The annual celebration of Asian-Pacific Americans began as a week-long observance in 1978. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed a resolution extending the celebration to the entire month of May. In 1992, the official designation of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month was signed into law.
The month of May was chosen to recognize the history, culture and contributions of Asian-Pacific Americans for two reasons:
1) the first Japanese immigrants in the United States arrived on May 7, 1843
2) the transcontinental railroad, which was constructed largely through the labor of Chinese immigrants, was finished on May 10, 1869
Learn more about Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month on our page of links