Observances ~ May
Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month
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 milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad,
completed May 10, 1869. In 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a monthlong celebration.
During the observance of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we celebrate the cultural traditions, ancestry, native languages, and unique experiences represented among more than 56 ethnic groups from Asia and the Pacific Islands (speaking over 100 languages) who live in the United States.
This year, the AAPI Heritage Month theme is “ I Am Beyond." The phrase captures the aspirations of the American spirit and how Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have always sought to excel beyond the challenges that have limited equal opportunity in America.
Through the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, there is work to improve the quality of life and opportunities for Aisan Amiericans and Pacific Islanders by facilitating increased access to and participation in federal programs where they remain underserved.
- U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Features: Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: May 2014
- White House Presidential Proclamation: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, May 2014 | 2013
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