San Francisco's Chinatown formed its first merchant association in the 1840's. The association welcomed new arrivals and helped them negotiate the new language and find housing and work. The original organization gradually grew into a network of six district associations, which collectively became known as the Chinese Six Companies.
By the time Europeans made contact with the Haudenosaunee/Iroquois, their Confederacy was long established, sophisticated political and social system that united the territories of six nations in a symbolic longhouse that stretched across what is now the state of New York.
Japanese-American biochemist, Jokichi Takamine, crystallized adrenalin, the first hormone to be isolated in the twentieth century, from the adrenal medulla, in the summer of 1900. This was the first pure hormone to be isolated from natural sources.
Alice Augusta Ball was an African-American chemist who developed the first successful treatment for those suffering from Hansen’s disease (leprosy). Ball was also the very first African American and the very first woman to graduate with an M.S. degree in chemistry from the College of Hawaii (now known as the University of Hawaii). Tragically, Ball died at the young age of 24. During her brief lifetime, she did not get to see the full impact of her discovery. It was not until years after her death that Ball got the proper credit she deserved.
In 1854, a white defendant was convicted of the murder of Ling Sing on the basis of the testimony from a Chinese witness. On appeal, the defendant’s lawyer argued that a nonwhite witness could not testify against a white person. The legal basis for this claim was a California law that stated that blacks, mulattos, and Indians could not testify in any case against a white person.
Created by an executive order in 1969 by President Richard Nixon. The Office of Minority Business Enterprise facilitated the strengthening and expansion of minority enterprise programs in the United States by promoting growth and competitiveness. The order (which has been revised) now includes all people of color; Hispanic and Latin Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, African Americans and Native American businesses.
In 1942 black Marines were first enlisted but were placed on inactive status until the Marines could build a training-size unit in segregated facilities at Montford Point (thus were called the Montford Pointers), a training reservation at Marine Barracks, New River, NC (later named Camp Lejune). When training began for the first black contingent, the 51st Defense Battalion, Howard P. Perry was the first person to report on that day.
White employers benefited from racial tension, even creating conflicts between the Chinese and Mexicans workers. Disunity along racial lines made it more difficult for workers to organize, keeping the wages artificially low and rendering the workers powerless. When the government passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, the employers aggressively recruited Japanese workers to replace the dwindling Chinese workforce in hopes of maintaining schisms in the beet fields.
Barbara Jordan spent a lifetime breaking racial and gender barriers. Most notably, she was the first African American US congresswoman to come from the deep South, the first female representative from Texas and the first African American woman elected to the Texas Senate. There had not been a black Texas state senator since 1883. A gifted orator, she famously delivered the keynote address at the 1976 Democratic National Convention -- the first black woman ever to do so.
Crazy Horse (the translation of his Lakota name, Tasunke Witko), was a prominent leader in the Sioux resistance to white encroachment in the mineral-rich Black Hills. When Crazy Horse and his people refused to go on a reservation, troops attacked their camp on Powder River in March of 1876. Crazy Horse was victorious in that battle as well as in his encounter with Gen. George Crook on the Rosebud River. He joined Sitting Bull and Gall in defeating George Armstrong Custer at the battle of the Little Bighorn.
Between 1881 and the beginning of World War I, the United States recruited over 250,000 workers from the Caribbean, 90,000 of whom were Jamaicans, to work on the Panama Canal. During both world wars, the United States again recruited Jamaican men for service on various American bases in the region.
Dr. Bhagat Singh Thind was the first turbaned Sikh to serve in the U.S. military in 1917 during WWI. At the time of his enlistment, he was still an Indian citizen and was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant.
Osborne Perry Anderson was one of the five African American men to accompany John Brown in the raid on the Federal Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) in October 1859. Anderson was a free-born black abolitionist, born in West Fallow Field, Pennsylvania on July 27, 1830. Along with John Anthony Copeland Jr., another member of the Brown raiding party, Anderson attended Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. He later moved to Chatham, Canada, where he worked as a printer for Mary Ann Shadd‘s newspaper, the Provincial Freeman. In 1858 Anderson met John Brown and eventually became persuaded to join his band of men determined to attack Harpers Ferry.
Born as a slave in 1849 on a plantation in Woodland, Alabama, Andrew Jackson Beard was a farmer, carpenter, blacksmith, railroad worker, businessman, and inventor. He was a self-educated farmer in Alabama when he thought up the idea of inventing the plow. In 1881, he patented one of his plows, which he sold for $4,000 three years later. In 1887, he invented another plow, sold it, and used the proceeds to finance a profitable real estate business and a taxi company. In 1892, he patented his rotary engine.
Dr. Arun Manilal Gandhi is an Indian-American socio-political activist and the fifth grandson of Mohandas Gandhi through his second son Manilal. Although he has followed in the footsteps of his grandfather as an activist, he has eschewed the ascetic lifestyle of his grandfather.
Navarro Scott Mammedaty, a Kiowa Indian, was born in Lawton, Oklahoma and grew up in close contact with the Navajo and San Carlos Apache communities. He received his BA in political science in 1958 from the University of New Mexico. At Stanford University he received his MA and Ph.D. in English, in 1960 and 1963, respectively.
Prince Hall was born on September 12, 1748, in Bridgetown, Barbados. He was born to Thomas Prince Hall, an Englishmen, and a free black woman of French descent. In Barbados, the Hall family was a very well respected family and its members were known as “persons of excellent character.”
The Immigration Act of 1924 limited the number of immigrants allowed entry into the United States through a national origins quota. The quota provided immigration visas to two percent of the total number of people of each nationality in the United States as of the 1890 national census. It completely excluded immigrants from Asia.
In 1944, the Army sent three WAC (Women Army Corps) recruiters to the island of Puerto Rico to organize a unit of 200 WACs. The young women of the island responded enthusiastically, and over 1,500 applications were submitted.