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ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN
HISTORICAL TIMELINE DETAILS (1960 to 1969)

Our victories, obstacles and leaders

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


1960
MC CARTHYISM HITS THE ASIAN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES

Kimm v Rosenberg, Supreme Court rules that a Korean national should be deported for refusing to answer whether he is a Communist.  

1961 
DEATH OF ANNA MAY WONG

She was set to return to Hollywood, with the large role of Auntie Liang in Hunter's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song, when, on Feb. 3, 1961 - she died of a heart attack following liver disease. She was 56.

1962 
WING LUKE IS ELECTED

Wing Luke is the son of an immigrant laundryman. When Luke won a seat on the Seattle City Council in 1962, he became the first
Asian American elected official in the Pacific Northwest. After his tragic death in a 1965 plane crash, the community fulfilled his dream by establishing a multi-cultural Asian American museum in 1967.

1962 
CATHAY BANK IS CHARTERED

Cathay Bank in Los Angeles and Bank of Trade in San Francisco are chartered simultaneously, marking a new era of economic leadership in the Chinese American community and the first Chinese-American commercial bank in Southern California. Its mission is to provide financial services to the growing Chinese and other Asian communities throughout the area. Presently, Cathay Bank is ranked as the fifth largest commercial bank in Los Angeles County with total assets exceeding $2.3 billion with 21 branches throughout California, New York, and Texas and two representative offices in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Cathay Bank's Web site is found at www.cathaybank.com.

1963 
FIRST CHINESE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY FORMED

The Chinese Historical Society of America, conceived in San Francisco in the fall of 1962, was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization on January 5, 1963.

The Society is the first such Chinese American historical society in North America. Its first major publication, A History of the Chinese in California: A Syllabus has become a classic resource book used by students, historians, educators, and scholars in their research and writing about the Chinese in America.

To accommodate our expanding programs and exhibitions, CHSA opened the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum and Learning Center in the historic Julia Morgan Chinese YWCA building in November 2001.

Their principals are as follows:

  • to establish, maintain, and operate a scientific, literary, and educational organization;
  • to study, record, acquire, and preserve all suitable artifacts and such cultural items as manuscripts, books, and works of art or their facsimiles which have a bearing on the history of the Chinese living in the United States of America;
  • to establish a headquarters to enable the display of such items as are acquired;
  • to issue papers and publicity pertaining to the findings of the Society; and
  • to promote the contributions that Chinese Americans living in this country have made to the United States of America.

1965 
IMMIGRATION QUOTAS ARE ELIMINATED

The immigration quotas and acts implemented for the past 30 years were finally completely eliminated.
Immigration Law abolishes "national origins" as basis for allocating immigration quotas to various countries - Asian countries now on equal footing. Furthermore, the U.S. provided for political refugees who were involved in the Vietnam war that began in 1955. The result was a large increase in the Asian-immigrant population in the U.S. The Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) led by Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz organizes a strike against Delano grape growers and is later joined by the National Farm Workers Association led by Cesar Chavez.

The Immigration and Nationality Act, popularly known as the Hart-Cellar Act, was signed into law on October 3, 1965, abolishing the "national origins" quota system established in 1924. In era of civil rights awareness, the system, which heavily favored northern Europeans, had come under increasing attack as being racially biased. The Immigration and Nationality Act established a new quota system of 20,000 from each country with a total of 170,000 immigrants allowed each year and allowed exemptions for reunifying families. Further, it gave preference to people with professional skills needed in the United States. This led to a dramatic increase in the number of immigrants from all over South Asia.

PAST RAMIFICATIONS:
The period of exclusion which lasted until the change in immigration laws in 1965 had produced ethnic Asian enclaves. These were stratified between an unusually large merchant/business class tied to conservative or reactionary home governments and backed by the "dual structure of domination" and workers who were isolated in these enclaves or agricultural areas, stripped of their rights by the combined power of U.S. racism and home-country dictatorships. The latter were forced to work almost exclusively for compatriot businessmen under working and pay conditions that bore no resemblance to that of the mainstream of the U.S. working class.

Small entrepreneurs (and later, their often college-educated children) were only one side of the problem. The other problems were the majority of Asians who were workers, but workers in extremely oppressive conditions. They were largely excluded from jobs with mainstream white employers and the government by racist laws and practices, and by the lack of English-speaking skills. Thus, they had little choice but to work for Asian employers as menial laborers in restaurants, garment factories and other sweatshops, laundries, farms, and grocery and dry goods stores. These employers were not only non-union, they paid extremely poor wages and provided awful working conditions based not on the standard of American business, but on a standard unique to their captive ethnic labor force.  

MIS TIMELINE

1962
Daniel K. Inouye, who fought with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, becomes the first Japanese-American senator. Spark Matsunaga becomes the first Japanese-American congressman from Hawaii.

July 1963
The U.S. Army Language School reorganizes and becomes the Defense Language Institute (DLI). Twenty-five languages are taught with graduates serving all over the world as foreign language specialists.

October 1965
U.S. passes the Immigration Act of 1965. For the first time, legislation considers Asians equal to Europeans in immigration matters.

March 1969
In honor of all Nisei soldiers who died in World War II, the U.S. Army dedicates Nisei Hall at the Defense Language Institute.

December 1969
The first annual Manzanar Pilgrimage takes place, inspiring pilgrimages to other camps in later years.

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
1965 
RACIST IMMIGRATION LAWS ABOLISHED

On October 3, 1965 - Lyndon Johnson signed into law The Immigration Act of 1965 abolishing the racist "national origins" quota system. At long last Asian immigrant quotas were placed on an equal footing with those of other nationalities, reversing a long succession of anti-Asian legislation that began with the Naturalization Act of 1790 allowing only "free white persons" to become U.S. citizens. The quota for Asian nations was raised to 20,000 per year, the same as for European nations.  

1965
1ST ASIAN AMERICAN TO THE FEDERAL COURT

President Richard M. Nixon appointed
Judge Herbert Choy, a Korean American, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Choy thus became the first Asian American to be named to a federal court.  

1965
INFORMATION & LAWS AGAINST THE CHINESE SEX TRADE
 

In 1865, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a "Order to remover Chinese Women of Ill-Fame from certain Limits in the City." The next year, the California legislature approved "An Act for the Suppression of Chinese Houses of Ill-Fame." Some interesting facts related to these laws are as follows: in 1855, the number of Chinese women in San Francisco was only 5% of the total Chinese population there. More interestingly, a high percentage of early Chinese women immigrants to the United States worked in the prostitution trade. In fact, even as late as 1870, over 50% of Chinese women in the United States worked in the prostitution trade.

1965
PATRICK ADIARTE & VIRGINIA WING ON ABC'S PHYLLIS DILLER SHOW
 
On September 19, 1965, Patrick Adiarte and Virginia Wing performed a "Gotta Dance & I Won'g Dance" medley on ABC's Show Beat that starred Phyllis Diller. Since both artists began their respective careers as child performers, their work can be seen from the 1950s to the present while serving as role models that talented and trained artists of Asian descent have appeared on television and films since the days of Anna May Wong and continued up to the 1960s with artists such as The Kim Sisters (who made more appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show - 22 times - than any other performers, whether they were American or Asian.)

It is interesting that Patrick and Virginia achieved what many Asian American entertainers complained is not available, exposure on prominent U.S. media as American performers - along with many Asian American media advocacy groups such as MANAA not recognizing their achievements or honoring them as entertainment pioneers.

This musical number is of greater interest since it was directed by Jorn H. Winther (five-time Emmy nominee for ABC TVs All My Children, and director of the now legendary, original, David Frost--Richard Nixon TV Interviews, in 1977) and choreographed by Wakefield Poole (Broadway hoofer, Assistant Director/Choreographer to Tony and Emmy Award-winner Joe Layton - No Strings on Broadway; The Barbara Streisand Specials on TV - and revolutionized the adult film industry in producing/directing 1970's landmark male-adult film Boys in the Sand and its sequels. The song Gotta Dance! by Hugh Martin is from the 1948 Broadway musical Look Ma, I'm Dancin! (book by Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee); I Won't Dance has music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Jimmy McHugh, Otto Harbach and Dorothy Fields.

Click on Graphic to Hear "I'll Remember You"

1966
KU'I LEE ("LENNY BRUCE OF HAWAII") DIED ON DECEMBER 3RD
Kuiokalani (Ku'i) Lee (July 31, 1932 - December 3, 1966/died of cancer) was a singer- songwriter who is mainly known as the composer that greatly helped Don Ho achieved fame with hits like "I'll Remember You" and "One Paddle Two Paddle." He is credited with composing up to 80 original songs, some of which were recorded by more than 100 artists worldwide (i.e. "Lalainaluna," Rain Rain Go Away," Ain't No Big Thing," "Tiny Bubbles" and "Suck "Em Up") . His songs/album (1st album - "The Extraordinary Kui Lee" was released by HanaOla Records just prior to his death. The album's songs include I'll Remember You / Rain, Rain Go Away / Yes, It's You / Kamakani Ka`ili Aloha / Goin' Home / Ain't No Big Thing / Na `Ali`i / The Days Of My Youth / All I Want To Do / If I Had It To Do All Over Again / Get On Home / No Other Song. These songs were recorded in the last months of Kui Lee's life and originally released nationally just days before he passed away. This album is the only known recording of his intertations of his songs with the backing of NYC's finest studio musicians) demonstrated his abilities to mix rock, jazz and r&b to create a distinct modern Hawai'i sound/style. The now-famous Aloha From Hawaii concert by Elvis Presley and concert merchandise sales were a benefit that raised $75,000 for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund that featured his signature song - the cover of Ku'i Lee's "I'll Remember You.".

Kuiokalani Lee (the "enfant terrible of Hawaiian entertainment) was born July 31, 1932 in Shanghai, China to entertainer parents Billy and Ethel Lee (their third child and only son) and was brought to Hawaii at the age of five after his mom died when he was four. His first show business jobs were as a knife dancer and choreographer at New York's Lexington Hotel's Hawaiian Room. In his seven years in NYC, he got married to Nani Naone (hulu dancer at the Hawaiina Room) and had four children. Upon his return to Hawaii in 1961, he met Don Ho while he was a performer and doorman at Kaneohe's Honey's night club. He also formed a group that performed at Maui's Kanaka Pete's, Kalia Gardens, Queen's Surf, and the Waikiki Shell in 1966. His time in New York provided him the ability to change Hawaiian music by erasing the "grass shack" image.

Don Ho, who recorded many of Kui Lee's songs, said of their deep bond, "...We both felt that the people of Hawaii should try to create their own music - take it to a different level from the hula-type music into a more cosmopolitan level."
It was in 1964 that Kui Lee wrote "I'll Remember You". It was in that same year he discovered he had cancer. "I'll Remember You" has been recorded by Don Ho, Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, Roger Williams, Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass and others. Elvis made his studio recording of it on June 12, 1966 in Nashville. In the 1970s, Elvis often sang it in concert and it was captured on some of his concert albums, including, of course, the especially beautiful rendition on his 1973 "Aloha from Hawaii" soundtrack.

Kui Lee was a champion of Hawaiian culture by promoting the Hawaiian sport of surfing. He was concerned about the insurgence of foreigners, whom he felt had, in the early days of Hawaii's statehood, plundered the natural beauty of the slands for their own wealth and greed. He spent much of the last months of his life organizing and sponsoring a surf club, the Kui O Hawaii Surf Team. Kui Lee went to Mexico for laetrile treatments, but became weaker and weaker. He managed to record two albums while fighting cancer, the latter of which debuted the day before his death in December 1966.

Elvis' Version of "I'll Remember You"
Kui is part of the development off Hawaiian music that can be divided into seven periods. 1820-1872: Arrival of the first missionaries, hymm harmony singing and guitars. 1872-1900: generic form of Hawaiian music highlighted by the Royal Hawaiian Band and artists such as Queen Liliuokalani. 1895-1915: Influence of American urban music on Hawaiian music via ragtime and vice versa. 1915-1930: First wave of the extremely high popularity of Hawaiian music began during World War I and continued during the depression in the 20's and 30's that spread to other parts of the world where Hawaiian instruments (i.e. steel guitar) was heard throughout the world.1930-1960: Golden age of Hawaiian and Hawaiian-inspired popular music that was highlighted by Elvis' Hawaiian recordings. It is during this period that many of the greatest Hawaiian songs are written and Hawaiian musicians enjoy great popularity both as recording and performing artists..1960-1970: Decline of Hawaiian music both in Hawaii and in the USA. 1970-Present: Hawaiian music has experienced an increase in interest in the last thirty years. The person who took most Hawaiian songs to the charts was Bing Crosby, who in the 1930's, 40's and 50's recorded a very large number of songs including the original version of 'Blue Hawaii'. The musical backing was supplied by various Hawaiian bands including both Hoopii and McIntyre.


1966
MARCH FONG EU

March Fong Eu is elected to the California Legislature, becoming the first Asian American assemblywoman in California history.

1967 
RIGHT TO INTERMARRY WITH WHITES

On June 12, 1967 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional in Loving vs. Virginia. That ruling invalidated laws in 16 states that prevented Whites from marrying "colored" spouses, including Asians. Until then many Asians had been forced to move to more liberal states in order to marry.  

1968
ETHNIC STUDY PROGRAMS @ SF STATE

Students on strike at San Francisco State University to demand establishment of ethnic studies programs.  

1967 
BOBBY WOO JR.: 200,000,000 AMERICAN BORN

In 1967, the United States was mired in Vietnam, dozens died in race riots in Detroit, Thurgood Marshall became the first African-American Supreme Court justice and an Atlanta woman named Sally Woo had a
very special baby at Crawford W. Long Memorial Hospital.

Woo had no idea just how special her baby was until Life magazine told her Robert "Bobby" Ken Woo Jr., born at 11:03 a.m. on Nov. 20, was the 200,000,000th American.

The nation has become more ethnically diverse over the last three decades, with minorities making up 33 percent of the population in 2004, compared with 16 percent in 1970, according to Haub.

Woo's father, Robert Ken Woo Sr., grew up in Augusta, home to a generations-old Chinese-American community founded by laborers who widened the Augusta Canal after the Civil War.

Bobby Woo Jr., with wife Angie and daughters Erin, 6, Caeley, 16 months, and Megan, 3, at home in Atlanta, became the first Asian and Pacific-American partner at King & Spalding law firm.  

1969
ETHNIC STUDY PROGRAMS @ BERKELEY AND S.F. STATE

Students at the University of California, Berkeley, go on strike for establishment of ethnic studies programs. San Francisco State offers 1st Asian American Studies courses as part of independent Ethnic Studies program.

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