United States Department of Labor to Honor Chinese Transcontinental Railroad Work
United States Department of Labor to Honor Chinese Transcontinental Railroad Workers in Historic Ceremony in Washington, DC on May 9
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2 May 2014 – San Francisco, CA: In Washington, DC on Friday, May 9, 2014, the Department of Labor will, finally, recognize the contributions of Chinese who built the Transcontinental Railroad. Chinese Railroad Workers will be inducted into the Labor Hall of Honor. The ceremony is a significant recognition of the major contribution of Chinese labor to building the American West.
“12,000 Chinese worked on the Central Pacific Railroad from 1865-1869, risking their lives to carve a path through the granite of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to join the Union Pacific Railroad at Promontory to establish the First Transcontinental Railroad,” explains Sue Lee, Executive Director of the Chinese Historical Society of America. “The hard work of the Chinese was barely acknowledged, and individual Chinese were rarely named. Even the 1969 Transcontinental Centennial celebration overlooked the role of the Chinese.”
As part of the event, San Francisco’s Chinese Historical Society of America will document this unprecedented gathering. Award-winning journalist and video producer Rick Quan will travel to Washington DC to film this historic occasion and interview descendants of the original Chinese workers. Connie Young Yu, Chinese Historical Society of America emeritus board member, community historian, author and railroad worker descendant, will represent descendant families on the program.
“This induction ceremony presents an opportunity to change the historical narrative,” says Lee. “Descendants of railroad worker families have been invited and will attend to honor the memory and legacy of their pioneer forefathers.”
Chinese Historical Society of America The Chinese Historical Society of America Museum is the oldest and largest organization in the country dedicated to the interpretation, promotion, and preservation of the social, cultural and political history and contributions of the Chinese in America. CHSA promotes the contributions and legacy of the Chinese in America through its exhibitions, publications, and educational and public programs in the Museum and Learning Center. The CHSA Museum is housed in the landmark Julia Morgan-designed Chinatown YWCA building at 965 Clay Street, San Francisco.
More information at www.chsa.org