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Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month: Home

Library of Congress

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Library of Congress offers Two Asian Pacific Americans' Wartime Experiences: Personal Histories from the Veterans History Project

This short blog includes links to memoirs by two Asian Pacific Americans: 

Japanese American man who joined the U.S. infantry after the bombing of Pearl Harbor

Japanese American woman forced to live in an internment camp in the United States

Norman Saburo Ikari on guard at Camp Shelby, Mississippi

Photo credit: Library of Congress

Plaque memorializing the Poston internment camp, where Mr. Ikari's mother and siblings were held

Photo credit: Library of Congress

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

ImaginAsian: Redefining and Recognizing Asian American Voices

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month - a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Asian-Pacific encompasses all of the Asisan continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. 

Asian-Pacific Heritage Month originated in a congressional bill in June 1977. On October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual celebration. Twelve years late, President George H.W. Bush signed an extension making the week-long celebration into a month-long celebration. In 1992, May was official designated as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.

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 workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. 

Baseball team by Harry Mellon Rhoads

Photo credit: Library of Congress American Memory, Denver Public Library Collection

Mary Higeko Hamano teaches the traditional art of Japanese flower arranging, Chicago

by Jonas Dovydenas

Photo credit: Library of Congress American Memory

Information Literacy Librarian

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Portrait Now: Asian American Portraits of Encounter

Portrait Now is a collaboration between the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program. This exhibition displays the diversity of contemporary Asian American identity through the groundbreaking work of seven visual artists. 

Learn more about the exhibition and the photographer by visiting the Portrait Now website. 

Daniel Dae Kim by CYJO (2007)

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