Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Home

Resources related to the contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities at WPI's Gordon Library

Month of Celebration

Photograph of cherry blossoms and blue sky background, text at the top of the image: Gordon Library Celebrates, below is a pastel ombre circle with text: May 2022 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage MonthBlack background with yellow circles, text at top: AAPI Heritage Month, May 2022, center of image is yellow circle with white outline of a lotus flower, underneath is the logo for WPI's Office of Multicultural Affairs

History of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

Asian/Pacific Heritage Month

In 1978, Representative Frank Horton (NY) and Senator Daniel Inouye (HI) introduced House Joint Resolution 1007 which requested the President declare an "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week."  On October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week be celebrated in May 1979 as part of Public Law 95-419.  Each year, the President would issue a proclamation to celebrate Asian/Pacific Heritage Week during May.

In 1990, Congress expanded the celebration from one week to one month and in 1992 passed Public Law 102-450 which designates each May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.  May was chosen to celebrate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843 and to mark the completion of the transcontinental railway on May 10, 1869, which was constructed primarily by Chinese immigrants.

The theme for 2022, "Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration" which champions the idea of individuals, groups, and organizations actively working toward common goals. Gordon Library joins WPI and the world in honoring the legacy and culture of Americans descended from the Asian continent and the Pacific Islands of:  Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia Zealand, the Hawaiian Islands, Midway Islands, Samoan Islands, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Easter Island.

To learn more:

Federal Asian Pacific American Council

National Archives

National Endowment for the Humanities

National Park Service

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

United States Census Bureau