AN ASIAN AMERICAN TIMELINE
This handy timeline recalls milestones in our 154-year history in the United States.
Page 1 of 5
1847 4/12: First group of 3 Chinese students arrives in NYC.
1/24: Discovery of gold at Sutter's Creek, CA. The news of "Gold Mountain" attracts Chinese
immigrants dreaming of a better life.
2/2: 2 men and a woman are brought on the brig EAGLE to become the first
Chinese in San Francisco.
1/3: 95 Sugar companies recruit Chinese from Amoy to come to Hawaii.
3/30: Chinese workers being shipped to San Francisco mutiny on the Robert
Browne, drawing attention to the "coolie trade".
6/24: Harsh treatment by overseers who whip laborers and restrain them from seeking other work provokes a strike for better wages, hours and conditions by 5,000 - 7,000 working on the transcontinental railroad.
7/31: The Burlingame-Seward Treaty allows free immigration between U.S. and
5/10: Central Pacific Railroad abd Union Pacific Railroad meet at
Promontory, Utah. An estimated 90% of the track from Sacramento to
Promontory was laid by Chinese workers, but official group photos
of laborers fail to include them.
5/27: 1st group of several dozen Japanese immigrants arrive on the U.S.
mainland to establish the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony in Calif.
7/13: Plantation owners hold a conference in Memphis, TN and propose
substituting Chinese labor for black slaves.
7/29: Targetting Chinese, San Francisco's Cubic Air Ordinance requires dwellings to provide 500
square feet per every adult.
10/23: Nineteen Chinese are killed in an anti-Chinese riot in Los Angeles. There is evidence to suggest the riots were instigated by local business interests.
Jan 1: California repeals laws forbidding Chinese from testifying against
6/9: In re Ah Chong the US Circuit Court of Calif rules that prohibiting fishing by
all non-voters is unconstitutional.
4/8: Chinese Exclusion Act suspends immigration of Chinese laborers to the
5/22: Treaty of Amity and Commerce lets Coreans immigrate to the
2/8: Large scale immigration of Japanese contract laboreres to Hawaii
begins. 1/5 of the first ship were women.
8/24: San Francisco laundryman Yick Ho petitions the Supreme Court which strikes down as unconstitutional
city ordinances aimed at restricting Chinese laundry businesses.
11/30: Congress prohibits contract labor.
2/8: Anti-Chinese riot drives residents from Seattle.
5/27: Start of a brutal 2-day massacre of 3 Chinese miners in Snake River,
OR. Covered up by officials, the case was not discovered until 1995.
10/11: Scott Act prohibits the return of Chinese laborers who have departed the
U.S. At the time, over 20,000 Chinese workers had temporarily left the U.S.,
expecting to reenter.
7/24: In Nishimura vs U.S., the Supreme Court rules that inspectors are not obligated to take tstimony from
aliens entering the U.S.
5/15: The Chinese community raises money to help finance Fong Yue-Ting vs U.S. to test the
constutionality of the Geary Act, which allows deportation of Chinese when
caught not carrying a certificate of residence. The Act also renewed
exclusion of Chinese laborers for 10 years. It was ultimately upheld.
7/1: To discourage Japanese immigration, Hawaii's Sake Bill raises tariffs on
beverages not derived from grape juice.
3/28: Wong Kim Ark, born of Chinese parents, becomes the title of a Supreme Court opinion establishing
that a person born in the U.S. is a citizen regardless of parentage.
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