Updated: Sep 14

Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month is as significant as any other commemoration. Understand and learn more about it in this article.

AAPI Heritage Month

One of the highlights that we look forward to in May is celebrating AAPI Heritage Month. If you are wondering why AAPI Heritage Month is celebrated in the fifth month of the year, the first Japanese settlers arrived in the United States on May 7, 1843. On May 10, 1863, it was also when the Transcontinental Railroad was built and completed. It is said that there were approximately 20,000 Chinese Laborers who worked in the completion of it. Unfortunately, over a thousand lives were also lost during the railroad’s construction because of explosions and other natural disasters.

New York Representative Frank Horton initiated the effort of recognizing AAPI Heritage Month in 1977 and Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye in the same year. Although their resolutions weren’t accepted, their intent didn’t stop from there. On October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed Public Law 95-419, a significant step in the coming years for AAPI recognition. In time, AAPI Heritage Month has been commemorated annually.

Why Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month Is Important