San Jose to apologize to Chinese community for past wrongs
San Jose, California mayor Sam Liccardo. Image via Anthony Quinato/Creative Commons).

In May 1887, a deliberately set fire tore through San Jose’s Chinatown on Market Street, destroying homes and businesses and displacing 1,400 people. The fire happened not long after the City Council had declared Chinatown — the second on that site and one of five in the city’s history — to be a public nuisance in the way of plans to build a new city hall. This was just perhaps the worst example of the discrimination faced by the Chinese community in San Jose, and all happening during an intense anti-Chinese period of California history that included the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Next wee...