"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." - AsianPacificHeritage.gov
In 1978, Congress passed Public Law 95-419, which directed President Carter to designate a week in May 1979 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. In 1990, Congress passed a law amending the 1978 law, requesting a month-long observance.
The term "Asian/Pacific" includes the continent of Asia and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.
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View exhibits and collections, audio and video, and more. 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.
(Films on Demand) This five-part series from PBS traces the story of Asian Americans, spanning 150 years of immigration, racial politics, and cultural innovation. It is a timely look at the role that Asian Americans have played in defining who we are as a nation.
A Different Shade of Justice: Asian American civil rights in the South by Stephanie Hinnershitz(EBSCO eBook) In the Jim Crow South, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, and, later, Vietnamese and Indian Americans faced obstacles similar to those of African Americans in their fight for civil and human rights. Drawing from legislative and legal records as well as oral histories, memoirs, and newspapers, Hinnershitz describes a movement that ran alongside and intersected with the African American fight for justice..