29 Asian American History Timelines as of 2021

It’s no secret that Asian American history is a constantly expanding area.

This typically includes people with roots in Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma/Myanmar (Shan and the Karen, among others), Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Federated States of Midway Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii’s, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Laos (Hmong, Lao, Tai Dam, Khmu, Iu Mien and over 82 different ethnicities who live there), Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Zealand, North Korea, Northern Mariana Islands, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tahiti, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tibet, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, and Vietnam (including the recently arrived Montagnards such as the Rhade,Bahnar, Jarai, Koho and Mnong).

Who determines what is historically significant, and what is not? What biases emerge, and what are common points our communities agree on? Many of my readers will see in this sample that Lao experiences (and indeed, many others) are often excluded, but hopefully this will be useful to others looking for a quick snapshot of timelines for their own projects. If some of these links become dead during the various shifts of the internet, hopefully Archive.Org will have a relatively decent and recent backup for your research. Good luck!

  1. A Different Asian American Timeline:
    Note: Organizers of this timeline feel “We cannot fully understand Asian American history without asking why Asians arrived in the Americas, and what relationship their arrival had to the global conditions affecting people across racial and national boundaries at the time.”
  2. Asian American Resources Workshop Timelines:
    https://www.aarw.org/timelines Note: Biggest project is the Queering the Pan-Asian Organizing Timeline, a pdf download covering 1680-2018.
  3. A New History of Asian America by Shelley Sang-Hee Lee (1761-1999): https://routledgetextbooks.com/textbooks/_author/lee-9780415879545/students.php
  4. AsianPacificHeritage.Gov by the Library of Congress (et al) timeline:
    https://asianpacificheritage.gov/ Note: It will probably be a good idea to start here for many projects.
  5. Asia Society Center for Global Education:
    https://asiasociety.org/education/asian-americans-then-and-now Note: At least mentions the Southeast Asian diaspora in some basic detail.
  6. Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley archive on Chinese Immigration to the United States (1884-1944) timeline:
    https://bancroft.berkeley.edu/collections/chinese-immigration-to-the-united-states-1884-1944/timeline.html Note: Strictly Chinese-focused.
  7. Center for Educational Telecommunications timeline (1600-1992):
  8. Diversity, Inc timeline (1763-2017):
    https://www.diversityinc.com/asianpacific-american-heritage-month-timeline-facts/ Note: Really goes out of its way to provide a sanitized version of Asian American history safe for use by corporations. PDF download, but a safe link.
  9. History.Com (History Channel) timeline:
  10. ImmigrationHistory.Org timeline (1790-2019):
    https://immigrationhistory.org/timeline Note: Focuses primarily on US immigration policy. Spoiler alert, numerous entries regarding attempts to ban or restrict immigration from Asia.
  11. Indiana University Timeline of Asian American Studies (1960s-2020s):
  12. KQED Asian Education Initiative Timeline (1849-2003)
  13. Mom.Com 24 Important Milestones in Asian American History
    https://mom.com/impact/important-milestones-in-asian-american-history/2010s-asian-american-milestones Note: Fascinating for the way it completely excludes any mention of the Southeast Asian American refugee experience.
  14. National Endowment for the Humanities:
    https://edsitement.neh.gov/teachers-guides/asian-american-and-pacific-islander-heritage-and-history-us Note: More an overview than timeline specific resources.
  15. North Carolina State timeline:
    https://historicalstate.lib.ncsu.edu/timelines/asian-american-community Note: It is primarily concerned with the college itself, but has interesting intersections with the Vietnam War.
  16. OutHistory.Org timeline (in-progress, 1873-Present) looking at the documented queer history of Asian Americans:
  17. Oxford University Press Asian American historical papers:
    https://oxfordre.com/americanhistory/browse?t0=ORE_AMH:REFAH023 Note: Mostly paywalled, but several of these may likely have at least rudimentary timelines of interest. On a poet’s budget I haven’t been able to check to confirm.
  18. Pew Living Facts (2019 figures):
    https://www.livingfacts.org/en/articles/2021/facts-about-asian-americans-and-pacific-islanders Note: Covers the overall snapshot of Asian America demographics that may be useful for some, but does not provide a timeline.
  19. PBS Ancestors in the Americas timeline (1600-1945):
  20. Saint Mary’s College High School timeline (1850s-2013):
  21. Stanford Timeline of Systemic Racism Against AAPI:
  22. Teen Vogue Asian American timeline of anti-Asian discrimination:
  23. Time Magazine 11 Moments From Asian American History That You Should Know:
    https://time.com/5956943/aapi-history-milestones/ Note: Or why Time shouldn’t be the arbiters to determine key moments in Asian American history…
  24. WARNING: TimeToast 50 Important Dates In Asian American History:
    https://www.timetoast.com/timelines/50-important-dates-in-asian-american-history–2 Note: Beyond the egregious irritating interface several entries here are deeply erroneous (cf. 2011 United States vs. Wong Kim Ark) that you are strongly advised to use data here with a warehouse of salt. Link provided for amusement purposes only.
  25. UPenn timeline (1850-1996):
  26. USAsians.Net timeline (1600-2009):
    http://us_asians.tripod.com/timeline.html Note: May be of interest mostly for those interested in early internet efforts to discuss Asian American history.
  27. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services timeline with Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center:
  28. USImmigration.Com timeline (1850-2013):
    https://www.us-immigration.com/asian-american-history-timeline/ Note: Naturally focused on immigration policy milestones.
  29. Wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Asian_Americans Note: The site most students and organizations will go to for simplicity sake, but even now, the highlighted milestones are contentious.

As always if there’s one you feel I should include in future updated versions of this list, please let me know in the comment sections.

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