Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

When is it celebrated?

It is celebrated during the month of May.

Who celebrates it?

It is celebrated in the United States.

Where does it originate from?

Jeanie Jew, a board member for the Organization for Chinese Americans, introduced the idea of a heritage week for Asian Americans in the 1970s.  Her goal was to designate a week to honor the contributions of Asian Americans. May 4th-11th was chosen because it signifies the immigration of Japanese immigrants to the US, and the day the transcontinental railroad was completed, in which Asian Americans had a primary role.  With the support and advocacy of multiple congressmen and Asian American Organizations, President Jimmy Carter declared the creation of Asian/Pacific Heritage Week in 1978. In 1990, President George W. Bush signed it into law, and to span the whole month.

Symbols/Traditions:

  • Celebrating Asian American culture and history
  • Attending parades, festivals, and lectures
  • Teaching of Asian American history and culture in schools

See more resources here: https://www.asianpacificheritage.gov/ and here http://apasf.org/

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