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May is National Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!
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National Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is one of four nationally recognized heritage months celebrated every year. This monthís celebration is a wonderful opportunity for people of many cultural backgrounds to come together to learn about different cultures, and to celebrate and share their own.

How Did it Start?

In June 1977, Representatives 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.

One Week Becomes a Month-long Celebration

In May 1990, the holiday was expanded further when President George H. W. Bush designated May to be 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. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. "Asian Pacific American" is a political appellation that encompasses many ethnic groups with diverse backgrounds, histories, languages, and cultures. The term attempts to give expression to cultural, linguistic, and ethnic diversity while recognizing common historical experiences in American history. Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebrates the collective accomplishments of these communities.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated with community festivals, government-sponsored activities, and educational activities for students. This year's theme is "Freedom for AllóA Nation We Call Our Own."

Read the 2005 Presidential Proclamation of Asian Pacific American Month:

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, 2005
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Millions of Americans proudly trace their ancestry to the many nations that make up Asia and the Pacific islands. For generations, Americans of Asian/Pacific heritage have strengthened our Nation through their achievements in all walks of life, including business, politics, education, community service, the arts, and science.

This month we honor Asian/Pacific Americans for their contributions to our Nation's growth and development and to the spread of freedom around the world. This year's theme, " Liberty and Freedom for All," honors the sacrifices of Asian/Pacific Americans in the defense of freedom and democracy. We remember the bravery of soldiers of Asian/Pacific descent who have served in our military. These proud patriots stepped forward and fought for the security of our country and the peace of the world, and they will always hold a cherished place in our history. As we confront the challenges of the 21st century and fight the war on terror, Americans of Asian/Pacific descent continue to serve in the Armed Forces and are working to secure our homeland and promote peace and liberty around the world. Their dedication and patriotism uphold the highest ideals of our country.

To honor the achievements and contributions of Asian/Pacific Americans, the Congress by Public Law 102 450 as amended, has designated the month of May each year as "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 2005 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. I call upon the people of the United States to learn more about the history of Asian/Pacific Americans and their many contributions to our Nation and to observe this week with appropriate programs and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty ninth. GEORGE W. BUSH


Explore the links below to bring a taste of Asian Pacific cuisine into your home this week!

The History of Soup in Asian countries

Matching Wine with the Hot-Sour-Salty-Sweet Foods of Asia

What Wine with Sushi?

Japanese Recipes

Asian Recipes Online

Hawaiian Recipes

More Hawaiian Recipes

More Information

Itís impossible to measure the countless contributions the Asian Pacific community has contributed to American life and culture. Pease explore the links below to learn more about this rich segment of our American populace.


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