AANHPI History Timeline

This evolving timeline captures an overview of impactful events connected to Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) history. While detailed, this timeline is not comprehensive. It may continue to grow and evolve.

Content Warning: there are descriptions of anti-Asian violence and inter-community tension/violence.;xNLx;;xNLx;Events on this timeline were collated from multiple sources, including:;xNLx;- [Asian American History Timeline](www.cetel.org/timeline.html);xNLx;- [11 Moments from Asian American History That You Should Know](time.com/5956943/aapi-history-milestones/);xNLx;- [A Different Asian American Timeline](aatimeline.com);xNLx;- [Territorial Hawaiʻi Timeline](coe.hawaii.edu/territorial-history-of-schools/territorial-hawaii-timeline);xNLx; - [A Timeline on U.S. War & Militarism in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia and the U.S. Migration-to-School-to-Prison-to Deportation Pipeline](https://a4bl.tumblr.com/post/182184489309/a-timeline-on-us-war-militarism-in-vietnam) ;xNLx;- Community-sourced knowledge

1763-01-01 00:00:00

First recorded settlement of Filipinos in America

To escape imprisonment aboard Spanish galleons they jump ship in New Orleans and flee into the bayous of Louisiana.

1790-01-01 00:00:00

First recorded arrival of Asian Indians in the U.S.

1820-01-01 00:00:00

First missionaries arrive in Hawai'i

1830-01-01 00:00:00

Chinese “sugar masters” working in Hawaii; Chinese sailors in New York.

1840-01-01 00:00:00

Hawaiian Kingdom Constitution

King Kamehameha I declares that the land belongs to the chiefs and people in communal.

1848-01-01 00:00:00

Chinese Americans and the Gold Rush

Chinese miners begin migrating to the U.S. California imposes Foreign Miner’s Tax and enforces it mainly against Chinese miners, who were often forced to pay more than once.

1854-01-01 00:00:00

The People Vs. Hall

People v. Hall rules that Chinese people cannot give testimony in court against whites.

1858-01-01 00:00:00

California passes law to bar immigration of Chinese and other "Mongolians."

1859-09-01 00:00:00

SF segregates Chinese students from other public schools

San Francisco opened a public school for Chinese students in Chinatown. They were legally barred from attending other public schools until 1970 when the law was amended to drop the requirement to educate Chinese Children. SF then cut funding for the Chinese school and it closed.

1863-01-01 00:00:00

Transcontinental Railroad

Central Pacific Railroad Co. recruits Chinese workers for the transcontinental railroad. In 1867, two thousand Chinese railroad workers strike for a week.

1868-07-28 00:00:00

Burlingame Treaty

Burlingame Treaty established friendly relations between U.S. and China, including the encouragement of Chinese immigration to U.S.. But naturalization was strictly prohibited.

1870-01-01 00:00:00

Anti-Chinese Movement

(not restricted to this timeframe, but there were explicit anti-Chinese efforts during this time)

1870-07-14 23:30:49

Naturalization Act of 1870

Puts controls on U.S. immigration and limited naturalization to “aliens of African nativity and to persons of African descent," in addition to whites, thus excluding all Asians from receiving citizenship.

1871-10-24 00:00:00

'Chinese Massacre' in LA

1882-01-01 00:00:00

1882 Chinese Exclusion Act

Anti-Chinese sentiment grew, leading up to the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act - effectively banning Chinese migration for 10 years.

1885-01-01 00:00:00

Japanese laborers begin arriving

Japanese laborers begin arriving in Hawai'i, recruited by plantation owners to work the sugarcane fields. Later in the 1890s Japanese immigrants will arrive on the mainland U.S. for primarily agricultural work.

1885-03-01 00:00:00

Tape v. Hurley

A landmark California Supreme Court Case in which the court ruled that excluding a Chinese American student from public school based on their ancestry is unlawful.

1885-03-01 00:00:00

San Francisco opens segregated "Oriental School"

Following the outcome of the Tape v. Hurley case, the SF school board opened a "separate-but-equal" school for Chinese students.

1886-01-01 00:00:00

Many places forcibly expel Chinese residents

Residents of Tacoma, Seattle, and many places in the American West forcibly expel the Chinese people. End of Chinese immigration to Hawaii.

1893-01-17 00:00:00

U.S. supports overthrow of Hawaiian monarchy

Queen Lili’uokalani proposed a new constitution to restore executive power to the monarchy and extend voting rights for most Native Hawaiians. The haole elite were angered and they sought to overthrow the monarchy and obtain annexation by the U.S.

1894-01-01 00:00:00

Japanese Immigrants cannot become citizens

A U.S. district court rules that Japanese immigrants cannot become citizens because they are not “a free white person” as the Naturalization Act of 1790 requires.

1898-03-28 00:00:00

Wong Kim Ark v. U.S.

The U.S. Supreme Court makes a ruling that decides that Chinese born in the U.S. cannot be stripped of their citizenship, and that the 14th Constitutional Amendment applies to all people "regardless of race or color."

1898-07-07 09:40:20

Hawai'i is annexed by the United States

Congress was convinced to approve the formal annexation due to the Spanish-American war and the strategic placement of Pearl Harbor naval base during.

1898-12-10 09:40:20

Signing of the Treaty of Paris

The Philippine Islands become a protectorate of the United States under the Treaty of Paris ending the Spanish-American War.

1900-01-01 00:00:00

San Francisco Plague

The bubonic plague hits the city of San Francisco - Chinatown is cordoned and quarantined

1900-01-01 00:00:00

Anti-Japanese Movement

(not restricted to these dates) Racist media coverage helps escalate racism towards Japanese in the Bay Area.

1902-01-01 00:00:00

Restrictions from the Chinese Exclusion Act made permanent

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 expired in 1892. It was extended for 10 years via the Geary Act, and it was made permanent in 1902.

1903-01-01 00:00:00

Korean workers arrive in Hawai'i

First group of 7,000 Korean workers arrives in Hawaii to work in agriculture. In 1904, they work as strikebreakers against Japanese workers.

1903-02-03 00:00:00

Oxnard Sugar Beet Workers' Strike

About 1,200 - 1,500 Japanese and Mexican sugar beet workers strike in Oxnard, California. Together they formed the Japanese-Mexican Labor Association (JMLA). The JMLA is the first major agricultural workers' union in CA composed of minority workers.

1904-05-01 00:00:00

Japanese plantation workers organize multiple strikes

Japanese sugar workers strike in O'ahu. This is likely the first example of collective bargaining in the Hawaiian sugar industry.

1905-01-01 00:00:00

Asiatic Exclusion League formed

The Asiatic Exclusion League is formed in San Francisco. In attendance are labor leaders and European immigrants, marking the first organized effort of the anti-Japanese movement.

1906-10-11 00:00:00

SF Board of Ed segregates Japanese and Korean children

San Francisco Board of Education issues an order requiring all Japanese and Korean children to attend a separate "Oriental School," where Chinese students were already being segregated from other students.

1907-09-04 00:00:00

Bellingham Riots

Spurred on by the inflammatory rhetoric of the nativist Asiatic Exclusion League, hundreds of white workers swept through the coastal town of Bellingham, Wash., at night, looking for Indian immigrants.

1908-01-01 00:00:00

Gentleman's Agreement

Japan and the U.S. agree (Gentlemen’s Agreement) to halt the migration of Japanese laborers in the United States. Japanese women are allowed to immigrate if they are wives of U.S. residents (picture brides)

1910-01-01 00:00:00

Angel Island Immigration Station opens

Angel Island Immigration Station opens to process and deport Asian immigrants.

1913-01-01 00:00:00

Korean farm workers driven out of Hemet, CA

1913-05-03 00:00:00

CA passes Alien Land Law

California passes the Alien Land Law, forbidding “all aliens ineligible for citizenship” from owning land. This later grew to include prohibition on leasing land as well, and 12 other states adopted similar laws. (This applied to all Asian immigrants, since they were barred from becoming citizens)

1917-02-05 00:00:00

Immigration Act of 1917 (aka Asiatic Barred Zone Act)

1917 Immigration Act defines a geographic "barred zone" (including India) from which no immigrants can come. People from "any country not owned by the United States adjacent to the continent of Asia" were barred from immigrating to the U.S.

1920-01-01 00:00:00

Japan stops issuing passports to picture brides

Japan stops issuing passports to picture brides due to anti-Japanese sentiments.

1920-01-01 00:00:00

CA ballot initiative closes loopholes in 1913 Alien Land Law

1920-01-10 00:00:00

O'ahu Sugar Strike

This strike of primarily Filipino and Japanese sugar plantation workers took place over the course of 6 months. They were also joined by some people of other ethnicities.

1922-01-01 00:00:00

Cable Act

Cable Act declares that any American female citizen who marries “an alien ineligible to citizenship” would lose her citizenship. Asian immigrants were still restricted from becoming citizens.

1922-01-01 00:00:00

Ozawa v. U.S.

The United States Supreme Court rules on the Ozawa case, reaffirming the ban on Japanese immigrants from becoming naturalized U.S. citizens (Takao Ozawa v. U.S.). This ban would last until 1952.

1923-02-19 00:00:00

U.S. v. Thind

The U.S. Supreme Court declares Asian Indians ineligible for naturalized citizenship.

1924-05-26 00:00:00

Immigration Act of 1924

Immigration Act of 1924 created a national origins quota which limited the number of immigrants by country and excluded all immigrants from Asia.

1930-01-01 00:00:00

Anti-Filipino Movement

(not restricted to this timeframe)

1930-01-19 00:00:00

Anti-Filipino riot in Watsonville, CA

A group of over 500 white people attacked Filipino farmworkers after Filipino men were seen dancing with white women at a dance hall in Watsonville, CA. The riot went on for 5 days and one person was killed.

1934-03-24 00:00:00

Tydings - McDuffie Act of 1934

Tydings - McDuffie Act spells out procedure for eventual Philippine independence and reduces Filipino immigration to 50 persons a year.

1941-12-07 00:00:00

Pearl Harbor attacked & U.S. enters World War II

Japanese planes attack Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. A declaration of war against Japan is brought by the President and passed by Congress

1942-02-19 00:00:00

Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066

President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 authorizing military authorities to exclude civilians from any area without trial or hearing. The order did not specify Japanese Americans–but they were the only group to be imprisoned as a result of it.

AANHPI History Timeline

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