History Colorado has been actively gathering and collecting the memories and artifacts of Colorado's Asian Americans. Below is a sampling of stories from the Asian American experience in our blogs, our publications and our exhibits.
During World War II, 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans were forced into internment camps—including one in Colorado called "Amache." Governor Ralph L. Carr took an unpopular stance, inviting Japanese Americans to stay in Colorado after the war and publicly stating his opinion that internment was unconstitutional.
Today, Denver’s LoDo is home to a number of thriving businesses, apartment complexes, restaurants, and art galleries. This area was once home to Denver’s Chinatown. Near modern-day Coors Field, Chinatown—also known as Hop Alley—formed along Wazee Street. It became the residential and business center of Chinese migrants living in the city in the 1870s. Despite this, there remains no trace of Denver’s Chinatown, with the exception of a commemorative plaque on the corner of Twentieth and Blake streets.
Today, Colorado is home to some 24,000 Vietnamese American residents, many of them living in Denver’s metropolitan area. Although most Denverites are well aware of the presence of this community, many know little about the history behind the city’s ethnic Vietnamese population.
When Sài Gòn fell to the North Vietnamese in the spring of 1975, there was a mass exodus of refugees from the South. Between 1975 and 1992, over two million Vietnamese fled the country and nearly a million arrived in the United States. By 1990, Colorado was home to about 5,800 Vietnamese refugees.
Despite the myriad contributions that Vietnamese refugees have made to the city, their history in Denver remains largely unknown to the general public. My interview with Nga Vuong-Sandoval highlights this history.
The National Register of Historic Places and Colorado State Register of Historic Properties are tools that recognize National Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, celebrated in May. The Bromley Farm/Koizuma Hishinuma Farm in Brighton, Adams County, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.
In our Do you know this place? blog series, we quiz you on what you might know about these places and then tell you what makes them unique. The place we’re featuring this month represents an important piece of history.