Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

Post written by Kelsey Johnson.

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month! This month, we celebrate all of the Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The term Asian-Pacific includes the entire Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.

What used to be a week-long celebration beginning in 1978 was extended to the current month-long celebration by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. May was chosen as the month to observe this heritage for a couple of reasons.On  May 7, 1843, the first Japanese immigrants arrived in America, and then on May 10, 1869, Chinese laborers finished the transcontinental railroad.

Be sure to check out our content collection on Asian Pacific American Heritage Month including several videos recognizing this month long commemoration. Some of these videos include “Executive Order 9066: Japanese Internment Camps,” “Polynesian Survival on the Islands,” and “A History of Chinese American Achievement in the United States: Exclusion and Acceptance.”

This month is usually celebrated with several community festivals and educational activities. For those of you located in the DC area, consider participating in some of the events celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month around here:


Come celebrate FIESTA ASIA, one of the largest on the East coast. This is the 8th Annual Asian Heritage Month Street Festival in DC.


  • When: May 18, 2013
  • Time: 10am – 7pm
  • Admission: FREE!
  • Location: Between 3rd STREET & 6th STREET near Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC
  • For more information visit website


Another great festival around the DC is the  Washington DC Dragon Boat Festival.  Bring the whole family to watch a centuries old tradition – dragon boat races!

When: Saturday May 18, 2013 & Sunday May 19, 2013.

  • Admission: FREE!
  • Location: Thompsons Boat Center, 2900 Virginia Ave NW,Washington, DC 20007.
  • For more information: Call (202) 333-9543 or visit


For those who are not able to attend these events around us, explore what your town is doing to celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month and let us know!


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