Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is celebrated nationwide during the month of May to honor the cultures, traditions, and achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
In June of 1977, Congressmen Frank Horton (NY) and Norman Y. Mineta (CA) introduced a House resolution that called upon the President to proclaim the first 10 days of May as Asian/Pacific Heritage Week. May was chosen because in 1843 during the first week of the month, the first Japanese immigrants arrived in America. Also on May 10, 1869, the transcontinental railroad, built with Chinese labor, was completed.
In July of 1977, Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both bills were passed, and on October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual week of celebration.
In May of 1990, President George H.W. Bush designated the entire month as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
In 1999, Congressman David Wu (OR) and the co-chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus supported the celebration of Taiwanese American Heritage Week starting each Mother’s Day Weekend during the month of May.
In most major cities across the United States, one will find festivals, fairs, or events honoring our history and culture. Be sure to get out and support the community by attending a community event near you!
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cover photo by Anna Wu
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