Did you know? May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

Julia Howelman

"May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and the 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." (Asian Pacific American Heritage Month)

This month is 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).  

Asian and Pacific Islander Americans make up about 6% percent of the U.S. population. That's more than 20 million people. Not only that, but the ancestral roots of AAPI people represent more than 50% percent of the world.  

The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first recorded 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.  

All-encompassing, the workers who built our early railroads to the leaders across industries today, Happy AAPI Heritage Month!


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