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Our victories, obstacles and leaders

Discover additional specific info on the many links (outlined in "red" or "blue") listed below


Marion Lacadia Obera becomes the 1st Filipina American to be appointed judge to the
Los Angeles bench.  


Kinney Kinmon Lau and 12 others (including CAA - Chinces for Affirmative Action) sue the San Francisco Board of Ed. for bilingual education rights.  


Dr. Sue Ann Kim is the first Korean woman to receive a doctorate from UCLA, a Ph.D. in education . Kim was born in Taegur, South Korea, and taught and worked as a principal there for over ten years. She is a survivor of the Korean War and remembers a time in South Korea when "all the country was just ashes, everything was just burned." She came to the United States on a Fulbright Fellowship in 1959. Kim received her doctorate in education at UCLA in 1970. Her dissertation focused on how vocational education could be improved in South Korea.


Ken Kawaichi and Dale Minami co-found the Asian Law Caucus.  

US ASIANS: Which award was the most rewarding – career–wise and/or brought wide-spread recognition within the general public? (Note: It’s acknowledged that People Magazine recognized you as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the world in 1991, won the Olivier in 1990, Tony/Drama Desk/Outer Critics Circle/Theater World Awards in 1991 for Best Actress for Miss Saigon, 1981-1983: 3 Aliw Awards for “Best Child Entertainer”)

LEA SALONGA: I don't know that receiving an award is, in and of itself, rewarding. Exciting, sure, but not necessarily rewarding. The work itself is far more rewarding, and seeing an audience's reaction... that's where the reward is.

US ASIANS: What lasting and memorable impressions do you have of performing “A Whole New World" live at the 65th Annual Academy Awards, where the song won an Oscar?

LEA SALONGA: Just being at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in front of a lot of movie stars. I even got my photo taken with a few of them at the Governor's Ball after the show. Pretty cool!


Lea Salonga is born on February 22, 1971. She is the first star from the Filipino American communities to make it in the US marketplace. Her performances in Miss Saigon and on various Disney soundtracks have allowed to attain a status previously not seen. Lea shared the following comments on her career goals:

Lea Salonga, click here for more info

US ASIANS: Many people have stated that "Lea is one of the most disciplined performers in the whole world” – how did you developed the necessary discipline to achieve your present/future success?
LEA SALONGA: Simple. A few years with Repertory Philippines will shape you up better than the army could.
US ASIANS: In addition to being “Eva Perón” in the musical Evita, what roles would you like to perform in the future?
LEA SALONGA: Oh, I don't know... Elphaba in Wicked is a good one... haven't thought of any others.
US ASIANS: What factors were involved with not having aspirations for acting and concentrating on musical theater to taking acting lessons in preparations for future dramatic parts?
LEA SALONGA: I just like to stretch myself to places that are scary and seemingly unreachable. I like increasing my skill level, and broadening my horizons. It's always fun to learn something new about what I do.
US ASIANS: Did your experience in your “game experiment” in participating in David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Proof” in Manila provide additional motivation? What were some of the many differences and/or things that you’ve discovered about acting between your portrayal in “The Bad Seed” and “Proof” – as the result of your maturity and experience in musical theater?
Lea Salonga, click here for more info
LEA SALONGA: Proof only showed me that there was so much more to learn. It was a humbling experience, in that it showed me that I had a lot of rice to eat still before I can consider myself truly skilled.
US ASIANS: Is your training in the craft of acting includes the ability to act on stage and on film?
LEA SALONGA: Each medium is very different, and it takes a particular skill level to excel in each one. It's strange, there are some film actors that can't do theater, some theater people that can't do film, and others that can straddle the fence and be comfortable in any medium, in any style. That's what I'm aiming for. Eventually I hope to get there.
US ASIANS: In addition to Barbara Streisand and Steven Spielberg, which people within the entertainment industry would you like to work with and/or meet?
LEA SALONGA: Jodie Foster... Simon Cowell... oh, just about anyone out there who's doing good work.
Click HERE to read the rest of the interview


In Guey Hung Lee vs Johnson, the Supreme Court rules in favor of desegregating all-Chinese public schools. The parents had feared losing their language and culture.


First national conference of Asian Americans and Pacific Island peoples is held in San Francisco, CA. National Organization of United States Filipino American citizens is established in Seattle, WA.


Connie Chung, news anchor and correspondent for NBC News, is the only Chinese American woman seen regularly on national television. She was among the first minority women to break into the media field when she was hired by CBS in 1972 on the basis of both affirmative action and merit considerations. Her history is filled with many types of events.


Federal legislation repeals two "anti-Oriental" laws, an 1872 law prohibiting entry of "Orientals" without a permit and a 1905 law banning "the import of an oriental woman with the intent to sell her."


The 1st Asian American to win a Tennis Grand Slam, Michael Chang, was born on February 22, 1972 in Hoboken New Jersey and presently living on Mercer Island WA. He was the youngest player to win a main draw match at the U.S. Open, youngest to reach a Tour semifinal, youngest French Open / Grand Slam Champion ever in 1989 and the youngest to rank in the Top 5.


David S. Lee, a pioneer in the Silicon Valley, designs the daisy wheel printer. By 1997 in the Santa Clara Valley, nearly 100 major Chinese American owned high technology firms can be identified, and scores operated by other Asian-Pacifics.


Bruce Lee's life long dream to become a star in America was realized on August 24, 1973 when he was offered the film Enter the Dragon, which propelled Lee into international stardom and created a new genre of action films. Four days before the film is scheduled to be released, on July 20, 1973, Lee died in Hong Kong of an apparent cerebral edema "swelling of the brain."

Bruce Lee became the first Asian American Hollywood action superstar and legend when Enter the Dragon premiered at Grauman's Chinese Theater. Unfortunately, the star had died on July 20 of a mysterious swelling of the brain. Death didn't keep Lee from becoming a global icon of martial arts action and a hero to Asian Americans fed up with stereotypes of Asian men as subservient sidekicks or unsavory villains.

Bruce Lee had enjoyed some success as Kato, the Green Lantern's sidekick, but left for Hong Kong after being spurned as being "too Chinese" to play the lead in the Kung Fu TV series. It didn't matter to Hollywood that Lee had conceived the series as a vehicle for his martial arts skills. Lee renewed his assault on Hollywood with two low-budget Hong Kong-made features: Fists of Fury (1971) and The Chinese Connection (1972). Both were box office smash hits with global audiences, laying the groundwork for Warner Brothers to produce Enter the Dragon.

"When the opponent expand, I contract, When he contracts, I expand, And when there is an opportunity, I do not hit--it hits all by itself." Opportunity
"True refinement seeks simplicity." Honesty, Men, Truth
"To understand this fully, one must transcend from the duality of 'for' and 'against' into one organic unity which is without distinctions." Miscellaneous
"One great cause of failure is lack of concentration." Excellence, Failure
"Not being tense but ready. Not thinking but not dreaming. Not being set but flexible. Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement. It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come." Dreams, Life, Men, Military, Monarchy, Reading, Sleeping, War
"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do." Knowledge, Wisdom
"If you want to do your duty properly, you should do just a little more than that." Desires, Duty, Wants
"If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of." Life, Love, Time
"Ideas are the beginning of all achievement." Accomplishment, Achievement, Beginnings, Goals, Men
"Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless--like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash! Be water my friend." Friends
"As long as we separate this 'oneness' into two, we won't achieve realization." Accomplishment, Achievement
"A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence." Education, Evil, School, Teaching
"A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at." Goals, Intentions
For more info click HERE  


One of the co-hosts for ABC's "The View" is born on August 30, 2000. This upcoming
Asian American female newscaster/personality is the latest example of inroads of Asian Americans being seen on national television in a positve manner. Despite the intense scrutiny and interesting choices (i.e. Old Navy commercial), she is an excellent role models for other Asian Americans (female and male).


Organization of Chinese Americans, Inc.
(OCA) was founded in 1973. (OCA) is a national non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization of concerned Chinese Americans. OCA is dedicated to securing the rights of Chinese American and Asian American citizens and permanent residents through legislative and policy initiatives at all levels of the government


Prompted by the large presence of highly experienced Filipino American pharmacists, a bill is signed into law allowing foreign trained pharmacists to practice in California.


On May 18 - the term "Asian Americans and Pacific Island peoples" is coined.


Chatham Square Rally in New York, NY. Prompted by the failure of DeMatteis Corp. to hire Asian American construction workers for Confucius Plaza, Asian Americans for Equal Employment stages a demonstration. Later that year, Asian Americans for Equal Employment succeeds in getting over 40 Asian Americans workers hired for construction of Confucius Plaza in New York. Garment workers and elderly were among the diverse groups that joined the campaign.  


More than 130,000 refugees enter the U.S. from Vietnam, Kampuchea, and Laos as Communist governments are established there.


Over 2500 New York Chinatown residents demonstrate outside City Hall against police brutality. State bulldozers tear down a part of Philadelphia Chinatown Community for a highway, despite promises not to tear down Chinatown area without the consent of the community.



H.B.666 introduced in CA calls for the recognition of Filipinos as a significant and specific minority group.


In 1975, a Bengali immigrant entrepreneur and self-made man to the United States used a small investment to buy a failing Los Angeles rock and roll bar called Destiny II. Somen "Steve" Banerjee worked to turn it into a disco with jazz and street-dance performers. Four years later, inspired by word of a Canadian male strip club, Steve renamed the club "Chippendales," and along with female mud wrestling, he launched a "Male Exotic Dance Night for Ladies Only" it was the first American troupe of its kind.

Chippendale dancers are a group of men who provocatively dance for a primarily female audience. They are best known as being shirtless, muscular and wearing little else but bow ties, white cuffs and black leather pants.
By the early 1980s, Chippendales was the best known of the several hundred male strip clubs in America. Steve drove the business to amazing heights with his professionalism and marketing skills. By the late 1980s, the Chippendales were almost a household name. Over a million copies of their calendar were sold every year. Touring profits exceeded $25,000 per week, and at its height, Steve controlled an $8 million a year business.

This sharp dresser with a taste for Mercedes-Benz vehicles/luxury homes and family man was born in Bombay, India in 1947 -- the year India gained independence from colonial British rule and a fourth generation printer. Somen left India sometime between the late 1960s and early 1970s to settle in Playa Del Rey (Southern California) and operated various ventures/businesses such as a Mobil gas station.

His controversial life turned him into a subject of gossip and self-censorship in the Bengali immigrant communities - along with highlighting the perils of having many of the characteristics of a "Model Minority". Banerjee's paranoia of competition and downfall stemmed from his March 29 of 1984 attempt to burn down Moody's Disco (a competing nightclub in Santa Monica), 1984's attempt to burn down a competing Red Onion Restaurant in Marina del Rey, controversy surrounding the April 1987 killing of Nick DeNoia in New York City by Ray Colon (resulting from a disagreement over touring revenues), 1990/1991 attempts to kill Chippendales choreographer Mike Fullington, being charged on September 2nd of 1993 of conspiring to kill three business associates, 1990 planned murder of Jagjit Sehdeva, racketeering and arson.

The mid-1980s had been a difficult period for the Chippendales organization. The judgments of a series of major lawsuits-personal injury, as well as suits alleging discrimination against patrons, both African-American, and male-had hurt the bottom line. On January 31, 1987, the Chippendales' parent company filed for reorganization under federal bankruptcy laws. The organization survived, but not all those affiliated with it were so lucky.

On July 29, 1994, Steve pled guilty to racketeering, attempting to burn down a competing nightclub, and arranging the murder of Nick DeNoia and facing 26 years in jail. Sometime between 3 and 4 am on the night of October 23, 1994, just hours before he was to be sentenced, Steve Banerjee took his own life. A family man until the end, Steve may have ended his own life to ensure that his estate went to his family, rather than being confiscated by the government.


1st annual Asian American Festival held in Columbus Park, Chinatown. NY.


Chinese Historical Society of Southern California is established. End of war in Southeast Asia results in many ethnic Chinese immigrants and refugees, some of whom eventually relocate to Chinatown.


President Gerald Ford rescinds Executive Order 9066.  


From October 1976 to March 1977, Don Ho hosted a half-hour daytime variety series, The Don Ho Show, broadcast over ABC-TV.


Pan-campus conference at Yale leads to establishment of East Coast Asian Student Union (ECASU).  


On November 5, 1976 - Dr. Samuel Ichiye (S. I.) Hayakawa became the first American of Asian descent to be elected to the U.S. Senate from a mainland state. The diminutive (5-6) Republican had become a popular symbol of no- nonsense conservatism after standing up to radical anti-war demonstrators as president of San Francisco State University. In his seventies when he took office, Hayakawa was criticized for falling asleep during Senate discussions. The Senate's business involved much that he couldn't "give a good goddamn" about, he explained. By the end of his term, both S. I. Hayakawa and his brand of feisty conservatism had fallen out of fashion. He did not seek a second term.

Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa was born in Vancouver, Canada on July 18, 1906 of Japanese immigrant parents. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1955. He was a semanticist renowned for his love of the English language long before becoming a Senator. After leaving the Senate he once again became a galvanizing force for both major parties by introducing a constitutional amendment to require the use of English in all public discourses.  


Hampton v Wong Mow Sun Supreme Court rules that Civil Service cannot deny employment on basis of race.  


Chinatown People's Progressive Association (CPPA) open up in Boston and New York.  


Multiracial crowd of thousands forms a human chain around International Hotel in San Francisco in attempts to stop the eviction of low-income tenants, many of whom were elderly Filipinos.


Congress passes a law allowing Southeast Asian refugees to become permanent residents upon request.  


In the wee hours of Aug. 4, 1977, more than 50 Asian immigrants, most from the Philippines, were evicted from the International Hotel on Kearny and Jackson streets in San Francisco. Many in the community say an important part of the city's history was lost that day. On Tuesday: August 5, 2004 - that history was resurrected as city officials declared a two- block corridor of Kearny Street as "Manilatown," a designation that will serve as a reminder of the first but nearly forgotten Filipino community established in San Francisco.  


The 1st Asian Female President of Oxford Union was born in Karachi, Dominion of Pakistan on 21 June 1953. She attended the Lady Jennings Nursery School and then the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Karachi. After two years of schooling at the Rawalpindi Presentation Convent, she was sent to the Jesus and Mary Convent at Murree. She passed her O-level examination at the age of 15. She then went on to complete her A-Levels at the Karachi Grammar School.

After completing her early education in Pakistan, she pursued her higher education in the United States. From 1969 to 1973 she attended Radcliffe College, and then Harvard University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in comparative government. She was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

The next phase of her education took place in the United Kingdom. Between 1973 and 1977 Bhutto studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She completed a course in International Law and Diplomacy while at Oxford. In December 1976 she was elected president of the Oxford Union, becoming the first Asian woman to head the prestigious debating society. On 18 December 1987 she married Asif Ali Zardari in Karachi. The couple had three children: Bilawal, Bakhtwar, and Aseefa.

Bhutto was a well-known figure around the historic university after she became the first Asian woman to be elected president of the Oxford Union debating society, attracting worldwide media attention that nurtured several British prime ministers. After a stint at Oxford, where she became the first foreign woman to lead the Oxford Union, its most prestigious debate team, Bhutto returned to Pakistan intending to join the diplomatic service.

Benazir Bhutto was many things zealous guardian of her dead father's legacy, aristocratic populist, accused rogue, even one of People magazine's 50 most beautiful people. And in the end, she was a victim of roiling passions in the nation she sought to lead for a third time. To the West, she was the appealing and glamorous face of Pakistan a trailblazing feminist, the first woman to lead a Muslim nation in modern times though her aura was dimmed by accusations of corruption. But to many Pakistanis, she was a leader who spoke for them, their needs and their hopes. Even her worst critics would say that "she was a masterful politician," said Zaffar Abbas, an editor for the respected Dawn newspaper. She knew "what the people of this country wanted."

Violence ran like a thread through her family life, to an extent that caused her admirers to compare the Bhuttos, in the contribution they made to Pakistan's political life, and in the price they paid for it, to the Kennedys and her enemies, pointing to the Bhuttos' bitter family feuds, to compare them to the Borgias.

She came to Harvard in 1969, at the heart of the Vietnam War, with the campus, and all of America, in political and social turmoil. Calling Harvard "the very basis of my belief in democracy," she says that coming to a land where there is freedom, where young students can criticize the president without being sent to prison, fueled her own belief in the democratic system. She says she "found America to be a very integrated society, prepared to accept, to integrate and to welcome."

According to Bhutto, that "determination to see freedom in my own country, to see rule of law, to see democratic institutions, was born in that period of great intellectual ferment at Harvard," when the debates over the Vietnam War and the feminist movement raged across campus and throughout the nation. And while I was in America for those four years, I participated and observed in a miracle of democracy -- I saw the power of the people changing policies, changing leaders, and changing history.

I (Bhutto) recalls with great empathy the words of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, who once said: "If a woman is tough, she is pushy. If a man is tough, gosh, he's a great leader." How often, in Pakistan, in North America, all over the world, we have heard characterizations of women in politics as pushy, as aggressive, as cunning, as shrewd, as strident. These words, if applied to men in politics, would be badges of honour! Those of us who have chosen to serve in business, government and other professional careers have broken new ground.

Breaking Ceilings
We have broken glass ceilings (i.e. becoming in 1988 the first woman to be democratically elected to lead a modern Muslim country), we have broken the stereotypes, and we have been and continue to be prepared to go the extra mile, to be judged by unrealistic standards, to be held more accountable. Therefore, women leaders have to outperform, outdistance and out manage men at every level. We should not shrink from this responsibility, we should welcome it. For all who have suffered before, and for all who come after us, we are privileged to be in this special position, in this special time, with unique opportunities to change our countries, our continents, to change the world and inevitably change the future. Of course we can sit back, and complain about the problems, the obstacles, the inequity, the bad cards dealt to us. Or we can stand up, roll up our sleeves, and get down to work, accepting the slings and the arrows as part of the job of being a leader at the end of the 20th century.

Life as a Leader of Pakistan
In reflection, I realized that being a leader in a large developing country that had been stifled by the forces of dictatorship was difficult in itself. But being a woman made the task even more formidable. I faced greater challenges than I could have ever imagined. Unfortunately, there are still many people out there who would just as soon have us fail, to reinforce their myopic stereotypes restricting the role of women.

I had been told that as a foreigner, I could not win and should not run. I had been told that as a woman, I could not win, and should not run. I refused to accept the arbitrary barriers of bygone eras. I knew I could win, and I did. Thus, I learned a valuable lesson: never acquiesce to obstacles, especially those that are constructed of bigotry, intolerance and blind, inflexible tradition. She recognized that dictatorships come and go, and populations can only be held down for so long with the barrel of a gun. Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi was one of Benazir's favorite examples of someone who will ultimately defeat the military. Benazir always believed in freedom of speech and information. I was 35 years old. I was the only woman in history to be elected to head a government in the Islamic world. Her proudest accomplishment, Bhutto says, is her success as a woman in a man's world. "My greatest contribution lies in that my success as a woman in a Muslim society, where tradition and tribal taboos held sway, has emancipated other women," she says. "My success helped other women make choices that were not available to them before, not only in Pakistan but all over the Muslim world." *

In politics, Bhutto diverged from her peers (at Harvard) concerning China, which was the great bugbear of American politics at the time. Having met Chinese leaders like Chuen-Lai and Lu Sha Chi, Bhutto says she found herself at odds with many of her friends in her admiration for and understanding of the Chinese nation.

Benazir Bhutto
Prime Minister of Pakistan
In office: 19 October 1993 – 05 November 1996
President Wasim Sajjad / Farooq Leghari
Preceded by Moeen Qureshi
Succeeded by Miraj Khalid
In office
02 December 1988 – 06 August 1990
President Ghulam Ishaq Khan
Preceded by Muhammad Khan Junejo
Succeeded by Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi
Born 21 June 1953(1953-06-21)
Karachi, Pakistan
Died 27 December 2007 (aged 54)
Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Political party Pakistan Peoples Party
Spouse Asif Ali Zardari
Alma mater Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, Radcliffe College, Harvard University
Religion Islam

Benazir's Father & John F. Kennedy
When Benazir's father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, (scion of a wealthy landowning family in southern Pakistan and founder of the populist Pakistan People's Party who was president and then prime minister of Pakistan before his ouster in a 1977 military coup; two years later, he was executed by the government of Gen. Zia-ul Haq after being convicted of engineering the murder of a political opponent) who was then Pakistan's foreign minister, met President John F. Kennedy for the first time at the White House in October 1963, Kennedy was so impressed that he said to Zulfikar, "Too bad you are not American, because if you were, I would have appointed you to my cabinet." Zulfikar Bhutto responded in his humorous and clever way: "President Kennedy, that is very kind of you, but if I was American, I would not be in your cabinet but would be president of the United States!"

Changing Point of Her Life7
Her sights were still set on a possible career as a diplomat rather than a politician. But soon after her return, in 1977, her father was ousted as prime minister in a military coup and imprisoned, and martial law was declared. Two years later, he was executed, and his death became the defining moment in Bhutto's life, launching her full- bore into politics.

"I told him on my oath in his death cell, I would carry on his work," Bhutto later said.

She paid a price for her promise. Over the next five years, with the Pakistan People's Party outlawed, Bhutto was in and out of detention, sometimes under house arrest, or in prison, under harrowing conditions. In her autobiography, "Daughter of Destiny," she recounted her experience in solitary confinement in a desert cell in 1981, where the heat was almost unbearable.

Assassinated on December 27, 2007
Benazir Bhutto, the Pakistani opposition leader and twice-serving prime minister, was assassinated Thursday evening as she left a political rally here, a scene of fiery carnage that plunged Pakistan deeper into political turmoil and ignited widespread violence by her enraged supporters.

Ms. Bhutto, 54, was shot in the neck or head, according to differing accounts, as she stood in the open sunroof of a car and waved to crowds. Seconds later a suicide attacker detonated his bomb, damaging one of the cars in her motorcade, killing more than 20 people and wounding 50, the Interior Ministry said. It may have been a single assassin who killed former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, but if so, he could have been working with any number of Islamic extremist groups - as a result the list of people and groups considered Bhutto's archenemies was a long one. Her return from eight years of self-imposed exile with a pledge to reform Pakistan in ways have upset entrenched political interests, powerful fundamentalist religious organizations, and Al Qaeda and the Taliban. In addition, she was aligned with the U.S., and vowed to crack down on the increasingly popular radicalism spreading through the country. And she had publicly accused the government's military and intelligence establishments of coddling terrorists.

The death of Ms. Bhutto, leader of Pakistan's largest political party, throws Pakistan's politics into disarray less than two weeks before parliamentary elections scheduled for Jan. 8 and just weeks after a state of emergency was lifted. There was immediate speculation that elections would be postponed and another state of emergency declared.

The assassination will have long-lasting repercussions not only in Pakistan, but in neighboring Afghanistan as well, where Western troops are battling a fractured but determined Taliban movement. Any significant destabilization of Pakistan would carry risks for the entire region, analysts said.

Pakistan was arguably the world's most unstable nuclear power. Now there's no argument. With the country's strongest hope for a democratic future now lying entombed near her martyred father, Pakistan faces at best a long period of turmoil and uncertainty, and at worst a civil war. Its nuclear arsenal has never been less secure, and Al Qaeda and its sympathizers have never been closer to realizing their dream of obtaining a nuclear device.

A deeply polarizing figure, Ms. Bhutto spent 30 years navigating the turbulent and often violent world of Pakistani politics, becoming in 1988 the first woman to lead a modern Muslim country.

A woman of grand aspirations with a taste for complex political maneuvering, Ms. Bhutto was first elected prime minister in 1988 at the age of 35. The daughter of one of Pakistan's most charismatic and democratically inclined prime ministers, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, she inherited the mantle of the populist Peoples Party that he founded, and which she came to personify.

She had narrowly escaped an assassination attempt upon her return to Pakistan two months ago. Her death now presents President Pervez Musharraf with one of the most potent crises of his turbulent eight years in power, and Bush administration officials with a new challenge in their efforts to stabilize a front-line state home to both Al Qaeda and nuclear arms in their fight against terrorism.

Bhutto made an indelible mark not just on her home country but on the international political scene, both for her gender and her outspoken insistence on the need for Pakistan to remake itself into a secular, liberal state.

Despite her shortcomings, "what will remain is a commitment to democracy -- to moderate, centrist values, tolerance, a role for women and an accommodation with India," Stephen Cohen, a South Asia expert at the Brookings Institution, said Thursday. "She helped create a new identity for Pakistan as a place where women could be prime minister."  


The Chinatown branch of the Los Angeles Public Library opens.  


June 1977 - Representative Frank Horton (R-NY) and Norman Y. Mineta (D-CA) introduced Pacific/Asian Heritage Week (House Resolution 540) in the House of Representatives, which called upon the President to proclaim the first ten days of May as Pacific/Asian Heritage Week.
July 19, 1977 - Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced SJ Res 72 in the Senate, similar to legislation introduced by Frank Horton and Norman Mineta in the House.


March 1972
President Richard Nixon signs Executive Order 11652, which begins the process of declassifying all military intelligence documents gathered during World War II.

May 1972
Ryukyu Islands including Okinawa are restored to Japan, ending America's 27-year occupation.

Norman Y. Mineta, who served in U.S. military intelligence during the war, is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and becomes the first mainland Japanese American in Congress.

May 1976
Years of Infamy, one of the most widely read and influential books on the Japanese American internment experience, is published.

A national movement for redress and reparations begins with the Japanese American Citizens League's adoption of a resolution that called for redress and reparations for the internment of Japanese Americans.

Click HERE to continue the timeline
For MIS Background Info, Click HERE
MIS Timeline - January to December 1942
MIS Timeline - January -1943 to August 1944
MIS Timeline - September 1944 to August 1945
MIS Timeline - September 1945 to December 1947
MIS Timeline - June 1950 to September 1953
MIS Timeline - 1962 to Decembere 1969
MIS Timeline - March 1972 to 1978
MIS Timeline - May 1980 to April 2000

National convention of the Japanese American Citizens League adopts resolution calling for redress and reparations for the
internment of Japanese Americans. Massive exodus of "boat people" from Vietnam.


July 10, 1978 - House Representatives passed legislation to proclaim an Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week in May. The proclamation had to be obtained yearly because the final Joint Resolution did not contain an annual designation.
Oct. 5, 1978 - President Jimmy Carter signed the Joint Resolution

This proclamation and legislation is the United States' official recognition that from their first days on these shores, Asian Americans fought against the discrimination they faced. Strikes, slowdowns, and legal actions were common. It is little known, for example, that Filipino farm workers actually initiated the famous grape boycott of the 1960s, which was then joined by Mexican workers and tremendously amplified under the leadership of Cesar Chavez. Most of these struggles were fought on a nationality or class basis.

It was not until the late 1960s that a common racial/panethnic identity took hold among Asian Americans. Several facts contributed to this delay: different Asian nationalities immigrated in different historical periods, they rarely lived or worked in the same geographical areas, most were immigrants until the 1960s, and their native languages were unintelligible to each other. Thus there was no amalgamation of the Asian nationalities as their had been, say, among the different African ethnicities under slavery (and that took many generations). Although Asians in the United States fell victim to the same racial laws and customs and followed the same racialized patterns, the predominant consciousness remained ethnic/national, not panethnic or racial.

The development of Asian-American consciousness took place in the 1960s when, for the first time, the majority of Asians in this country were U.S. born. It was an explicitly political consciousness influenced by the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of that era. And it was cemented for many by the murderous racist dehumanization of Asians exhibited by the U.S. government, press, and armed forces during the Vietnam War.

To be Asian American was not a simple recognition that one had roots in Asia; it meant to reject the passive racist stereotype embodied in the white-imposed term "Oriental" and to embrace an active stance against war and racism. The people of color movements of the 1960s led to the rejection of the term "Negro" in favor of "Black" or "Afro-American"; it produced the new concepts of "La Raza" and "Chicano"; and it gave rise to "Asian American."

Unbeknownst to many people, including many movement people, the Asian-American movement of the late 1960s and 1970s was of mass proportions and dramatically transformed the political (and personal) consciousness and institutional infrastructure of the different Asian-American communities. In addition, influenced by the powerful Vietnamese, Chinese, and Korean communist parties of the time, many Asian-American activists turned to Marxism and became a major presence in the U.S. communist and socialist movements of the period.

However, neither racism nor racial consciousness among Asians has ever supplanted either the consciousness or the reality of nationality. Indeed, the tremendous increase in immigration since 1965 has reproduced an overriding foreign-born majority among Asians residing in the United States and has further strengthened national/ethnic consciousness.

The racialization of nationality was a critical event in U.S. history that has shaped today's social formation and even impacted its foreign policy. The racial formation of Asian Americans since the Immigration Reform of 1965 has been very different than the pre-1965 period. The civil rights achievements of the 1960s and 1970s, the structural change of U.S. capitalism to what is sometimes called "post-industrial society," the immigration reform of 1965, and globalization have reshaped the Asian-American communities and their status in U.S. society. Because of their educational level, Asian Americans, along with white women, were probably the main beneficiaries of affirmative action.

Immigration reform has enabled the Asian-American population to explode from only about one million in 1965-mostly Chinese, Japanese, and Filipinos-to something like 13 million, emanating from numerous Asian countries today. Consequently, the majority of Asian Americans today have no family connection to Asian-American history prior to 1980.

The provisions of the 1965 immigration act and subsequent legislation have reinforced the class trends set in motion by exclusion. These laws allow Asian immigrants to enter this country primarily based on their family connections to the disproportionately merchant/professional population already here (family reunification) or based on their unique technical or professional skills. Consequently the highly educated and middle-class section of the Asian-American population has been reproduced on a bigger scale. At the same time, many of those entering based on family reunification are workers with few resources and limited English-speaking skills, so the numbers of isolated sweatshop workers in Asian enclaves have also grown.

The working-class section of Asian Americans has been expanded by Southeast Asians who entered the United States not under immigration law, but under refugee law after the failed U.S. wars of aggression in Indochina. The socio-economic profiles of Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, and Hmong in the United States are very similar to those of Native Americans, blacks, and Latinos.

Asian Americans today have the highest median education and household income levels but at the same time unusually high percentages of Asians live in poverty and have minimal education. Among the hard working are the millions of extremely poor Asian-American workers who are often rendered invisible in the mythical Asian success story. The many vibrant left and progressive Asian-American organizations today tend to concentrate their organizing efforts precisely among these immigrant workers, many of whom are women. Class looms large in Asian-American politics.


In August 1979, one person, the late John Fang, with just a few employees and a splash of red ink on the cover, came up with a vision that would serve as a major cornerstone in binding, melding and molding a collective voice for our community: He founded AsianWeek newspaper. AsianWeek became the first and continues to be the only paper to publish weekly from a shared Asian American perspective, using the English language as a connecting source to bind all of us.

It was a daunting challenge to cover an entire community as diverse as Asia and as wide as the United States. But carefully and meticulously, AsianWeek began to establish a nationwide network of correspondents and civic/community leaders. The job of these correspondents and community leaders was to provide a national perspective.

AsianWeek harnessed this tremendous amount of data into a two- pronged directive: to advocate against injustices and to draw attention to Asian American individuals who were succeeding and making a difference in our community.

AsianWeek acted as a forum in advocating for those Asian Americans who were defenseless and voiceless in the face of an uncaring power. Whether it was in bringing much-needed national and decisive exposure to the killing of Vincent Chin or in demanding justice for Wen Ho Lee and Capt. James Yee, the strength of AsianWeek has been its unequivocal eagerness to support our community.

Conversely there has always been an equal effort given to highlighting those Asian Americans who, through their cultural background and hard work, have become successful symbols to both our community and all of America.

AsianWeek has always and continues to place a special emphasis on the political involvement of Asian America. Politics in America is an immediate and tangible vehicle to ensure equal opportunity and social justice for all Americans. Regardless of party affiliation, the effort to become more politically conscious is essential to preventing miscarriages of justice like the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.


Chinatown Strike Force brings civil suit against 85 "sweatshops" for employing workers, some of them children, for 12 hours a day for less than minimum wage.


Resumption of diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and the United States of America reunites members of long-separated Chinese American families.  


In 1977, two congressmen read House Resolution 540 to the House of Representatives, which asked the President to proclaim the first ten days of May as
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter signed a final Joint Resolution, which secured an annual designation of the first week of May as the Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.

(Finally) Recognizing the history of Asian Americans (this country’s first “aliens ineligible to citizenship”) is important (to be celebrated) because it was precedent-setting in the racialization of nationality and the incorporation of nationality into U.S. race relations. The racial formation of Asian Americans was a key moment in defining the color line among immigrants, extending whiteness to European immigrants, and targeting non-white immigrants for racial oppression that has led to the “new thinking” about relations as multipolar. By the time of Chinese immigration in the 1850s . . . click HERE to continue this story,

Jeannie Jew, a third generation Chinese American, has been credited as the driving force behind the designation of May as the Asian Pacific American Heritage month. Jew's grandfather, M.Y. Lee, came to U.S. in the mid-1800's. He helped build America's first transcontinental railroad and later became a prominent Chinese community leader and businessman. In the late 1800's, Chinese laborers were blamed for the depression. M.Y.Lee was killed while defending the civil rights of fellow Chinese Americans. According to an interview with Asian Week (May 1997), Jew said that APAs should be part of the history of America. "It is important that Americans understand our past, the importance of our presence, and how critical we are to the future of America."

With the help of her friend, Ruby Moy, the two women took the campaign to Capital Hill. In 1977, the Asian Pacific American Heritage Week was introduced as House Resolution 540. In 1992, President George Bush signed the legislation into law (HR5572) and designated May of each year as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Three reasons why Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is in May:

  • 1. The first Japanese immigrants came to the U.S. in May, 1843.
  • 2. The transcontinental railroad was completed on May 10, 1869.
  • 3. School is still in session and APA month can be integrated into the school curriculum.


    Filipina American Loida Nicholas-Lewis, winning a bias suit against the US, is sworn in as Attorney for the INS.

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