Asians in Minnesota Oral History Project: Interview with Stanley V. Chong
Part 1


Part 2


Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Stanley Chong was born in 1912 in Yakima, Washington. His father, Sam Chong, had immigrated to the United States from a rural village in the Taishan District of Guangdong Province in South China. His mother, Yut-tai Lee, was an American-born daughter of a Chinese pioneer immigrant to Portland, Oregon. Stanley lived on his parents' ranch in the Yakima Valley until the age of about seven, when he was sent to live with his maternal grandparents and a widowed aunt in Portland. He attended Shattuck Elementary School and Lincoln High School in Portland and graduated from the University of Oregon in 1933. In 1934 Chong moved to Minneapolis, where his aunt operated a small enterprise known as the Chinese Gift Shop. Later he managed the shop with the help of Marvel Hum, whom he married in 1941. (See interview of Marvel Hum Chong, also in this oral history project.) During World War II the shop was closed when Chong was drafted into the army and the couple moved to the West Coast. In 1944 they returned to Minneapolis and opened the International House of Foods, a successful wholesale and retail business in Asian and Middle Eastern foods that they operated until 1981, when it was destroyed by fire. Chong was one of the organizers of the Chinese American Club in the Twin Cities in the post-World War II years and became the first president of the Chinese American Association in Minnesota (CAAM), organized in the 1960s. He was also active in the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, organized in the early 1970s. The Chongs have one daughter, Sui-linn, born in 1946. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Chong compares the differences in childrearing methods of early immigrants such as his parents and maternal grandparents, and those used by himself and his wife in rearing their own daughter; he also describes the Chinese community in Minnesota from the 1930s to the 1970s, including community organizations of the post-World War II years. COMMENTS ON INTERVIEW: Stanley Chong is one of many Chinese from the West Coast who have settled in Minnesota. He makes several observations about the differences between the West Coast and the Midwest in terms of discrimination and business opportunities for Chinese during the pre-World War II years.
Quantity 1.5 hours sound cassette
54 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 01:11:43 running time
Creation Interviewee: Chong, Stanley V.
Interviewer: Mason, Sarah R.
Made in Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
Subjects Asian Americans -- Minnesota
Chinese Americans -- Minnesota.
Made in Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 06/28/1979
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 51
Accession Number AV1981.361.2
More Info MHS Library Catalog
Related Collections Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Asians in Minnesota Oral History Project'

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