Asian Pacific American Heritage

Curriculum Materials Center

David & Lorraine Cheng Library

William Paterson University

Asian Pacific Americans are the fastest-growing racial group in America according to the US Census Bureau. May was chosen to celebrate and pay tribute to the first Japanese immigrants who came to America in May 1843. In 1977, Frank Horton of New York introduced to Congress the House Joint Resolution to proclaim the first 10 days in May as Pacific/American Heritage week. This joint resolution was passed in 1978 and signed into law as Public Law 95-419 by President Jimmy Carter on October 5, 1978. In 1990 congress passed Public Law 101-283 which expanded the celebration for the entire month of May. It was annually designated in 1992 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month when Congress passed Public Law 102-450.

Asian/Pacific Heritage Month

Famous Asian Americans

1. Anna May Wong, Taishanese American Actress

2. Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu, Chinese American Nuclear Physicist

3. Dalip Singh Saund, Indian American Congressman

4. Dr. David Ho, Taiwanese American Research Physician and Virologist

5. Duke Kahanamoku, Native Hawaiian Olympic Gold Medalist, Surfer and Actor

6. Haing S. Ngor, Cambodian American Surgeon, Actor and Author

7. I.M. Pei, Chinese American Architect

8. Jerry Yang, Taiwanese American Co-Founder of Yahoo! and Tech Investor

9. Joyce Chen, Chinese American Chef, Restaurateur, and Author

10. Kalpana Chawla, Indian American Astronaut and Engineer

11. Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink, Japanese American Politician and Attorney

12. Philip Vera Cruz, Filipino American Labor Leader and Civil Rights Activist

13. Sammy Lee, Korean American Olympic Diver, Coach and Physician

14. Tammy Duckworth, Thai American Army Veteran and U.S. Senator

15. Yo-Yo Ma, Chinese American Classical Musician and Performer

16. Yuji Ichioka, Japanese American Historian and Civil Rights Activist

Learn more about these famous Asian Americans at the following link.

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Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month | BrainPOP News