1850s-1870s: Asian immigrants, mostly from Southern China, entered the United States to work in mining, railroad, factory, farming, and other industries.
1876: Beginning of anti-Chinese movement in the United States, caused partly by a depression that occurred the same year.
1882: The Chinese-Exclusion Act was passed by Congress. As a result of this legislation, Chinese immigration declined significantly for the next sixty years; from 1882 to 1887, the number of Chinese immigrants dropped from 39,500 to only 10. The legislation was unpopular with Chinese-Americans, but their resistance had no effect on its passage.
1885: Japanese, Korean, and Indian immigrants begin arriving on the West Coast of the United States to work in the same industries Chinese immigrants used to work in prior to the Chinese-Exclusion Act.
1904: More Koreans immigrate to Hawaii as a result of the Russo-Japanese War, where Japanese forces occupied Korea. They worked in industries similar to those stated above, and were also met with frequent racism similar to the Chinese.
1907: United States restricts Japanese immigration.
1910: The Angel Island Immigration Station opens in San Francisco. Most Asian immigrants attempting to move to the United States were processed here.
1917: Indian immigrants lose eligibility to enter the United States following the "Hindu Invasion" of laborers on the West Coast.
1920: Large numbers of Filipino immigrants move to the West Coast for agricultural work.
1924: All Asian ethnicities, except for Filipinos, were denied citizenship, naturalization, and other vital rights.
1935: Due to growing violence and racism against Filipinos (as well as the effects of the Great Depression), the Tydings-McDuffie Act was passed, restricting Filipino immigration to the United States. They were the last Asian ethnic group to be denied passage to America.
1940: Angel Island shuts down. Decades later, poems written by Chinese immigrants (which illustrated their anger when met with discrimination) and other inscriptions written by various Asian ethnic groups were discovered at the station. An example of a translated poem from Angel Island can be found on the Selected Student Quotes page.
1943: The Magnuson Act was passed, which repealed the Chinese-Exclusion Act. However, discrimination against Asian Americans still continued.
1952: The right to naturalization was granted to Asian immigrants and residents already in the country.
1965: The pressure applied by the civil rights movement and the rapid growth in Asian American populations drove the United States to lift past restrictions on Asian immigration. Since this year, many civil rights organizations and movements, such as Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) have been established to address issues such as discrimination, police brutality, hate crimes, and other forms of inequality aimed at Asian Americans.
1882: Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act which bans all Chinese laborers from entering the country and deny Chinese immigrants of American citizenship.
1885: The Rock Spring Massacre happened where white folks were angry with Chinese workers taking their jobs so they attacked Chinese workers and ended up killing 28 Chinese people and injurying 15.
1898: United States v. Wong Kim Ark, Wong Kim was born under U.S soil and was considered a United States citizen under the 14th Amendment. However, Wong was denied reentry to the United States because he was considered not a citizen. Wong sued the government and stated that the government can not deny citizenship to anyone born in the United States.
1942: After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Franklin D. Roosevelt feared that there was Japanese spies living amongst the Japanese Immigrants. Because of this he forced every Japanese American to live in internment camps resulting in many Japanese businesses and homes to be lost.
1956: Patsy Mink was the first Asian American Women to be elected for congress and fought for Asian Americans, women, and children.
1957: Dalip Saund was the first Asian-American and Indian-American to serve in Congress
1966: Article published by the University of California which started the idea of Japanese Americans and other Americans as "Model Minorities", stating that Asians achieved great achievements compared to other minority groups. This really started Asian stereotypes and created a societal norm that is expected of Asians
1965: Immigration and Nationality Act was signed which puts an end to immigration policy based on ethnicity and race which led to an influx of Asian immigrants.
1979: A week in May is dedicated for Asian/Pacific American Heritage.
1982: Two white workers beat an Asian Man in Detroit. The two white murderers was charged 3000 dollars and no jail time. This enraged the Asian American community.
1988: Ronald Regan passed a law that paid 20000 dollars to every person that was part of the internment camp in 1941 as an apology to the victims.
1992 Congress passed a law that permanently dedicates the month of may as an Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.
2011: On January 30, 2011 Fred Koorematsu Day was celebrated in California and is the first day to be named after an Asian American in the U.S.. Korematsu was a Japanese immigrant who refused to go to internment camp in 1942 and filed a case that it was against their rights and was deny.
2020: Hate crimes against Asian Americans in America has rose by 150 percent since the start of the Covid - 19 Pandemic.
2021: Kamala D. Harris is the first Black, first Asian American, and first female to serve as vice president of the United States