For those who are fans of Las Vegas and the history of the city, you will have a chance to participate in a Zoom presentation this coming Wednesday May 26th at 7:00 PM Pacific Time. In conjunction with The Neon Museum, retired University of Nevada, Las Vegas professor Dr. Sue Fawn Chung will give a presentation on Chinese American Las Vegas history. You can register for that presentation for free by clicking here.
For close to 40 years, Dr. Chung taught history at UNLV and was the department’s chairperson. The professor has degrees from UCLA, Harvard University and the University of California Berkley. She is The Neon Museum’s current resident scholar.
Speaking about what we will learn from her Zoom presentation, the professor emerita said this:
“You are gonna learn about what some of the Chinese Americans did, how they lived in Las Vegas, who some of the community leaders were and how those for example were in the restaurant business, used neon lights and those in Chinatown when they developed the Chinatown Mall also used neon lights.”
Dr. Sue Fawn Chung tells us about the early origins of the Chinese American community in Las Vegas:
“The Chinese were actually in the greater Las Vegas area, actually they were in Mount Charleston in the 1870s and 80s. And they came there in order to make wood charcoal and so you have these charcoal kilns scattered not only in Mount Charleston, but up in Ely, in Death Valley and all over the west to make the coal that would be used to fuel the mining equipment and to fuel the trains, the engines and anything else, heating to the house, you name it.”
In gaming history, The Neon Museum’s current resident scholar shares with us that the game of keno was introduced in Chinese laundromats. Today, you will find the game in most casinos in Las Vegas:
“One of the interesting things about the laundries in Nevada is that they introduced a game which we call today keno. And you have eight numbers and you pick so many numbers and you could win something. And when people found out that you could play keno and win money from it if you take your laundry to the Chinese laundry, (pause) a growth of Chinese laundry patrons among the population.”
Featured columnist Jay Bildstein joins us for this CYInterview to talk about the history of Chinese Americans in Las Vegas and the United States and the current relationship between China and the United States.
You can listen to the entire CYInterview below:
Listen to the entire Dr. Sue Fawn Chung CYInterview:
(Backup Player: Including IE)
Listen to the entire Dr. Sue Fawn Chung CYInterview on YouTube:
You can visit The Neon Museum’s official website by clicking here.