Lawmakers Unveil Postage Stamp Honoring Chinese Contribution to Transcontinental Railroad

Posted on: May 30th, 2019 at 5:00 am by

Photo: Karlin Chan

There is now a postage stamp that honors the contributions of thousands of Chinese workers in building the Transcontinental Railroad. Its unveiling arrives on the 150th anniversary of the “Golden Spike Ceremony” in Promontory, Utah that connected train lines from the east and west.

United States Representatives Grace Meng and Nydia Velazquez together unveiled the commemorative postage stamp yesterday afternoon at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA).

Nearly 12,000 Chinese immigrants – mostly from poor counties in the Guangdong province of southeast China – labored through harsh winters and brutal conditions to lay track and blast through concrete, among other tedious jobs.

Photo: NYPL

Though official records of worker fatalities weren’t kept, it’s believed that an estimated 2,000 perished on the job. Their bones then shipped back to China for reburial in their home villages.

Lawmakers reintroduced the push for postage stamp commemoration back in 2017. The bill was first sponsored by Meng and Ed Royce of California.

Photo: Karlin Chan

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