With Asian Pacific American Heritage Month coming up in May, we did some research on the rich history behind this occasion. Congress chose the month of May to commemorate the contributions of those of Asian descent because the first Japanese to immigrate to the U.S. arrived on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad, by workers who were mainly Chinese immigrants, was on May 10, 1869.
1978: President Jimmy Carter makes honoring Asians in May an annual event
1990: Event becomes a month-long celebration under President George H.W. Bush
1992: May is officially designated as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, signed into law.
The term “Asian Pacific” encompasses the entire Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. That’s a lot of heritage lumped together in one term, which gives us all the more reason to come together in collaborative effort to celebrate our identity and the rich cultural heritage we share.
Below are some links for Asian heritage month events that will be held at various cities across the country. You can also check out any events your school may be hosting as well. Spread the love and be proud that during May, the U.S. officially memorializes the Asian Pacific American community’s part in shaping the nation in the past, present and into the future.
Houston, TX – 05/01/10
New York City, NY – 05/02/10
Champagne-Urbana, IL – 05/02/10
Chicago, IL – 05/03/10
San Diego, CA – 05/08/10
San Francisco – 05/15/10
Washington DC – 05/22/10
Seattle, WA – 05/02/10
Photo of painting by Mr. Yang Hsien-Min, via NIST.gov
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