Norman Mineta will become part of the museum's permanent collection.

President Bill Clinton appointed Mineta commerce secretary in 2000, and President George W. Bush appointed him transportation secretary in 2001. Previously, Mineta served in Congress for 20 years, representing California.

During World War II, Mineta and his parents, who were Japanese immigrants, were detained in an internment camp.

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