The Story of Maggie Gee And the Sacramento Fair

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She was the youngest among a group of women who formerly numbered 1,000 out of a pool of 2,500 applicants.  She stood tall and proud when President Obama presented her with the gold Congressional Medal of Honor at an awesome ceremony held 66 years later after she had served her country at war.  Flying airplanes was not exactly what women were expected to do during that period of time and history.

Once again, Berkeley resident Maggie Gee stood tall and proud when she was introduced to a capacity crowd who came out to meet her at the Berkeley Chinese Church and Seniors Center, where she and her family had worshipped many decades ago. The city of Berkeley is also where she attended college at UC Berkeley, long before she became a WASP.

She was among America’s first group of female pilots, who were never recognized, never paid properly, never expected to be rewarded and never mentioned in a news release until recently.

Like a ghost story, Maggie Gee’s personal story is now properly recorded and documented in a beautifully illustrated new book, “Sky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee,” authored by Marissa Moss.

Belated congratulations to Maggie, being one of only two Chinese female pilots who flew during World War II, 1944-1945.

There will be another opportunity to meet Maggie at the up-coming Sacramento Chinatown Mall Fair on Sunday, Sept. 19.

In a very bold, auspicious and timely move, Sacramento has become the first city to elect a female president to the renowned Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Society (Chung Wah) in all of the United States.  This landmark decision took a long time coming as policies change very slowly in the conservative Consolidated Society.  Jane Tam is the first woman in America to hold the top position.

In accordance with the new direction, the 2010 Sacramento Chinatown Mall Culture Fair will feature the theme, “Women Hold Up Half the Sky”.

A film and a panel discussion on Autumn Gem, China’s first feminist revolutionary, a cohort of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, martyred in the revolutionary moment are scheduled.

Adding a local perspective will be speaker Margaret Lum, an early Stanford Scholar.

According to Sacramento Culture Club’s Vice-President Steve Yee, “Women hold up half the sky” is an ancient Chinese proverb evoking a picture of women bringing their unique talents to the advent of empowerment, emphasizing the role women have played in Chinese society beyond the stereotypes.

The well-run Sacramento Chinatown Mall Fair has always been a high quality culture fair, educating and benefitting the younger generations with live entertainment, food, renowned authors, film makers, historians, and with over 16 Northern California organizations, including Asian Pacific Islanders, Russian and the East Indian communities.

What: Sacramento Chinatown Mall Fair

When: Sunday, Sept. 19 , 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

Where: Historic Chinatown Mall (between Third and Fifth Streets, I to J Streets, 11 am to 4 pm).

Cost: Free to public

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