API History at Stanford and beyond

A timeline to share the API history at Stanford and how it's history intertwines with API history as a whole in the US.

An introduction to the rich history of the API Community at Stanford. We have four categories: Okada Resident Fellows, Okada History, API History at Stanford, and API History in the US. Please use the settings/wrench button in the right-hand corner to play around with the view type, zoom level, and spacing, and feel free to follow the links to learn more about each event.;xNLx;;xNLx;*Special thanks to Mark Flores, Annie Phan, and Co Tran: the 2015-16 Okada Ethnic Theme Associates

1587-10-18 00:00:00

First Asians in the Americas Documented

During the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade era, Spanish colonizers enslaved indigenous people from the Philippines, often referred to as “Indios Luzones”, to work on Spanish ships. A landing party from the Manila Galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza was sent to shore on what is now known as Morro Bay, CA. The landing party included these enslaved men from the Philippines, becoming the first Asians to step foot in the Americas.

1763-07-01 20:19:06

Settlement of Filipinos in America

Enslaved indigenous people from the Philippines escaped imprisonment aboard Spanish galleons in New Orleans and fled to the bayous, becoming the first Asian immigrants to settle in America, known as “Manilamen.”

1790-01-01 00:00:00

US-India slave trade

First recorded arrival of an Asian Indian in the U.S. They were slaves who were part of the U.S. - India slave trade.

1790-03-26 00:00:00

Naturalization Act

The Naturalization Act made it law that only "free white persons" could become US citizens.

1848-01-01 00:00:00

Gold Rush Begins

Enter story inGold is discovered at Sutter's Mill and word spreads of "Gold Mountain" encouraging many Chinese to emigrate to the US through San Francisco, settling in Sacramento.fo here

1849-06-01 00:00:00

Influx of Chinese Workers

Thousands of Chinese men, primarily from the Guangdong Province, flocked to the American West to work in laundries, mines, and railroads. Viewed as hardworking but alien Others, they faced systemic racism and harsh labor conditions.

1871-01-01 00:00:00

Los Angeles Chinatown Massacre

A mob in Los Angeles' Chinatown attacked and murdered 19 Chinese residents, one including a 15-year old boy came to be known as the Chinese Massacre.

1875-03-08 04:05:35

Page Act of 1875

Page Act of 1875 was passed as the first restrictive federal immigration law that prohibited the entry of immigrants considered "undesirable" which was classified as any individual from Asia who was coming to America to be a forced laborer, any Asian woman who would engage in prostitution, and all people considered to be convicts in their own country.

1882-01-01 00:00:00

Chinese Exclusion Act

This law limited Chinese labor immigration for ten years. It was the first law of its kind to target a specific ethnic group and was not repealed until 1943 for political advantage during World War II.

1886-01-01 00:00:00

Annexation of Hawai'i

U.S. annexes Hawaii after 160 American armed marines land in Honolulu. Hawai'i later becomes the state with the highest concentration of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

1886-01-01 00:00:00

Seattle Riot

Mobs forcibly expel most of Seattle's Chinese residents. Martial law is declared and lasts two weeks, with US troops ordered to occupy the city.

1891-01-01 03:35:23

First Students of Asian Descent attend Stanford

Students of Asian descent attend Stanford as part of pioneer class at Stanford. Demographically, they were 7 of 555, or 1.2% of the class.

1899-12-01 12:55:19

Black Death Impacts Chinatown's in Honolulu and San Francisco

An outbreak of the Bubonic Plague struck San Francisco and Honolulu. The outbreak began with a ship from Australia, but since the first stateside victim was a Chinese immigrant, the whole community was blamed for it. Overnight, San Francisco's Chinatown was surrounded by police, preventing anyone but White residents from going in or out. Chinese residents were also subjected to home searches and property destruction by force. In Honolulu, the Board of Health set fire to 41 buildings in the city’s Chinatown, forcing its residents into quarantined detention camps.

1902-05-31 12:07:10

Japanese Students Association Founded

With an enrollment of 30 students, the Japanese Students Association formed to build a supportive community for Japanese nationals and US born students of Japanese decent.

1904-04-30 13:57:34

The Largest Human Zoo in World History

in 1904, St. Louis was the host for the Worlds Fair that displayed a "living exhibit" known as the "Philippine Village". For seven months more than 1,000 Filipinos were forced to eat domesticated animals and endure hard conditions as part of a display to show American superiority over colonized nations through this human exhibit.

1906-04-18 17:12:00

The Great San Francisco Earthquake

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake hits San Francisco sparking fires that destroy over 80% of the city. The loss of government records allows for the entry of "paper sons" from China who were allowed to enter based on forged birth certificates claiming their fathers resided in the US.

1907-09-04 17:12:00

Bellingham Riots

Hundreds of White workers swept through Bellingham, Washington searching for Indian immigrants. Rioters pulled the immigrants, predominantly Sikh male laborers from Punjab, out of their bunks, set their bunkhouses on fire, stole their possessions, and beat them. Some of the victims were hospitalized, and those that escaped were jailed. The next day, the entire population of Indian immigrant lumber workers left for their own safety, walking northward across the border into Canada.

1910-01-21 09:29:48

Angel Island

Established as a detention center for Asian non-laboring classes desiring entry into the U.S. Thousands of immigrants from China endure weeks and even years of interrogation by US immigration officers. The center serves as the "Ellis Island of the West" until 1940.

1910-05-31 12:07:10

Chinese Students Association Founded

Chinese students both American born and from China gathered together to support each other at Stanford.

1913-01-01 03:35:23

First Professor of Asian Descent Hired

Professor Yamato Ichihashi began teaching in the History department. He is eventually appointed Associate Professor and is believed to be the first person of Asian descent to have held an endowed chair position at an American university.

1916-01-01 00:00:00

Racial Tensions in Campus Housing

A student of Chinese descent was physically thrown out of the residences at Encina Hall by white male students. This action prompted the Chinese and Japanese communities at Stanford to raise funds to establish residences on campus for their students in 1919 and 1916 respectively.

1916-01-01 00:00:00

Establishment of Japanese Clubhouse

Japanese Students establish the Japanese Clubhouse on Santa Ynez Street. The clubhouse provided a safe home for students of Japanese ancestry on campus until the start of WWII.

1917-02-05 00:00:00

Asiatic Barred Zone Act

Added to the number of undesirables banned from entering the country but also specifically designated an "Asiatic Barred Zone". A region that included much of Asian and the Pacific Islands from which people could not immigrate.

1919-01-01 00:00:00

Establishment of the Chinese Clubhouse

Chinese community establishes the Stanford Chinese Clubhouse located on Salvatierra where the law school currently stands. Much like a present day row house, the residence included housing for current students as well as a kitchen and lounge for community gatherings.

1923-01-11 00:00:00

United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind

Bhagat Singh Thind, an Indian Sikh man who identified himself as a "high caste aryan, of full Indian blood", was racially denied for naturalized citizenship in the United States.

1929-01-01 00:00:00

Anti-Filipino Violence

As the Filipino population increases. Anti-Filipino riots and murders occur up and down the West Coast.

1930-01-19 00:46:26

Watsonville Riots

During this period, 500 white men and youth attacked and killed Filipino farm workers who they believed were taking their jobs and their white women, thus sparking violence against Filipinos throughout major cities in Northern California.

1935-01-01 00:00:00

Filipino Repatriation Act

Offers to pay the way back to the Philippines for Filipinos choosing to go. 2000 Filipinos leave.

1942-01-01 00:00:00

Students & Faculty of Japanese Descent Sent to Internment Camps

President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing the wartime internment of 120,000 U.S. citizens and residents of Japanese ancestry. At the time 24 students with Japanese surnames were enrolled at Stanford and were forced to leave along with Professor Yamato Ichihashi and wife Kei who remained in the camps until the end of the war.

1942-02-19 00:00:00

Japanese Internment

On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, ordering the removal of Japanese immigrants and their descendants en masse to relocation camps for the duration of the war. On December 27, 1944, the U.S. War Department ended the internment of Japanese Americans. However, the last camp did not close until March 20, 1946, and the government did not admit wrongdoing or pay reparations until 1987.

1944-01-01 00:00:00

Korematsu vs. US

Supreme court rules that Executive Order 9066 is constitutional.

1950-06-25 02:37:57

Korean War Begins

The Korean War begins; Korean War brides begin emigration to the U.S.

1954-01-01 00:00:00

Southeast Asian Diaspora

In the context of Cold War fears, the US intervened in the conflict in Vietnam. Their actions exacerbated conflict and led to millions of deaths, environmental destruction, and economic ruin North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. The US also secretly allied with Hmong communities with promises that they would be evacuated if the Vietnam War was lost, but did not remain true to their word. This sparked the mass Southeast Asian immigration to the United States after the the South Vietnamese forces surrendered on April 30, 1975.

1954-07-20 02:37:57

French Indochina War

The French Indochina War ends with the signing of the Geneva Conference Peace Accords; Vietnam is split into South and North Vietnam; Laos and Cambodia become independent.

1962-01-01 00:00:00

First Asian-American Senator and Congressman

Daniel K. Inouye becomes U.S. senator and Spark Matsunaga becomes U.S. congressman from Hawaii.

1963-01-01 00:00:00

API + Black Solidarity

Yuri Kochiyama was a civil rights activist who befriended Malcolm X in 1963. They continued to learn and grow together until his death in 1965. On that night, she was famously photographed cradling his head as he lay dying from a gunshot wound. Though this timeline shows the end of this event at his death, API+Black solidarity is remains a powerful force into the present day.

1964-01-01 00:00:00

First Asian-American Congresswoman

Patsy Takemoto Mink becomes first Asian American woman to serve in Congress as representative from Hawaii.

1965-01-01 00:00:00

Vietnam War

US involvement in the Vietnam War. The draft began for all males born between 1944-1950. Nationwide college students protested the war following the fatal shootings at Kent State in 1970.

1965-09-08 00:00:00

Filipino Labor Strikes

Filipino American workers organized a strike against California grape growers’ unfair labor practices. Cesar Chavez joined forces with them. By 1970, they won the right to unionize and had access to better pay.

1965-10-03 00:00:00

National Origins Act

Raises Asian immigration to 20,000 per year for Asian countries, the same as European countries. The new act favors educated middle class immigrants thereby changing the class dynamics of the Asian American community.

1966-01-01 00:00:00

Richard Aoki and the Black Panthers

Recognizing the interconnectedness of the Asian-American and Black struggle against police brutality and economic repression, Richard Aoki and other Asian Americans joined the Black Panthers Party. He was the only Asian American, however, to reach leadership within the organization. Recently released documents show that he also worked as an FBI informant, however.

1966-01-01 00:00:00

The Term "Model Minority"

The term “model minority” was first coined in 1966 to explain the “success” of Asian Americans compared to other communities of color. However, this erases the diversity of the many groups that compose the larger API community. Additionally, it makes the API community a buffer between white dominant society and other communities of color. Ronald Reagan later used this idea to distract from and rationalize his cuts to welfare programs. The struggle continues to turn this myth into a mutiny-- one of strength, of love, and of resistance.

1966-05-19 05:51:07

Stanford Campus Vietnam Protests

Students and faculty protest Stanford's policy on Selective Service examinations and classified research including Stanford Research Institute's work on chemical weapons. By 1970 the Board of Trustees voted to sever ties with SRI.

1968-01-01 00:00:00

The Term “Asian American”

UCLA professor Yuji Ichioka coined the term “Asian American” as a way to unify various ethnic groups and center them around a politicized name, instead of using terms like “Oriental” and “Celestial” that have traditionally been used to degrade Asian American communities.

1968-01-01 00:00:00

International Hotel Campaign

The I-Hotel provided affordable housing to Filipino and other API workers, as well as a vibrant community. Gentrification threatened their home. Though the building was eventually demolished, the campaign served a rallying point for a rising pan-Asian generation of activists.

1968-01-01 00:00:00

Establishment of Ethnic Studies

Students strike at San Francisco State University to demand the establishment of ethnic studies programs. The following year, in 1969, they are joined by UC Berkeley students. Stanford joins the fight with the Takeover of '89, and the struggle continues into the present day.

1969-01-01 00:00:00

Asian American Student Alliance Formed

AASA ( (later known as the Asian American Students' Association) was formed to help Asian Americans meet and understand more about each other through social and cultural programs and to bring attention to Asian American student needs on campus.

1969-01-01 08:16:30

The fight for Asian American Studies at Stanford Begins

Following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., students from the Black Student Union interrupted an address by Provost Richard Lyman and presented a set of demands which led to the establishment of the program in African and Afro-American Studies. Inspired by this action, Asian American students start a petition for Asian American Studies to develop new knowledge and understanding of the Asian community and experience and above all, to cultivate self-awareness among the Asian American student body.

1971-01-01 00:00:00

The first Asian American Studies Course

Gordon Chang, a then-graduate student in History, teaches the first Asian American Studies course offered under the student led Stanford Workshops on Political and Social Issues (SWOPSI).

1971-04-12 10:58:43

Asian American Theme House Established

Nelson Dong, Dan Kojiro, and others petition for an Asian American theme dorm in order to create a safe space for Asian American students on campus. Harumi Befu, professor of Anthropology, resides as the first Resident Fellow of Junipero. Click on the link to hear Nelson Dong's Oral History interview about how he wrote a memo advocating for a safe residential space for Asian American students on campus.

API History at Stanford and beyond

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