The United States is home to a multitude of cultures, nationalities, ethnicities and languages as diverse and plentiful as the people who inhabit it. To honor America’s diversity, we will recognize the history, culture and achievements of different communities all year, and in May we will celebrate the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Here are three facts about the history of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
- In 1978, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month began as only a week celebration, and in 1992, Congress passed a law to designate the entire month of May to celebrating the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
- May was selected to honor the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States mainland on May 7, 1843. May also commemorates the transcontinental railroad’s completion on May 10, 1869. Many of the workers who laid the tracks for the Central Pacific Railroad company were Chinese immigrants. A 2,000-mile journey that would have taken months by wagon train, now only took days.
- Asian American and Pacific Islander includes heritage from the entire 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).
Educators Credit Union is proud to join the celebration of honoring the Asian and Pacific Islander American community. Follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as we continue to celebrate and commemorate this significant month!
For more information, visit asianpacificheritage.gov/.