Professor Gordon H. Chang honored with D.A.R. History Award Medal

Gordon H. Chang

The DAR History Award Medal is a very Prestigious award intended to honor an individual whose study and promotion of American History on the local, regional, or national level has significantly advanced our understanding of our nation’s past.

Last year at Continental Congress, the President General’s Medallion was awarded to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. During the acceptance speech the 11 most endangered historic places were listed and to my amazement two of them were here in California: The Trujillo Adobe in Riverside, and Summit Tunnels 6 and 7 and the Summit Camp Site. I thought what can we do? How can we help? And while I was researching, I came upon a remarkable historian: Dr. Gordon H. Chang.

Dr. Chang has given voice to the Chinese Laborers that constructed the Transcontinental Railroad. These workers made up 90 percent of the Central Pacific workforce. They worked daily in challenging and dangerous conditions. As many 1200 lost their lives.

These Chinese laborers truly helped to accelerate the development of the American West. Dr. Chang, through rich and compelling story telling has given voice to these laborers, to their stories, their culture, and the racism they endured. His scholarship and research are both meticulous and immense. Immigrant history is often ignored or lost. Dr. Chang through his research has given Chinese immigrant history its rightful place in the story of our country.

Dr. Chang is the Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities and professor of history at Stanford University where he also serves as codirector of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project. He is a fourth generation Californian. He clearly has contributed to the greater understanding of American history through his writings, and I encourage you all to read his books…especially Ghosts of Gold Mountain. His research and knowledge of the connection between race and ethnicity in America and American Foreign relations demonstrate that he is a versatile scholar. He embodies the ideals of this award.

Dr. Chang it is with great gratitude and pride that the California Daughters of the American Revolution present you with the History Award Medal. Congratulations.