Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

 

 

 

            This May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAH), a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. 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). Here’s a list of important facts on Asian Pacific American Heritage Month that you may not have already known.

 

History

 

  • It was originally introduced as Asian Pacific American Heritage Week by Congress in 1977, but did not get passed.
  • Asian Pacific American Heritage week was passed by President Jimmy Carter in 1978.
  • It was officially expanded to Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in 1990.
  • In 1992, Congress passed Public Law 102-450 which annually designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.
  • 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.
  • Communities celebrate the achievements and contributions of Asian and Pacific Americans with community festivals, government-sponsored activities and educational activities for students.
  • Across the nation, local Asian Pacific American organizations host their own events to celebrate the month.

 

Population

 

  • It is estimated that there are 20.3 million Asian Pacific Americans in the U.S. as of 2014.
  • Today, Chinese are the largest Asian group in the United States, followed by Filipinos, Japanese, Indians, Koreans, and Vietnamese.
  • The first large-scale immigration of Asians to America occurred with the gold rush of 1848, many of them settling in Sacramento and the foothills.
  • California has the largest Asian population.

 

Notable Asian Americans

 

  • Duke Kahanamoku, a Hawaiian native, set a world record in the 100-meter free-style and earned a silver medal in the 200-meter relay, won two more gold medals at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics, a silver medal at the 1924 Paris Olympics, and a bronze medal at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.
  • Dalip Singh Saund made history in 1956 when he became the first Asian elected to Congress.
  • Steven Chu won a Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on cooling atoms in 1997.
  • Yo-Yo Ma has recorded 50 albums and won more than a dozen Grammy Awards.
  • At 21 years old, Maya Lin won a contest to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  • Michelle Kwan, a professional ice skater, has 37 perfect scores, the most of any skater in history.

 

Event 2016

 

 

 

Written By: O. Greendyk