Remembering 1882

In 1882 Congress passed the nation’s first major immigration legislation — a law to prevent people of Chinese descent from entering the United States. The law would tear apart families, cut the nation’s Chinese American population in half, and remove the right to become citizens.

Remembering 1882 explores the historical debate around the Exclusion Act from its origins through its full repeal in 1968, the civil rights struggle of Chinese Americans and allies, and the historic importance of habeas corpus in the Chinese American community.

In 2009, the California Legislature passed a Bill that apologizes to Chinese Americans for the the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and other unjust discriminatory laws which resulted in the persecution of Chinese living in California.

Online Exhibit:
CHSA Civil Rights Suite – Remembering 1882

Now available as a traveling exhibit

Drawn from photographs, newspaper commentaries, political cartoons, and other objects in CHSA’s collections, CHSA’s Remembering 1882 exhibit provides a flavor for the intrigue, passion and poignancy of this dramatic chapter in American history. Launched in San Francisco, the exhibit travels throughout the United States to civic institutions and community organizations.

The Chinese Historical Society of America is looking to crowdfunding to help make our Remembering 1882 exhibit more readily available to community institutions! Find out more >

Partial list of where it’s been displayed:

Brown v. Board of Education NHS

Cal State East Bay

Cal State Fresno

California State Capitol

Chinatown Community Culture Center (Fairfax, VA)

Chinese Community Center (Houston, TX)

Conference of National Asian Peace Officers Association

Fairfax County Library

Houston City Hall

James R. Browning Courthouse, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

NAPABA Convention

National Steinbeck Center

OCA National Convention

Phillip Burton Federal Building, Northern California District Court

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service

University of Richmond

University of St. Thomas (Houston, TX)

US Department of Justice

Contact CHSA to request the Remembering 1882 traveling exhibit for your organization.