Posts by E Wong

08/26/20 Centennial of Ratification of 19th Amendment

When Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920, the amendment passed its final hurdle of obtaining three-fourths of the states. Certification of the ratification occurred shortly after…on August 26, 1920.

In honor of the many brave women, who worked so hard …and so long… to make this a reality, we are sharing the video, “CA Women Inspire”.  The host is Jennifer Siebel Newsom, California’s First Lady. It starts with indigenous women and goes all the way to recent times.

Asian American Suffragists

Mabel Lee (NY Tribune 1912)

Mabel Lee was a suffragist who mobilized the Chinese community in America to support the women’s right to vote, and in 1921, she became the first Chinese woman in the United States to earn a doctorate degree. On July 24, 2018, legislation was signed to designate Manhattan’s Chinatown Post Office in New York City as the “Mabel Lee Memorial Post Office.”

The following video showcases two important Asian American suffragists:  the aforementioned Dr. Mabel Ping-Hua Lee and Tye Leung Schulze, American by birth, who was the first Chinese woman to vote in a Presidential primary.

08/14/20 Remembering Coby Yee

CHCP is saddened to advise that Coby Yee, a featured panelist in our “East meets West: Chinatown Nightclubs” webinar, died peacefully August 14, 2020, at the age of 93.

If you wish to see Coby full of life, love and laughter, view our Past Events blog entry for the webinar recording taken July 15.

07/21/20 Remembering Judge Michael Kwan

We of CHCP mourn the passing of Judge Michael Kwan with heartfelt remembrance. To CHCP and the Asian American community, he was the president of the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association and helped to create the movement to reclaim our history at the 150th  anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.  Click to view a tribute letter by CHCP Advisory Board Member Connie Young Yu.

08/06/20 ACCC Guest Speaker Series: “San Jose Chinatowns; CAH Museum”

By Brenda Hee Wong, 2020 CHCP Director

CHCP Directors Erwin Wong and Brenda Hee Wong were guest speakers for Avenidas Chinese Community Center (ACCC)‘s program:  “Learning Chinese Culture in America Guest Speaker Series: San Jose Chinatowns; Chinese American Historical Museum.” Topics covered were CHCP, Chinatowns of San Jose, Chinese American Historical Museum (CAHM), and “Heinlenville Park” letter writing campaign.

07/25/20 JAMsj Facebook Live: “Discovering the Hidden Histories of San Jose Japantown” (Episode 2: Heinlenville Chinatown)

by Brenda Hee Wong, 2020 CHCP Director

CHCP Advisory Board member Connie Young Yu and CHCP Director Brenda Hee Wong discussed Heinlenville, San Jose Chinatowns, and the Chinese American Historical Museum at this episode of Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj)‘s “Discovering the Hidden Histories of San Jose Japantown” series. 

Click on flyer to enlarge.

07/15/20 Webinar: “East Meets West: Chinatown Nightclubs”

The “East Meets West: Chinatown Nightclubs” webinar was our first co-hosted session between the Bay Area Chinese Genealogy Group (BACGG) and CHCP … and broke all previous attendee records. Attendees came from all parts of the nation (including Hawaii), plus folks from Canada, Japan, and England to laugh, listen, and learn from the daring dancing dolls, Coby Yee and Cynthia Yee, and Calvin Fong, son of a nightclub owner.

The Webinar consists of 3 parts:

  1. Cocktail Lounge/Waiting Room (featuring music, dancing and a cavalcade of stars and entertainers)
  2. Calvin Fong’s Keynote Presentation (23:40 – 1:00:55) click to play
  3. Panel Discussion (1:00:56 – 1:48:00) click to play


This webinar explores a little known, but exciting, topic in Chinese American history: Chinese American nightclubs.  Many of the performers (singers, dancers, magicians, acrobats, comedians, etc.) were Chinese with headliner names; like the “Chinese Frank Sinatra” or the “Chinese Ginger Rogers.”  Many performers were 2nd generation Asians coming out of the Great Depression and who loved entertaining but were shut out from performing live on American stage or in the movies.  The Chinese nightclubs offered a venue for them to show their many talents and opened opportunities that they could not realize otherwise.

For information about the panelists:

Please Support Us

Please consider helping support our webinars to preserve Chinese American heritage, so it may live into the future.

Thank you for your consideration.

David Yick, CHCP President
Ron Chan, BACGG Executive Director

06/14/20 Student Recognition Day (Part 2)

Student Docent Cultural Ambassador Program (SDCAP)

By Maggie, 2019/2020 CHCP Student Docent Cultural Ambassador

It was wonderful seeing everyone share their hobbies and talents at the recognition day. From playing the piano, to singing, to art, CHCP Student Docents have a wide range of talents.

I became a member of the SDCAP because I am interested in learning more about my own culture and the history of Chinese Americans in the United States. Students like myself are often not taught about how significant Chinese Americans are to American history, and so I joined this program in hopes of learning more so that I can spread my knowledge to others as well.

The most memorable event from my time in the SDCAP program is the yearly Chinese New Year celebration at the History Park. I enjoyed seeing people of many cultures learn more about Chinese New Year and experience Chinese New Year activities with their children. It was also a fun experience being a part of the dragon team.

05/17/20 Student Recognition Day (Part 1)

Lillian Gong-Guy Memorial Scholarship

By Allan Low and Debbie Gong-Guy, 2020 CHCP Scholarship Committee Co-Chairs

For the sixth year, the Chinese Historical & Cultural Project (CHCP) is honored to announce the recipients of the Lillian Gong-Guy Memorial Scholarship (LGGMS) awards on Sunday, May 17th. We are living in unprecedented times. Due to the current shelter-in-place order to contain the COVID-19 coronavirus and the possible health risks to our students, guests, and members, the Student Recognition event scheduled at San Joseʼs History Park had to be cancelled. However, we are proud to virtually announce our 2020 scholarship recipients and continue this tradition.

The Lillian Gong-Guy Memorial Scholarship was established in 2014 in tribute to CHCPʼs late co-founder, Lillian Gong-Guy, to recognize exemplary seniors who have demonstrated academic achievement balanced with strong community service and involvement. Our five scholarship award recipients this year truly represent the future leaders of our community.

Our scholarship winners are:

To learn more about our exceptional scholarship recipients, please click here (or click on an individual recipient’s name above).

In addition to the Co-Chairs, Allan Low and Debbie Gong-Guy, this yearʼs Scholarship Committee members are Anita Wong Kwock, Bozena Teo, Brenda Wong, Judy Wong, and Karyn Wong.

We would like to thank all the donors to the LGGMS program for their continued generosity and support. For more information, please contact us at

05/14/20 Speaker Series Webinar: PBS Series “Asian Americans”

By Dave Yick, 2020 CHCP President

I would like to thank all who were involved in the making of CHCP’s first Speaker Series Webinar. Special thanks go to our Panelists* Donald Young, Connie Young Yu, and Gordon Smith, and our Moderator* Erwin Wong…They all were GREAT!…with tons of information and personal insights. And much thanks to all our CHCP Family and Friends who tuned in; we appreciate your continued support.

Even if you have already viewed the complete PBS Series and the Webinar, as Connie emphasized in her closing statement, it is worth seeing it again, since there is so much information to take in. The 5-part documentary series “Asian Americans” is now streaming for a limited time on PBS, co-produced by CAAM, at this website:

The last 20 minutes of the Webinar can be seen via the following link:

* Panelists:

  • Donald Young – CAAM Director of Programs and CAAM Executive Producer for the PBS Documentary Series, “Asian Americans”
  • Connie Young Yu – An internationally recognized Chinese American writer, historian, and lecturer. Connie is included in Episodes 1 and 5 of this PBS Series. She is a long time CHCP member and Advisory Board Member.
  • Gordon Smith – Vice President and Head Docent, Japanese American Museum SJ

Moderator:  Erwin Wong – CHCP Director and Speaker Series Chair

03/06/20 Cinequest Film: “Far East Deep South” @ California Theatre SJ

By Brenda Hee Wong, 2020 CHCP Director

New CHCP Advisory Board member Nathan Louie, along with his team of greeters clad in his beautiful Chinese robes, posed on the red carpet at the California Theatre with Baldwin Chiu, Larissa Lam, and their 6-year-old daughter Caliya. Baldwin Chiu (aka Only Won) and Larissa Lam are a music and filmmaking husband-wife team and have been past CHCP Speaker Series presenters. The couple premiered their documentary film, “Far East Deep South,” at this Cinequest Film Festival event. The documentary tells the Chiu family’s journey to find their grandfather’s remains in Cleveland, Mississippi.

Watch their new music video below, highlighting Asian American history while putting their own twist on a song from the hit musical “Hamilton.” It’s a family affair with their daughter Caliya (aka Lil’ Won)! Be sure to watch other music videos by this talented couple, available on YouTube.