Mission and History of CHSSC

Chinatown Heritage Center in Los Angeles

The Chinese Historical Society of Southern California was organized in November 1975 to

  1. bring together people with a mutual interest in the important history and historical role of Chinese and Chinese Americans in Southern California;
  2. pursue, preserve and communicate knowledge of this history; and
  3. promote the heritage of the Chinese and Chinese American community in support of a better appreciation of the rich, multicultural society of the United States.

Since the 1850s, Chinese Americans have contributed to the historical growth and development of Southern California’s life and culture. The Chinese Historical Society of Southern California was established to discover and recognize our pioneers and their history. We strive to increase awareness of Chinese American heritage through public programs, education and research. Join us in a variety of educational and enjoyable activities. Our monthly program meetings are free and open to all. Meet people with similar interests and goals amidst a friendly setting. Amidst friendly surroundings, meet people with similar interests and goals. We work with colleges, universities, other historical societies and local community groups. The support of individuals and businesses through tax-deductible donations, memberships and volunteering is crucial to our plans to develop a Chinese Cultural Heritage Center.

The Chinese Historical Society has also been blessed with a stalwart and generous team of fantastic volunteers. CHSSC is fortunate indeed to have had much vision and leadership on its Board. A warm word of thanks to the hundreds who have served, from providing assistance at our special functions, expediting our many mailings, setting up chairs for our Wednesday meetings, and even weeding the Bernard Street property. So much time, energy, funds, and expertise have come together on project after project.


By Susie Ling and updated by Yvonne Chang, Yiming Ha, Rex Le

In 1973, Paul Louie, William Mason, and Paul De Falla brought together people of various backgrounds in a one-day conference focused on the Chinese in Southern California. This meeting energized the community so much that after two years of networking and planning, the founding meeting of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California was held on November 1, 1975 in the basement of Cathay Bank in L.A. Chinatown.

Throughout its history, CHSSC has been one of the most active historical societies and Chinese American grassroots organizations in Los Angeles. For almost four decades, there have been countless Wednesday night lectures, fundraising dinners, momentous field trips, incredible publications, and many other special projects and activities. CHSSC has organized a national conference and annual flag units leading the local Chinatown New Year Parades. Today, we proudly own and operate the Chinatown Visitors and Heritage Center on Bernard Street with a working Archive Center. Our special partners include Friends of the Chinatown Library and Friends of the Chinese American Museum, and our list of achievements are impressive. The society has reason to be proud of its growth and development!