On Gold Mountain Timeline

(Courtesy of the Autry Museum)

 

                   WORLDCALIFORNIA         LOS ANGELES

CHINATOWN

                 SEE FAMILY
1769 – Spanish San Diego Franciscan mission and fort founded, first European settlement.
1785 – Earliest record of Chinese in U.S. – three seamen on Pallas in Baltimore.
1798 – Alien Act gives the president authority to expel aliens whom he perceives to be dangerous to the peace and security of the nation. Repealed in 1800.
1803 – Louisiana Purchase legally extends the U.S. boundary to the Rocky Mountains in the Northwest.
1808 – U.S. Constitution bans import of slaves.
1815 – Chinese are present in California, then a northern province of Mexico.
1818 – The first group of Chinese foreign students arrive in the United States.
1828 – Two Chinese men start a sugar mill in Hawaii.
1839-42 – Opium Wars.
1842 – Treaty of Nanking, Hong Kong is leased to the British until 1997.
1844 – The Wang-Hea Treaty of Peace, Amity, and Commerce is signed between the United States and China.
1845 – President Polk notifies the British Foreign Office that the U.S. is planning on assuming complete sovereignty over the Oregon country.
1846 – Great Britain agrees to Polk’s proposal on the condition that the forty-ninth parallel becomes the boundary.1846 – A group of Californian settlers declare the independent Republic of California in the “Bear Flag” revolt against Mexico, Mexican-US War breaks out.1846 – Los Angeles is taken from the Mexicans. However, it is not incorporated until 1850.
1848 – Gold is discovered at Sutter’s Mill in California. The postwar Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ceded the California territory to the U.S.
1849 – California Gold Rush – 325 Chinese men arrive in San Francisco.
1850 – Foreign Miners Tax (1850, 1852, 1853, and 1855) is aimed at forcing Chinese out of the mines. The tax levied varies from $3 to $20 a head per month.1850 – California becomes a state.1850s – zanjero (ditchtender) is the highest paid L.A. official. Chinese slowly start arriving in Los Angeles.
1851-64 –Taiping Revolt in China, led by a religious fanatic who claimed to be the younger brother of Christ; Treaty of Peking, which opens additional ports to foreign traders and grants them extraterritorial rights.1851-53 – County organizations called huiguans are established among the Cantonese Chinese in San Francisco. They later form a single group known as the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) to fight anti-Chinese legislation.1851 – The Star, L.A.’s first paper appears; First Chinese laundry opens.
1852 – Bond Act requires all arriving Chinese to post a $500 bond. First arrival of Chinese contract laborers in Hawaii.1852 – Total Chinese population in California is estimated at 25,000.1852 – Captain Jesse Hunter founds first L.A. brickyard.
1852 – Miners in Foster, Atchinson’s Bar, Columbia, and other camps exclude Chinese from mining. Foreign Miners tax of $3 a month raised to $4.
1853 – The Red Turbans, groups of clans and secret society members, capture Fatsan.

 

1853 – Carolyn Laws’ great-grandfather, George Washington Laws, leaves Tennessee to become a pioneer farmer near Dallas, Texas.
1854 – After 8 day at sea, the Libertad reports 150 Chinese dead from scurvy (death rates were consistently high on these ships bringing Chinese immigrants over to the U.S.). Legal establishment that Chinese are not “white” and therefore cannot apply for citizenship.1854 – California Supreme Court decision makes Chinese ineligible to testify in court against whites. The Honorable Hy Ye Tung Company ships to San Francisco six hundred girls to work as prostitutes.1854 – Joseph Mullally founds second L.A. brickyard; two Frenchmen open the first L.A. tannery.
1855 – Head tax requires shippers to pay $50 for every Chinese passenger they bring to America.   Yung Wing becomes the first Chinese to graduate from an American university – Yale.1855 — California legislature extends to Chinese an existing law barring the testimony of Indians and blacks in court in cases involving whites.
1856 – 1860 – Second Opium War; Treaty of Tianjin which revises the Wang-Hea Treaty.1856 – Sisters of Charity open a school, orphan asylum, and a seminary.
1857 – Fong See born in August.
1858 – Act to Prevent Further Immigration of Chinese and Mongols prohibits Chinese entry.
1859 – First Chinese woman arrives in Chinatown; she commits suicide one month after arrival.
1860 – A Fishing tax is levied on Chinese activities in fishing. Chinese children are denied admission to general public schools. (After 1866, they are allowed to attend if white parents do not object. ) 34,933 Chinese in U.S., 50 % leave wives behind in China1860 – 1910 – Chinatown population overwhelmingly male; in 1860 – 14 men, 2 women.
1860s – Mr. Chong brings 8 “slave women” to L.A. (prostitutes)
1861-1865 – American Civil War.
1862 – Slave trade is banned internationally.1862 – First anti-coolie club is formed in California.
1862 – Leland Stanford becomes governor of the state of California as well as the president of the Central Pacific Railroad.
1863 – Ground is broken on the railway.
1865 – 50 Chinese workers are recruited to build the Transcontinental Railroad; harshest winter on record.1865 – W.H. Perry is awarded a franchise for lighting the city streets by gas
1866 – Chinese are denied admission to San Francisco City Hospital.1866 – Pershing Square is declared an official city park1866 – Fong Dun Shung, Fong See’s father, leaves Dimtao.
 

 

1867 – Chinese railroad workers go on strike, demanding better treatment and equal pay. Strike fails within a month.1867 – First local gas plant on Olvera Street.1867 — Fong Dung Shung arrives in San Francisco, then makes his way to railroad camp.
1868 – Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that a person born in the U.S. is a U.S. citizen by birth. Does not apply to Chinese until 1898.1868 – by summer, 90% of the 14,000 railroad workers on the Central Pacific are Chinese.1868 – First two banks open; L.A. City Water Co. receives franchise.
1868 – 1878 – Burlingame Treaty assured reciprocal right of voluntary immigration. Driving Out begins, with 40,000 Chinese driven out of communities in the west.
1869 – May 10, Transcontinental Railroad completed.1869 – California population 70% male; 2000 laundries.1869 – Railroad depot is built to serve the line between L.A. and Wilmington; Pico House and Merced Theater are built in El Pueblo.
1870 – Act to Prevent Kidnapping and Importing of Mongolian, Chinese, and Japanese Females for Criminal Purposes passed to restrict entry of prostitutes. Act to Prevent Importing of Chinese Criminals prohibits Chinese males’ entry unless person is proved of good character. Nationality Act, which specifies that only “free whites” and “African aliens” are allowed to apply for naturalization.1870 — Chinese are prohibited from owning land in California. San Francisco prohibits hiring of Chinese on municipal works. City ordinance bans use of Chinese carrying pole for peddling vegetables.1870 – There are 110 saloons in the pueblo, one for every 50 residents. (In 1996, there is one bar for every 800 residents.) Houses are numbered by the City Council. Of 234 Chinese, 38 are women.1870 – Fong Dun Shung opens Kwong Tsui Chang, an herbal emporium in Sacramento.
1871 – First Congregational Church starts language school on New High Street; Hostilities erupt in L.A. between two rival tongs over the ownership/marriage of Ya Hit. Two whites are killed in the crossfire. This incident sets off the Chinese Massacre, where nineteen Chinese are killed in night of rioting; after massacre, Methodists set up mission.   Machine manufactured ice goes on sale.1871 — Fong See leaves China to come to the Gold Mountain (Chinese name for the United States) with the financial help of an “aunt” and an “uncle” in the village of Dimtao.
1872 – California adopts an anti-miscegenation law which prohibits interracial marriages.1872 – First L.A. City Directory appears. First fire engine is brought to L.A.1872 – John Pruett, with his wife and four sons, leave Pennsylvania for new opportunities in Oregon.
1873 – San Francisco taxes laundries $15 per quarter of a year for using poles to carry laundry, while the tax on horse-drawn vehicles is $2 a quarter.1873 – High school and L.A. Public Library are constructed.
1873-75 – California Crisis. 30% of workforce unemployed.
1873-75 – San Francisco passes various ordinances against use of firecrackers and Chinese ceremonial gongs.1874 – First street railway, 2.5

miles long, is put into operation. Exploratory boring for oil begins in the mountains around San Fernando.

1874 – Fong See applies to city clerk for business permit to open a business in Sacramento; he’s running what was once his father’s business and is now the Curiosity Bazaar.
1875 – The U.S. passes the so-called Page Law to disallow entry of Chinese, Japanese, and Mongolian felons, mental or physical incompetents, contract laborers, and women for the purpose of prostitution.1875 – Kong Chow Association ships 1002 sets of bones back to China. Law to regulate size of shrimping nets reduces size of catches.   San Francisco Anti-Queue Law orders shaving off queues of all Chinese arrested. San Francisco ordinance requires 500 cubic feet of air within rooming houses (a health regulation aimed at clearing out Chinese ghettos).1875 – Joss house in El Pueblo is demolished.
1876 – Presidential election, Rutherford Hayes endorses exclusion and wins as a result. Custer dies at Little Big Horn. U.S. Supreme Court makes admission of immigrants sole responsibility of the federal government. All state statutes restricting immigration are declared unconstitutional.1876 – Southern Pacific Railroad reaches Los Angeles. 300 Angelenos join anti-coolie club. Presbyterian mission starts in Chinatown.1876 – Letticie born.
1876-77 – Rainfall in the U.S. is one-quarter the normal amount; this has dire effects on the wheat, cattle, and citrus industries.
1877 – reclamation of 5 million acres of Delta land is begun; The Workingmen’s Party of California, a political organization consisting of white laborers, coins the anti-Chinese slogan, “The Chinese Must Go!” Sandlot Agitators. California lobbies Congress to exclude the Chinese.1877 – The Labor Organization of Los Angeles calls for the “peaceful and legal” removal of the Chinese. Caroline Severance opens first kindergarten. Evergreen Cemetery is laid out.1877 – Luscinda Pruett dies.
1878 – California holds a Constitutional Convention to settle “the Chinese problem.” The resulting constitution prohibits Chinese from entering California.1878 – Gilbert Leong’s   father born.
1879 – Introduction of Clamshell Digger to Delta reclamation project. California state constitution declares Chinese an “undesirable” race to be excluded from the state. Prohibits corporations and municipal works from hiring Chinese and authorizes cities to remove Chinese residents from their boundaries to specified areas.
1880 – Burlingame Treaty Amendment prohibits entry of Chinese laborers. Fishing Act prohibits Chinese from engaging in any fishing business. Act to Prevent the Issuance of Licenses to Aliens deprives Chinese of licenses for businesses or occupations.   The Angell Treaty allows the U.S. to regulate, limit, or suspend entry of Chinese laborers. Chinese comprise .002% of the total continental U.S. population.1880 – San Francisco Anti-Ironing Ordinance passes, aimed at shutting down Chinese nighttime laundries.   Delta reclamation finished; 7500 laundries; 20 to 1 – Chinese men to women.1880 – University of Southern California is founded. By 1880, nearly all of the fruits and vegetables consumed by Caucasians are grown by Chinese who had leased small plots of land along Adams, Pico, and West Washington.
1881 – 11,890 Chinese enter the U.S. Burlingame Treaty suspended for a period of twenty years. All Chinese already resident in the U.S. can stay and are permitted to leave and reenter with a Certificate of Return.1881 – Los Angeles Times begins publication.
1882 – Chinese Exclusion Act is passed that bans immigration of Chinese laborers into the United States for ten years and prohibits naturalization of Chinese.   39,579 Chinese slip in before law goes into effect.1882 – At China Dock, the Pacific Mail Steamship Pier, all Chinese are processed in facilities known as muk-uks (“wooden house”). San Francisco New Laundry Licensing Act require licensing of mostly Chinese facilities. California legislature declares legal holiday to facilitate public anti-Chinese demonstrations.1882 – On December 30, the first seven electric streetlights are turned on. First Los Angeles telephone directory appears, with ninety assigned numbers. Castelar School is founded. It is the second oldest Los Angeles school in continuous operation and is still the only predominantly Asian school.1882 – Fong Yun born.
 

 

1883 – Worried pedestrians request that City Council enact a law requiring bells on speeding bicycles.
1884 – The U.S. court ruled in the Look Tin Sang case that native-born Chinese American citizens cannot be excluded except for the punishment of a crime. Congress refines the Exclusion Act with An Act to Amend an Act. Results in raised fines and sentences for the Chinese.1884 – Southern Pacific operates out of River Station. Independent First Presbyterian Church is formed in Chinatown.
1885 – Political Codes Amendment prohibits Chinese from attending general public schools, forcing attendance at segregated schools.1885 – On behalf of their daughter Mamie, Mary and Joseph Tape successfully sue the San Francisco Board of Education for discrimination. The School District establishes a “separate but equal” public education policy.1885 – Sante Fe Railroad enters Los Angeles. There are eighty practicing lawyers.
1885-86 – Los Angeles Trades & Labor Council, Anti-Chinese Union, and Knights of Labor promote boycott of Chinese.
1886 – The Chinese in San Francisco establish their own community-supported Chinese language school to teach Chinese to their offspring.1886 – Vast urbanization of Los Angeles, as people travel cross-country thanks to the railroad. Fares reach an all-time low in March, with ticket prices of one dollar cross-country.
1887 – Penal code institutes fishing license tax aimed against Chinese fishermen.1887 – Major fire, of uncertain origin, destroys most of the earliest Chinatown west of Alameda Street.
1888 – First Sears, Roebuck catalog is distributed. Scott Act prohibits Chinese reentry after temporary departure. George Eastman markets the first Kodak camera. Cracker Jacks are introduced.1888 – Eastside Water Company lay 20 miles of pipes, serving Boyle Heights and area north of Aliso Street. Stone monument to deceased Chinese is erected in Evergreen Cemetery. Southern Pacific operates out of Arcade Station until 1914. First Chinese theatre is built in Los Angeles Chinatown.   Methodist Mission is begun.1888 – F. Suie One Co.   opens in Sacramento; invoice shows Fong See’s already been in business 3 years.

 

1889 – Chinese pool money to fight the various Exclusion Acts in court, but rarely win.1889 – First Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. Several Chinese accept baptism in Methodist mission.
1890’s – Oil is discovered in the L.A. region.
1890 – According to the U.S. census, the Chinese are located in every state and territory in the United States.1890 – Sisters of Charity move from Macy and Alameda to Boyle Heights. Chan Kiu Sing becomes pastor of Methodist Mission until 1923. Twenty-seven women doctors practice in Los Angeles; no female lawyers. Census records forty Japanese residents.
1891 – Act Prohibiting Immigration of Chinese Persons into the State prohibits Chinese entry into California.
1892 – Geary Act extends ban on immigration of Chinese laborers for ten years; Chinese must carry residence certificates on penalty of deportation without right of habeas corpus bail procedure.1892 – Chinese Americans form the Equal Rights League and the Native Sons of the Golden State in order to fight disenfranchisement bills.
1893 – McCreary amendment to Geary Act increases restrictions on Chinese businessmen. In Yue Ting v. The United States, the Supreme Court rules that Congress has the right to expel any race incapable of becoming citizens. Applicable only to Chinese.1893 – Fish and Games Act prohibits use of Chinese nets in fishing.1893 – Sante Fe Railroad dedicates La Grande Station on Santa Fe Avenue between First and Second Streets. On July 4, Mt. Lowe Scenic railway in the San Gabriel Mountains opens.
1894 – New U.S.-China treaty absolutely prohibits immigration of Chinese laborers to the United States for ten years. The Gresham-Yang Treaty is signed and extended Chinese exclusion. Labor Day becomes a national holiday.1894 – Juan Street Mission School is known to be in operation. Bradbury Building is completed at 3rd Street and Broadway.1894 – Fong See files another business application for manufacturing; formed a hui, a partnership with up to ten men, designed to let them claim status as merchants; Fong See granted a certificate of legal residency as a result. Letticie Pruett leaves Oregon to come to Sacramento.
1895 – The Native Sons of the Golden State are founded to fight for Chinese American civil rights. It later becomes the Chinese American Citizens Alliance (CACA) in 1904.1895 – Fossils are discovered at La Brea Tar Pits.
1896 – In Yick Wo v. Hopkins, the Supreme Court overturns San Francisco safety ordinances, citing that they are indeed designed to harass Chinese laundrymen. Small victory for Chinese.1896 – Broadway Department Store is opened at 4th and Broadway. American premiere of La Boheme is staged at Los Angeles Theater, 227 S. Spring Street.1896 – Gilbert Leong’s father, Leong Jeung, comes to the U.S.
1897 – Guide to Los Angeles Brothels is distributed during the city’s annual fiesta. First golf course, at Pico and Alvarado, opens. First record of an automobile being driven on Los Angeles streets. Chinatown has a weekly newspaper, 3 temples, a theatre.1897 – Fong See and Letticie are married. They move to Los Angeles.
1898 – Chinese Exclusion Act extended to Hawaiian islands. Sino-Japanese War. Supreme Court decision in The United States v. Wong Kim Ark, states that persons born in the U.S. to Chinese parents is an American.1898 – Fire destroys fourteen Chinese dwellings on Apablasa Street.1898 – Spring St. store opens; Milton (Ming) is born.

 

1900 – United States v. Mrs. Gue Lim rules that wives and children of treaty merchants had U.S. entry rights.1900 – Blockade in San Francisco Chinatown because of plague; Chinatown in Hawaii burned/ no advance notice.1900 – 510 L.A. Street, which Fong See keeps until 1950; Ray is born.
1900 – 1901 – Boxer Rebellion in China.
1901 – Angel’s Flight inclined railway is installed at 3rd and Hill Streets.1901 – After Boxer Rebellion, First trip to China (Fong See, Ticie, Milton, Ray); lasted a year.
1902 – Act of April 29 continues and extends Exclusion Acts to Philippines.1902 – Chinese Gospel Mission operates at 425 Apablasa Street.1902 – Fong See and his family once again leave China for the one-month voyage to San Francisco.
1903 – Benny is born; Fong See opens Pasadena store.
1904 – When the Greshem-Yang treaty expires, China wants to renegotiate the exclusion policy but fails to reach a compromise with the U.S. Chinese Exclusion Acts are extended indefinitely and made to cover Hawaii and the Philippines as well as the continental U.S. In protest of the Exclusion Acts, the Chinese boycott American goods. The most intense and prolonged boycott is in Guangdong. General Deficiency Appropriations Account Act extends Chinese Exclusion Acts indefinitely, allocates $100,000 to introduce Bertillon system of criminal identification for Chinese arrivals. St. Louis Exposition.1904 – Fong Yun (Uncle) comes over at 21 years of age, as does Fong Quong (another brother). FQ returns to his home later, dies, and leaves his share in FSO to his son.
1905 — Chinese students boycott American goods.1905 – State requires license plates on autos; owners have to make their own until 1914.   Construction begins on a new immigrant-processing station on Angel Island, on the Sausalito side of San Francisco Bay.1905 – Chinese soldiers, training with the U.S. Amy in Los Angeles, march in Tournament of Roses Parade.1905 – Stella Copeland is born in Waterville, Washington.
1906 – Large earthquake and fire devastate San Francisco. San Francisco Board of Education orders that all Chinese, Korean, and Japanese children be segregated in an Oriental school. President Roosevelt persuades the Board to allow Japanese to attend white schools.1906 – First motion picture studio in Los Angeles opens.1906 – Eddie is born.
1907 – Immigration Act extends existing restrictions on immigration and prohibits entry of aliens over sixteen years of age who cannot read; further restricts immigration of Asians to the U.S. for permanent residence. Mother’s Day observed for the first time in U.S.1907 – Bullock’s opens at Broadway and 7th Street.
1908 – Mexico becomes new stepping stone for Chinese trying to get into U.S.1908 – Philippe’s opens on Alameda Street. First taxicab in Los Angeles operates.
1909 – First motion picture filmed entirely in Los Angeles is made at the rear of Sing Loo Laundry, on Olive Street between 7th and 8th. L.A. Chinese community expands into the Ninth Street and South San Pedro district, where the City Market is founded.1909 – Florence (Sissee) is born.
1910 – 1920 – 14 million immigrants enter through Ellis Island.1910 – Angel Island opens.   1910 – 1924, 1 out of 4 Chinese entering the U.S. is a woman; 1910 – 1935, only 1 in 4 Chinese is allowed to remain in the U.S.1910 – 2,602 Chinese in L.A., of which 147 are women; 61 households have at least one woman.   Chinatown has restaurants (15), gift shops, groceries, art goods, doctor’s offices, and Chinese organizations,1910 – Tyrus Wong born; F. Suie One Company is the largest store in Chinatown.
1911 – Fall of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911); Republic established. Royal artifacts flood market.1911 – Gilbert Leong   born.
1911-37 – Reign of warlords (height in 1926), Chinese Revolution. Chinese construction of railroads unearths works of Han, Sui, and Tsin dynasties; they begin to appear on the market.
1912 – First gas station operates at Grand Avenue and Washington Blvd.
1913 – California Alien Land Act forbids purchase of land by aliens until 1952.1913 – Automobile Club of Southern California reports that California leads all states in number of autos owned, one car per twenty-eight people. William Mulholland opens Owens Aqueduct. 1st talk about railroad terminal on Juan Apablasa’s land in Chinatown.
1914 – Southern Pacific operates out of Central Station from 1914 to 1939.1914 – Ma and Sissee go to Pan Pacific fair in San Francisco.
1916 – First power pole for overhead lines goes up in Highland Park area. Driver’s licenses are required. David Jung, Los Angeles noodle manufacturer, invents fortune cookie.
1917 – Congress votes that immigrants over the age of sixteen be required to pass an English reading test. Entitled the Immigration Act of February 5, 1917 or the Asiatic Barred Zone Act.1917 – First Los Angeles parking lot, at 4th and Olive Streets.1917 – Milton (Ming) and Ray graduate from Lincoln High School as the only Chinese in the class.
1918 – U.S. Circuit Court ruled that foreign-born children of Chinese Americans are entitled to enter the U.S. as children of American citizens. Chicago World’s Fair; Influenza epidemic.1918 – Fong See goes to World’s Fair, brings back Dad’s Folly.
1919 – After Treaty of Versailles, Chinese government negotiates successfully for antique bronze astronomical instrument taken during Boxer Rebellion.1919 – With the release of the film Broken Blossoms, the store begins renting props to the movie studios. Fong See involved with car shows. He’s opened a store across from Green Hotel. Family trip to China; Fong See remains in China for a while. Fong See wants Eddy to stay in China, but Ticie refuses.
1920 – Female suffrage amendment passed. U.S. life expectancy climbs to 55 years. Radio very popular.1920 – The population of Los Angeles rises to half a million.1920 – Ticie returns from China after six months and takes care of 510 L.A. Street.
1921 – Congress sets limit of 350,000 immigrants annually. Number of aliens of each nationality set at 3% of foreign-born people of that nationality living in America in 1910. Communist Party formed in China.1921 – Stella first comes to California at 16 years of age; Tyrus comes to U.S., Milton marries Dorothy Hayes. The Fatsan Hotel is completed; Fong See marries his third wife, Ngon Hung in China; Ticie files for legal separation from her husband.   Ticie opens Pasadena store at Los Robles and Green.
1922 – The U.S. passes the Cable Act which strips U.S. citizenship from any woman married to an alien ineligible to citizenship.1922 – Y.C. Hong, a hunchback who worked as an interpreter for the Immigration Service, becomes the first Chinese to pass the State Bar. Of 13 streets, only 2 are paved in Chinatown. 184 shops.1922 – Shue-ying dies.
1923 – Milton and Fong See go back to China; Bring back Ngon Hung; Ticie gets 7th Street and Fong See gets 510; Eddy, Ticie, Sissee live upstairs; Bertha lives with her folks out in Echo Park.
1923 – Fong Yun (Uncle) asks Fong See for help in starting his own business; he opens the Fong Yun Company on Seventh Street.
1924 – National Origins Law: (also known as the “Second Exclusion Act”) Congess establishes a permanent numerical restriction on immigration to the U.S. Immigration of all aliens ineligible for U.S. citizenship (Chinese) prohibited. Entry of Chinese students restricted. Chinese wives of U.S. citizens not entitled to enter the U.S. An Immigration Act passed by Congress specifically excludes “Chinese women, wives, and prostitutes.” Any American who marries a Chinese person loses their citizenship as a result.1924 – Anna May Wong, the daughter of a local laundryman, stars as a scantily clad slave girl in The Thief of Baghdad. The Los Angeles Chinese Chamber of Congress meets, hoping to correct the bad impression among whites about the enclave.1924 – Eddy and Stella’s first date/his graduation; Fong See and Ticie’s marriage is made null and void with no formal divorce, since it had never been a state-recognized marriage. Uncle loses store on Seventh Street.
1925 – Milton and Fong See go to China to royal kiln during Japanese occupation. When they return, Stella is on the scene. Woo Twai Leung (Gil’s mother) begins teaching at Methodist Church for 25 years.
1926 – The Apablasa Playground is constructed.1926 – Tyrus comes to L.A.; Fong See declares that the art store has shown a loss of two thousand dollars.
1927 – Charles Lindberg flies nonstop from New York to Paris. Chiang Kai-Shek takes over Kuomintang Party; Chinese civil war begins.   U.S. Supreme Court rules that citizenship rights extend to foreign-born children of and American citizen, but not to foreign-born grandchildren whose parents have never resided in the U.S.1927 – A group of boys from the Brethren Chinese Church form all all-Chinese baseball team called the Low Wa.1927 – Sissee turns 18. Ming Chuen Fong born in China. Late 20s, Ray and Milton rent store on Wilshire. Kidnapping of Uncle’s children in China. Fong Yun returns to China. Ransom is negotiated at two thousand dollars and the boys were returned.   Baby Duk dies.
1928 – Los Angeles City Hall is completed.1928 – Gilbert’s family takes over Chinese Garden Café in Hollywood. Despite National Origins Law and 1924 Immigration Act, Ngon Hung and Ming Chuen Fong come to U.S.
1928 – The Southern Pacific buys land in Chinatown, consolidates it with prior purchases, and begins planning a new terminal.1928 – Bennie and Ray open See Manufacturing; Bennie and Bertha are married; Stella and Eddy are married; Anna May Wong sets sail for Germany to star in Schmutzies Geld.
1929 – “Black Friday,” stock market crash.1929 – In China, Fong See marries for the fourth time, to Sing Pi, a young girl about Ngon Hung’s age.   Rent at new Wilshire store starts to escalate.
1930ish – Ticie opens Pasadena store at Los Robles and Green; Begins renting to the movies too.
1930 – Richard born.
1931 – Japanese invasion (1931-45); capture Manchuria and mount periodic raids into China.1931 – The California Supreme Court upholds a decision to condemn the land east of Alameda and begin construction for the station.1931 – Gim is born; Anna May Wong returns to United States and stars in Daughter of the Dragon.
1932 – Chiang Kai-Shek begins “extermination campaigns” against Communist troops.   Amelia Earheart completes transatlantic solo flight.   Film producer Irving Thalberg buys the motion picture rights to Pearl Buck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Good Earth.1932 – 14 L.A. Chinese graduate from USC; L.A. hosts the Olympics.1932 – Jong Oy (Fong See’s daughter by Ngon Hung) comes over from China. The revenue from the studio rental for Shanghai Express is extremely profitable, Anna May Wong stars.   Fong See receives only five shipments from China.
1933 – The Bitter Tea of General Yen released.1933 – Depression hitting hard; Chinatown becomes once more an enclave of single men as wives and children are sent back to China. On December 23, demolition of Chinatown begins to make room for Union station. Hundreds left homeless. People move to City Market area and crowd into last bit of Chinatown.1933 – Wilshire store closes under                        cover of darkness; FSO opens at 528                     L.A. St. Fong See receives only 2               shipments from China. He also                         closes his shop on 7th and returns to                     510 L.A. Street. Soochow is the 7th                       family-style restaurant in                               Chinatown. Gilbert at Chouinard.
1934 – Long March begins in China.1934 – Fong See buys all four boys matching four-door Plymouths, Eddy begins having an affair with Helen Smith.
Mid-30s – world market for archaic bronzes reaches zenith.1935 – Tyrus leaves Otis; Dragon’s Den opens; Stella receives an anonymous letter revealing Eddy’s dalliance; Fong See decides to return home to China. Sumoy, Ngon Hung’s daughter, is born.
1935-36 – Milton (Ming) and Fong See go to China and Korea. Uncle’s family goes to China; Fong See’s whole family in Dimtao too.
1936 – Sissee goes east; Dragon’s Den opens; Sissee and Gil meet at Soochow over noodles, go together for 8 years; Ticie & kids living on Maplewood. Leong family move to the Italian neighborhood of Cypress Park.
1937 – All-out Japanese invasion of China. Premier of The Good Earth; hailed as the most authentic view of Chinese life ever filmed.1937 – First McDonald’s restaurant, near Pasadena, opens.1937 – Fong See abandons idea of staying in China and returns to Los Angeles, leaving Si Ping behind. Tyrus and Ruth get married; Uncle opens shop in China City; Sissee is robbed at gunpoint at Dragon’s Den. Jessie Copeland, Stella’s mother, is institutionalized; Stella’s brother Ted comes to live with Stella and Eddy.
1938 – A Presidential proclamation lifts restriction on immigration for Chinese. The Chinese are still ineligible for citizenship.1938 – New Chinatown   and China City open. The main square is one of the first pedestrian malls in Southern California. First Moon Festival, which becomes annual event throughout war.1938 – Stella intercepts a note from Helen Smith that confirms the end of their affair.
1939 – A fire levels China City in February, less than a year after its opening; Union Station opens. China City is rebuilt and reopened later that year in August.1939 – Fong See agrees to sell the entire stock of merchandise of the F. See On Company to J.J. Sugarman, an auctioneer and dealer; Fong See immediately resumes business; Milton and Fong See go on a buying trip to China. Stella loses baby.
1940 – 1950 – Chinese American men working in craft occupations rise from 1.4 to 3.5%; technical and professional occupations from 2.5 to 6.6% (due to war)
1940 – Alien Registration Act requires all aliens in the U.S. to register and be fingerprinted. Exclusion and deportation of criminal and subversive groups is expanded.1940 – Angel Island closes.1940 – Chinatown population is 5,300. In next ten years, L.A.’s overall population will double. There will be more cars in L.A. than Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas and Colorado combined.
1941 – U.S. declares war on Japan after bombing of Pearl Harbor; Pacific War begins. During war, 30% of Chinese men in NY work in defense plants.1941 – 42,000 native-born Japanese (to a total of 94,000) live in California, as do 97,000 Germans, 114,000 Italians. They are classified as enemy aliens.1941 – Moon Festival raises $250,000.1941 – As a result of Pacific war, little merchandise crosses the Pacific for the F. Suie One and F. See On companies. Chuen starts working in the store at the age of fourteen, Ticie and Sissee visit Ticie’s childhood home in Central Point, Oregon. See Manufacturing recruited for the war effort.
1942 – Many Chinese volunteer or are drafted; Roosevelt issues Executive Order No. 9066 which authorizes the Secretary of War to establish military zones within the U.S. from which any person might be excluded; Roosevelt also creates the War Relocation Authority.1942 – Federal troops seal drawbridge between Terminal Island and Long Beach.1942 – Tyrus goes to Warner Bros., Sissee and Gilbert are married.
1943 – The U.S. and China sign a treaty of alliance against the Japanese; Soong Mei-ling, the wife of Chiang Kai-Shek visits the U.S. – pushes for repeal of Exclusion acts.   Since China is an ally, Magnuson Act repeals Chinese Exclusion Acts. Permits naturalization of Chinese.1943 – Madame Soong Mei-Ling appears at the Hollywood Bowl1943 – After deferment, Gilbert goes into the army; Dragon’s Den closes.   Ticie dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of sixty-six; Milton (Ming) is in charge of the F. Suie One Company.
1944 – New quota of 105 Chinese established. (By contrast, Poland has quota of 6,524.)
1944 – 1952 – Only 1,428 Chinese are naturalized.
1945 – Adolph Hitler commits suicide. The U.S. drops the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan unconditionally surrenders. The War Brides Act facilitates immigration of 118,000 spouses and children of members of the U.S. armed forces including Chinese.1945 – Leslee is born.
1946 – The Act of August 9 puts Chinese wives of U.S. citizens on a non-quota basis.1946 – City Attorney Ray Chesebro files condemnation proceedings against the 22 property owners of the city’s original Chinatown; intent is to create a park in its place.1946 – After taking care of Japanese family’s house during the war, Stella, Eddy, and Richard move into the basement where Dragon’s Den used to be; Family partnership officially dissolved despite Eddy’s objections.
1947 – Alien Laws ruled unconstitutional by Supreme Court; Chinese may now own land.1947 – Chuen Fong, Fong See’s eldest son from the second family, is naturalized; Fong See turns 90 and is admitted to the hospital to have his gallbladder removed. Fire burns down See-Mar, Ray and Bennie’s furniture factory; Stella starts attending a diet clinic and loses a great deal of weight.
1948 – The Refugee Act passed only applies to Europeans. Displaced Persons Act provides that from 1948 to 1954, ethnic Chinese already living in the U.S. can apply for citizenship.1948 – California’s anti-miscegenation law ruled unconstitutional in the 1948 California Supreme Court case of Perez v. Sharp.1948 – L.A. produces $200 million in furniture at wholesale prices; 456 T.V. sets sold each day in L.A. county – which results in sale of T.V. accoutrements.1948 – Uncle (Fong Yun) is naturalized; Ming’s wife, Dorothy, is killed in a house fire; Ming blames himself because he was off having an affair with Sunny Rockwell.   Gilbert, Sissee, Eddy, Stella, Tyrus and Ruth take apart barracks.
1948 – Chinese Americans send $7 million in “tea money” to relatives in China.1948 – Ray reopens his furniture factory and develops a new line of furniture, Calinese, that is a great success. By 1950, it can be found across the country.
1949 – Chinese Communist government takes over China. People’s Republic of China is established; “tea money” drops to $600,000. 3,610 Chinese Americans enroll in American colleges and universities thanks in part to the GI Bill.1949 – Another fire effectively wipes out China City.1949 – Fatsan Hotel is used as headquarters for the Foshan municipal government until 1957. Ray designs fabrics for D.N.E. Walter.
1950 – McCarthyism and the tension between the communist People’s Republic and the U.S. leads to a period of fear and distrust among Chinese-American communities. U.S. imposes an embargo. As a result, little “tea money” leaves the U.S. The U.S. passes a series of Refugee Relief Acts and a Refugee Escapee Act, expanding the number of “non-quota” immigrants allowed in. Outbreak of the Korean War; the passage of the McCarran Internal Security Act, which provides for the internment of Communists during a national emergency.1950 – All factions appear before the City Council to discuss what to do with Los Angeles Street. International Settlement is voted against. Chinese women are almost 40% of L.A. Chinatown’s population of 8,000.1950 – Ming (Milton) marries Sunny Rockwell. Fong See moves his store and family to New Chinatown (he buys the property); F. Suie One moves to Ord St; 15,000 Angelenos pass through Ray’s Calinese Touch-Plate Home; Fong Guai King is persecuted in China for her American connections.
1950 – 1952 – Mao estimates that 800,000 counterrevolutionaries are killed in China.
1950 – 1960 – Chinese American populations “booms” – from 117,629 to 237,292.
1951 – Demolition of Old Chinatown begins.1951 – Choey Lau, Fong Yun’s eldest daughter, marries a Chinese Army Air Force pilot and moves to Hawaii when he can’t get hired on the mainland; Richard produces a play at John Marshall High, where he meets Carolyn Laws. Carolyn graduates in June.
1952 – The Immigration and Nationality Act denies admission to “subversive and undesirable aliens.” Also allows women the same immigration rights as men. The McCarran-Walter Act provides for U.S. naturalization regardless of race, but Asians are still limited with immigration quotas.1952 – Richard is drafted. Carolyn attends City College; four of Fong Yun’s children – Chong, Gai, Gim, and Choey Lon decide to open a little shop, Fong’s, in New Chinatown.
1953 – The Refugee Relief Act admits another 214,000 refugees including some Chinese to the U.S.
1954 – In Mao v. Brownell, Supreme Court upholds laws forbidding Chinese Americans to send money to relatives in China.1954 – Richard is discharged; Carolyn and Richard are married and go to Newfoundland.

Jessie Copeland dies.

1955 – Drumright Report presents the fraudulent immigration practices such as the Chinese “coaching book” and the “paper son.” Suggests that these practices were detrimental to U.S. national security.Mid-50s – 150 Chinese restaurants in L.A.1955 – Lisa Lenine See is born in Paris; Ray’s wife, Leona, dies of cancer.
1957 – The Refugee Relief Act of 1953 expires in 1956 and is followed by the Act of 1957, which provides for the distribution of 18,000 visas. The Act of September 11, 1957 encourages illegal Chinese to step forward and name Communists and paper sons. In exchange, they’re granted legal status. Mao launches the Anti-Rightist Campaign.1957 – Fong See dies at one hundred years of age; Stella’s father Harvey Copeland dies after being hit by a car.
1958 – Mao launches the Great Leap Forward in China. 30 million people will die in the world’s largest man-made famine in next three years.1958 – Carolyn becomes pregnant for the second time, but miscarries; Ray retires and sells See-Mar. Ngon Hung sends money to China so that Si Ping and Fong Guai King can move to Hong Kong.
1959 – Hiram Fong becomes the first Chinese American elected to the U.S. Congress as a senator from Hawaii. The civil rights movement, led by Black activists, begins to take shape in the U.S. Asian Americans participate. Close relatives, including parents, are allowed to enter U.S. from China.1959 – Carolyn meets Tom Sturak. She also wins second place in the Samuel Goldwyn Awards for her novel. After five years of marriage, she tells Richard that she is leaving.
1960 – A “Fair Share Refugee Act” allows certain refugees from Communist and Middle Eastern countries to enter.1960 – Chinatown population 20,000.1960 – Ray marries Mary Marshall; they travel through Asia.
1961 – Ming, Eddy, Bennie, and Sissee form a new family partnership and buy an existing Asian art store, the Jade Tree.
1962 – A Presidential directive allows several thousand “parolees” to enter the U.S. from Hong Kong. Relatives of citizens and resident aliens are eligible.
1965 – 1984 – Chinese immigrants to U.S. jump to 419,373, almost matching the 426,000 who came between 1849 and 1930.1963 – Stella and Eddy travel for a year to Vietnam, Penang, India, and other Asian countries.
1965 – Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments repeal the national origins quota system; separates the world into two hemispheres and devises new quotas for each.1965 – Richard See gets his Ph.D. in comparative anthropology from UCLA and marries Pat Williams.
1966 – 1976 – Cultural Revolution in China.1966 – Red Guards come to Lui Ngan Fa and Si Ping’s house in Fatsan seven times to confiscate property.   They’re sent back to Dimtao for duration of Cultural Revolution.
1967 – All anti-miscegenation laws in the U.S. ruled to be unconstitutional.1967 – Eddy dies of an aneurysm at the age of sixty-one.
1968 – Amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act provide that immigrants not be allocated by race or nation but by hemispheres.1968 – San Francisco State College (now San Francisco State University) has a huge student strike and establishes the nation’s first School of Ethnic Studies.
1969 – The Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) is founded as a Chinese American civil rights organization.1969 – Angel’s Flight inclined railway removed.1969 – Gilbert and Sissee tour Asia for six months.
1970 – The first Chinese American history course is taught in the History department of San Francisco State College by Philip P. Choy and Him Mark Lai.1970 – Chinatown population 40,000.1970 – Fong Yun retires.
1971 – In Hong Kong, Guai King breaks her leg and dies of complications.
1972 – Relations between the U.S. and China relax when President Nixon visits the People’s Republic of China.1972 – Gilbert and Sissee travel to the Far East again, as part of the first Chinese American tour group to go back to the People’s Republic of China. Lui Ngan Fa and Si Ping are allowed to return to Fatsan.
1973 – Fong Yundies.
1974 – U.S. Supreme Court rules that the San Francisco Unified School District violates the 14th Amendment by not providing equitable educational opportunities for non-native English speakers. This results in English as a Second Language and similar programs.1974 – Ray dies at the age of seventy-four.
1976 – Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments end inequities between Eastern and Western hemispheres. Priorities given to people having close family ties with relatives already in the U.S., those with needed skills, and refugees.
1978 – Congress eliminates separate immigration for Eastern and Western hemisphere. Naturalization made possible for people over 50 who have been legal residents for twenty years.1978 – Ming (Milton) dies at the age of eighty.
1979 – The normalization of U.S. relations with the People’s Republic of China eventually opens the door for further family reunifications.1979 – Bennie’s wife, Bertha dies.
Early 1980’s – Jong Oy dies of cancer in Taiwan.
1981 – The F. Suie One Company moves from its longtime location on Ord Street to 1335 East Colorado Blvd. In Pasadena.
1982 – Vincent Chin, a 27-year old Chinese American, is murdered in Detroit, Michigan, by two white men who blame the Japanese for taking away jobs and mistake Chin for a Japanese. Case brings national attention to the resurgence of anti-Asian sentiment in the country.
1983 – China reevaluates its Overseas Chinese policy and returns the Fatsan Hotel, as well as other properties, to the Fong See and Fong Yun families.
1984 – L.A. hosts Olympics.1984 – Bennie dies at the age of eighty-one.
1985 – Chinese Americans .42% of total U.S. population.1985 – Article in Forbes, which estimates that $1.5 billion dollars is deposited in Monterey Park banks in this year alone. (Monterey Park is one of two Los Angeles Chinatowns.)
1986 – Immigration Act of 1986 permits the legalization of aliens who have been living illegally in the U.S. before January 1, 1982.1986 – California voters pass an “English-only” proposition, making English the official language of the state.
1987 – Si Ping dies.
1989 – In Raleigh, North Carolina, Ming Hai Loo, a 24-year old Chinese American, is murdered by two white men who blame the Vietnamese for the death of American soldiers and mistake Loo for a Vietnamese.1989 – Sissee dies.
1989 – Tiananmen Square uprising in China.
1990 – The U.S. passes a new immigration bill to modify the 1965 Immigration Act; quota for immigrants with special skills is increased. U.S. Census shows Asian/Pacific Islanders comprising less than 3% of the total U.S. population.
1991 – Lisa goes to Fatsan and Dimtao.
1992 – Danny Ho, Fong Yun’s second son, dies; Richard marries Anne Jennings.
1993 – Leslee rents props to The Joy Luck Club.
1994 – In NY Chinatown, 65% have no or limited English, while median income is only $9,000 a year.   It’s $11,000 in San Francisco, with a population density of 228 per acre. Over half of housing is considered “old, deteriorated, sub-standard.”1994 – Pete Wilson, California governor, campaigns on the issue of immigration. Proposition 187 bans illegal immigrants from any state funds; Newt Gingrich suggests this be adopted nationally; 187 gets bogged down in the courts as unconstitutional.
1996 – Angel’s Flight inclined railway reinstalled.
1997 – British lease of Hong Kong runs out. Hong Kong handed over to China.

 

* Please note if this document is for public use, then we need to select either Pinyin or Wade-Giles for the Chinese words.

 

Sources:

 

On Gold Mountain – Lisa See

The Chinese of America – Jack Chen

China Men – Maxine Hong Kingston

The Coming Man – Philip P. Choy, Lorraine Dong, and Marlon K. Hom

Southern California Country – Carey McWilliams

Frontier Faiths –   Michael E. Engh, S.J.

Linking Our Lives – Chinese Historical Society of Southern California

Fodor’s China – John Summerfield

Chinese American Portraits – Ruthanne Lum McCunn