According to asianpacificheritage.gov, "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."
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 (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).
This guide is intended as a non-exhaustive resource on contemporary Asian and Pacific Island American histories.
In this guide we strive to highlight the stories across the wide range of lived experience of Asian and Pacific Island Americans, while also acknowledging and denouncing the tragically persistent trend of anti-Asian racism and violence in the United States.
The OCC community is welcome to suggest resources, guides, or any other information relevant to this guide by contacting Erin Gratz