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  • November 11, 2021 6:46 PM | Elyse Wong (Administrator)

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    The San Jose Roots event hosted by History San Jose at San Pedro Square Market featured ethnic performances by local cultural projects, tours of the Gonzalez-Peralta Adobe & Fallon house historic site, and different activities from that time period. CHCP participated at the event with a performance by Hoong the Dragon plus an outreach table with children's activities and plenty of CHCP literature.

  • November 01, 2021 4:33 PM | Elyse Wong (Administrator)

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  • October 20, 2021 6:38 PM | Elyse Wong (Administrator)

    Ming Quong was established in the mid-1920's in the San Francisco Bay Area as a home for neglected or abandoned Asian girls. Hear firsthand experiences from Ming Quong alumni: Nona Mock Wyman; Elena Lim Wong Viscovich, EdD; Dale Wong; and Janet Chang, RN, BS, MS.

    Click here to view the answers to the questions posed during the Q&A session of the webinar.

    Be sure to view the first webinar in this speaker series, featuring alumni from the Chung Mei home for boys, presented in August.

  • October 16, 2021 7:32 PM | Elyse Wong (Administrator)

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    An Orientation / Training class was held for CHCP's Student Docent Cultural Ambassador Program (SDCAP) at History Park San Jose. Visit our Volunteer page for information about this program for high school and college students.

  • October 02, 2021 5:59 PM | Elyse Wong (Administrator)

    Yosmemite National Park ranger Yenyen Chan stands outside the Chinese Laundry Building near the Yosemite History Center in Yosemite’s Wawona on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. The building is being dedicated in honor of its original purpose as a laundry building for the Wawona Hotel and the Chinese immigrants who ran it. CRAIG KOHLRUSS CKOHLRUSS@FRESNOBEE.COM

    The following is an excerpt from Yahoo! News published 10/02/21:

    A century-old building originally used as a laundry by Chinese workers at Yosemite's iconic Wawona Hotel has been restored and turned into a visitor's attraction, recognizing Chinese Americans' contributions to the early history of the national park.

    Officials unveiled a new sign Friday marking the Chinese Laundry Building in Yosemite Valley, the Fresno Bee reports. New exhibits inside tell the story of Chinese workers who helped build Tioga Road and Wawona Road, critical infrastructure that made tourism to the park possible.

    The building — later used as a storage facility — is part of a cluster of structures that will make up the new Yosemite History Center, which will tell the histories of immigrants who made the park what it is today, said Park Ranger Adam Ramsey.

    "Chinese people have been a big part of communities throughout the Sierra Nevada for a really long time, and it’s about time that we started sharing that history here in Yosemite,” Ramsey said.

    According to research conducted by Park Ranger Yenyen Chan, in 1883 Chinese workers helped build the 56-mile (90-kilometer) Tioga Road in just 130 days. The stunning route across the Sierra Nevada reaches 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) in elevation and serves as one of the park's main roads.

    Chinese workers were also employed in Yosemite as cooks, laundry workers and gardeners.

    Many first came to California during the Gold Rush, bringing with them skills learned in China about construction, engineering, agriculture, medicine and textiles that made a significant impact in America’s early success, Chan said.

    She said Yosemite’s Chinese history and their contributions were erased from memory because of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act passed by Congress to prevent any more Chinese from entering this country in search of work. The law blocked Chinese immigration for 60 years in this country.

    Members of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, who supported the building's renovation, said they were gratified to see Yosemite include the Chinese in the park's origin story.

    “Something like this really resonates with a lot of people in my generation,” said Eugene Moy, a past president of the society. "We’ve been here since the 1870s, so to be able to see this has deep meaning, because a lot of us, oftentimes, are relegated to the margins. We aren’t always perceived as being full-fledged Americans when the reality is that people have been here for three, four, five generations, for 150 years.”

  • October 01, 2021 5:02 PM | Elyse Wong (Administrator)

    Connie Young Yu, Gerrye Wong, Mayor Sam Liccardo, Councilmember Raul Peralez, County Supervisor Otto Lee, and State Assemblymember Evan Low display the Resolution of Apology.

    On September 29th, the city of San Jose held a historic ceremony to commemorate the adoption of a resolution that was passed on September 28th, apologizing to Chinese immigrants and their descendants for past acts of injustice and discrimination.

    The city had five Chinatowns with the largest one, the Second Market Street Chinatown, built in 1872 where the former Fairmont Hotel is located in downtown San Jose. In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, the nation's most restrictive immigration bill prohibiting all Chinese laborers from immigrating to the United States and preventing Chinese from becoming citizens. Five years later, the San Jose City Council declared the Second Market Street Chinatown a public nuisance and unanimously approved an order to remove it to make way for a new City Hall. Before officials acted, the thriving Chinatown was burned down by arsonists, destroying hundreds of homes and businesses and displacing about 1,400 people.

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    In 1987, a plaque commemorating the centennial of the burning of the Second Market Street Chinatown was installed at the former Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose, but no formal resolution of apology was issued at that time. 

    This ceremony is the formal apology by the city to the public for its 1887 racist order that helped incite the arsonists to burn down Chinatown. The recording of this historic ceremony can be viewed below. 

    Table of Contents for the recording:

     Start Time  Speaker
     00:55 Raul Peralez, SJ District 3 Councilmember
    09:53 Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San Jose
    25:20 Connie Young Yu, CHCP Advisory Board Member & Historian
    35:42 Gerrye Wong, CHCP Trustee & Co-Founder
    42:00 Otto Lee, County of Santa Clara Supervisor 
    46:40 Evan Low, California State Assemblymember
    52:40 Raul Peralez, SJ District 3 Councilmember  - final remarks 
    53:35 CHCP Dragon and Lion Dance

    The video below is a consolidation of San Francisco Bay Area evening news clips from Fox, CBS, NBC, and KTSF that covered the San Jose ceremony of apology.

  • September 30, 2021 5:09 PM | Elyse Wong (Administrator)

    At their September 28th meeting, the San Jose City Council voted for adoption of a resolution apologizing to Chinese immigrants and their descendants for past acts of injustice and discrimination.

    Listen to CHCP Trustee & Co-Founder Gerrye WongCHCP Advisory Board Member & Historian Connie Young Yu, CHCP Director Brenda Hee Wong, and others speak starting at time 3:06:45 of the proceedings.

  • September 24, 2021 7:13 PM | Elyse Wong (Administrator)

    CHCP Trustee & Co-Founder Gerrye Wong was interviewed by Amanda del Castillo of ABC7 News concerning the San Jose City Council's resolution apologizing for the city's role in past mistreatment of the Chinese.

    Watch the ABC7 News episode below:

  • September 23, 2021 6:18 PM | Elyse Wong (Administrator)

    A plaque at the former Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose, dedicated May 4, 1987, commemorates the fiery destruction of the Market Street Chinatown a century earlier. (Sal Pizarro/Bay Area News Group)

    The following is an excerpt from the San Jose Mercury News published 09/22/21 and updated 09/23/21:

    By Sal Pizarro, Bay Area News Group

    In May 1887, a deliberately set fire tore through San Jose’s Chinatown on Market Street, destroying homes and businesses and displacing 1,400 people. The fire happened not long after the City Council had declared Chinatown — the second on that site and one of five in the city’s history — to be a public nuisance in the way of plans to build a new city hall.

    This was just perhaps the worst example of the discrimination faced by the Chinese community in San Jose, and all happening during an intense anti-Chinese period of California history that included the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

    Next week, the San Jose City Council is expected to pass a resolution apologizing to Chinese immigrants and their descendants for the city’s role in these historical misdeeds.

    On May 4, 1887, an arson fire destroyed the entire Chinatown on Market Street, two months after the San Jose City Council had called it a public nuisance and a health hazard. (Photo courtesy History San Jose) 

    “San José has worked to be an inclusive and welcoming city for all and that means facing head on its past mistakes,” said City Councilman Raul Peralez, whose district includes the site. “Our Chinese community has long been an important part of our city and this long overdue apology from the city will be a step forward towards much healing.”

    Peralez’s office worked with the city’s office of racial equity and members of the city’s Chinese community on the resolution, which the council will vote on Tuesday. That will be followed by a ceremony at noon Sept. 29 at the Circle of Palms Plaza between the San Jose Museum of Art and the former Fairmont hotel, which was the site of the Market Street Chinatown. (A plaque at the hotel building, dedicated 100 years after the fire, commemorates the tragedy.)

    Gerrye Wong and Connie Young Yu will speak at the Circle of Palms ceremony on behalf of the Chinese community, and they’re expected to be joined by Assemblyman Evan Low and Peralez. The public is invited to attend as well.

    San Jose has been a diverse city since its founding, but it has not always been hospitable to newcomers or non-white residents. As parents, we tell our kids to apologize when they hurt somebody, and our city should be held to the same standard. San Jose is doing the right thing — even if it’s taken 134 years.

    Also read about the city of Antioch's apology to the Chinese: 05/20/21 NY Times: "California City Apologizes for Treatment of Early Chinese Immigrants"

  • September 21, 2021 6:11 PM | Elyse Wong (Administrator)

    CHCP manned an outreach booth at Viva CalleSJ, a free open street event that temporarily closed San Jose streets to bring communities together to walk, bike, skate, and explore the city.

    At the event, CHCP shared stories of Chinese and Chinese American history and culture and most especially about Heinlenville, the last Chinatown of San Jose and the origin of Japantown. There were lots of informational materials available about CHCP, the Chinese American Historical Museum, Chinese Railroad Workers, Chinese American Veterans of WWII, and the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.

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History Park
635 Phelan Avenue
San Jose, CA 95112

In Ng Shing Gung Building

Mailing Address:

PO Box 5366
San Jose, CA 95150-5366

Email: info@chcp.org

Chinese Historical & Cultural Project

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