This page uses content from Wikipedia and is licensed under CC BY-SA.
History of Asian Americans
Asian-American history is the history of ethnic and racial groups in the United States who are of Asian descent. Spickard (2007) shows that "'Asian American' was an idea invented in the 1960s to bring together Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino Americans for strategic political purposes. Soon other Asian-origin groups, such as Korean, Vietnamese, Hmong, and South Asian Americans, were added." For example, while many Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino immigrants arrived as unskilled workers in significant numbers from 1850 to 1905 and largely settled in Hawaii and California, many Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Hmong Americans arrived in the United States as refugees following the Vietnam War. These separate histories have often been overlooked in conventional frameworks of Asian American history.
Since 1965, shifting immigration patterns have resulted in a higher proportion of highly educated Asian immigrants entering the United States. This image of success is often referred to as the "model minority" myth. For the contemporary situation, see Asian American.
The Chinese arrived in the U.S. in large numbers on the West Coast in the 1850s and 1860s to work in the gold mines and railroads. They encountered very strong opposition—violent as riots and physical attacks forced them out of the gold mines (citation needed). The Central Pacific railroad hired thousands, but after the line was finished in 1869 they were hounded out of many railroad towns in states such as Wyoming and Nevada. Most wound up in Chinatowns—areas of large cities which the police largely ignored. The Chinese were further alleged to be "coolies" and were said to be not suitable for becoming independent thoughtful voters because of their control by tongs. The same negative reception hit the Asians who migrated to Mexico and Canada.
The Japanese arrived in large numbers 1890–1907, many going to Hawaii (an independent country until 1898), and others to the West Coast. Hostility was very high on the West Coast, but not especially violent. Hawaii was a multicultural society in which the Japanese experienced about the same level of distrust as other groups. Indeed, they were the largest population group by 1910, and after 1950 took political control of Hawaii. The Japanese on the West Coast of the U.S. (as well as Canada and Latin America) were interned during World War II, but very few on Hawaii at the Honouliuli Internment Camp.
According to Chan (1996), the historiography of Asians in America falls into four periods. The 1870s to the 1920s saw partisan debates over curtailing Chinese and Japanese immigration; "Yellow Peril" diatribes battled strong, missionary-based defenses of the immigrants. Studies written from the 1920s to the 1960s were dominated by social scientists, who focused on issues of assimilation and social organization, as well as the World War II internment camps. Activist revisionism marked the 1960s to the early 1980s as a new wave of Asian-American scholars rejected the dominant assimilationist paradigm, and instead turned to classical Marxism and internal colonialist models. Starting in the early 1980s there was an increased stress on human agency. Only after 1990 has there been much scholarship by professional historians.
Major milestones according to standard reference works are:
1587, "Luzonians" arrive in Morro Bay, (San Luis Obispo) California on board the galleon ship Nuestra Senora de Esperanza under the command of Spanish Captain Pedro de Unamuno.
1595, Filipino sailors aboard a Spanish "galleon" the San Agustin which was commanded by Captain Sebastian Rodriguez Cermeno arrive on the shores of Point Reyes outside the mouth of the Bay Area. The ship was on a trip to Acapulco before it was shipwrecked on the aforementioned area.
1763, Filipinos established the small settlement of Saint Malo in the bayous of Louisiana, after fleeing mistreatment aboard Spanish ships. Since there were no Filipino women with them, the "Manilamen," as they were known, married Cajun and Native American women.
1778, Chinese sailors first arrive to Hawaii. Many settled and married Hawaiian women.
1820s, Chinese (mostly merchants, sailors, and students) begin to immigrate via Sino-U.S. maritime trade.
1841, Captain Whitfield, commanding an American whaler in the Pacific, rescues five shipwrecked Japanese sailors. Four disembark at Honolulu. Manjiro Nakahama stays on board returning with Whitfield to Fairhaven, Massachusetts. After attending school in New England and adopting the name John Manjiro, he later becomes an interpreter for Commodore Matthew Perry.
1850, seventeen survivors of a Japanese shipwreck were saved by an American freighter; In 1852, the group joins Commodore Matthew Perry to help open diplomatic relations with Japan. One of them, Joseph Heco (Hikozo Hamada) later becomes a naturalized US citizen.
1861–1865, Approximately 70 Chinese and Filipinos enlist in the Union Army and Union Navy during the American Civil War. Smaller numbers serve in the armed forces of the Confederate States of America.
1861 The utopian minister Thomas Lake Harris of the Brotherhood of the New Life visits England, where he meets Nagasawa Kanaye, who becomes a convert. Nagasawa returns to the US with Harris and follows him to Fountaingrove in Santa Rosa, California. When Harris leaves the Californian commune, Nagasawa became the leader and remained there until his death in 1932.
1862, California imposes a tax of $2.50 a month on every Chinese man.
1869, The Fourteenth Amendment gives full citizenship to every person born in the United States, regardless of race.
1877, Denis Kearney organizes anti-Chinese movement in San Francisco and forms the Workingmen's Party of California, alleging that Chinese workers took lower wages, poorer conditions, and longer hours than white workers were willing to tolerate.
1878, Chinese are ruled ineligible for naturalized citizenship.
1882, Chinese Exclusion Act is passed banning immigration of laborers from China. Students and businessmen are allowed. Large numbers of Chinese gain entry by claiming American birth.
1884, Philip Jason, a Korean independence activist and physician who later became an American citizen among Koreans for the first time, arrived in the United States.
1907, Gentlemen's Agreement between United States and Japan that Japan would stop issuing passports for new laborers.
1910, Angel Island in San Francisco Bay opens as the major station for as many as 175,000 Chinese and 60,000 Japanese immigrants between 1910 and 1940.
1913, California bans Japanese immigrants ("Issei") from purchasing land; land is purchased instead in the names of U.S. born children ("Nisei") who are citizens
1924, United States Immigration Act of 1924 (Oriental Exclusion Act) banned most immigration from Asia. The quota for most Asian countries is zero. Public opinion in Japan is outraged by the insult.
1927, in the infamous case of Lum v. Rice the Supreme Court found that states possess the right to define a Chinese student as non-white for the purpose of segregating them in public schools.
1933, Filipinos are ruled ineligible for citizenship barring immigration. Roldan v. Los Angeles County found that existing California anti-miscegenation laws did not bar Filipino-white marriages, but the state quickly moved to amend the law and made it so that Filipinos could no longer marry White people.
1935, Tydings-McDuffie Act gives "Commonwealth" status to the Philippines hence allowing immigration of Filipinos; Philippines independence is scheduled for 1946
1941, Japanese army invades Philippines; Japanese residents support the invaders
1941–45 Filipino resistance movement, working closely with U.S. Army, fights the Japanese invaders
1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 on February 19, uprooting 100,000 people of Japanese birth or descent on the west coast to be sent to Internment camps; similar actions take place in Canada.
1943, Japanese soldiers from Hawaiʻi join the U.S. Army 100th Battalion arrive in Europe.
1945, 442nd Regimental Combat team awarded 18,143 decorations including 9,486 Purple Heart decorations becoming the highest decorated military unit in United States history
1946, the Luce–Celler Act of 1946 grants naturalization opportunities to Filipino Americans and Indian Americans (which included present-day Pakistanis and Bangladeshis) and re-established immigration from the Indian subcontinent and the Philippines.
1947–1989, String American interest in Asia during Cold War, especially Korea and Vietnam.
1962, Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaiʻi elected for the US Senate; he wins reelection in 1968, 1974, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004, and 2010
1962, Wing Luke the first Asian American to hold elected office (Seattle City Council) in the State of Washington
1963, Rocky Fellers, a Filipino American boy band is first Asian American to hit Billboard 100."Killer Joe" reached No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1963, No. 1 in both New York and Los Angeles, CA.
1964, Grace Lee Boggs author and social activist, met with Malcolm X and unsuccessfully attempted to convince him to run for the United States Senate.
1965, Yuri Kochiyama, human rights activist and Longtime friend to Malcolm X, on February 21, 1965 the day of his X's assassination, at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, she ran to him after he was shot and held him in her arms as he lay dying.
1965, Patsy T. Mink of Hawaiʻi becomes the first woman of color elected to Congress.
1965, John Wing serves as Mississippi's first Chinese American mayor; he serves as mayor of Jonestown, Mississippi, through 1973.
1966, a group of mostly Filipino farm workers go on strike against growers of table grapes in California a strike which became known as the famous Delano grape strike they were led by the famous Asian American activists and labor organizers Philip Vera Cruz and Larry Itliong.
1970s–1980's, Asians Americans created their own distinct genre of music Asian-American jazz and launched a musical movement based around it.
1972, Patsy Mink co-authors and sponsors the Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act and gets it effectively passed on June 23 the act was for the prohibition of gender discrimination in the U.S. education system or other federally funded institutions. In the same year, Mink also becomes the first Asian American woman to run for President of the United States, participating in the Oregon Democratic Primary.
1973, Ruby Chow became the first Asian American elected to the King County Council in Washington State
1980s- present Since the 1980s Asian Americans have made dramatic advances as students and faculty in higher education, especially in California. There have been sharp debates regarding the existence of discrimination against high-performing Asians.
1989, Michael Chang was the first Chinese American to win the French Open, and reached a career best ranking of world No. 2 in 1996.
1990, George H.W. Bush signed a bill passed by Congress to extend Asian-American Heritage Week to a month; May was officially designated as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month two years later.
1992, Eugene Chung is a former American football offensive lineman who played in the National Football League from 1992 to 1997.
1996, Gary Locke is elected governor of Washington state. When he was elected in 1995 Locke became the first—and to date the only—Chinese American to serve as the governor of a state, holding the post for two terms.
1999, Gen. Eric Shinseki becomes the first Asian American U.S. Army chief of staff.
1999, David Wu is elected as Congressman for Oregon 1st District
2000, Norman Y. Mineta. Democratic Congressman, appointed by President Bill Clinton as the first Asian American appointed to the U.S. Cabinet; worked as Commerce Secretary (2000–2001), Transportation Secretary (2001–2006).
2008, Tim Lincecum, a starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, is selected as an All Star for the Major League All Star Game. Lincecum, who is half-Filipino, also won the Cy Young award as the most successful pitcher in the National League in 2008. Lincecum is the first Asian American to be selected as the Cy Young winner. Lincecum also won the Cy Young again in 2009 and led the Giants to a World Series victory in 2010.
2009, Steven Chu, co-winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Physics, is sworn in as U.S. Secretary of Energy—thereby becoming the first person appointed to the US Cabinet after having won a Nobel Prize. He is also the second Chinese American to become a member of Cabinet (after Elaine Chao.)
2009, Joseph Cao, a Republican, is the first Vietnamese American and person born in Vietnam elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, from Louisiana's 2nd congressional district; he was defeated for reelection in 2010
2010, Far East Movement is the second Asian American band to top the Billboard 100, second only to Rocky Fellers with its song "Like a G6". The song was number one on two separate weeks in November 2010.
2010, Jeremy Lin is the first American-born Taiwanese to become an NBA player. Lin was a star basketball player for Harvard University and excelled at NBA pre-draft camps. Lin is currently a player for the Atlanta Hawks.
2010, Jean Quan is elected as Mayor of Oakland, California. Quan is the first Asian American woman elected mayor of a major American city. Quan is Oakland's first Asian American mayor.
2010, Ed Lee is appointed as Mayor of San Francisco, California.
2010, Ed Wang was the first full-blooded Chinese player to both be drafted and to play in the NFL
2011, Gary Locke becomes U.S. Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.
2013, Nina Davuluri became the second Asian American and first Indian American to be crowned as Miss America. She is the second Asian American following Angela Perez Baraquio in 2000.
Chan, Sucheng. "The changing contours of Asian-American historiography", Rethinking History, March 2007, Vol. 11 Issue 1, pp 125–147; surveys 100+ studies of defining events; Asian diasporas; social dynamics; cultural histories.
Chan, Sucheng. "Asian American historiography," Pacific Historical Review, Aug 1996, Vol. 65#3 pp. 363–99
Espiritu, Augusto. "Transnationalism and Filipino American Historiography," Journal of Asian American Studies, June 2008, Vol. 11#2 pp. 171–184,
Friday, Chris. "Asian American Labor and Historical Interpretation," Labor History, Fall 1994, Vol. 35#4 pp. 524–546,
Gregory, Peter N. "Describing the Elephant: Buddhism in American," Religion and American Culture, Summer 2001, Vol. 11#2 pp. 233–63
Kim, Lili M. "Doing Korean American History in the Twenty-First Century," Journal of Asian American Studies, June 2008, Vol. [email protected] pp 199–209
Lai, Him Mark. "Chinese American Studies: A Historical Survey". Chinese America: History and Perspectives. 1995: 11–29.
Lee, Erika, "Orientalisms in the Americas: A Hemispheric Approach to Asian American History," Journal of Asian American Studies vol 8#3 (2005) pp 235–256. Notes that 30–40% of the Chinese and Japanese immigrants before 1941 went to Latin America, especially Brazil, and many others went to Canada.
Ngai, Mae M. "Asian American History—Reflections on the De-centering of the Field," Journal of American Ethnic History, Summer 2006, Vol. 25#4 pp 97–108
^Cabanilla, Devin Israel (15 December 2016). "Media fail to give REAL first Asian American Olympic gold medalist her due". The Seattle Globalist. Retrieved 23 April 2019. The first Asian American Olympic gold medalist was a Filipina American woman. Her name was Victoria Manalo Draves. Rodis, Rodel (16 October 2015). "The Olympic triumph of Vicki Manalo Draves". Philippine Daily Inquirer. La Paz, Makati City, Philippines. Retrieved 23 April 2019. Victoria Manalo Draves, or Vicki as she liked to be called, made history as the first American woman to win two gold medals for diving and as the first, and still only Filipino, to win an Olympic gold medal and she won two of them in springboard and platform diving at the 1948 Olympics in London. Chapin, Dwight (3 March 2002). "VICKI DRAVES / Pioneer Olympian made quite a splash / Diver became celebrity after 1948 Games". SFGate. San Francisco. Retrieved 23 April 2019. So, with those two things going for her, maybe it figured that she would become the first female diver to win two gold medals at a single Olympics, taking both the platform and springboard events at the London Games in 1948 -- and the first American woman of Asian descent to win an Olympic medal.