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Celebrating Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

Updated: May 12, 2020

"May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month—a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian-Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Easter Island). Help kids celebrate the rich history and culture of the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have contributed to America’s diversity and success with resources from the Smithsonian, the National Park Service, and more."


About Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

"A former congressional staffer in the 1970s, Jeanie Jew, first approached Representative Frank Horton of the idea of designating a month to recognize Asian Pacific Americans, following the bicentennial celebrations. In June 1977 Representatives Horton, and Norman Y. Mineta, introduced a United States House of Representatives resolution to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate a month later by Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga. The proposed resolutions sought that May be designated for two reasons. For on May 7, 1843, the first Japanese immigrant arrived in the United States.

President Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution for the celebration on October 5, 1978."


Image credit: Hula performance at the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park's 32nd Annual Cultural Festival (National Park Service).

Credits: Special thanks to the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee.

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