Blogs Category: Asian American History

Tragedy and Transformation: Looking at San Francisco's Chinatown with Primary Sources

Much of the city, including its Chinese immigration enclave, Chinatown, was destroyed by tremors and fires. While this was a devastating tragedy, it was also an opportunity to rebuild and renew. Below is a series of photographs from the Library's Prints and Photographs collections that offers a path for student engagement with San Francisco's pre- and post-earthquake Chinatown.

Day of Remembrance: Photographs of Japanese American Internment During World War II

The following is a guest post by Karen Chittenden, Cataloger, Prints and Photographs Division. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which led to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The Executive Order applied to all people of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of whom were American citizens, forcing nearly […]

Vasant Panchami: A Celebration of Learning

January 24, 2015 is the date for the Hindu festival Vasant Panchami or Saraswati Puja, celebrating both the coming of spring and the birthday of  Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom, learning, crafts, and fine arts.  The date for the celebration of Vasant Panchami varies from year to year, as it is calculated by a lunar calendar. It falls on […]

Vintage Researcher Photo: George Takei

In honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, we present this vintage AFC researcher photo. (And by “vintage,” I mean “prior to the existence of Folklife Today.”) This photo shows the stage, film, and television actor George Takei, best known as Mr. Sulu from the original Star Trek, who visited the AFC Reading Room on April […]

Photos Document Japanese-American Wartime Internment

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. This annual recognition of Asian Pacific Americans’ contributions to the American story started with a 1977 congressional resolution calling for a weeklong observance. In 1992, President George H. W. Bush extended it to the entire month of May. At the Library of Congress, Asian American Pacific Islander resources […]