Important Dates in Asian American History

1635, First Filipinos in the United States
Known as “Manilamen,” these Filipinos jumped ship off the Spanish galleon as a result of the Manila Galleon Trade. They established a settlement in St. Malo, Louisiana, that became a shrimping and fishing village, later creating settlements such as Saint Malo, Manila Village in Barataria Bay. These early settlements were discovered by a Harpur’s Weekly journalist in 1883, and since then, Manilamen are regarded as the first Asians that came to the United States.

1790, 1790 Naturalization Act
The 1790 Naturalization Act was intended to prevent Chinese immigrants, along with other foreign-born people of color from becoming U.S. citizens. The process of naturalization to U.S., citizenship was to be restricted to free white persons (excluding indentured servants from Europe). Consequently, the 1790 Naturalization Act was widely used as legislation to exempt certain groups of Asian immigration up until the early 1950’s.

1830, “Siamese Twins”
First twin Chinese babies found in Siam (now known as Thailand) to be connected by flesh at the chest. Chang and Eng became world-famous and known as “Siamese Twins” from which the term originated from. The twins toured the world, performing ordinary acts with their conjoined body, and eventually accepted and naturalized as an American citizen in North Carolina.

1834, “The Chinese Lady”
Juila Foochee ching-chang king (Afong Moy) was the first documented Chinese woman to come to America, arriving in the New York harbor. She was brought over by two American traders, Nathaniel and Frederick Carne, who placed Afong Moy in an exhibition hall on display on November 6, 1834. Spectators paid 25 cents to observe Moy eating with chopsticks, speaking Chinese, and waking around in her bound feet.

1843, First Japanese Arrive in the United States
The first documented Japanese arrive in the United States in 1843, with many working as domestic servants for middle-class white families. There were two main types of domestic servants 1) school boys, those who lived in the house to cook and serve household duties who could sometimes attend classes during the day, and 2) day workers who lived in boarding houses with the same tasks. In addition, man Japanese immigrants found occupations similar to Chinese immigrants, there were many farmers, small business owners, and rail road workers.

1852, The Foreign Miners Tax
The Foreign Miners Tax was enacted during the height of the Gold Rush, around when 20,000 Chinese immigrants migrated from China to California. During this time, the anti-Chinese sentiment surfaced in mining camps, and many Chinese miners received increasingly harsh treatment, and culminating when the legislature adopted a new foreign miners’ tax of $4 per month. The $4 dollar monthly fee levied against foreign miners who “did not want to become American citizens”, but was a thinly veiled attempt to exclude the Chinese and Mexican miners.

1868, The Burlingame Treaty
Established basic principles to ease immigration restrictions and represented a Chinese effort to limited American interferences in Chinese affairs. While the treaty temporarily granted China the Most Favored Nation status, the provisions were ultimately revered in 1882 with the Chinese Exclusion Act signed into law by President Chester A. Author.

1869, Golden Spike Day
The Transcontinental Railroad, originally known as the Pacific Railroad, was completed in May of 1869. This great American accomplishment could not have been achieved without the extraordinary efforts of Chinese Americans. The Chinese American workers comprised of at least 80% of the workforce, however while the white workers were given their monthly salary at about $35 including food and shelter, the Chinese immigrants received a salary of about $28, without food and shelter. As a result of the dangerous sacrifice and achievement of these first Chinese immigrants workers, there have been several monuments dedicated to their efforts.

1870, “First Chinatown”
The first identifiable Chinatown in Los Angeles, California, was situated on Calle de Los Negros – Street of the Dark Hued Ones. Much smaller than the vibrant Chinatowns today, the first Chinatown was a short alley 50 feet wide, and one block long between El Pueblo Plaza and Old Arcadia Street. Despite the discrimination, the Chinese immigrants held a dominant economic position in the Los Angeles laundry and produce industries during this period. With the rise of businesses, the Chinatown flourished, expanding eastward from the Plaza across Almadea Street and eventually attaining a population of over 3,000.

1873, Queue Ordinance
The Queue Ordinance, or the Pigtail Ordinance, was a law established to force prisoners in San Francisco, California, to have their hair cut within an inch of the scalp to prevent outbreaks of lice and fleas. . While the law did not discriminate between races, it affected the Han Chinese prisoners in particular, as it meant that they would have their queue, a waist-long, braided pigtail, cut off. Since beginning of the Qing Dynasty, Han men in China had been required to wear the queue, as a sign of submission to the ruling Manchu people, however over time the queue became a symbol of national identity for the Chinese.

1871, Chinese Massacre of 1871
The Chinese Massacre of 1871 was a racially motivated riot when a mob of over 500 white men entered Los Angeles’ Chinatown to attack, loot, and murder Chinese residents of the city.  The riots were allegedly triggered by the killing of Robert Thompson, a rancher who was caught in the cross-fire during a gun battle between two Chinese factions. Scholars have attributed the riots to the growing movement of anti-Chinese in California, in addition to economic causes. The riots took place on Calle de los Negros – Street of the Dark Hued Ones, which later became part of Los Angeles Street.

1875, Page Law
The first federal immigration law, which restricted immigrations, who were considered “undesirable” from entering the United States. Some examples of those who were considered undesirable were Asian men who were contract laborers, Asian women who were prostitutes, and Asians who were convicts in their own country.

1877, Workingman’s Party
Dennis Kearney, Irish immigrant and leader of the party, led violet attacks on the Chinese in San Fransisco in 1877. The party most notably were opposed the evils of late 19th century of corruption, which were largely caused by Chinese laborers.  The party adopted the slogan “The Chinese Must Go”, and successfully elected candidates to state office. The Workingmans Party influenced much of California policies, and a number of them had connections to the officials at the Angel Island immigration center.

1882, The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
The Chinese Exclusion Act was signed into law by President Chester A. Author. The Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited the immigration of new Chinese laborers for 10 years – groups that were exempt from the Exclusion Act were merchants, children, wives, students, teachers and labors already present before the passage of the act. The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first law in U.S. immigration history to define immigration as a criminal offense, with possible punishments that included prison terms for up to five years.

1882, The Treaty of Chemulpo
The Treaty of Chemulpo, also known as the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, began diplomatic relations between the United States and Korea, which allowed Korean immigrants into the United States. In 1904, the United States secretly nullified the Chemulpo Treaty in the Taft-Katsura Agreement.

1885, The Rock Springs Massacre
The Rock Springs Massacre, also known as the Rock Springs Riot, occurred on September 2, 1885. The riot which involved Chinese immigrant miners and white immigrant miners, was the result of racial tensions and an ongoing labor dispute over the policy of paying Chinese miners lower wages than white miners. As a result of the policy, Chinese miners were hired over white miners, which further angered the white miners. While these were all factors that contributed to the riot, racial tensions were an even bigger factor in the riots. The rioters burned 75  Chinese homes, and at least 28 Chinese miners were dead, with 15 injured.

1888, “The Chinese Question” Cartoon
Thomas Nast, a cartoonist for Harper’s Weekly, defends Chinese immigrants against the fierce prejudice and discrimination which they faced in late-nineteenth-century America. In the cartoon illustration, Columbia, the feminine symbol of the United States, shields the dejected Chinese man against a armed mob. On the wall behind Columbia are plastered slurs against the Chinese immigrants, who are labeled as barbarian, heathen, immoral, anti-family, and degraded labor. In the years following Nast’s cartoon, the anti-Chinese movement became more vocal and violent.

1888, The Scott Act
The Scott Act was a piece of legislation that prohibited Chinese laborers abroad from returning to the United States. The main proponent of the legislation was William Lawrence Scott, member of the U.S. House of Representatives of Pennsylvania. The legislation was introduced as an extension of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, and left an estimated 20,000 – 30,000 Chinese outside the United States at the time stranded.

1889, Chae Chan Ping v. United States
Shortly after the Chinese Exclusion Act, Chae Chan Ping decided to re-enter the United States using original authorization. He was denied reentry. With an unanimous vote, the Supreme Court ruled, the United States government can constitutionally restriction the entrance of aliens as “an incident of sovereignty” because the treaties regarding Chinese Exclusion held the same value as a federal statue and can be repealed or modified based on Congress’ desire to do so.

1893, Fong Yue Ting v. United States
Fong and two other Chinese men were arrested for violating provisions of the 1892 amendments to the Chinese Exclusion Act. The amendments not only continued to bar Chinese laborers from entering American shores but required those already in the United States to obtain a certificate of residence from an internal revenue officer stating that they were legally entitled to be here. Fong Yue Ting, though a permanent resident of New York City since 1879, had never bothered to register and was arrested for violating these provisions. The decision of the Supreme Court confirmed the right of the Congress to treat aliens as it wished, and this legislation became the constitutional bedrock for all subsequent questions as to Congress’ rights in regard to immigrants.

1894, Gresham-Yang Treaty
The Gresham-Yang Treaty accepted total prohibition of Chinese immigrants to the United States, in return for the readmission of those who left the United States back in China on a visit (the treaty nullified the Scott Act of 1888).

1898, United States v. Wong Kim Ark
Pivotal Supreme Court case that decided jus soli determined that Chinese Americans born and have residency in the United States are naturalized and have an American citizenship.

1901, First Korean Immigrant Arrives to the United States
Peter Ryu arrives in Hawaii on a Japanese ship as the first Korean.

1905, Asiatic Exclusion League
The Asiatic Exclusion Leage was a racist organization formed in the early twentieth century in the United States that aimed to prevent immigration of people of East Asian origin. The Asiatic Exclusion League was formed in San Francisco, California, by labor unions of predominently European immigrants. The group’s stated aims were to spread anti-Asian propaganda and influence legislation restricting Asian immigration, specifically targeted were Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans. The League was almost immediately successful in pressuring the San Francisco Board of Education to segregate Asian school children.

1905, First Asian Indians Arrive in the United States
The first wave of Asian Indian Immigration began in 1905 – 1924, and the majority of the 65,000 who arrived were from the North in Punjab. Overwhelmingly of these immigrants tended to be farm laborers, and had no formal education (less than 3.7 % were educated). Asian Indian communities were bachelor societies, in that there was a large gender imbalance of men to women, in fact,  the ratio was 75 men to 1 woman.

1905, First Wave of Filipino Immigrants in the United States
During 1905 to 1935, roughly 1000,000 Filipinos immigrated to the United states and Islands. The major push factor was war, mainly the Spanish American War of 1898, and the Philippine American War. California was the state with the largest numbers of Filipinos, that represented 45,000 or 2/3 of the Filipinos on the mainland. Roughly 80% of the Filipino immigrants were under the age of 30, and 96% of the 100,000 were male and only 4% were female.

1906, San Francisco Earthquake
The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 displaced hundreds of thousands of people throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Largely damaged by the earthquake and fire was San Francisco’s Chinatown, hundreds of causalities in Chinatown went ignored and unrecorded. The 1906 earthquake and fire afforded a convenient excuse by city officials to claim Chinatown, and relocate the Chinese remaining in the city to segregated camps in a remote, cold, and windy corner of the Presidio.

1906, San Fransisco School Board Incident
The San Fransisco School Board announces that they were going to make a separate school for just the Japanese, Chinese and Korean children. Up to this point, Chinese and Korean school children have always been segregated, but this announcement causes instant protest in the community. The announcement was later dropped by the school board.

1907, Gentlemen’s Agreement
An informal agreement between the US and the Emperor of Japan to not place restrictions on Japanese immigration, in return , Japan would restriction emigration out of the country to the US. While Congress never officially approved the agreement, the purpose was to reduce Japanese and US tensions in the Pacific after its defeat to the Soviet Union and the US, causing Japan to desire equal treatment

1910, Angel Island Immigration Station Opens
An immigrant processing facility in San Francisco Bay, referred to as the “west Ellis Island”. Angel Island was starkly different than Ellis Island, in that many of the 56, 000 Asian immigrants who came through Angel Island were held in the immigration detention centers for months, weeks, and even years. Angel Island is now a museum, attracting over thousands of tourists each year.

1913, California Alien Land Law of 1913
The California Alien Land Law prohibited “aliens ineligible for citizenship” (i.e., all Asian immigrants) from owning land or property, but permitted three year leases. It affected the Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Korean immigrant farmers in California. In order to bypass the legislation, many Japanese immigrants placed the title to the land to their American born children, or set up a corporate with American friends of lawyers.

1914, The first Asian Hollywood star
Sessue Hayakawa became the first Asian to star in a Hollywood film with the release of The Typhoon.

1917, “Barred Zone” Immigration Law
Also know as Immigration Act of 1917 and the Asiatic Barred Zone Act. This law added to the list of “undesirables”, who were prevented from entering the country based on their national origins. Severe illnesses included, but were not limited to, epilepsy and mental illnesses/ physical deformations. Despite Woodrow Wilson’s previous veto of the act, the law received a majority support in the Senate and the House.

1917, Trading With the Enemy Act
Criminalized sending money back to home to China for Chinese immigrants during McCarthy era.

1920, California Alien Land Law of 1920
In 1920, the 1913 California Land Law was amended and made more restrictive. The amendments were aimed at Japanese and Chinese immigrants in California, and prohibited Asian farmers from owning, buying, and leasing land.

1921, First Asian American Woman Premiered in an American Film
Anna May Wong, a Chinese American actress, became the first Asian American actress when she was starred in Bits of Life. Wong went to star in other films, such as Toll of the Sea, The Thief of Bagdad, PIccadilly, and Daughter of the Dragon. Her acting career had been marred by the “Dragon Lady” and “Butterfly” stereotypes, which either depicted her as evil, sly, and deceitful, or naive and self-sacrificing. Wong remains to be well-recognized and even portrayed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1922, Ozawa v. United States
The United States found Japanese immigrant, Takao Ozawa, ineligible for naturalization under the Naturalization Act, which allowed African- Americans and Caucasian to apply for citizenship through nativity. He did not challenge the racist nature of the law, instead he sought to have Japanese people classified as white. However, the explanation of the ruling against this notion, states that Caucasians are exclusively defined as white, restricting Asians from this classification.

1923, Thind v. United States
The US Supreme Court ruled that Bhagat Singh Thind can not be naturalized as he was not of Caucasian decent. He defended the definition, which he fit, of Caucasian is someone of Aryan decent and has a high caste in society. However, this was not recognized by the US Supreme Court, which believed he didn’t fit the common understanding of Caucasian.

1924, Immigration Act of 1924/National Origins Act
Also known as the Johnson-Reed Act. This act limited the amount of Asians who could enter the country from any Asian country to 2% of the number of people already residing in the US, a tight constraint since the 3% allowance in the 1921 Exclusion Act.

1934, Tydings-McDuffie Act Signed
An United States federal law that established a 10-year Commonwealth period in the Philippines and independence from the United States. This set the timetable for a sovereign self-government in the Philippines.

1940, Angel Island Immigration Center Fire/Closes Down
A fire destroyed the Administration Office and Detention of Angel Island, resulting in the UF mandated closing of the immigration center.

1941, Pearl Harbor
The Empire of Japan attacked the United States Naval Base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack was preventive, intended to stop the US Pacific Fleet from interfering with Japanese Southeast Asia campaign, against overseas allies, some of which were US allies. This initiated US involvement in World War II and later, the bombing of two Japanese cities.

1942, Executive Order 9066
Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an exclusion order that authorized the United States Secretary of War to detain and exclude individuals as deemed necessary regardless of ethnicity or race, and also transform specific areas into military zones. While it did not target a specific ethnic group or race, it did discreetly aim and target the Japanese American community. Accordingly, about 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were forced from their homes and relocated into makeshift internment camps without an official trial and due process, determination of guilt, or evidence of espionage and sabotage.

1943, Hirabayashi v. United States
Landmark United States Supreme Court case that contested the application of curfews as a result of the Executive Order 9066 during World War II. Hirabayashi, a Japanese American student at the University of Washington, violated his curfew and relocation order and subsequently arrested, convicted, and forcibly sent to an internment camp.

1943, Magnunson Act
Repealed the exclusion of Chinese immigration, however there was a quota of 100 Chinese immigrants selected by U.S. government who were allowed to enter the United States annually.

1944, Korematsu v. United States
A landmark United States Supreme Court case that held that the Japanese American Internment as a result of Executive Order 9066 to be constitutional. Fred Korematsu, a Japanese American that ignored the order to be relocated to an internment camp in order to stay with his girlfriend, was caught, arrested, and convicted. He contested the charges and argued that the order violated his constitutional rights provided to him as a citizen and that the order discriminated him based on his race, but the court confirmed his conviction.

1945, War Brides Act
Act that allowed spouses and adopted children of United States military officers, including many Asian, to immigrate to the United States after World War II on a non-quota basis. Despite the exclusionary laws targeting Asians during this time period, this Act became an important loophole for Asian veterans to bring and reunite with their families and wives to the country.

1948, Oyama v. California
United States Supreme Court case that decided that specific provisions of the 1913 and 1920 California Alien Land Laws violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to Fred Oyama who as a Japanese American naturalized in the United States had purchased land on behalf of his father. While his father cannot own land under his name, because he could not apply for naturalization, his son, born in the United States and naturalized, can own land. The case set an important precedent that opened the door for land ownership opportunities for Japanese Americans under the protection of the law if United States citizen.

1950, Internal Security Act
The Internal Security Act was the informal Chinese Confession Program during the Cold War, the provisions were targeted at immigrants and progressive political movements. The first provision had to do with the statue of limitations – extended the statute of limitations for any violation of immigration law. Any pass violation of immigration law even if committed earlier was still punishable by a fine, imprisonment or deportation. The second provision expanded the definition of what could be considered subversive activities (participating in a strike, protest, etc). The third provision granted broad powers to the attorney general to indefinitely detain i any alien without cause. The fourth provision allowed the establishment of concentration camps for alien and citizens alike, should the president declare there was a internal security threat.

1952,  McCarran – Walter Act
The McCarran-Walter Act, also known as the Immigration and Nationality Act, removed total ban of Chinese immigrants but still upheld national origins quotas. The act illustrates a mixed bag in terms of reforms of Asian Americans. The first provision establishes naturalization rights and allows Asian immigrants to naturalize to U.S. citizenship. As a result of this provision, a anomalous status of “aliens ineligible to citizenship” is knocked off the U.S. immigration law. The second provision increases the immigration quota from various Asian countries (China: 205, Japan: 185). Although these numbers were not large, they represent a positive reform. The third provision broadened the subversion clauses even more so a whole host of activities could be considered a subversive activity and considered dangerous to the U.S.. The fourth provision established a stringent set of screening procedures for Aliens coming in and out of the country. Aliens with permanent resident status would be subject to the screening program, and any undesirable aliens would not be admitted to the U.S. Taken as a whole, the act was incredibly unpopular.

1954, United States v. China Daily News
Supreme Court case that convicted Chinese American from the China Daily News, a newspaper publication, under the Trading With the Enemy Act that prohibited and criminalized sending monetary funds back to China.

1957, First Asian American Congressman
Dalip Singh Saund, a South Asian American, becomes the first Asian American to be elected to the United States Congress. He advocated for South Asian naturalization rights and against corruption.

1959, First Asian American U.S. Senator
Hiram Fong became the first Asian American to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

1965, First Asian American Congresswoman
Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink became the first Asian American woman elected to Congress from Hawaii. She went on to oppose the Vietnam War, support peace, fight for civil rights, women’s rights, economic justice, civil liberties, and equal rights in education.

1965, Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965/Hart-Cellar Act
Momental immigration reform act that reversed years of restrictive immigration policies against Asia. The Act allowed a greater number of immigrants to enter the United States unrestricted by geographic location or origins.

1966, Model Minority Term Coined Towards Asian Americans
Term “model minority” first coined by sociologist WIlliam Petersen in an article he wrote for The New York Times Magazine, “Success story: Japanese American style,” that highlighted that the educational and financial success of Japanese Americans, relative to other immigrant groups, meant that they were able to overcome discrimination as a whole.

1968, San Francisco Third World Liberation Front
San Francisco inter-ethnic movement started by student activist groups and organizations on college campuses to advocate for more class and programs about ethnic studies and history.

1973, First Asian American Hollywood legend
Bruce Lee became the first Asian American Hollywood action superstar and legend when Enter the Dragon premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

1975, Fall of Saigon/First Wave of Vietnamese Refugees Begins
When Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, fell on April 30, 1975 to North Vietnamese military forces, the first wave of Vietnamese refugees began. The first wave consisted of mainly South Vietnamese soldiers and their families that had relations to the United States that left Vietnam in fear of political persecution between 1975 and 1977.

1977, Second Wave of Vietnamese Refugees
The second wave of Vietnamese refugees started in 1977 until 1981. Under the fall of Saigon, the sprout of re-educational camps, socialist policies, and corruption influenced many to flee on makeshift boats. Nicknamed as “Vietnamese boatpeople,” men, women, and children all fled in horrible conditions, overcrowded, widespread sickness, starvation, dehydration, pirate attacks, and death.

1980, Refugee Act of 1980
Act that reformed the United States immigration law in defined “refugee,” reduced restrictions on entry, and admitted refugees on a systematic basis for humanitarian reasons. Primarily, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian political refugees were all greatly affected by this Act which supported their immigration to the United States.

1982, Murder of Vincent Chin
Vincent Chin was a Chinese American murdered in Detriot, Michigan by Crysler superintendent Ronald Ebens, and his stepson Michael Nitz. Many of the layoffs in Detriot’s auto industry was blamed on the increasing market share of Japanese automakers – leading to allegations that Vincent Chin received racially charged comments before his death. The murder generated public outrage over the lenient sentencing the two men, a plea bargain brought the charges down from second degree murder. Both Ebens and Nitz served no jail time, and instead were given three years probation with a fine of $3,000. The case became a pivotal point for the Asian American community, and is often considered the beginning of the pan-ethnic Asian American movement.

1983, Korematsu Coram Nobis/Korematsu v. United States Overturned
Influenced by the beginning of the Japanese American movement for redress and reparations, Korematsu filed for a writ of coram nobis to challenge his conviction for violating Executive Order 9066 by not reporting to the internment camps. Shortly after deciding to re-open his case, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the U.S. District Court of Northern California in San Francisco formally overturned his conviction.

1985, First Asian American In Space
Ellison Shoji Onizuka, a Japanese American from Hawaii, became the first Asian American astronaut in space with the Space Shuttle Discovery. He served as a mission specialist on-board the shuttle and responsible for activities of the primary payloads, which included the unfolding of the Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) surface. After 48 orbits around the Earth, he returned to Earth. Onizuka died in his second mission with Space Shuttle Challenger the following year that exploded shortly after launch.

1988, Civil Liberties Act of 1988 Signed
Act that granted reparations to Japanese Americans interned during World War II as a result of Executive Order 9066. The Act granted each surviving internee with about $20,000 dollars in compensation. Moreover, the United States apologized and recognized that the internment had been unjust based on race prejudice, war hysteria, and failed political leadership.

1990, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
President George H. W. Bush signs a congressional bill that designates May to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) in commemoration to the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843 and mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. To the present day, May is celebrated with a yearly theme, cultural celebrations, festivals, discussions, and activities.

2001, September 11 Attacks
World Trade Centers in New York City collapsed as a result of suicide attacks that involved two hijacked commercial jet airliners crashing into the towers. A third hijacked commercial jet airliner crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC. The United States pointed that the terrorist attacks were affliated with al-Queda, a militant Islamic terrorist organization, and called for retribution against Osama bin Laden. Most importantly, the attacks sparked an outbreak of discrimination, violence, and racism in Muslims and South Asian communities.

2001, Murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi
Balbir Singh Sodhi was a Sikh American who is a gas station owner in Mesa, Arizona. In the aftermath of 9/11, Balbir was shot five times by Frank Rogue and died instantly. During this time there was a upwards trend of several hundreds of cases targeting individuals of south Asian descent – anything from drive by shootings to verbal assault. Balbir Singh Sodhi’s case was the first case post 9/11 to be identified a hate crime, and a rallying point for the Muslim American community against racial profiling.

2009, First Asian American President in Ivy League
Jim Yong Kim, a Korean American physician, anthropologist, global health leader, and professor, becomes the first Asian American Ivy League president of Dartmouth College. He is also the first male president of color in the Ivy League. Prior to his appointment, Kim served as the Director of the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS department, where he focused on initiatives to help developing countries with improving their treatment, prevision, and care programs.

2010, First Asian American Band to Top Billboard
Far East Movement is the first Asian American Band earn a top ten hit on the Mainstream Pop charts in the United States. Far East Movement is an Asian American electro hop quartet based in Los Angeles, and consists of Kevin Nishimura, James Roh, Jae Choung, and Virman Coquia. Their single “Like a G6″ hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in December of 2010.

2010, Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin became the first American born player in the NBA player to be of Chinese/Taiwanese descent signed out of Harvard into a two year deal with the Golden State Warriors. His contract is partially guaranteed with a team option for the second year. Lin became the first Harvard player since 1954 to play basketball in the NBA.

If you wish to contribute to this project, please contact ECAASU’s National Advocacy Chair, Diane Wong, at

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