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Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage: Home

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

History of the Celebration

De Sabla, Eugene J., Jr., Teahouse and Tea Garden, San Mateo, CA

De Sabla, Eugene J., Jr., Teahouse and Tea Garden, San Mateo, CA.
Photo by Eugene Zelenko, Creative Commons License.

A Proclamation establishing the first Asian-Pacific Heritage Week was declared by President Jimmy Carter on March 28, 1979. It was first sponsored by a congressional bill in June 1977 by Reps. Frank Horton (NY) and Norman Y. Mineta (CA) in the House and a month later in the Sentate by Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga of Hawaii. On October 5, 1978 the 95th Congress asked President Carter to set aside the first week in May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. President George Bush extended the celebration in 1992 and May became Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.

 

Library of Congress. "About Asian-Pacific American History Month." Library of Congress. Library of Congress. n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2011.

Woolley, John T. and Gerhard Peters. "George Bush: Statement on Signing Legislation Establishing Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month"  The American Presidency Project. The American Presidency Project. n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2011.

Woolley, John T. and Gerhard Peters. "Jimmy Carter: Proclamation 4652"  The American Presidency Project. The American Presidency Project. n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2011.

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

President Barack Obama spoke about the hardships and contributions of people of Asian and Pacific Island heritage in the United States. In his proclamation celebrating Asian American and Pacific Island Heritage Month 2011 he stated:

Generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have helped develop and defend the United States, often in the face of tremendous racial and cultural prejudice.  Despite these difficulties, AAPI men and women struggled, sacrificed, and persevered to build a better life for their children and all Americans.

      Today, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have a profound impact on our society as leaders in all facets of American life, thriving as athletes and public servants, entrepreneurs and artists.  Whether as small business owners or as proud members of the United States Armed Forces, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are helping to write the next chapter of the American story.

I call upon all Americans to visit www.AsianPacificHeritage.gov to learn more about the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.

Law Library of Congress. "Asian Pacific American Heritage Month." Library of Congress. Library of Congress, 7 Apr. 2010. Web. 27 Apr. 2011.

Proclamation 8659 of April 29, 2010: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, 2010, 76 FR, 25516 (2011)