The Los Angeles Times highlighted an important but increasingly overlooked aviation pioneer from the World War II era. Hazel Ying Lee was the first Chinese-American woman to fly in support of U.S. military efforts, and the article in the Los Angeles Times focused on a 1944 letter from her to one of her still-surviving relatives.... Continue Reading →

In a ceremony at the U.S. Labor Department headquarters in Washington, D.C., approximately 12,000 Chinese immigrant laborers were inducted into the Labor Hall of Honor for their work on the First Transcontinental Railroad during the 1860s. These laborers were the first Asian Americans to be inducted into the Hall of Labor since its establishment in... Continue Reading →

Manjirō Nakahama became the first known Japanese immigrant to the United States when he arrived in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on board the American whaleship John Howland. He was only 16 at the time. Manjirō had been a fisherman in the coastal village of Naka-no-hama on Shikoku, one of Japan’s four main islands. His life underwent... Continue Reading →

Not long after Najeeb Elias Halaby, Jr., stepped down as administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency (the present-day Federal Aviation Administration), various newspapers carried an Associated Press story about his just-released congressional testimony earlier in the year on a major aviation challenge. “Drunk Flying Among Private Pilots is Serious Problem,” proclaimed the headline in one... Continue Reading →

Charles Elachi officially assumed his duties as the eighth director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a California-based federally funded research and development center and NASA field center. Elachi had been born in the town of Rayak in Lebanon in 1947. Elachi received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France;... Continue Reading →

In the spring of 1985, Taylor Gun-Jin Wang became the first Chinese-American to travel into outer space. Wang had been born in the Jiangxi Province of southeast China in 1940. He and his family moved to Taiwan in 1952, and he graduated from the Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan University in Taipei. Wang... Continue Reading →

Lawrence Kiyoshi “Larry” Shinoda, who was born in Los Angeles in 1930 to Japanese immigrants, became a highly acclaimed automotive designer. His father died when he was only 12, and not long after that, he and various surviving members of his family were interned with other Japanese-Americans at the relocation camp at Manzanar, California, that... Continue Reading →

Rose Lok achieved nationwide fame as a Chinese-American aviation pioneer during the 1930s. Lok, who was born in China in 1912, immigrated to the United States with her family as a child. They settled in a home on Tyler Street in Boston. By the time she was 20, Lok had developed a strong interest in... Continue Reading →

Manuel Ferreira and his family in 1926. Photo courtesy of Lighthouse Digest, via Coast Guard Compass, Official Blog of the U.S. Coast Guard. During most of the first half of the 20th century, Manuel Ferreira served as a lighthouse keeper in the then-U.S. territory of Hawaii. Ferreira’s dedication and achievements in this role earned him... Continue Reading →

Chinese-American structural engineer Tung-Yen Lin left a formidable legacy when it came to transportation projects across the globe. “He was an extraordinarily creative engineer,” said Karl S. Pister, a former dean of engineering at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, who knew Lin for more than a half-century. Lin was born in 1912 in the... Continue Reading →

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