Student Handout 2 – Hari Singh Everest: Biographical Timeline

Timeline Events
January 16, 1916 Born in the Punjab region in northwest British India into a farming in the Sikh religion.
1940s He dreams of becoming a famous writer and adopts a highly unusual last name to reflect his ambition: Everest (the tallest mountain in the world).
August 15, 1947 India’s Independence & Partition displaces Hari Singh Everest’s family who must travel by bollock cart and on foot for weeks from the newly-created country of Pakistan to safety in India
Late 1940s/Early 50s Everest works as a journalist and as a government official helping to relocate Muslim families safely from India to Pakistan
December 24, 1954 Departs from the Punjab for America to attend a graduate program at Stanford University in journalism. Everest must leave his wife and children behind in India; he lived apart from his family for 12 years until they are able to join him in the US.
1955 After travelling two months by ship from India to England and then from England to New York City, he takes a Greyhound bus to California. When he reaches California, he is shocked to learn that he must work in farm labor to save enough money to pay for his student fees at Stanford University
1956-57 He completes his masters’ degree in journalism from Stanford University
1957-1961 After graduating with good grades from Stanford, he finds it difficult to secure a good job in journalism or as a professor due to his appearance. According to his interpretation of the Sikh religion, he feels that he should maintain uncut hair and wear a turban. With no good job prospects, a white Catholic family let him live with them free of rent for two years. He works odd jobs.
1961 1961 Five years after graduating from Stanford University, he obtains a professional job in Yuba City, CA. He is hired by Tierra Buena Elementary School as a fourth grade teacher. He is a teacher at this school for twenty years.
1969 He plays an important role in founding the first Sikh temple in Yuba City to commemorate the 500th birth anniversary of the religion’s founder, Guru Nanak. He was a critical ambassador for the Sikh temple, convincing local authorities to grant permission to build the Sikh temple and also hosting mainstream Americans from local churches and schools on a regular basis to educate them about his faith.
1960s-2011s He wrote over 500 articles, short stories and poetry that were published in newspapers and journals in the United States, Canada, and India. He also served as the unofficial ambassador for the Sikh community in Yuba City and was interviewed for countless documentaries, newspaper articles, and scholarly publications.
1991 He wins the Golden Poet Award
August 18, 2011 Passes away in Yuba City, CA