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World War I

World War I Soldeirs marching down country road

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many people from East Asia chose to immigrate to the United States where opportunities for work and a better life beckoned. Despite numerous instances of discrimination, many Asian-Americans joined the U.S. Army and served with distinction during World War I on the battlefields of France. Following the war, Soldiers of Asian ancestry were recognized for their contributions to the war effort and were allowed to become naturalized citizens. By the end of World War I in 1918, there were nearly 180,000 Asian-Americans living in the United States, including about 100,000 Japanese and 60,000 Chinese and 5,000 Filipinos.