Teaching Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage
May Is Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have contributed to politics, military, medicine, aviation, entertainment, and sports in the United States. Celebrate their heritage and contributions with these lessons and activities.
History of API Heritage Month
API Heritage Month originated in June 1977 when Representatives Frank Horton (New York) and Norman Y. Mineta (California) called for the establishment of Asian/Pacific Heritage Week. Hawaii senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both bills passed, and in 1978 President Jimmy Carter signed the resolution. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush expanded the celebration from a week to a month. Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated to commemorate the arrival in May 1843 of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States.
Last Updated: April 6, 2015