Wing “Vinny” Wong

Man in a dark jacket standing outside

Wing, or Vinny, as he is known by family and friends, is the uncle of Richard Ning and a veteran who served during the Korean War in Allied-Occupied Germany. He is one of 10 siblings and brother to Richard’s mother, Mary Wong. The Wong family moved around Cambridge several times during Vinny’s childhood, but following his…

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Steven Ng

Now living in Delaware and managing a consulting firm, Steven is a Cambridge native who grew up in the Inman Square area during the 1970s and ’80s. He recalls buying penny candy at a corner store and trips to Woolworth’s in Central Square. He also remembers the contributions his mother made to the Chinese language…

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Dr. Yu-Chi “Larry” Ho

Dr. Ho is an accomplished mathematician, control theorist, and retired Harvard professor who first came to Cambridge in 1950 to pursue a bachelor’s degree at MIT. At the age of 16, he traveled from China to begin his journey in academia. Following the completion of his PhD in Applied Mathematics in 1961, Dr. Ho was…

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Richard Ning

Man with dark hair and dark shirt

Richard is a third-generation Cantabrigian who grew up in the Oxford Street area during the 1960s and ’70s. He is the grandson of Loy Lee Wong, who owned the Young Lee Restaurant, an establishment the family operated in Harvard Square from the 1920s until the 1950s. Richard’s father, Fong Pun Ning, served during World War…

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Stephen T. Chen

Man in a plaid shirt and jacket standing outside

Stephen Chen was born in Cambridge to Thomas and Joyce Chen in 1952. In his interview, Stephen talks about what it was like growing up in West Cambridge on Alpine Street. He describes how his mother, Joyce Chen, thrived as a restauranteur and entrepreneur through her cooking show, restaurants, and inventions. Read the transcript Audio…

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May 6: Stories of Cambridge: Chinese American Culinary Pioneers

Stories of Cambridge: Chinese American Culinary Pioneers Monday, May 66 pmCambridge Public Library Lecture Hall, 449 BroadwayFree To celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI) Month, History Cambridge, in collaboration with our friends at Chinese Historical Society of New England, One in a Billion Productions, and Chinese American Association of Cambridge, will host an…

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Chinese Americans of Cambridge Oral History Project

Oral History Project

In 2022-2024, we interviewed several individuals about their experiences being Chinese or Chinese American in Cambridge. Interviews were conducted by volunteer Justin Murphy and History Cambridge Executive Director Marieke Van Damme. Click on the individuals below to hear their stories.

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Waves of Cambridge Migration: An Update

By Doug Brown, 2018 Why do people uproot their lives, move far from friends and family, and suffer the indignities that often come with being “new” to a place? Sometimes it’s for an education, or a different job, or a new relationship. Or maybe it’s simply to escape difficult circumstances, to reinvent oneself. The short…

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Savoring the Legacy of Joyce Chen

Chef. Restaurateur. Entrepreneur. by Stephen Chen, president of Joyce Chen Foods Reproduced from with permission Born in Beijing in 1917, my mother Joyce Chen came to this country with my dad, sister and brother in 1949. We moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where friends of the family had settled, and where I was born. Surrounded…

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