Norman Y. Mineta became the first Asian-American mayor of any major American city when he took office of San Jose’s mayor in 1971. For two decades starting in 1975, Mineta represented the area in the U.S. House of Representatives and led the effort for redress of the internment of thousands of Japanese-American families during World War II. He also became the nation’s first Asian-American cabinet member when President Bill Clinton appointed him to the position of Secretary of Commerce in 2000. He subsequently served as Secretary of Transportation under President George Bush, becoming only the fourth person to serve on the cabinets of two presidents from different parties.
Photos courtesy of The Mercury News.