Our Asian-American Heritage
A bittersweet heritage born of colonial exploitation. Carried across time on the backs of thousands of coolies, the Asian-American heritage persevered. Held down by exclusionary and unjust laws for a full century, it can now bloom in full. Asian-Pacific Heritage Week proclaimed in 1987 pays homage and tribute the this heritage of hard work, family values, ingenuity and patience.
First recorded settlement of Filipinos in America. Filipino sailors jumped ship in New Orleans to escape imprisonment aboard Spanish galleons and fled into the bayous of Louisiana.
Gold discovered in California. Chinese begin to arrive.
California passes a law to bar entry of Chinese and "Mongolians."
Chinese children excluded from San Francisco public schools.
Central Pacific Railroad Co. recruits Chinese workers for the transcontinental railroad.
Completion of first transcontinental railroad.
Page Law in Congress bars entry of Chinese, Japanese, and "Mongolian prostitutes, felons, and contract laborers.
Chinese Exclusion Law suspends US immigration of laborers for ten years.
Anti-Chinese violence at Rock Springs, Wyoming Territory, results in many dead.
First group of Japanese contract laborers arrives in Hawaii.
Geary Law renews exclusion of Chinese laborers for another ten years and requires all Chinese to register.
The Philippine Islands become a protectorate of US.
Hawaii is also annexed by the United States.
First group of 7,000 Korean workers arrives in Hawaii to work as strikebreakers against Japanese workers.
Punjabi Sikhs begin to enter British Columbia.
President Theodore Roosevelt signs Executive Order 589 prohibiting Japanese with passports for Hawaii, Mexico, or Canada to reemigrate to the US.
First group of Filipino laborers arrives in Hawaii.
Asian Indians are driven out of Bellingham, Washington.
Angel Island Immigration Station opens to process and deport Asian immigrants.
California passes alien land law prohibiting "aliens ineligible to citizenship" from buying land or leasing it for longer than three years.
Servicemen of Asian ancestry who had served in World War I receive right of naturalization.
Washington and Louisiana pass alien land laws.
US v. Bhagat Singh Thind declares Asian Indians not eligible for naturalized citizenship.
Idaho, Montana, and Oregon pass alien land laws.
Webb v. O'Brien rules that sharecropping is illegal because it is a ruse that allows Japanese to possess and use land.
Immigration Act denies entry to virtually all Asians.
Tydings - McDuffie Act spells out procedure for eventual Philippine independence and reduces Filipino immigration to 50 persons a year.
December 7 - Japanese planes attack Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. United States enters World War II.
Internment of Japanese-Americans.
Congress repeals all Chinese exclusion laws, grants right of naturalization, but a very small immigration quota to Chinese (105 per year)
California repeals its alien land laws.
Daniel K. Inouye becomes U.S. senator and Spark Matsunaga becomes US congressman from Hawaii.
Immigration Law abolishes "national origins" as basis for allocating immigration quotas to various countries - Asian countries now on equal footing with others for the first time in US history.
Students on strike at San Francisco State University to demand establishment of ethnic studies programs.
More than 130,000 refugees enter the U.S. from Vietnam, Kampuchea, and Laos as Communist governments are established there following the end of the Indochina War.
Massive exodus of "boat people" from Vietnam.
First formal signing of the Proclamation of Asian Pacific American Heritage Week by the White House.