Why is May Asian Pacific Heritage Month?

I forgot to mention at the beginning of May that May is officially, “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month,” as officially proclaimed by our president. The history behind Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month is that in 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.

The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important anniversaries: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and the completion of the transcontinental railroad (May 10, 1869). In 1992, Congress expanded the 10-day observance to a month-long celebration. Per a 1997 Office of Management and Budget directive, the Asian or Pacific islander racial category was separated into two different categories: “Asian” and “native Hawaiian or other Pacific islander.” (reference)

According to the U.S. census (2005), there are over 13.5 Asian/Americans constituting approximately ~5% of the U.S. population. Congressman Mike Honda (D – California) has a list of Bay Area events to commemorate the month.

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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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