Filipino men, 1920s. Photo courtesy “Seattle’s International District: The Making of a Pan-Asian American Community” by Doug Chin.

  • 1587 – The Manila Galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza commanded by Pedro de Unamuno arrived in North America with the Luzon Indios, marking the first landing of Filipinos in the continental U.S.
  • 1595 – The University of San Carlos in Cebu City, Philippines is found by Spaniards. It is the oldest university in Asia. The University of Santo Tomas in Manila was Asia’s second oldest and found in 1611.
  • 1762 – Filipinos in the Philippines were introduced to the English language by British invaders.
  • 1870 – The “Sociedad de Beneficencia de los Hispanos Filipinos” is formed by a group of Filipino mestizos studying in New Orleans. It was the first Filipino Association in the U.S.
  • 1899 – The Filipino American War begins when the first revolutionary forces, which liberated Philippines from the Spanish rule, conflict with the U.S. troops that captured Manila.
  • 1902 – President Theodore Roosevelt declares the war officially over in July.
  • 1921 – The Philippine Independent News is published in Salinas, California. It was the first Filipino newspaper in the U.S.
  • 1928 – Pedro Flores opens Flores yo-yos, which created the craze in the U.S. He came up with the word “yo-yo” and had it copyrighted.
  • 1929 – As a result of jealousy and prejudice of Filipino immigrants, Caucasian Americans precipitated violence. The first riot occurred in California in 1929 after the Americans were displaced by Filipinos in harvesting Kadota figs and Emperor grapes. A mob of 300 men stormed a Filipino camp, stoned and clubbed about 50 Filipino men and burned the barn.
  • 1960 – Rocky Fellers of Manila became the first Filipino act to land a top hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.
  • 1974 – Eugenio Torre became the first ever international Grandmaster from Asia when he won the Chess Olympiad in Nice, France.
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