Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, takes place every May and is a celebration of the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
In June 1977 Frank Horton of New York and Norman Mineta of California introduced a United States House of Representatives resolution to proclaim for the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate a month later by Hawaii Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga. The month of 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. President Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution for the celebration on October 5, 1978.
In 1990, George W. Bush signed a bill passed by Congress to extend Asian-American Heritage Week to a month. May would be officially designated as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month two years later.
Communities nationwide celebrate the achievements and contributions of Asian and Pacific Islanders with community festivals, local government-sponsored cultural activities and educational activities.