The case for a commemorative stamp honoring Chinese railroad workers

Meng Photo

This May marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the country’s first Transcontinental Railroad.

What some may not know is the role of Chinese immigrant laborers who helped make it happen.

That’s why Congresswoman Grace Meng and 34 other members of Congress are calling for a commemorative postage stamp to honor the 12,000 Chinese-Americans who contributed to the railroad.

Chinese laborers constituted nearly 80 percent of the workforce of the Central Pacific Railroad Company. Nearly 1,200 of them died from work-related accidents.

Meng first introduced the idea of a commemorative stamp for the 150th anniversary in 2014.

The push has support from many notable Asian-American lawmakers, including Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Congresswoman Judy Chu of California and Congressman Andy Kim of New Jersey.

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