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Rail Against the Machine 

Wednesday, Jul 18 2012
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In 1969, during the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Transcontinental Railroad, guest speaker/historian Philip P. Choy made quite an impression. Regrettably, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation had been asked to speak first, speciously bragging that only “Americans” could have built such a marvel. As an architect, onetime president of the Chinese Historical Society, and one of only two professors in the nation teaching a college-level course in Chinese American history at the time, Choy could not let it stand. The Chinese workers who built that railroad were never allowed to become citizens. He did not mince words. Nor has he often. As a member of the San Francisco Landmark Advisory Board and the California State Historical Resources Commission, Choy has always found ways to celebrate, elucidate, and defend the things he loves most. Since retiring, he has turned his considerable faculties to reflections on his childhood home. The result is San Francisco Chinatown: A Guide to Its History and Architecture, an insider’s look at America’s oldest Chinese community, complete with a building-by-building breakdown and guided walking tours by the one guy who probably knows most.
Wed., July 25, 7 p.m., 2012

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