On October 24, 1871, seventeen Chinese men including a 15-year-old were killed by a mob in Los Angeles’ historic Chinatown. Known as the Chinese Massacre of 1871, it was the culmination of growing anti-Chinese sentiment leading to racially motivated violence. The incident is said to have begun when Officer Jesus Bilderrain and rancher Robert Thompson responded to a gunfight between members of rival Chinese tongs that broke out resulting in the death of tong fighter Ah Choy. Officer Bilderrain was wounded and Robert Thompson was mortally wounded while responding to the altercation.
Word spread about the shooting of Officer Bilderrain and the death of Thompson, which sparked a riot that lasted for three hours and involved a mob of 500 Angelenos entering Chinatown to loot Chinese homes and businesses and to assault every Chinese person they could find. Join the Chinese American Museum and community leaders to commemorate all the lives lost on this fateful day 147 years ago.
Following the program, the museum will be open to view the exhibitions from 8-9 pm.
This program is presented by the Chinese American Museum and El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument. Event Chair is David Louie, Commissioner of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument. Major support provided by the Friends of the Chinese American Museum with additional support provided by the Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation – Los Angeles.