This is our third annual summer travel article. Check our June 2005 and June 2006 articles for some other ideas on places to visit. If you have some more suggestions for Asian Pacific American places and events of interest we'd love to hear them. Let us know if you go to any of our suggested destinations and send us your pictures. Have fun :).
International District - Seattle, WA
There is an area, in the heart of Seattle, rightfully dubbed as the "International District." Founded as the new Chinatown in 1889, after the Great Seattle Fire destroyed most of the original, it eventually became home to many other Asian ethnicities. Today it is known as the only place in the United States where Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Koreans, and Cambodians, settled together to build one neighborhood.
• More Information on the Area
International District History
In the beginning, men from China came by ships in search of shelter from poverty and war. They crowded into hotels, storefronts and employment halls near the railroad station and waterfront. These men came to work in the canneries, railroads, and mines.
After racial discrimination had driven many Chinese Americans out of Seattle, and the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 had destroyed much of the original China Town, the remaining Chinese had established a new China Town on King Street. Shortly after that, Japanese began to settle in a Japan Town, or Nihonmachi, two blocks north on Main Street. Following the Japanese, Filipinos also began to settle in the neighborhood.
After the Vietnam War, in the late 1970s, a large wave of Immigrants from Southeast Asia established an area known as "Little Saigon."
In 1987, the neighborhood gained federal status as the "Seattle Chinatown Historic District," and has since then become more commonly known as the "International District."
• More on the International Districts History
Wing Luke Asian Museum
The Wing Luke Museum is committed to engaging the community in exploring issues regarding the art, culture, and history of Asian Pacific Americans. Founded in 1967, the Museum was named in honor of Wing Luke, who was the first Asian American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest.
The exhibition "How the Soy Sauce Was Bottled" will be on display until November 30, 2007. For more information on the gallery (which, I assure you, is not about Soy Sauce) click here. The gallery displays works of five local artists, using conventional Asian artifacts and photographs from the museum's own collection to convey their own experiences within modern Asian Pacific American communities.
• More on International District Attractions
Slant Film Festival - San Francisco, CA
On July 21, 2007 the Slant Film Festival will feature Asian American short films. Films are playing will range from wacky comedies to heart warming family stories. The entrance fee is $8, and the films start at 7pm.
• More on the Slant Film Festival
Foreign Mission School - Cornwall, CT
In May, 1817 the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions established a school in Cornwall, Connecticut for the education of youth of all races.
In its first year there were 12 students - seven Hawaiians, two South Asians, a Native American, and two white Americans. The following year the make-up of the school included seven Native Americans, two Chinese, two South Asians, a South East Asian, six Hawaiians, two Marquesans, and three white Americans.
One of the Hawaiians by name of Henry Obookiah writes the first Hawaiian translation of the book of Genesis. Obookiah began work on a Hawaiian grammar, dictionary, and spelling book, but died before its completion. He is buried at Cornwall Cemetery.
The Foreign Mission School was forced to close in 1826 after the community was sent into turmoil when two of the Native American students married prominent white members of the community. The school had a short history, but is notable for being one of the first multi-racial schools, which included some of the earliest Asian Pacific Americans in the United States. The site of the school is marked with a plaque near the St. Peter's Church in Cornwall, Connecticut.
• Oklahoma Historical Society's Article on the Foreign Mission School
• Cornwall Historical Society's Article on the Foreign Mission School
• Places to visit in Cornwall, CT
• Wikipedia's Article on Cornwall, CT
Chinese American Museum of Northern California
232 1st Street, Marysville, CA 95901
Back in our June 2005 travel article we had a very short mention of this museum. At that time we did not have any information on it. As it turned out, the Chinese American Museum of Northern California was not officially completed until earlier this year. AACP had a chance to participate in this museum's grand opening and we are please to tell you that you can visit this museum on the first Saturday of each month. To learn a little bit about the museum, read our March 2007 newsletter interview with the museum's owner and curator Brian Tom.