From Ireland to Germany to Italy to Mexico: How America’s Source of Immigrants Has Changed in the States, 1850 – 2013

Explore the top countries of origin for immigrants in each state from 1850 to 2013. Source: From Ireland to Germany to Italy to Mexico: How America’s Source of Immigrants Has Changed in the States, 1850 – 2013

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Memory and Renewal: Tanforan Assembly Center

2017 marks 75 years since the first Japanese Americans we forced into assembly centers and then to concentration camps throughout the United States. Here in Western Washington American citizens and their parents were held at the Puyallup Fairgrounds– renamed Camp Harmony and then most were sent to Minidoka camp in Idaho. “Except in Portland, Pinedale, Sacramento, and Mayer, large fairground or racetracks were selected to minimize the need for building extra housing. At the racetracks, stables were cleaned out for use as living quarters. At the Portland Assembly Center over 3,800 evacuees were housed under one roof in a livestock pavilion subdivided into apartments.” (Densho Project Website) Tanforan was a racetrack. When we

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A Season to Vote

    “The Asian-American voter pool is remarkably diverse, ranging from Pakistanis and Indians to Chinese and Koreans.” That is the ethnic breakdown in the state of Virginia in an article from the Wall Street Journal. In Washington State we would add the populations from the Pacific Islands as well. This means the diversity of the Asian and Pacific American voting public is as varied as any other groups. Outreach by both major political parties will need to contend with this diversity. To the list we can confidently add: Vietnamese, Cambodian, Lao, Japanese, Thai, Sri Lankan, Filipino, Hawaiian, Fijian, Maori, Samoan, Tongan and a dozen other ethnicities. The reality for political

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Who is American? A National Moment on the Question of Belonging

Ghazala Khan, mother to Humayun Khan, married to Khizr. Her family emigrated here from Pakistan via the United Arab Emirates. Her words raise the question of sacrifice for, and even the responsibility to, a belief that America is a plural society. In front of the nation she and her husband recounted the painful loss of their son, Army Captain Humayun Khan who died during his military tour in Iraq. Mrs. Khan’s own legitimacy in mourning the loss of her son, and even being “allowed” to express her own opinions was challenged by a major party presidential candidate simply because she is of Muslim faith. Read her response to a major political party

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Meet Shiro Kashino: World War II Veteran and Hero

  In 1943, despite their incarceration in numerous concentration camps throughout America, 4,000 Japanese Americans volunteered to fight in the war against the Axis powers. Compiled into a stunning graphic novel, 6 veterans’ stories take on a whole new life; trying to make sense of personal sacrifice, family honor and bravery. Here is an animated version of the Shiro Kashino story. The full graphic novel is available for sale and the corresponding curriculum guide can be found here. The novel is appropriate for 5th graders and above, though teachers may use their discretion in presenting this material to 4th grade students. The museum helps students explore the experiences of Japanese Americans during the war

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Where Exactly is the Immigration Debate Going?

This year, Wing Luke Museum developed the exhibit Belonging: Before and After the Immigration Act of 1965 in its Seattle Chinatown-International District location. This exhibit marks the 50th anniversary of the Immigration Act of 1965, a bill that activated a sea change in the ethnic and cultural make-up of America. The subject seemed fitting, as the museum’s building was repurposed in 2008 from the Freeman hotel that once housed Chinese, Japanese and Filipino immigrants during the pre-World War II era.As we researched content for the exhibit, we wondered what stories existed beyond our purview, among people all around the nation. How do we document our own lives?(You can check out

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