Town Square

Post a New Topic

History on her front porch: Palo Alto woman honors Chinese railroad laborers with exhibit

Original post made on May 18, 2023

Monica Yeung Arima became aware of gaps in her son's elementary school history curriculum when a reading selection talked about the transcontinental railroad -- but didn't include any mention the Chinese workers who built it.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 18, 2023, 9:14 AM

Comments (9)

Posted by Barbara Klausner
a resident of Stanford
on May 18, 2023 at 10:11 am

Barbara Klausner is a registered user.

Monica Yeung Arima's contribution to our community is tremendous. Thank you Monica.

Posted by Debra
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 18, 2023 at 10:32 am

Debra is a registered user.

Thank you Monica for telling this important history to our community!

Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of another community
on May 18, 2023 at 1:54 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

More truth, I love seeing this. Many of these laborers were mistreated and massacred and then, in 1882, banned from immigrating for ten years by the despicable president Chester Arthur. Every western state -- CA, OR, & WA especially, owes a debt to the Chinese laborers who came to connect the western states to the eastern states and north to south. Thank you for honoring the past, Monica.

Posted by LindaPA
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 18, 2023 at 3:38 pm

LindaPA is a registered user.

Thank you for doing this vital work, Monica! These are important stories from our past that we need to know and to pass on to our children.

Posted by alightwithin
a resident of Ventura
on May 18, 2023 at 5:22 pm

alightwithin is a registered user.

I'm so happy to see this. I teach a unit on the Chinese Railroad Laborers in my class on Race & Racism at a local college. Will make time to go see the exhibit. Thank you.

Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on May 18, 2023 at 7:05 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

Stopping by to see this enlightening exhibit was the high point of a lovely visit to downtown Palo Alto this evening. It’s the kind of experience that represents the best of the city. Thank you for making this information available to passers-by. Is the full series of posters available online?

Posted by Virginia Smedberg
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 18, 2023 at 11:27 pm

Virginia Smedberg is a registered user.

The book she mentions is fabulous reading. I think it was Anna Eshoo in one of her weekly reports last? year who recommended it. Has all the details. Really glad you acted on your recognition of the LACK of education of your son! (wonder what would happen if you tried that in Fla...)

Posted by Monica Yeung Arima
a resident of Professorville
on May 19, 2023 at 3:55 am

Monica Yeung Arima is a registered user.

1). In light of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I’m putting up the 7 pull up panels exhibit at the front porch of my house for everyone to view at 1052 Bryant Street, Palo Alto, crossing with Lincoln Avenue at the corner. The exhibit will be available for viewing until May 21. Please be mindful to keep yourself at the front porch area without wandering around the property.

2). A 60 panels exhibit is permanently installed at the Sunol Station/Depot of the Niles Railway in Sunol. See Web Link

3). There’s plan to house the 60 panels online at the Stanford Green Library collection, however the scanning is not to the point I would like to see, it’s still at work. Meanwhile, a book form of the exhibit is available at Web Link Ben Stone is working with me on this.

4). There are other copies of the exhibits actually house in Seattle, Portland, Utah, Boston, Ohio, Chinese American Museum in DC etc. Each location is doing their own celebration.

5). Lastly, there’s the official website of the project at that include many information such as publication, digitalization, K-12 curriculum education, oral history interviews, photos exhibits etc.

Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on May 21, 2023 at 12:44 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

Thanks for the information and for your work to keep the accurate story of the role of Chinese people in our state and nation’s history accessible nationwide.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

California must do a better job spending cap-and-trade revenue
By Sherry Listgarten | 3 comments | 2,171 views

Got the Munchies at Hardly Strictly? Your Weekend Guide.
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 1,715 views