Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month
“Like most commemorative months, Asian-Pacific Heritage Month originated in a congressional bill. In June 1977, Reps. Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution that called upon the president to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. The following month, senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed. On October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual celebration. Twelve years later, President George H.W. Bush signed an extension making the week-long celebration into a month-long celebration. In 1992, the official designation of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month was signed into law.” Note that in his proclamation on April 29th, President Barack Obama referred to this annual observance as, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a slight change in the official title for this celebration.
“The month of May is significant to the history of Asian Pacific Americans for two reasons: to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843; and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.”
- Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month — This site is a collaboration among the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success. It includes virtual exhibits, images, audio-visual resources and resources for teachers.
- Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month — Statistics about Asian Pacific Americans from the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Asian Nation: Asian American history, demographics, & issues — A wide variety of articles documenting Asian Pacific American culture, ethnicity, and history with recommendations for further reading and relevant online resources.
- National Register of Historic Places Program: Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month : May — This site from the National Register of Historic Places “showcases historic properties listed in the National Register and National Park units highlighting important aspects of the Asian and Pacific experience in America.”
- Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion — This online exhibit from the New York Historical Society highlights personal stories of Chinese Americans
- The Vietnam Center and Archive Celebrates Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month — An online exhibit for Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.
- Asian Pacific American Book List — Selected picture books about Asian Pacific Americans and cultures.
- Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month for Teachers — Lesson plans and primary resources from the Library of Congress, National Archives, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and National Gallery
- Teaching Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage — Resources from the National Education Association
- Asian Pacific American Heritage Month — Links to an array of online exhibits, primary resources and lesson plans for teaching and learning about Asian Pacific American Heritage Month from TeachingHistory.org
- Asian Pacific American Heritage — This site for teachers from Scholastic.com includes statistics, biographical stories of Asian-Pacific Americans, interviews and arts and crafts