5 Facts To Know About AAPI Heritage Month History:
- According to the 2020 Census, there are 24 million people in the United States who fall under the umbrella of AAPI, and the Pew Research Center has found that Asian Americans are the fastest-growing ethnic group in America.
- Lawmakers chose May because of its historical significance for the AAPI community. It commemorates the immigration of the first Japanese people to the United States, as well as Golden Spike Day (May 10, 1869), which marked the completion of the transcontinental railroad, largely built by Chinese laborers.
- Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month was able to exist due to the traction from the civil rights movement in the 70s; they were able to find momentum because of Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month.
- Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month was originally a week; it was President Jimmy Carter who signed it into law in 1978 designating a week to celebrate the AAPI community.
- President George H. W. Bush signed a bill in 1990 that extended the week into the full month and President Barack Obama changed the name to Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in 2009.
Let's start celebrating!