San Jose: Irish Chang Park
The park's designer, Richard Deutsch, said he read a memoir penned by Chang’s mother to better understand the person he was honoring.
He tried to give the park an aesthetic that would honor Chang’s memory as an activist, placing some of her most well-known quotes throughout the walking area.
"Somebody who was born in this country who visited China would later face difficulty getting back in to the USA. We have to keep in mind that the struggles of the Chinese against these exclusion laws really laid down the foundations of civil rights law. " - Iris Chang
Oakland: Maggie Gee International Airport
Margaret "Maggie" Gee (Gee Mei Gue) was born on August 5, 1923 in Berkeley, California. She, along with Hazel Ying Lee, was one of two Chinese American women to serve in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) in World War II.
As a WASP pilot, she helped male pilots train for combat, as female pilots were not allowed to serve in combat at that time. She also ferried military aircraft.
Johnny Kan (1906 - 1972) was the first pioneer to promote authentic, Cantonese haute cuisine, both in San Francisco's Chinatown and throughout America-at-large. Kan's lifelong campaign to extricate chop suey from Chinese cuisine and initiate American palates to refined, high-end Cantonese gastronomy is well-documented in San Francisco's annals.
Through the décor and the dining rituals of his establishments, Kan also crafted a visual, experiential, and taste aesthetic that was a significant departure from the plate-slamming, indifferent post-World War II chop suey joints of his day. Kan was rightfully Chinatown's first and inimitable culinary ambassador.
University of California