Monday, August 11, 2008

Another terrible loss for us

Some of my favorite Bernie Mac pieces

Head of State

My sister's kids

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Opium dens, alien smuggling and slave labor wages

The 1800s in El Paso were filled with drugs, outlaws, and illegal smuggling. Some would have us thinking that the Sun City hasn't really changed much. I do like this EPCC website about the Chinese influence in downtown El Paso.

"More than 1,200 Chinese laborers helped build the Southern Pacific Railroad from Los Angeles to El Paso, completed in May 1881. When the job was done, about 300 Chinese decided to stay in El Paso. Most were married with families to support back home. With the completion of the early railroad, the Chinese started settling in El Paso in larger numbers. Chinese women were scarce in Chinatown, however. Only two Chinese women were living in El Paso in 1883.

The laborers who remained in El Paso formed the basis of the El Paso Chinese colony. All over the U.S., Chinatowns developed where a large number of Chinese congregated. El Paso's Chinatown was located downtown from St. Louis Street (later Mills Street) south of Fourth Street, Stanton to El Paso and south of Overland Street. In her 1972 study of El Paso's Chinese population, Nancy Farrar says Chinatown served as a place of spiritual refuge for it was there that the Chinese could hear their native language and practice their native customs."