Asian building of american railroads

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The history of Chinese Americans or the history of ethnic Chinese in the United States includes three major waves of Chinese immigration to the United States, beginning in the 19th century. Chinese immigrants in the 19th century worked as laborers, particularly on transcontinental railroads such as the Central Pacific Railroad. They also worked as laborers in mining, and suffered racial discrimination at every level of society.

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JOHN T. House of Representatives, Thursday, April 29, Speaker, today I rise to honor the Chinese-American community and pay tribute to its ancestors' contribution to the building of the American transcontinental railroad.

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In proclaiming May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, President Obama highlighted the contributions of Chinese railroad workers in helping complete the most important construction project in mid th century America. The completed line physically and symbolically linked the nation. This May is the th anniversary of that epic moment and the Department of Labor will install a plaque honoring the Chinese workers in its Hall of Fame.

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Jump to main content. Jump to navigation. It was one of the most remarkable engineering feats of the 19th century, connecting the country from coast-to-coast, facilitating commerce and opening the door for massive economic expansion. Before its completion, cross-country travel took six months.

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Shortly after the driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory Point, Utah, on May 10,James Strobridge — the construction foreman of the Central Pacific Railroad — held a celebratory meal in his private railcar. With the linking of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways, cross-country travel had been cut from several months to a single week. No less important was the symbolism: Only four years after the end of the Civil War, iron rails stitched the United States back together.

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Hansi Lo Wang. A group of Asian-Americans, including descendants of Chinese railroad workers, recreated an iconic photo on the th anniversary of the first transcontinental railroad's completion at Promontory Summit, Utah. Courtesy of Corky Lee hide caption.

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The Chinese railroad workers were grading and digging tunnels across a stretch of the Sierras when they decided to lay down their tools. It was the end of June and snow still covered the mountain tops. So they put them to their employer, the Central Pacific Railroad, and a strike was on. This month marks the th anniversary of the historic eight-day strike, which began on June

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Alfred A. Instead, Philip Choy — the chairman of the Chinese Historical Society of America, slated to talk for five minutes during the ceremony to pay tribute to the Chinese railroad workers — was pushed off of the speakers list. The Historical Society held a separate dedicatory ceremony afterwards.

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They toiled through back-breaking labor during both frigid winters and blazing summers. Hundreds died from explosions, landslides, accidents and disease. And even though they made major contributions to the construction of the Transcontinental Railroadthese 15, to 20, Chinese immigrants have been largely ignored by history.

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