May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month!

8 05 2009

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month; it’s an observation of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the U.S.  Asian-Pacific, a broad phrase, includes the Asian continent and the Pacific Islands, including Guam, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands and more.

The month began with a congressional bill like most commemorative months. In June 1977, Representatives Frank Horton and Norman Y. Mineta began a House resolution that asked the president to proclaim the first ten days of May Asian-Pacific Heritage Week.

In July of ’77, senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga presented a similar bill in the Senate, and both were passed. On October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual observation.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed an extension, which changed the observation into a month-long celebration. In 1992, May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month was officially signed into law.

May was chosen to observe the immigration of the first Japanese to the U.S. on May 7, 1843 and to remember the anniversary of the transcontinental railroad completion on May 10, 1869. Most of the workers who laid tracks were Chinese immigrants.

This year’s theme is ‘Lighting the Past, Present and Future.’

Stay tuned for more info about notable Asian-Pacific American women = ) and check out more at




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