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Asian Pacific American Heritage


Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, once Asian-Pacific Heritage Week, is a time to celebrate and pay tribute to the contributions of generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, who enrich and contribute to American history, society, and culture. The Asian American community comprises individuals of East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, West Asian, Central Asian and Pacific Island backgrounds who represent over forty countries and hundreds of languages.

Norman Mineta



Norman Mineta

American politician Norman Mineta (born 1931), was the first Asian-American cabinet member; he served under both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Mineta, an American of Japanese descent, was forced into an internment camp during World War II, and as a member of Congress during the 1990s, he lobbied for the United States government to issue an official apology and financial restitution to families such as his. As Secretary of Transportation in the administration of George W. Bush, Mineta oversaw an agency of 100,000 employees and a $60 million budget amid heightened security concerns in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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Dwayne Johnson



Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson, also known as The Rock, was the youngest champion in World Wrestling Federation (WWF) history. Johnson's exotic looks--and impressive physique--helped make him one of the top-earning personalities in his field throughout the 1990s and 2000s. His 2000 autobiography, The Rock Says...: The Most Electrifying Man in Sports-Entertainment, spent five months on the New York Times best-seller list, and the following year Johnson made his feature-film debut in The Mummy Returns. Since then Johnson has made a name for himself outside the wrestling ring with action films such as The Scorpion King (2002), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), and several installments of the Fast & the Furious franchise; children's films such as Tooth Fairy (2010) and Moana (2016), and even comedies such as The Other Guys (2010), Pain & Gain (2013), and Baywatch (2017). In 2011 Johnson returned to the ring as The Rock and routinely appeared in the wrestling ring over the next decade. In 2015 he starred in his first ever television series, Ballers, a sports comedy that saw its fifth season premiere in 2019.

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Yo-Yo Ma



Yo-Yo Ma

Winner more than 17 Grammy Awards, cellist Yo-Yo Ma possesses astounding technical brilliance and an awe-inspiring artistic sensibility. He virtually defined the standard for future cellists, and during his prolific career recorded more than 50 albums, between 1983 and 2000. Ma never hesitated to explore fresh musical terrain and the music of other cultures, and often explored the musical forms outside of the Western classical tradition. Ma immersed himself in projects as diverse as native Chinese music and it's distinctive instruments, the music of the Kalahari bush people in Africa, and tango music. Ma became one of the most sought-after cellists of his time, appearing with eminent conductors and orchestras throughout the world. He also gained a deserved reputation as an ambassador for classical music and its vital role in society. Ma was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 for his contributions to classical music.

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Maya Lin



Maya Lin

Once referred to as the "black gash of shame," according to Time's Jonathan Coleman, the memorial commemorating the nearly 60,000 American veterans who died in the Vietnam War has become the most popular landmark in Washington, D.C., attracting millions of visitors to its black granite walls to touch the carved names of the dead men and women who served during the 1960s and 1970s in America's most controversial military action. Maya Lin, the creator of this monument, was at first harshly criticized for her design, which many charged was unsentimental, degrading, even ugly; Lin herself was attacked on racial grounds, many vets believing that her heritage as a Chinese American made her an unacceptable memorialist. Since its 1982 unveiling, however, the massive monument has come to symbolize America's willingness to "not only finally...confront the outcome of the Viet Nam War but also to begin the long process of healing," wrote Coleman, who added that the memorial "made it possible for the country to come together and honor those who had served--those who had died and those who had come home to anything but a hero's welcome."

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Amy Tan



Amy Tan

Amy Tan first gained acclaim in 1989 for The Joy Luck Club, a beautifully spun tale of generational and cultural differences in Asian American families focusing on mother-daughter relationships. Though her novels eloquently convey elements of the rich Chinese culture, they have universal appeal due to their insightful treatment, human emotions, and themes common to everyone: loss and hope, family ties and reconciliation, failure and success. The tales in her books are told from the points of view of a number of the characters, lending a more personal appeal. She has remained a popular writer with works such as The Hundred Secret Senses (1995), Saving Fish From Drowning (2006), and The Valley of Amazement (2013). In 2017, Tan released her memoir Where the Past Begins: A Writer's Memoir.

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Jerry Yang



Jerry Yang

Jerry Yang teamed with fellow Stanford student David Filo to make the emerging World Wide Web a place that could be navigated. What started out as a part-time project mostly for their own benefit turned into Yahoo! Inc., one of the world's most used search engines for the Web, complete with personalized features for shopping, searching, connecting, and using the Internet.

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Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu



Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu

Among the team of experimental physicists who developed the first atomic bomb for the U.S. government during World War II, Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997) spent 37 years as a leading researcher at Columbia University. She was noted for her meticulous experimental work in studying radioactive interactions. Her most famous experiment overturned what long had been considered a fundamental law of nature, the principle of conservation of parity.

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Dalip Singh Saund



Dalip Singh Saund

The Indian American politician Dalip Singh Saund (1899-1973) was the first Asian American elected to the U.S. Congress.

An article on the IMDiversity Web site quoted Don Nakanishi, head of the Asian American Studies Center at the University of California at Los Angeles, as calling Saund "the unsung pioneer of Asian American electoral politics." His life story encompassed financial ups and downs, struggles against discrimination, and an unwavering devotion to the American ideals of freedom and equality that he had read about as a child in India--and to the universal ideals of human dignity that motivated his early activism on behalf of Indian independence and of his fellow Indian Americans. "My guideposts were two of the most beloved men in history, Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi," Saund wrote in his autobiography, Congressman from India.

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Dr. David Ho



Dr. David Ho

When Time magazine's 1996 Man of the Year announced that AIDS could be reversed, his bold pronouncements became fodder for sudden, intense publicity and controversy. If Dr. David Ho's treatment works, it might be the first time ever that doctors have found tools to eradicate a viral infection that has already entered the body. Ho's techniques, reported Christine Gorman in Time, "provided the first concrete evidence that HIV is not insurmountable," and promised to end "15 years of horror, denial and disappointment" in efforts to combat AIDS. Ho and his team of researchers, said Gorman "fundamentally changed the way scientists looked at the AIDS virus."

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Haing S. Ngor



Haing S. Ngor

A survivor of the reign of terror of the Khmer Rouge in his native Cambodia, Haing S. Ngor (1940-1996) became known for his role in the 1984 film The Killing Fields, which told of atrocities in Cambodia. Although a physician, not an actor, he won the Academy Award for best supporting actor for the film. Until his tragic death, Ngor was a human rights activist, using his fame and income to help refugees and to tell the story of the holocaust experienced by his people.

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Joyce Chen



Joyce Chen

“good grades and joyous disposition.” Her father, Liao Hsin-shih, was a railroad administrator and city executive. Chen referred to her mother as Mrs. Hsin-shih Liao. Her grandfather and his brothers held high-ranking positions in the Chin Dynasty. Despite being born into a well-to-do family, Chen was taught culinary skills “so I wouldn’t eat raw rice in case I couldn’t afford a family cook.” When she was sixteen years old her family moved to Shanghai, where in 1942 she married Thomas Chen (Chen Da Zhong). The couple had three children: two were born in Shanghai, and the third was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the family settled after fleeing China in 1949 just before the Communist revolution.

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Kalpana Chawla



Kalpana Chawla

Her family's legacy was one of triumph over tragedy, and for Kalpana Chawla, the dream of adding to her family's legacy materialized when she went became the first Indian woman to go up in space in 1997. On February 1, 2003, as a member of the ill-fated Columbia shuttle crew, Chawla would be honored for a life she lived too briefly--but during which she realized spectacular achievements against great odds.

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Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink



Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink

While representing Hawaii for nearly 20 years in Congress, Representative Patsy Takemoto Mink (born 1927) made great strides toward peace, women's rights, civil rights, equality and justice.

On January 3, 1965, Patsy Takemoto Mink was the first Japanese-American woman and the first woman of color to be elected to the United States Congress. Breaking new ground for women and ethnic groups, though, was nothing new for her. The road to Congress was paved with many firsts, such as being elected the first female class president in her high school and being the first Japanese-American woman to practice law in Hawaii. Mink's dedication to helping others has resulted in legislative reforms in health care, education, women's rights, civil rights, conservation, employment and environmental affairs.

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Philip Vera Cruz



Philip Vera Cruz

Phillip Villamin Vera Cruz was a longtime leader of the movement, begun in the 1960s, to unionize the nation's farmworkers, especially the immigrant, itinerant workers who do much of the back-breaking, extremely low-paying work on the majority of America's large non-grain farms. Vera Cruz was a leader of the successful Filipino-led sitdown strike in the vineyards of Coachella, California, in 1965. It was this galvanizing event that led to the creation of the United Farmworkers of America.

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Yuji Ichioka



Yuji Ichioka

Born June 23, 1936, in San Francisco, CA; died of cancer September 1, 2002, in Los Angeles, CA. Historian, educator, and author. Ichioka is credited with coining the term "Asian American, " and he worked to bring Asian immigrants of all nationalities together in the United States and foster an understanding of Asian-American history. He was a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where he earned his B.A. in 1962, going on to earn a master's degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1968 and also doing graduate work at Columbia University.

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Jeremy Lin



Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin is an American professional basketball player who plays as a point guard for the Beijing Ducks. After failing to be drafted out of college, he mostly sat on the bench with the New York Knicks before leading the team to victory against the New Jersey Nets in 2012. The sudden success made Lin a star, and after several more months of play with the Knicks, he was signed as a point guard with the Houston Rockets. After two seasons with the Rockets, Lin was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2014 and then the Charlotte Hornets in 2015. After leaving Charlotte the following year, Lin spent time playing for the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks before eventually signing with the Toronto Raptors and winning an National Basketball Association (NBA) title with the team in 2019. Lin subsequently put his NBA career on hold, signing a contract to play for the Chinese Basketball Association's (CBA) Beijing Ducks in August of 2019.

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Daniel Inouye



Daniel Inouye

Daniel Ken Inouye was a senior in high school and contemplating a career in medicine when the United States entered World War II following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. A native of Hawaii, he was a nisei, the child of a Japanese immigrant to the islands. His father, Hyotaro Inouye, eked out a living as a clerk to provide for his wife, Kame Imanaga (herself a nisei), and the four Inouye children. They lived in one of Honolulu's worst slums, but as their oldest son later wrote in his autobiography, "I was too young to realize how underprivileged I was, and foolishly I enjoyed every moment of my childhood. There was always enough to eat in our house--although sometimes barely--but even more important, there was a conviction that opportunity awaited those who had the heart and strength to pursue it."

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Lisa Ling



Lisa Ling

Lisa Ling is an American television journalist. Since September of 2014, Ling has been the host of This Is Life with Lisa Ling on CNN. She previously served as the host of Our America with Lisa Ling, and National Geographic Explorer and as cohost of The View.

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Vera Wang



Vera Wang

Energetic and creative fashion guru Vera Wang became known as the designer to the stars in the 1990s with her trademark up-to-date wedding dresses, in addition to sleek evening gowns and elegant figure skating costumes. Using sheer materials and emphasizing minimalist styles, she has amassed a legion of famous fans from framed actresses and ice skaters who have made Wang a household name. Wang's creations are not just for the elite, however; she has a ready-to-wear line of bridal and evening dresses that can be found at stores across the nation. And in 2006, Wang became even more accessible to the masses with the announced launch of the Simply Vera line at Kohl's department stores. Also in 2011, Wang launched White by Vera Wang, a line of affordable wedding gowns sold at David's Bridal. A former almost-Olympic figure skater herself, Wang used her extensive experience as a fashion editor at Vogue and her stint designing for Ralph Lauren to launch her own lines. Her incentive for starting with bridal wear stemmed from her own frustration at not being able to find a suitable dress for her own 1989 wedding. "They were over-the-top and ornate and looked like wedding cakes," Wang told Jane Sharp in Biography. "I wanted something more elegant and subdued, but there wasn't anything. I realized the desire to fill that niche."

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B.D. Wong



B.D. Wong

Only twenty-something when he won theater's highest accolade--a Tony Award as best featured actor in 1988 for his performance in M. Butterfly, B. D. Wong could have rested on his many laurels. He is the first Asian American actor to receive awards from Actors' Equity, Theatre World, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama Desk--in addition to his Tony. But Wong is not the kind of person to focus on his own career without regard for his community. B.D. Wong has become a well-known name among Asian Americans for his dedication to fair portrayals of Asians as much as for his famed acting ability.

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Lana Condor



Lana Condor

Lana Condor is an American actress known for her roles in films such as X-Men: Apocalypse and To All the Boys I've Loved Before. Condor has also appeared in the films Patriot Day (2016) and Summer Night (2018). Condor was cast in the James Cameron-penned sci-fi/action film Alita: Battle Angel, scheduled for release in 2019. She also signed on to costar in the SyFy channel original series Deadly Class, set to premiere in 2019.

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Tyga



Tyga

Tyga is an American rapper and hip-hop artist who came to prominence in 2007, when, as a teenager, he performed at the MTV Video Music Awards. Known for his mixture of invective, humor, and at times disparagement of women, the rapper has produced several studio albums, including his 2008 debut No Introduction, Careless World: Rise of the Last King (2012), and Hotel California (2013).

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Ocean Vuong



Ocean Vuong

Ocean Vuong is a Vietnamese American writer whose debut novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, was showered with unreservedly approving accolades in 2019. A few months after its publication, he won a prestigious "genius grant" in the amount of $625,000 from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. One of Vuong's early champions was Ben Lerner, author of another 2019 standout novel The Topeka School and Vuong's undergraduate writing teacher at Brooklyn College. "It was unclear if Ocean was aware of the immensity of his talent," Lerner told New York Times writer Kevin Nguyen, "but everybody around him was." Vuong works as an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He also travels to give lectures at other institutions.

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M. Night Shyamalan



M. Night Shyamalan

A Hollywood auteur who directs as well as writes major motion pictures, M. Night Shyamalan released one of the top-grossing films of all time, The Sixth Sense, in 1999. The film starred Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment as a child psychologist and a boy, respectively, coming to grips with death. The film combined strong writing and solid directing with outstanding performances to create one of that year's top-grossing films, second only to Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. The Sixth Sense, directed by Shyamalan when he was 28 years old, grossed more than $700 million. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including best director, best screenplay, and best picture. Shyamalan continued his directorial pursuits with a number of mystery oriented films over the years, including Signs (2002), The Village (2004), and The Happening (2008). Shyamalan began filming his next project The Visit in 2014. The movie was set for a 2015 release. He also transitioned into TV directing with the mystery series Wayward Pines, scheduled to air in 2015.

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Asian Pacific Heritage Week originated in a congressional bill in 1978 sponsored by the U.S. Representatives Frank Horton and Norman Y. Mineta and U.S. Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga. Twelve years later, President George H.W. Bush signed an extension making the week-long celebration into a month-long celebration. May was chosen because the first Japanese immigrant arrived in the United States in May of 1843 and the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad, on which many Chinese laborers worked, was held on May 10, 1869.

Stop Asian Hate

Events

Sat, Oct 01, 10:30am - 2:00pm
Hyattsville

Tue, Oct 04, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Virtual Branch

Videos

Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2020

This Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month we honor those who have pioneered the way. While we recognize the Asian American groundbreakers and game changers, we also recognize those who support diversity and inclusion supporting all cultures, including AAPIs. This AAPI Heritage Month is different than many others as we experience a world wide pandemic affecting the AAPI community in unfortunate ways. Let's continue working towards progress in uniting our nation. Happy Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Japanese American Internment (with Captions)

Teachable Moments are short films that provide a quick overview of important topics and events from the Roosevelt Era. Created by the FDR Library's Education staff with the support of the Pare Lorenz Center, they are designed to assist primary and secondary school students.

The Making of Asian America: A History

In the past fifty years, Asian Americans have helped change the face of America and are now the fastest growing group in the United States. But as award-winning historian Erika Lee reminds us, Asian Americans also have deep roots in the country. The Making of Asian America tells the little-known history of Asian Americans and their role in American life, from the arrival of the first Asians in the Americas to the present-day. A book signing will follow the program.

Oh, the Stories They Tell: Chinese Exclusion Acts Case Files at the National Archives (2017 May 10)

Although the search for a Chinese Exclusion Act case file may be difficult and challenging, the rewards can be great as these files may contain a treasure trove of information for the family and social historian. Presented by the National Archives at Seattle Director Susan Karren in recognition of the Chinese Exclusion Act’s 135th anniversary.

We Need To Talk About Anti-Asian Hate

We need to talk about the rise of anti-Asian hate and attacks. Join Eugene for an in-depth conversation about the complex, often untold story of the Asian American community, the unique struggles they face, and find out how you can help #StopAsianHate?.

What Pacific Islanders Want You To Know

"I had to teach myself about myself"

Inhuman Figures: Robots Clones Aliens

Inhuman Figures is a film essay by Michelle N. Huang and CA Davis that excavates three popular science-fictional archetypes—the robot, clone, and alien—to reveal how imagined futures are produced from a long history of treating Asian Americans as tireless workers, indistinguishable copies, and forever foreigners.

Kanopy Videos

Kanopy

Kanopy is an online video streaming platform with 26,000 movies, documentaries, and indie and foreign films from over hundreds of producers including The Criterion Collection, The Great Courses, Kino Lorber, PBS, and thousands of independent filmmakers. Users are limited to 10 videos streamed every month.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Timeline

1

1587

The first Filipinos in what would become the United States land in Morro Bay, California


1763

Filipino sailors travel across the Gulf into Louisiana’s bayou country and settle there. These “Louisiana Manila men” are the oldest continuous Asian American settler community in North America.

2

3

1776

John Newton, one of the earliest documented South Asians in the U.S., is listed in the Virginia Gazette as a runaway indentured servant.


1854

In People v. Hall, the murder conviction against George W. Hall was reversed because all three witnesses were Chinese. This case established a precedent that Chinese Americans or Chinese immigrants could not legally testify against white people in court.

4

5

1865

Central Pacific Railroad Company hires first of 12,000 Chinese workers, many from Canton, China.


1867

In the era’s largest labor strike, thousands of Chinese railroad workers for the Central Pacific Railroad Company stage a strike to demand equal pay to white laborers, shorter workdays, and better conditions.

6

7

1869

First Japanese settlers arrive on the U.S. mainland, in California.


1870

Naturalization Act of 1870 restricts naturalized citizenship to white and Black people.

8

9

1878

California Circuit Court rules that “Mongolians” are not eligible for naturalization.


1879

California’s Second Constitution prohibits the employment of Chinese people.

10

11

1882

Chinese Exclusion Act suspends immigration of Chinese laborers for 10 years.


1885

Philip Jaisohn arrives in the U.S. as a political exile, becoming the first Korean to be naturalized as a U.S. citizen.

12

13

1886

In Yick Wo v. Hopkins, the Supreme Court rules that law with unequal impact on different groups is discriminatory.


1887

Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom: a minority of subjects of the Hawaiian Kingdom and foreign nationals, which included citizens of the United States, met in a mass meeting to organize a takeover of the political rights of the native population in the Kingdom.

14

15

1893

The U.S. invades the Hawaiian Kingdom and overthrows Queen Liliʻuokalani.


1898

The U.S. occupies Guam after the Spanish-American War and the Treaty of Paris of 1898.

16

17

1899

The U.S. annexes eastern Samoa, and Germany annexes the western part of the islands.


1907

Five hundred white men violently attack two hundred South Asian migrant workers in Bellingham, Washington to expel them from town. Within ten days, the entire South Asian population flees Bellingham to seek safer conditions.

18

19

1912

Duke Kahanamoku, Native Hawaiian athlete and actor, wins his first of five gold medals in swimming at the Stockholm Olympics.


1920s

American Samoa’s Mau movement for independence from American colonialism is suppressed by the U.S. Navy. Samuel Sailele Ripley, who led the movement, is exiled from American Samoa but later serves as mayor of Richmond, California.

20

21

1923

In United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, the Supreme Court rules that South Asians cannot be naturalized.


1924

Immigration Act of 1924 effectively prohibits immigration of all Asians.

22

23

1942

With Executive Order 9066, the U.S. incarcerates 120,000 Japanese Americans in concentration camps.


1942

Chinese-born American artist Tyrus Wong works as a lead production illustrator on Disney's Bambi, taking inspiration from Song dynasty art.

24

25

1943

Congress repeals Chinese Exclusion Act and grants naturalization rights.


1946

The Philippines gains independence from the United States.

26

27

1946

The Luce-Celler Act permits Filipinos and Indians to immigrate and grants them naturalization rights.


1946

Wing Ong is first Asian American elected to state office (Arizona).

28

29

1949

U.S. grants 5,000 educated Chinese refugee status after Communist takeover of China.


1950

Guam Organic Act of 1950 established Guam as an unincorporated organized territory of the United States.

30

31

1956

Dalip Singh Saund of California becomes first Indian American in Congress.


1959

Hiram Fong of Hawaii becomes first Chinese American in the Senate.

32

33

1959

Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii becomes first Japanese American in Congress.


1964

Patsy Takemoto Mink of Hawaii becomes first nonwhite woman in Congress.

34

35

1965

Seeking fair pay and safe working conditions, the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, made up mostly of Filipino farmworkers, begins the five-year-long Delano Grape strike in California that prompts a global grape boycott.


1965

Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 eliminates national-origins quota system and grants immigration priority to relatives of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, professionals and other individuals with specialized skills, and refugees.

36

37

1968

Emma Gee and Yuji Ichiok coined the term “Asian American” by creating the University of California, Berkeley’s Asian American Political Alliance (AAPA). AAPA would later be part of the third world Liberation Front, which demanded that the University support the scholarship and underemphasized histories of African Americans, Asian Americans, Chicanos/Chicanas, and Native Americans.


1975

Vietnam war ends, leading to large migration from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.

38

39

1975

Chinese American Physicist Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu becomes the first woman to be president of the American Physical Society.


1976

Native Hawaiian musician and activist George Helm Jr. and his organization Hui Alaloa lead an effort to end the bombing of the island Kaho’olawe by the U.S. Navy for target practice bombings.

40

41

1979

First Asian/Pacific American heritage Week is celebrated.


1982

Vincent Chin, a Chinese American in Detroit, is killed by two white men because they thought Chin looked Japanese. The two men faced minimal consequences, spurring protests and outrage that united the Asian American community.

42

43

1983

The Free Chol Soo Lee movement successfully free Lee, a Korean immigrant, from death row after he was wrongfully convicted in a San Francisco Chinatown murder. After reporter K.W. Lee shed light on the problematic police investigation and trial, widespread support for a remarkable grassroots social movement ensued. This movement united diverse groups of Asian and Asian Americans in a common cause of justice and freedom for Lee.


1985

Ellison Onizuka becomes first Asian American astronaut in space.

44

45

1985

Haing S. Ngor, Cambodian American surgeon and actor, becomes the only actor of Asian descent to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his debut performance in “The Killing Fields.”


1986

Gerald Tsai of American Can becomes first Asian American CEO of Fortune 500 company.

46

47

1988

After a decade of campaigning from the Japanese American Citizens’ League, the U.S. grants $20,000 in reparations to each survivor of incarceration during World War II.


1989

Amerasian Homecoming Act allows children born to Vietnamese mothers and U.S. servicemen to immigrate.

48

49

1992

Jay Kim of California becomes first Korean American in Congress.


1996

Several women including Helen Zia, Christina M. Regalado, Dawn-Thanh Nguyen, Lisa Hasegawa, and Kiran Ahuja found the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum to address six central issues: civil rights, economic justice, educational access, ending violence against women, health, and immigrant and refugee rights.

50

51

1997

Gary Locke of Washington becomes first Asian American governor of mainland state.


1999

Andrea Jung of Avon becomes first nonwhite woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

52

53

2000

Secretary of Commerce Norman Mineta becomes first Asian American Cabinet member.


2001

Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao becomes first woman Asian American Cabinet member.

54

55

2001

Organizations such as the Sikh Coalition and South Asian Americans Leading Together mobilize after the rise in violence against and surveillance of Muslim, Sikh, South Asian, and Arab American communities following 9/11.


2001

Dr. Wen Ho Lee, a U.S. citizen, is charged with spying for China; a federal judge later apologizes to Lee for being “led astray” by the Department of Justice.

56

57

2003

Kalpana Chawla, the first woman of Indian descent to go into space, is one of seven crew members who died on the Columbia Space shuttle.


2007

Bobby Jindal of Louisiana becomes first Indian American governor.

58

59

2010

Apolo Anton Ohno becomes most decorated American Winter Olympian, with eight medals.


2010

Nikki Haley of South Carolina becomes first woman Indian American governor.

60

61

2013

Kevin Tsujihara of Warner Bros. becomes first nonwhite CEO of a major Hollywood studio.


2014

First Asian American U.S. Marine Officer, Maj. Kurt Chew-Een Lee, dies at the age of 88.

62

63

2021

Kamala Harris becomes the first woman, first Black person and first Asian American to serve as Vice President of the United States.


2022

California State University becomes the first university system in the U.S. to add caste to its anti-discrimination policy.

64

Online Exhibits

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Event Highlights
Virtual Asian American Art Museum
Chinese Historical Society of America
A Day in the Queer Life of Asian Pacific America
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Art Intersections: Asian-Latino Pop-Up Museum
Asian Art Museum: Museum from Home
Digital Exhibits from the Smithsonian
The National Archives Celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
The Crow Collection of Asian Art, The University of Texas at Dallas
Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
South Asian and Himalayan Collections

Online Resources

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Teens Recommended Reads

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