Filipino groundbreaker Pio de Cano wins right to own property on April 30, 1940.

  • By Cynthia Mejia-Giudici
  • Posted 12/03/1998
  • Essay 410
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On April 30, 1940, Pio de Cano, an important Filipino figure in Seattle in the early 1940s, wins a landmark case enabling Filipinos to purchase land. He contested the application of the 1921 Alien Land Law to Filipinos. The law prohibited non-citizens from owning land.

He won the case on the grounds that Filipinos had not been "aliens" but "nationals" at the time the law was passed. After that ruling, de Cano became the first Filipino homeowner in Seattle.


Ursula Barboza, "Filipinos in Seattle" in the 11th Anniversary Special Program of the Northwest Asian Weekly, (Seattle, 1994); Symbol of Filipino Identity: Glimpses of "Pinoy Life in the Pacific Northwest" ed. by Diony Corsilles (Seattle: Magiting Corp., 1983).

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