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ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN
HISTORICAL TIMELINE DETAILS IN THE YEAR 2004

Our victories, obstacles and leaders


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


2004  
WHITE MINORITY IN ORANGE COUNTY

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that whites are no longer a majority in Orange County, where steady growth in Asian and Latino populations has dramatically changed a once-homogeneous suburban landscape - along with other areas throughout the United States..

2004  
GEORGE ARATANI'S GIFT

George Aratani never forgot his shattering wartime internment camp experience, and a $500,000 gift to UCLA from him and his wife, Sakaye, will help preserve the memory of the internment for generations to come by establishing the nation's first endowed academic chair to study the internment and the decades-long, successful campaign to gain redress for it.

2004  
$1M DONATION TO WING LUKE MUSEUM

Ellen Gerguson and her father's $1 million gift is the first of its size to the Wing Luke Museum capital campaign. The Wing Luke is the only pan-Asian Pacific American museum of its kind in the country.

2004  
R.I.P. - WAH MING CHANG

Wah Ming Chang, an Academy Award-winning animator for more than 7 decades while working on three Walt Disney films and as a Hollywood costume designer and sculptor died at the age of 66.

2004  
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CITIES WITH OVER 50% ASIANS

Asians now make up 61% of the population in Cerritos, 58% in Walnut, 52% in Rowland Heights and 50% in San Gabriel, San Marino and Rosemead.

2004   WEN HO LEE WINS AGAINST THE AMERICAN MEDIA
U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson held five reporters in contempt of court for withholding the identities of their sources who provided questionable personal information about former nuclear scientist
Wen Ho Lee. Lee claims the five James Risen and Jeff Gerth of The New York Times; Robert Drogin of the Los Angeles Times; Josef Hebert of Associated Press; and Pierre Thomas, then with CNN are in effect helping to cover up the government's role in persecuting him. The ruling was immediately hailed as an important victory for APAs.

2004  
YOLK MAGAZINE'S DEMISE

Yolk, a pop culture magazine for Asian Americans, has folded after 10 years and 31 issue run of scrambling to stay alive. The editors tried humorous articles and serious pieces. After hearing the death rattle, they tried sex, adopting the photo-laden formula of racy men's magazines such as Maxim and FHM.

2004  
R.I.P.: HAROLD YEE

Harold Yee was the first activist to conceive of a national platform for APAs, and use it to directly negotiate with presidential candidates.

2004  
R.I.P.: GORDON LAU

Gordon Lau, who in 1977 became San Francisco's first elected Asian American supervisor, died Sunday of heart failure. He was 56.

2004  
INTERNMENT CAMP CURRICULUM CHALLENGED

A 62-year-old debate about Japanese internment could result in a curriculum shift in
Bainbridge Island schools. A special social studies program for Sakai Intermediate School sixth- graders called "Leaving Our Island" is missing context and rises to the level of "propaganda," some parents say. Their complaints will result in changes to the curriculum, but the class won't back away from its central idea that Japanese-American internment was a mistake. The internment of Japanese-Americans, about two-thirds of whom were born in the United States, has generally become regarded as a U.S. overreaction to wartime hysteria, but there are notable dissenters from that belief. Newspaper columnist Michelle Malkin recently wrote "In Defense of Internment," a book that collects some of the reasons the internment decision was made. Bainbridge Island's historic significance as the first place Japanese-Americans left their homes on their way to internment camps makes it a logical place to draw upon the event to teach history. A group of residents is demanding that the school board change the program so that it includes different opinions, including the view that the internment was justified. The group also wants to omit discussions that hint at parallels between the internment and the U.S. Patriot Act. Some members say they are prepared to pursue legal action, if necessary.

2004  
FRED KOREMATSU REGARDING INTERNMENT CAMP CURRICULUM CHALLENGE

Fox News media personality
Michelle Malkin claims that some Japanese Americans were spies during World War II. Based upon her suspicions, Malkin claims the internment of all Japanese Americans was not such a bad idea after all. She goes on to claim that racial profiling of Arab Americans today is justified by the need to fight terrorism. According to Malkin, it is OK to take away an entire ethnic group's civil rights because some individuals are suspect. Malkin argues for reviving the old notion of guilt by association. It is painful to see reopened for serious debate the question of whether the government was justified in imprisoning Japanese Americans during World War II. It was my hope that my case and the cases of other Japanese American internees would be remembered for the dangers of racial and ethnic scapegoating. Fears and prejudices directed against minority communities are too easy to evoke and exaggerate, often to serve the political agendas of those who promote those fears. I know what it is like to be at the other end of such scapegoating and how difficult it is to clear one's name after unjustified suspicions are endorsed as fact by the government. If someone is a spy or terrorist they should be prosecuted for their actions. But no one should ever be locked away simply because they share the same race, ethnicity, or religion as a spy or terrorist. If that principle was not learned from the internment of Japanese Americans, then these are very dangerous times for our democracy. Fred Korematsu was awarded the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medial of Freedom, in 1998. He and his wife, Kathryn, continue to live in their longtime hometown of San Leandro.

2004  
R.I.P. - ALFRED H. SONG

Alfred H. Song, the first Asian American elected to the California Legislature, whose achievements during a 16-year career in Sacramento were overshadowed by allegations of political corruption, has died on October 11, 2004 at the age of 85. He moved to the state Senate in 1966 and developed a reputation as one of the Legislature's foremost legal experts. His leadership positions included the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Democratic Caucus, which he helped found.

His legislative career ended in 1978 amid reports that he was the subject of an FBI probe into political wrongdoing. The federal government later dropped its investigation of Song after concluding that no prosecution was warranted. Song was a Hawaii native of Korean ancestry whose parents worked on sugar plantations. He attended USC, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1942. After serving in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II, he returned to USC for a law degree in 1945.

Stylish and cosmopolitan, Song served on the Monterey Park City Council from 1960 to 1962 before representing a broader swath of the San Gabriel Valley as an assemblyman and senator.

Most notable among those bills was one that overhauled the California Evidence Code, a guide to rules of evidence admissible in
court.
Song also successfully carried legislation that gave credit card customers greater protection against hidden costs and toughened
regulations against fraudulent appliance warranties.

Another Song bill created the office of the state public defender.He said his proudest accomplishment in Sacramento was a law designed to protect minority voters from harassment at the polls.

2004   ARKANSAS HONORES INTERNEES AT JEROME & ROHWER CAMPS
Leaving their families in barbed wire-encircled internment camps, hundreds of Japanese-Americans enlisted in the Army to fight in Europe during World War II. Arkansas paid tribute to the sacrifice in September in a four-day event commemorating the history of two camps in the southeastern part of the state at Little Rock's MacArthur Museum, the only ones in the South. Eight camps were in the West. More than 120,000 Japanese-Americans were sent from the West Coast and Hawaii to 10 internment camps in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. Between 1942 and 1945, the Arkansas camps — at Jerome and Rohwer — held 16,000 detainees.

2004  
R.I.P. - REV. JONATHAN CHAO

Rev. Jonathan Chao, a Christian missionary who spent 25 years teaching his faith in his native China and tracking the development of Christianity in that country under Communist rule, has died of Lymphoma at the Citrus Valley Hospice in West Covina on January 12 at the age of 65.

2004  
JOHN CHEN ELECTED TO DISNEY BOARD

The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors elected
John S. Chen, chairman, CEO and president of Sybase, Inc., as a new independent director, effective January 2004.

2004  
1ST FILIPINO BISHOP

Oscar Azarcon Solis, the first
Filipino American Bishop in the United States was ordained in Los Angeles and his job in the archdiocese will be to unify various Catholic ethnic groups. The ordination of Oscar Azarcon Solis, 50, was attended by about 3,600 people, including about 400 priests and 40 bishops from the U.S. and the Philippines. Solis is now one of five auxiliary bishops for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which represents Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Solis speaks English, Tagalog, Spanish and Creole. He was born in the Philippines and ordained a priest there in 1979. He immigrated to the United States in 1984 and worked as an associate pastor in Newark, N.J., for four years. He then spent 15 years in Louisiana, most recently as pastor of St. Joseph Co- Cathedral in Thibodaux. Note: Of about 5 million Catholics in the archdiocese, about 400,000 are Filipino.

2004  
R.I.P. - HIRAM FONG (POLITICIAN)

Hiram L. Fong, a Hawaii Republican who served in the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1977 and rose from poverty to become a venerable figure in Pacific politics, has died. He was 97.

2004  
CITIES WITH OVER 50% ASIANS

Asians now make up 61% of the population in Cerritos, 58% in Walnut, 52% in Rowland Heights and 50% in San Gabriel, San Marino and Rosemead.

2004  
PHILIP ANSCHUTZ PURCHASES FANG FAMILY'S "EXAMINER / FANG LAWSUIT

Philip Anschutz bought the Examiner from the Fangs in 2004, launching him into the newspaper business and representing the kind of underappreciated asset that fits Anschutz's portfolio. His strategy is to grow circulation and attract advertisers by concentrating on local news and providing free home delivery to upper-income households. However,The Fangs' lawsuit claimed that Anschutz and his advisors conspired with an Examiner executive to acquire the paper at a depressed price. The suit sought to overturn the sale, along with $11 million in damages.

Court records show that Anschutz hired former Denver Post Publisher Ryan McKibben as a consultant in 2003 to help acquire the Examiner. His brother, P. Scott McKibben, was then the Examiner publisher and had been asked by the Fangs to find a buyer for the money-losing newspaper. The Fangs alleged in court papers that the McKibben brothers tilted the sale in favor of Anschutz. They contended that Scott McKibben leaked confidential information to the Anschutz organization and failed to market the newspaper to other potential buyers. According to internal memos, Anschutz played an active role in the transaction.

Two days before the deal closed, Anschutz's executives demanded the family include the paper's archives at no additional cost, said E. Robert Wallach, the Fangs' attorney.

After the sale, Anschutz retained Scott McKibben as publisher of the Examiner, paying him a $420,000 salary with a $180,000 bonus and a country club membership, court records show. He also named Ryan McKibben chief executive of Clarity Media Group, his newspaper holding company. News organizations reported that Anschutz paid $20 million. But a copy of the sale agreement obtained by The Times shows that Anschutz paid $10.7 million for the Examiner, the Independent newspapers, a printing business and other assets.

Anschutz agreed that day to a confidential settlement, which included a provision to destroy his deposition testimony. According to sources familiar with the deal, Anschutz consented to several demands made by the Fang family, including donating the archives in the name of Florence Fang to UC Berkeley. Still, Anschutz figures to cash in. By donating the archives, his company is eligible for a substantial tax deduction. The precise amount could not be confirmed, but a copy of an independent appraisal obtained by the Examiner in November 2004 offers a clue. The archives were assessed at $18.4 million — more than what Anschutz paid for the entire newspaper.

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