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January 1, 2013 > Remembering 1882

Remembering 1882

Submitted By Jordan Yee

In 1882, Congress passed The Immigration Act of 1882 to prevent people of Chinese descent from entering the United States. This law tore families apart, reduced the Chinese American population by half, and denied Chinese immigrants the right to become citizens. "Remembering 1882" explores the historical debate around the Exclusion Act - from its origins through its full repeal in 1968 - and the importance of habeas corpus to the Chinese American struggle for civil rights.

The series of Chinese Exclusion laws first passed in 1882 and later renewed and augmented until initial repeal in 1943, reflected decades of public debate and American public sentiment. These laws which flew in the face of human rights guarantees enumerated in the US constitution and their impacts are an essential part of the nation's history. How these laws came about, how they were repealed and how the US Senate and House of Representatives came to issue resolutions disavowing these laws in 2011 and 2012, is something that every American should know.

On January 5, 2013 the Fremont Main Library, in conjunction with the Chinese American History Network, will open an acclaimed history exhibit: Remembering 1882: Fighting for Civil Rights in the Shadow of the Chinese Exclusion Act. On the opening day of the exhibit, noted Chinese American historian and author Philip Choy will initiate an accompanying lecture series on Chinese American History scheduled for each Saturday morning during the month of January. Speakers from key Chinese American civil rights organizations that worked for the recent Senate and House resolutions will open the series.

The exhibit "Remembering 1882" is a traveling exhibit designed and made available to the public by the Chinese Historical Society of America. Co-sponsoring organizations: Alameda County Public Library, Chinese American History Network (CAHN), Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA), Chinese American Citizens Alliance (CACA), Chinese Historical Society of America, Citizens for Better Community, and South Bay Chinese Club. The exhibit will be located in the Maurice Marks Center for Local and California History and lectures in the Fukaya Room of the Fremont Main Library, 2700 Stevenson Blvd. in Fremont. Call (510) 745-1401 or visit for additional information.

Remembering 1882 Exhibit
Saturday Jan 5 - Thursday Feb 28

Lecture Series:
Saturday, Jan 5
10:30 a.m.
Historian and author Philip Choy
Exclusion laws and the development of San Francisco's Chinatown
Philip will also talk about his new book and conduct a book signing

Saturday, Jan 12
10:30 a.m.
Historian and author Judy Yung
Angel Island and the exclusion laws
Judy will conduct a book signing following her talk

Saturday, Jan 19
11:00 a.m.
Librarian and genealogist Christine Devillier
Conducting Chinese American genealogical research - special challenges and resources

Saturday, Jan 26
10:30 a.m.
History activist Geraldine Low-Sabado
Fifth generation descendant of the Chinese American fishing village in Pacific Grove
Documentary "By Light of Lanterns"

Fremont Main Library
2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont
(510) 745-1401

Monday - Tuesday: 1 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Wednesday: 12 Noon - 6 p.m.
Thursday - Friday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday: Closed

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