Melvin Kealoha Bell of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) played a major lifesaving role when it came to maritime traffic during one of the darkest chapters in American history. Bell was born in 1920 in the town of Hilo on the island of Hawaii (popularly known as the “Big Island”), part of what was then... Continue Reading →

The trailblazing NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao was born in Milwaukee in 1960. The son of immigrant Taiwanese parents of Han Chinese ancestry, Chiao grew up in Danville, California. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1983 with a B.S. in chemical engineering. Chiao went on to earn an M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical... Continue Reading →

May 25, 2015 Time magazine published an interview with U.S. Navy Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., just a couple of days before he began officially serving as head of the U.S. Pacific Command (the oldest and largest of the unified combatant commands of the U.S. Armed Forces). Harris is the first Asian-American to achieve the... Continue Reading →

May 23, 1960 In central California, the San Mateo-based newspaper The Times reported on a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) helicopter rescue the previous night at a beach in the region. “‘Copter Saves Injured Pair From Beach,” read the article’s headline. The trouble began while a young couple was picnicking and sunbathing along the edge of... Continue Reading →

May 21, 1979 The U.S Air Force (USAF), in a key victory for a group of American women who had flown planes in support of their country during World War II, officially recognized the active military status of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during that global conflict and issued honorable discharges to those aviators.... Continue Reading →

May 18, 1997 The STS-84 spaceflight mission was very much in progress three days after its seven-member crew lifted off from John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida on board Space Shuttle Atlantis. This mission was part of the Shuttle-Mir Program, a collaborative effort between the United States and Russia that included having American... Continue Reading →

In the midst of World War II, U.S. Navy Commander Gordon Paiʻea Chung-Hoon (1910-1979) took over command of the Fletcher-class destroyer USS Sigsbee in the Pacific Theater. Chung-Hoon, who was born in Honolulu to a Chinese-English-Hawaiian father and a Hawaiian mother, had made history in 1934 as the first person to be both an Asian-American and... Continue Reading →

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 →

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