Posts by E Wong

04/24/21 CAHF Book Talk Series: “Chinese Genealogy with David Lei”


Chinese American Heritage Foundation (CAHF)‘s Book Talk Series: “Chinese Genealogy with David Lei” event was held on 24 Apr 2021 via Zoom. The event was sponsored by CAHF and the San Antonio Chinese American Citizens Alliance.

04/10/21 SDCAP “Protect SJ” Project @ History Park SJ

By Brenda Hee Wong, 2021 CHCP Director

CHCP Student Docent Cultural Ambassador Program (SDCAP) families were happy to help the City of San Jose with the assembly of  “Protect SJ” kits to help protect members of the Yu-Ai Kai Senior Center, a fellow Asian service group.

03/27/21 Hidden Histories Webinar: “Hidden Histories of Gambling in SJ Japantown”


Hidden Histories of San Jose Japantown presented the hidden histories of gambling in the Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino communities of San Jose Japantown in this Zoom/Facebook event. CHCP Advisory Board Member and Historian Connie Young Yu presented the history of gambling in the Chinese community, Heinlenville Chinatown. The show also featured a special guest, Ted Ramos, author of “San Jose Gambling” and a San Jose Police Department officer.

03/06/21 DAR honors Hazel Ying Lee in Women’s History Month

In honor of Women’s History Month, Santa Clara Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) honors Hazel Ying Lee. Hazel Lee became one of the first Chinese American women to earn a pilot’s license (Oct. 1932). In 1933, she and several other Chinese expatriates went to China, hoping to join the Chinese Air Force, in response to the Japanese invasion of China. The Republic of China Air Force refused to accept female pilots. During bombings, she helped friends and neighbors find shelter. In 1943, she became the first Chinese American woman to fly for the United States military, as a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). WASPs were considered civilians, with no military benefits and no military funeral. WASPs bought their own uniforms and paid their own room and board. They flew the least desirable missions. Lee delivered aircraft from the converted Detroit car factories to places where they would be shipped to Europe and the Pacific. During an emergency landing in Kansas, she was chased by a farmer with a pitchfork who thought she was an invading Japanese soldier. She was one of the first women to pilot fighter aircraft for the U.S. military. Known as a good cook, she took fellow WASPs to Chinese restaurants, supervised menus, and sometimes cooked the meals herself. Using bright red lipstick, she inscribed classmates’ nicknames in Chinese characters onto their planes. In November 1944, due to control tower error, her plane and another collided. She died from burns received in the accident. Three days later, her brother died in combat. The family was at first denied a burial site for the brother and sister in a Portland cemetery, because it was in a ‘white section.’ Lee was buried in a non-military funeral. She was the last WASP to die in service. In 2004, Hazel Ying Lee was inducted into the Oregon Aviation Hall of Honor. In 2011, she was inducted into the Pioneer Hall of Fame.

Read about Hazel Ying Lee and Maggie Gee, the only two Chinese American women pilots in World War II, in the 5/21/20 NY Times article: Overlooked No More: When Hazel Ying Lee and Maggie Gee Soared the Skies.

03/07/21 Webinar: “From Foundations to Frontiers”

CHCP’s webinar titled “From Foundations to Frontiers,” covered a new landmark study commissioned by the Committee of 100 on the enduring contributions of Chinese Americans to American society over the past 175 years.

This study was completed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (Research Division for the Economist Magazine). You may access the study here (click on each of the 7 sections for details) and the press release here.

This virtual presentation offered a new perspective and hopefully furthered understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by highlighting Chinese American experiences and contributions.

Table of Contents for the webinar recording:

Video Time Topic
0:00 to 5:33 Introduction of Presenters
5:33 to 36:40 Chinese American Background
36:40 to 46:57 Contributions to Education
46:57 to end Q&A

02/11/21 USPS Ceremony for Chien-Shiung Wu Forever Stamp

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) held a First-Day-of-Issue Ceremony for the Chien-Shiung Wu Commemorative Forever® Stamp on February 11, 2021. This virtual ceremony was carried on the Postal Service’s social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.

Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997) was a Chinese immigrant who became a nuclear physicist in an almost entirely male-dominated field in the 1950s. She worked with Oppenheimer and Fermi on the Manhattan Project, helping develop the method for separating nonfissionable uranium 238 from fissionable U-235—the bomb’s key fuel. Her experiment on the non-conservation of parity disproved a fundamental law of physics that had been considered incontrovertible for 30 years. The male theoretical physicists she worked with were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1957, but she did not get the award this time, nor for earlier work on Beta decay that was also considered Nobel-worthy. She was awarded the inaugural Wolf Prize in Physics in 1978. Her expertise in experimental physics evoked comparisons to Marie Curie. She’s one of only two individuals being honored with stamps this year, and in a year that the USPS is honoring Asian-American achievement. The art for her stamp was done by Asian-American painter Kam Mak.

To watch the ceremony: https://www.facebook.com/USPS/videos/1297548877293468/h

To purchase the commemorative stamp: https://store.usps.com/…/chien-shiung-wu…

To learn more about Chien-Shiung Wu:

02/02/21 CHCP Annual Membership Meeting (Virtual/Online)

By Dave Yick, 2021 CHCP President

Take some Dim Sum and Boba Tea, mix in some nightclub dance routines and songs, add a dash of meet-and-greet of old and new friends, and you will have a recipe for a new cocktail party treat that is called…CHCP’s First Annual Lunar New Year Celebration and Annual Membership Meeting courtesy of the Zoom app and the CHCP Tech Team.

Program featured:

  • 2020 Highlights and Plans for 2021 and Beyond
  • Entertainment including the Grant Ave. Follies and also a song about…Dim Sum!
  • Education – Short Intro of next month’s Speaker Series event about US Chinese American Contributions
  • Election of 2021 Officers, Trustees, Board of Directors, and Advisory Board
  • Small Breakouts to allow an opportunity to socialize with old and new friends

01/17/21 Hidden Histories Webinar: “New Year’s Traditions”

Hidden Histories of San Jose Japantown explored New Year’s celebration stories and traditions as told by local Heinlenville, Japantown, and Pinoytown collaborators at this Zoom/Facebook event.  They learned about the stories behind the food and festive activities held in Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino American homes to celebrate the New Year!

CHCP Advisory Board Member/Historian Connie Young Yu participated by sharing Chinese New Year traditions.

View the presentation below:

01/10/21 SHF/OCAW Webinar: “Inside San Francisco’s Beloved Chinatown”

The Saratoga Historical Foundation (SHF) and the Organization of Chinese American Women (OCAW) co-sponsored “From Resilience to Celebration: An In-Depth, Pictorial Journey Inside San Francisco’s Beloved Chinatown” on January 10 at 2:00 pm on Zoom. The presentation was given by Dick Evans, a noted San Francisco photographer, and Kathy Chin Leong, an award-winning journalist. The presentation covered the history, culture, and traditions of San Francisco’s Chinatown and is based on their book, “San Francisco’s Chinatown.”

View the presentation below:

11/16/20 CHSA’s 2nd edition of “Voices from the Railroad”

Voices from the Railroad: Stories by descendants of Chinese railroad workers is a book published by the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) that reveals the stories of Chinese railroad workers and their descendants. These stories have never been told outside of their families until now. Learn about Chin Lin Sou, Hung Lai Woh, Jim King, Lim Lip Hong, Lee Ling & Lee Yik Gim, Lee Wong Sang, Lum Ah Chew, Mock Chuck, & Moy Jin Mun, workers of the Central Pacific Railroad. No longer nameless, faceless workers lost to history, their stories will shatter misconceptions about the Chinese who helped build America.

Co-edited by Sue Lee & Connie Young Yu, this book features first-hand narratives by railroad worker descendants: Gene O. Chan, Montgomery Hom, Carolyn Kuhn, Paulette Liang, Russell N. Low, Sandra K. Lee, Andrea Yee, Vicki Tong Young, and Connie Young Yu. Featured in the book are photographs and historic documents that link Chinese railroad workers to living descendants.

New in the 2020 edition is a section dedicated to the 150th Anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad held at Promontory Summit, Utah.

The book can be ordered from CHSA’s online store.
For wholesale or bulk orders, contact: info@chsa.org.