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Celebration of Asian Americans: Challenges & Triumphs

Spotlighting Asian American & Pacific Islanders' Heritage, History, and Contributions

Challenges throughout History

Historical Highlights

The Immigration Act of 1924

April 12, 1924

The Immigration Act of 1924 Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object Representative Albert Johnson of Washington State served 20 years in the House of Representatives. He is one of the few individuals to serve on active duty status in the military while also serving as a Member of Congress.

On this date, the House passed the 1924 Immigration Act—a measure which was a legislative expression of the xenophobia, particularly towards eastern and southern European immigrants, that swept America in the decade of the 1920s. Authored by Representative Albert Johnson of Washington (Chairman of the House Immigration Committee), the bill passed with broad support from western and southern Representatives, by a vote of 323 to 71. “It has become necessary that the United States cease to become an asylum,” Representative Johnson declared during debate on the bill. Among its provisions, the act created a permanent quota system based on “national origin.” It limited the number of immigrants that could be admitted to the U.S. to two percent of the total number of individuals from each nationality that resided in the United States in 1890—before waves of Slavic and Italian immigrants arrived in America. Despite vigorous protests from Japanese diplomats, the measure also excluded Japanese immigrants (a ban that would not be lifted until 1952). Finally, it allowed no more than 150,000 total immigrants who fell within the parameters of the quota system to enter the U.S. in any one year. After Senate passage, the Immigration Act was signed into law in late May 1924.


Lee, R., photographer. (1942) Los Angeles, California. The evacuation of Japanese-Americans from West Coast areas under U.S. Army war emergency order. Japanese-American child who is being evacuated with his parents to Owens Valley. United States California Los Angeles. Los Angeles Los Angeles County, 1942. Apr. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,



President Harry Truman signs the Luce–Celler Act of 1946, permitting Filipinos and Indians to naturalize and allowing a quota of 100 persons of each to immigrate annually.

Truman Library -

President Truman signs the Luce-Celler Act of 1946.

Faith & Spirituality


The original Sikh Temple on South Grant Street in Stockton. In 1929 a new gurdwara was built at the same location on the enlarged foundation of the old wooden building.

Adams, A., photographer. (1943) Buddhist service, Manzanar Relocation Center, California / photograph by Ansel Adams. California Manzanar, 1943. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

Historic American Buildings Survey, C. (1933) Mosque,Massachusetts Avenue Northwest, Washington, District of Columbia, DC. Washington D.C. Washington, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,


Highsmith, C. M., photographer. (2014) The Queen of Peace Shrine in Port Arthur, Texas. This Hoa-Binh Area of Peace, features gardens and statue of Mary three times life size was built by parishioners of Queen of Vietnam Martyr's Catholic Church in gratitude for their escape from Asia and the city that welcomed them. United States Port Arthur Texas, 2014. -03-03. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,


Pew Research Center. (July 2012). "Asian Americans: A Mosaic of Faiths."

Close to Home: What happened to Chicago’s Japanese neighborhood?

Nagasawa, K. (2017). "What happened to Chicago’s Japanese neighborhood?" August 13, 2017. WBEZ.org


Politics & Activism Reading List

Class Materials & Resources