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Asian/Pacific-American Heritage Month

Asian/Pacific-American Heritage Month

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
April 2015

Credit: from Library of Congress.

Join in the fun as we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!

Why does FAU celebrate this Heritage Month in April instead of May?

Two of our semesters end and begin in May. Celebrating in April allows us to share this celebration with all of our students. 

Browse facts about Asian/Pacific Americans at

Asian/Pacific-American Heritage Month

Mary Higeko Hamana teaches Japanese
flower arranging, 1977

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian-Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).

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.

The month of May was chosen 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.

The theme for the 2020 celebration of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month is "Unite our Nation by Empowering Equality."

From Library of Congress!

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Library of Congress (LOC) offers Two Asian Pacific Americans’ Wartime Experiences: Personal Histories from the Veterans History Project.

This short blog entries includes links to memoirs by two Asian Pacific Americans, one, a Japanese American man who entered the war shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor as a member of the U.S. infantry performing a very danger mission, and the other, a Japanese American woman, who was forced to live in an internment camp in the U.S. 

Norman Saburo Ikari on guard at barracks, 442nd Regimental Combat Team area, Camp Shelby, Mississippi
Photo: courtesy of Library of Congress

Last updated on May 24, 2024 10:31 PM