Happy Independence Daysian

July 4th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

In honor of the Fourth of July, Diana and I give you, Great Amazian-Americans in History, a two-part timeline. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?


SIZE DOES MATTER

Circa 10,000 years ago. Asian hunters cross the Bering Strait into North America, in search of big game.


FAH-REAK SHOW

1839. Thai-Chinese conjoined brothers Chang and Eng Bunker- the original “Siamese twins”–tour North Carolina with P.T. Barnum and decide to live out their lives in America. They marry the Yates sisters and have 22 children between the two of them. Li-trally.

CHING-BLING

1847. Eureka! California strikes gold. Chinese miners begin migrating by the thousands to “Gold Mountain,” living in squalid conditions while dreaming of a big payday, thereby pioneering the art of being “ghetto fabulous.”

TRANSCONTINENTAL CHU-CHU
1869. The first Transcontinental Railroad is completed, due in large part to Chinese laborers. Despite risking their lives and accepting shitty wages, these men are excluded from official pictures heralding the railroad’s opening. Which is the last time that any of us are caught without our own cameras.


THE FATHER OF MODERN SURFING AND A BUNCH OF OTHER STUFF

1912. Hawaiian-born Duke Kahanamoku wins his first Olympic gold swimming medal in the 100 m free (he would medal again in the next two Games). Then he invents modern surfing. Overachiever! Showoff!

THE WONG AND ONLY

1921
. Third-generation American Anna May Wong makes her debut at age 16 in the movie Bits of Life. The high point of Wong’s career will come later in Shanghai Express, when she nearly upstages her co-star Marlene Dietrich.

And can we talk about how great her bangs look? Bitch was fierce.

THE BALLER
1927. Hawaiian running back Walter “Sneeze” Achiu becomes the first Asian-American football player to join the nascent National Football League. Bless you, Walter.

CAN I HELP YA HELP YA HELP YA?
1928. Chi Alpha Delta, the first Asian-American sorority, forms at UCLA. Which is the only time in history that we’ve actually rooted for sorority girls.

AND HOWE

1932. Chinese-born cinematographer James Wong Howe shoots his first talkie. People likie his films very much. He workie long time in Hollywoo, winnie two Oscars and makie his parents very proud.

PAGING MARTY SCORSESE

1932. California native Katherine Cheung becomes the first Asian aviatrix. And, along the way, she teaches little girls everywhere how to rock a knee-high boot without looking like a cheap hooker.

Brava!

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