October 2021 Newsletter
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A Japanese American Thanksgiving
Part 5 of AACP's Comfort Food Series
By Florence Makita Hongo
We Asians in America celebrate holidays in so many different ways. Our celebrations are a true blend of our cultures. I thought it might be interesting to tell how the Makita family celebrated our holidays. Our family is Japanese Methodist. So we celebrated all of the Christian and American holidays including Thanksgiving. We are a mixture of Japanese ways and American ways.
Our family lived on a small ranch (18 acres) and house in Delhi, California. There were nine of us in the family, which grew by leaps and bounds with marriages, and the ensuing grandchildren. Mother was always in pursuit of family gatherings...
Sing Lau Kee
Forgotten Hero of World War I
By Philip Chin
Sing Lau Kee should be remembered as a great American hero today, but his legacy as a war hero of World War I became mired in discriminatory United States immigration policies.
Sing Kee was born in 1896 in Saratoga, California. His father operated a store and labor contract business in Saratoga and later lived in San Jose. Sing Kee was educated in American schools in Oakland.
By 1917 he enlisted into the United States Army and, because he was living in New York at that time, was assigned to the 306th Infantry Regiment of the 77th Infantry Division. The division was mainly made up of New York City draftees, thus their official unit name was the "Statue of Liberty Division" and even had a patch insignia of the famous icon. Unofficially they were known as the "Cosmopolitans" because they were a polyglot of nationalities and languages with many first generation immigrants from Western, Eastern, and Southern Europe mixed in with Irish and German Americans of several American generations and every other nationality that had immigrated to New York City.
The 77th Infantry Division arrived in France in April 1918...
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