Historical Highlights

Representative Dalip Saund of California

April 22, 1973
Representative Dalip Saund of California Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
A farmer and former judge, Dalip Saund of California served three terms in the House of Representatives.
On this date, Representative Dalip Saund of California died in Hollywood, California. Born in Amritsar, India, Saund became the first Asian-American Representative to serve in the House of Representatives. After immigrating to the United States, Saund earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of California. In 1949, he became a U.S. citizen. Saund worked as a lettuce farmer before winning election as a judge for Imperial County, California. After meeting the seven-year constitutional requirement for citizenship, he ran for and won election to the 85th Congress (1957–1959) in 1956. In 1957, the Congressman returned to his native country of India and its surrounding countries on a two-month goodwill speaking tour. Treated as a celebrity, Saund was invited to address India’s Parliament. During the overseas trip, he spoke multiple times a day on issues such as communism and civil rights. In discussing the Little Rock, Arkansas, desegregation problems, the Congressman stated, “The problem of man’s injustice to man is a world problem. Let one who is innocent and pure throw the first stone.” Saund returned to the United States suggesting that the U.S. should clarify its foreign policy aims and conduct more outreach to Asian countries. Saund served a total of three terms in the House. During his campaign for re-election to the 88th Congress (1963–1965), he suffered a stroke on a flight to Washington, D.C. He remained hospitalized at Bethesda Naval Hospital for the remainder of his unsuccessful campaign. Saund eventually returned to his home in California, but never fully recovered from his stroke.

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