Since 1992 we have celebrated Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month in May. It is a time to commemorate and celebrate the contributions that people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have made to the United States
The month of May was chosen because of two events in Asian-American history: the first Japanese immigrants arrived in the U.S. on May 7, 1843; and the transcontinental railroad, which was largely built by Chinese workers, was completed on May 10, 1869.
Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month began as a week-long celebration in 1978, when President Jimmy Carter signed a resolution designating the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week. The week was extended to a month when President George Bush signed it into law on October 28, 1992.
The month is celebrated with festivals, parades, community events, and cultural performances meant to honor and teach about Asian American history and culture.
- Asian Nation: Asian American History, Demographics, and Issues
Discusses the history of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, as well as how it is celebrated. Includes links to information about the history of people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the U.S.
- Library of Congress: Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
Site from the Library of Congress covers events happening throughout the month, as well as the history and culture of Asian Americans