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Discover chinatown nyc  >  history of chinatown
explore the history of chinatown
> Chatham Square
> Columbus Park
> Five Points
> Museum of Chinese in America
> Church of the Transfiguration
> Mahayana Buddhist temple
> First Shearith Israel Cemetery
> Edward Mooney House
Explore a timeline of Chinatown's history >>
1801 Church of the Transfiguration built with stones from the surrounding fields.
1840 Large influx of European immigrants to the Lower East Side-predominantly Irish and German
1846 Chinese junk, Kee Ying, sails into New York Harbor from Canton with a crew of 35. During the summer, a reported 50,000 New Yorkers visit the Kee Ying.
1850s First large influx of Chinese immigrants to the West Coast. They enter diverse occupations, from agriculture and mining to fishing and manufacturing.
1868 Burlingame Treaty formalizes the right of Chinese and U.S. citizens to freely migrate and emigrate from one country to the other.
1869 12,000 Chinese complete the western half of the transcontinental railroad. Anti-Chinese agitation on the rise.
1878 First Chinese grocery store, Wo Kee, opens on Mott Street. U.S. Supreme Court denies Chinese the right to become American citizens.
1880 Italians, Jews and Greeks begin massive immigration to the Lower East Side.
1882, 1888, 1902 & 1924 U.S. Congress enacts Chinese Exclusion Act(s) prohibiting Chinese laborers from entering U.s. Chinese become the first nationality to be denied free immigration.
1886 Statue of Liberty inaugurated.
1898 Wong Kim Ark v. Supreme Court decision states that a child of Chinese descent born in U.S. is a citizen of the U.S.
1924 Immigration Act prohibits Chinese men from bringing wives or children to join them.
1937 Sino-Japanese War begins.
1941 U.S. enters World War II. U.S. allies with China against Japan.
1943 Repeal of Exclusion Laws. Quota of 105 Chinese per year set.
1945  War Brides Act allows wives of Chinese American G.I.'s to enter the U.S.
1965, 1968 Racial quotas system for immigration is abolished. Beginning of new influx of Chinese immigrants and expansion of New York Chinatown.
1980 U.S. census indicates that New York Chinatown is the largest Chinese American settlement in U.S.


History and timeline courtesy of the New York Chinatown History Project and the Museum of Chinese in America.