If you haven’t already, please become a member today! MCHCE is working closely with the Montana Historical Society this year to provide each member with a subscription to the Society’s Montana: The Magazine of Western History.

Click Here for membership application and information.

MCHCE at the 2015 MEA/MFT Educators’ Conference in Billings, MT
Sam Mihara will speak of his experiences as a Japanese-American interned at Heart Mountain in Wyoming during World War II.

We are excited to announce the return of Sam Mihara as the MCHCE Keynote Presenter for the October 15 and 16, 2015 MEA Educators’ Conference!

Sam Mihara is a second generation Japanese American (Nisei) and was born and raised in San Francisco, California, in the early 1930’s. When World War II broke out, the United States government forced Sam, at age 9 years, and his family to move to a remote prison camp in northern Wyoming, where they stayed for three years. The Heart Mountain camp was one of 10 in the U.S. that together housed a total of 120,000 West Coast residents of Japanese ancestry, most of them U.S.-born American citizens. Sam and his family lived in one 20-foot-square room in a barrack without facilities for the war’s duration.

After the war ended, the family returned home to San Francisco. Sam attended UC Berkeley and UCLA graduate school, where he obtained degrees in engineering. He became an aerospace engineer and joined Douglas Aircraft which merged into The Boeing Company. Following retirement from Boeing, Sam created his own high-tech consulting firm and enjoys meeting many clients around the world.

Seventy years have passed since the incarceration and Sam is one of the few survivors of the Japanese-American imprisonment who is willing to speak about his experiences. Most recently, he is documenting his memories of that time and speaking about what occurred in the past. Sam has talked to many schools, colleges, attorney groups and other interested organizations. In his presentation, Sam discusses the details of how he and his family were forced out of their home by soldiers, moved to the guarded camp where they lived and suffered throughout the war, and finally released to return home after the war ended and a decision by the U.S Supreme Court. He also describes the redress movement that resulted in a formal apology from the government. And he concludes with the lessons learned that apply to everyone, not just Japanese Americans.

Sam researched many government and private photo collections for his presentation, including several that have been impounded from public viewing. Many memorable images are works of professionals like Dorothea Lange and were obtained by permission from UC Bancroft Library.
By combining these professional images with his own photo collection, Sam has created an informative and entertaining program that describes the conditions he, his family and his close friends experienced. The program has been seen and rated very highly by all of his audiences including UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, National Council of History Educators and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Sam is a member of the Board of Directors of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation (HMWF). He is a member of the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) and the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL).


With the final “Biographies of a Nation” Teaching American History grant’s activities now completed, we are reflecting on our Teaching American History activities over the course of the last 13 years. We have amassed many presentations, handouts, video, and lessons learned and are working to make as much of the materials we have accumulated available through the internet.

Some of the ways we are providing these resources is through our
Facebook Page and Pinterest boards. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to “Like” us on Facebook, and then click “Show Updates” and “Following” under the banner picture to ensure you receive our posts in your feed. You can also “Follow” us on Pinterest under MCHCE. Our materials are easy to find under organized by era and topic boards.

Even though our TAH project is over, we are working hard to continue bringing quality Professional Development in history and civics to Montana teachers through expanding our partnerships and programming. We are doing this through the following the
MEA/MFT Annual Educators’ Conference, encouraging Civics Education, and expanding Memberships with special incentives.

Jim Bruggeman
Executive Director, MCHCE

Danice Toyias
Deputy Director, MCHCE

American History Teacher Resources
Trying to find links or materials for a specific time period in American history? We've arranged our resources by era and they include: links, presentations, lesson plans, curricular materials, and alignment guides.
Era 1: Three Worlds Meet (Beginnings to 1620)
Era 2: Colonization and Settlement (1585-1763)
Era 3: Revolution and New Nation (1754-1820s)
Era 4: Expansion and Reform (1801-1861)
Era 5: Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877)
Era 6: The Development of the Industrial United States (1870-1900)
Era 7: The Emergence of Modern America (1890-1930)
Era 8: The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)
Era 9: Postwar United States (1945 to early 1970s)
Era 10: Contemporary United States (1968 to the present)


MCHCE Mission
The Montana Council for History and Civics Education (MCHCE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of history and civics education in the state of Montana. This includes supporting history curriculum through evaluating state standards, curriculum and assessment; promoting quality pre-service preparation for history teachers; and working to strengthen the content of K-12 history and civics education in Montana schools. MCHCE is committed to providing professional development for state history teachers through annual MEA/MFT educators’ conferences and providing regional and local workshops.

Our organization offers memberships as a way to support Montana history teachers and history enthusiasts. As our organization grows, we will continue adding features to support history and history education! All tax deductible memberships are only $30/year and give you a subscription to the Magazine of Western History.

Please consider making a tax deductible donation to the Montana Council for History and Civics Education today.


We are now on Pinterest! Find links to Amazing American History Teaching Resources through our boards!


MCHCE Newsletters
The following links provide access to the PDF version of our archived newsletters.
Fall 2010, Issue #01
Spring 2011, Issue #02

Site Last Updated: July 6, 2015