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Chinatown Founders

June 19, 1988

Thank you for the article "Founders' Feast" by Penelope McMillan (Metro, June 6). While the progressive dinner itself was a lot of fun, it was especially gratifying to open our Times and relive the evening. Indeed, all four honorees are remarkable and deserving of your write up and the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California is pleased and proud to have provided the occasion for so many old-timers and their families to reunite with their friends and cronies after, in some cases, 30 years. Moreover, the solidarity, courage, and vision of the New Chinatown pioneers continue to inspire the rest of us who serve as community volunteers.

The society was founded in 1975 to discover and recognize such pioneers and their achievements, increase awareness of our Chinese American heritage, and finally to share with the community at large the contributions of the Chinese to the economic, social, and cultural development of Southern California.

Through our oral history project, field trips, educational monthly meetings, and outreach we strive to seek, research, and preserve our heritage. While many people are aware of the Chinese involvement in the building of the transcontinental railroad and the Northern to Southern California link, few know that they were instrumental in the development of the commercial fishing, truck and vegetable farming, and the citrus industries here in the Southland.

In October, we will honor the individuals and families of China City, which was opened at Spring and Ord streets six months after the dedication of New Chinatown. China City like Olvera Street before it, was the inspiration of Christine Sterling and was built primarily as a tourist attraction. Destroyed by fire 11 years later, it was never rebuilt, but nevertheless those who lived and worked there were a part of our Los Angeles Chinese American heritage.

ANGI MA WONG

President

Chinese Historical Society

of Southern California

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