|1773||Boston Tea Party||1769||Spanish explorers under
Gaspar de Portola enter the area that is now Los Angeles
on their way northward.
Independence is approved||1781||El Pueblo de la Reina de
Los Angeles is founded by Governor Felipe de Neve.
|1789||George Washington is
inaugurated as the first President of the United
|1791||The Bill of Rights is
Jefferson is elected President||
|1848||The discovery of gold
at Sutter's Mill starts the California
gold rush. This brings people from all over the world
September 9, California gains statehood. The first U.S.
census taken after statehood shows two Chinese house
servants listed as residents of Los Angeles: Ah Fou and
|1860||Abraham Lincoln is elected President||1854||California Supreme Court includes Chinese
among racial classes prohibited from testifying against whites
|1861||Civil War Begins||1859||Arrival of first Chinese woman to Los Angeles.
First in U.S. was Afong Moy in 1934. Chinese fishermen become established off Catalina Island.
Thousands of Chinese men, the vast majority
from Guangdong Province, are hired by Central Pacific Railroad Co. for work on the western
portion of the first transcontinental railroad.
|1865||President Lincoln is assassinated||
|1869||The first transcontinental railroad is completed||1870||Census: out of 5,728 citizens in Los Angeles,
172 are Chinese. A Chinese cemetery is established at Fort Moore Hill near the current headquarters of the Los Angeles School District.
leaves 18 Chinese dead in Los Angeles
|1875||Sixty seven Chinese arrive in Los Angeles to work on
construction of Los Angeles and Independence Railroad.
|1876||The Southern Pacific Railroad connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles is completed by Chinese laborers; work
includes 1.25-mile San Fernando tunnel.
|1876||Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone||1876||Chinese vegetable peddlers
are required to acquire licenses
|1877||Chinese Methodist Mission is established.
Successful bidders for irrigation projects are not allowed to use Chinese laborers
|1878||Chinese vegetable peddlers strike when the
city passes a new ordinance aimed at the Chinese. The attempt to drive Chinese labor out of
Los Angeles is unsuccessful
|1879||Thomas Edison invented the light bulb||1882||The Chinese Exclusion Act is passed
by Congress. Further immigration of Chinese laborers is suspended. Chinese residents
are denied the right to become naturalized U.S. Citizens
|1886||Part of the Chinese quarter is burned
by arsonists. Los Angeles Trade and Labor Council and Knights of Labor move to boycott
Chinese goods and labor in Los Angeles. Boycott fails when Chinese counter-boycott.
|1888||Los Angeles Congregational Mission
for Chinese is established. Chinese cemetery shrine established at Evergreen cemetery in Boyle Heights.
|1890||Los Angeles Chinese population figure decreases.
Way Leung Kung Saw is formed to protect the welfare of Chinese in Los Angeles.
|1891||Los Angeles Chinese market gardeners, recruited
to raise celery in the area between Westminster and Huntington Beach, are harassed and attacked
|1893||Chinese resident laborers must register under
the Geary Act and must obtain resident certificate.
First Chinese deportee in U.S. is from
|1894||Chinese are invited to participate in
Los Angeles' La Fiesta de las Flores, a new annual tradition in effort to market Los Angeles.
|1898||Spanish-American War||1898||First Chinese newspaper, Wah Mei Sun Po
(Chinese American News) is founded in Los Angeles by Ng Poon Chew
|1901||Theodore Roosevelt becomes President||1900||An estimated 3,200 Chinese are believed
to reside in Los Angeles. The Chinese in Los Angeles renounce the Boxer Rebellion, a movement
in China aimed at destabilizing the increasingly weak Qing rulers. Chinese attempting to re-enter
the United States during this period of unrest back in China encounter greater difficulties
|1906||San Francisco earthquake||1905||Sun Yat-Sen, an American educated doctor and
one of the leaders of a campaign to establish a republic in China, pays a visit to Los Angeles
|1908||Ford Model T arrives to market||1909||Louie Gwan and other Chinese (along with Caucasian
and Japanese vegetable growers) build the City Market Wholesale Produce Terminal, located at 9th and
San Pedro Streets in modern day downtown Los Angeles. Two hundred thousand shares of stock were sold
at a dollar a share to finance the start of the market.
|1911||China's last dynastic emperor abdicates in Beijing.
The Republic of China is established with Sun Yat-Sen as its first President.
|1912||Native Sons of the Golden State establishes a lodge
in Los Angeles Chinatown. Its members are American born Chinese in California. The Lodge's main purpose
is to defend the civil rights of Chinese Americans. In 1914, its name is changed to the Chinese Americans
Citizens Alliance (C.A.C.A.).
|1914||World War I begins in Europe||1917||Chinese Americans travel to Europe to fight
in World War I.
|1920||Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association
establishes a cemetery at First St. and Eastern Ave. in East L.A..
|1929||Wall Street crashes||1931||Mei Wah Club, a social and athletic
organization for Chinese American women, is founded in Los Angeles.
|1937||Sino-Japanese War starts with troops
of the Japanese Imperial Army invading Manchuria, a resource rich region of northern China.
Chinese Americans in Los Angeles hold a Moon Festival to raise relief funds for China.
In San Pedro Harbor, Chinese Americans march to protest the United States' sending scrap metal
to Japan despite the Chinese government's request for an immediate embargo against Tokyo.
|1938||New Chinatown and China City open in Los Angeles.
Chinese populations in Los Angeles districts of City Market, East Adams, and Spring Street near China
City increase due to destruction of Old Chinatown site to make room for construction of Union Station.
|1939||World War II||1940||Still officially neutral, the United States declares
an embargo against American made war supplies being sold and sent to Japan.
|1941||In July, Washington declares a total economic embargo
against Japan and freezes its assets. This and other policies triggers Japan's December 7th attack on
Pearl Harbor in the U.S. territory of Hawaii. Washington declares its entry into World War II. The Flying
Tigers, a volunteer troop of aviators led by American Clare Chennault, is formed in China to combat Japanese
|1943||Madame Chiang Kai-shek, the wife of China's leader,
delivers an address at Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. During the East Coast leg of her American tour,
the American educated Chinese First Lady asks Congress to repeal Chinese Exclusion laws. Her wish is granted.
Quota of 105 Chinese immigrants (regardless of natural origin) imposed.
|1945||World War II ends||1945||World War II ends with the Allied powers led by the
United States, Britain, the Soviet Union, and China victorious over the Axis faction of Germany, Italy
and Japan. Nationalistic sentiments among the peoples of Asia leads to calls for independence, gradually
forcing out the British, French and Dutch colonial regimes that had ruled in the Netherlands East Indies
(Indonesia), French Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos), British Malaya (Malaysia) and British India
(India, Burma, Pakistan and Bangladesh). Periods of violence and unrest grip most of the region as its
leaders struggle to build their own nations. In subsequent decades, this would lead to influxes of refugees
(including ethnic Chinese and their descendants who had migrated to other parts of Asia) seeking safety in
the shores of countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, Britain and France.
|1947||Jackie Robinson plays for the Brooklyn Dodgers||1946||The number of Chinese women entering the United
States increases largely due to the passage of the 1945 War Brides Act and the 1946 Fiance Act.
These bills allowed Chinese American returning servicemen to bring back their China born brides,
most of whom they had met while fighting the war in Asia.
|1950||Korean War||1949||Chinese Communists win the bitter civil war that
had plagued China since the defeat of Japan four years earlier. Mao Tse-tung and the Communists
declare the establishment of the People's Republic of China on October 1st. The Nationalist Chinese
government, led by Chiang Kai-shek, moves its republic to the island of Taiwan.
|1951-53||Passage of a number of laws contributes to a surge
in Los Angeles's Chinese population. The McCarran-Walter Act removes racial barriers to immigration
and the Refugee Relief Act approves admission of many refugees above ordinary quota limitations.
|1953||Military experience and greater access to college
educations, made possible by various G.I. bills, and the passage of a number of laws, including the
McCarran-Walter Act help propel Chinese Americans into the mainstream of American life.
|1956||Elvis Presley appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show||1955||The Chinese Chamber of Commerce is established
to promote and encourage the development of the Chinese American business community.
|1957||The Soviet Union launched Sputnik||
|1959||Judge Delbert Wong of Los Angeles is the first
Chinese American appointed as judge in the continental United States. The appointment is recognized as
a historic event, receiving national media attention. Later, Judge Wong helps form the Chinatown Democratic Club.
|1959||"Confession Program" pardons undocumented Chinese
immigrants, including the so-called "paper sons," whose personal histories in the United States are
difficult to trace and verify.
|1961||Vietnam War||1962||Kennedy Emergency Immigration Act leads to the
acceptance of 5,000 Chinese immigrants into the United States during the period of "The Great Leap Forward"
in the People's Republic of China. Cathay Bank, the first Chinese American bank in Southern California,
is founded to provide and promote economic development of the Los Angeles Chinatown community.
|1963||President John F. Kennedy is assassinated||
|1965||Immigration Act of 1965||1965||Discriminatory immigration laws end, opening up
thousands of slots for migrants from Asian countries. The new law sets a new quota of 20,000 persons
from any country. The U.S. Immigration Act of 1965 opens the door to a wave of Chinese migration from
Hong Kong and Taiwan. Subsequent immigration leads to a revitalization of the New Chinatown area of
|1968||Martin Luther King is assassinated||
|1969||Neil Armstrong walks on the moon||1970||New contingents of Chinese arrivals settle outside
of New Chinatown in Los Angeles, favoring instead to purchase homes in communities such as nearby
Monterey Park. Meanwhile, the Chinatown Service Center, which offers referral services and social
aid to the community, is established in Los Angeles Chinatown.
|1972||President Richard Nixon visits China||1972||President Richard Nixon's trip to the People's
Republic of China opens up diplomatic relations. The Nationalist party in Taiwan, who had previously
been recognized by Washington as the legitimate government of China, is marginalized. Taiwan eventually
loses its seat as a standing member of the United Nations. The perception of "two Chinas" impacts
community life among Chinese living overseas, Los Angeles being no exception. Look Forward, Preserve the
|1975||Chinese Historical Society of Southern California
is established to foster greater understanding of the experience of Chinese Americans in this region.
End of large scale U.S. involvement in the war in the former French Indochina results in the migration
of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Many of these new migrants to the
U.S. are ethnic Chinese, some of whom eventually relocate to Los Angeles Chinatown.
|1977||The Chinatown branch of Los Angeles Public Library opens.
|1979||Iran hostage crisis||
|1982||California State Legislature passes
the Chinese Roast Duck Bill, AB2603, which stemmed from concerns about Chinese roast
ducks and other protein items prepared in the restaurants of Los Angeles Chinatown.
The bill ensures that Chinese culinary traditions be maintained despite some concerns
at the time that meat and other protein items were not being handled in manners that
were in compliance with Los Angeles County health codes.
|1983||Lily Lee Chen of Monterey Park becomes
the first Chinese American female to serve as Mayor of an American City.
|1984||Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles||1984||Cathay Manor, a large senior citizen, low-income
housing project, is built.
|1986||Monterey Park is identified as the first suburban
Chinatown in the U.S. Center of Chinese American population shifts to San Gabriel Valley.
|1988||The Friends of the Museum of Chinese American History
is founded with representatives from El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, the Chinese Historical
Society of Southern California and the local community.
|1989||Cold War ends||1989||U.S. executive order allows students from the
People's Republic of China to stay in the United States following the Chinese government's crackdown
on demonstrators in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. The several week-long stand-off between masses of
mostly students and soldiers from China People's Liberation Army revolved around calls for China's
Communist Party to reform.
|1990||Persian Gulf War||1990-1995||The Chinese Historical Society of Southern
California aquires and restores the Historic Burial Shrine at Evergreen Cemetery in Boyle Heights, where many
Chinese American pioneers now rest. It is still used for Ching Ming ceremonies.
|1995||The Chinese Historical Society of Southern
California purchases two historic houses at 411 and 415 Bernard Street
for its permanent home.
|1999||Wen Ho Lee, a Taiwan-born scientist at Los Alamos
National Laboratory, is hauled away by FBI agents on charges of leaking sensitive defense secrets to
China. His case sparks protests by Chinese American civil rights groups, including the Organization of
Chinese Americans Greater Los Angeles Chapter. After 278 days in solitary detention, the charges against
Lee were dropped in 2000.
|2003||The Chinatown Library opens on February 6, 2003
at 639 North Hill Street. A few months later, the Chinese American Museum opens on December 18, 2003
on the site of the historic Garnier Building between Los Angeles Street and Sanchez Alley.
|References: Gum Saan Journal, July 1978 -
"The Chinese in Los Angeles," by David Chan; Los Angeles Chinese Chamber of Commerce 1997 Year Book;
"Chinese Americans in Los Angeles" by Suellen Cheng; Asian American Almanac, 1995.