(Updated Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 05:19:55 PM to reflect the 100 most recent valid responses.)

Which of the following is the most important Asian contribution to the building of America?
Building the western half of the transcontinental railroad | 32%
Turning the western deserts into fertile farmlands | 12%
Reviving crumbling urban areas into vibrant commercial centers | 23%
Providing hi-tech talent for Silicon Valley & other technology centers | 33%

Which of the following is the most important Asian contribution to American culture?
Asian restaurants | 34%
Design aesthetics | 9%
Spiritual philosophy | 10%
Martial arts | 22%
Educational emphasis | 25%

Which of the following is the most important Asian contribution to the American economy?
Motivated students for the educational system | 41%
Talent & ideas for the digital revolution | 34%
Energetic, aggressive entrepreneurs | 8%
High-quality, low-cost imports | 17%

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[This page is closed to new input. --Ed.]
Asian Americans have an incredible record in the US Military. Particularly Japanese Americans because of what they did during World War II. Incredibly very few Americans know of their accomplishments.

The 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team were segregated Army units who fought in the Italy and Germany. They became known as the most decorated unit in US military history for their size (a regiment) and length of service (World War II). Simply put, they were among the best infantry in the US Army.

What is most amazing is that many of these men volunteered out of America's Concentration Camps. They are now known as "Internment Camps" but whatever they are called, 120,000 Japanese Americans were given 2 weeks in the spring of 1942 to leave the states of California, Oregon, and Washington. They were then put in temporary relocation centers (often horse racetracks) and eventually moved to 10 camps in the most remote locations.

Another little known fact is that Japanese Americans served in the Pacific against Japan. They used their knowledge of the Japanese language and culture in the Military Intelligence Service. Their contributions there brought General MacArthur to state that, never in the history of combat has one side known so much about the enemy, prior to actual combat. In other words, they were the eyes and ears of the Allies.

It was through the actions of these men that Hawaii, which was comprised almost entirely of Asian immigrants became a state. Prior to World War II, the fear was that if Hawaii were given statehood, they would send "yellow" men to Congress.

Today, there are 2 Japanese Americans in the US Senate, one of them was a member of the 442nd. General Eric Shinseki is the Army's Chief of Staff (the highest ranking officer of the US Army).

There was also a member of the crew of the Challenger space shuttle who was Asian American, Ellison Onizuka.

These men would never have been given a chance if it weren't for accomplishments of the 100th, 442nd, and the MIS.
Go For Broke    Wednesday, December 25, 2002 at 00:02:55 (PST)
The one major Asian American contribution that I can think of is the West Coast railroads. There are thousands of Asian bodies buried underneath those railroads that we helped or were forced to lay. Also, there are thousands of bodies buried in those gold mines that we helped or were forced to mine. U.S history neglects or mentions very little the contributions that Asian Americans have given. I wish someone would re-write those textbooks and tell the truth. Maybe I will?
A Viet guy in Houston    Monday, April 22, 2002 at 13:05:41 (PDT)
Here's a couple of UNACKNOWLEDGED contributions to American Culture made originally by Asians:

Barbecue--concept brought to the West by Chinese immigrants, including the recipies for the sauce and the use of charcoal rather than wood. Why did you often see a Chinese cook working the Cattle Drives in the old west? Because he was a MASTER of barbecue, NOT KUNG-FU!!!!!!

Ketchup--also invented originally in China and recreated using Tomatoes native to the Americas rather than those native to China.

Fireworks & Gunpowder

Vaccinations-Jonas Salk derived his ideas from Ancient Chinese techniques he researched

Cigarettes: were first created using North American tobacco and Chinese rice paper by Chinese workers on the TCRR. The White men began imitating this practice and eventually cigarettes supplanted pipes and cigars as the favored method of smoking.

These are considered American Icons, but their source is of Asian and Asian-American origin.
FYI and F-U-I-T-A!!!    Monday, April 22, 2002 at 07:04:24 (PDT)