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Celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month!

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month originated in June 1977, when Reps. Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution that called upon the president to proclaim the first ten days of May as "Asian-Pacific Heritage Week." That July, Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed, and in October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual celebration. Twelve years later, President George H.W. Bush signed an extension making the week-long celebration a month-long celebration. In 1992, the official designation of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month was signed into law.

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Asian-Pacific American Heritage

Aihun, Luosha, Taiwan, Nei Menggu tu

Did you know? 1990 was the first Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month! Join to celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. Starting out as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week Week in 1978, Congress later passed a public law expanding the observance to the full month of May. Read more about it at

DYK marked the year began! Join to learn more:

YouTubeSounds of Korea

Korean performance art includes a wide range of styles and settings, such as classical court music, theatrical masked dance, popular storytelling songs, drama, popular narrative vocal arts, and solo instrumental folk genres, percussion music and dances of farmers.

Share on Pinterest Celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month with resources and items from the Library of Congress collections.

George Takei

George Takei doing research

Learn how used to explore photos from his childhood, as well as for research for his musical, Allegiance, about the experience of Japanese Americans in trying times. This Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, read more about his visit:

Learn how used to explore his past:

Share on Pinterest Celebrate Asian-Pacific American History Month with resources and items from the Library of Congress collections.

East Asian American Traditions

Sounds of Korea, a Korean American music and dance ensemble.

celebrates Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month by honoring cultural traditions of East Asian Americans! Although migrating to the United States had been a difficult journey, many were able to ease hardships by bringing language, food, stories, song, and dance with them. Learn more about their communities they formed by visiting the Library’s webpage:

This celebrates traditions brought to U.S. by visit:

YouTubeTraditional Kuchipudi from Maryland

The Kalanidhi Dance Company performing Kuchipudi dance at the Library of Congress in 2013. Kuchipudi is a sacred dance form from South India of ancient origins. An energetic dance style traditionally performed by men, it is danced here by a women’s troupe from Maryland.

South Asian Literary Recordings

Book of Worship). Maharashtra, nineteenth or early twentieth century. Southern Asian Section

This Asian-Pacfic American Heritage Month, explore the various languages of southern Asia through the South Asian Literary Recordings Project at ! Launched in April 2000 to record the voices of South Asian authors, the project has captured the readings of prominent South Asian poets, novelists, and playwrights. The authors recorded so far represent more than fifteen of the languages of India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Learn more about this project:

Celebrate by listening to readings of South Asian poets, novelists, & playwrights

YouTubeLet's Travel the World Through Books

The Library of Congress National Book Festival and the D.C. Public Library, promote the reading theme of "One World, Many Stories" with master storyteller Diane Macklin, music by the Elise Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School Student band, and special guest NFL linebacker Chris Draft.

Share on PinterestRe-Pin: From the Library of Congress, Southeast Asia Rare Book Collection: "Doctrina Christiana" (1593). The first book printed in the Philippines, it was printed not only in Spanish but also in Tagalog, which later became the national language of the Philippines. The "Doctrina Christiana" held by the Library is the only known surviving copy!

In the Classroom

Chinese Band, 1904

May is National Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month! Looking for ways to commemorate this month using primary sources? Check out for links to resources you can use in your classroom! Here are some suggestions:

May is - Want to commemorate this month using ? knows how:

Share on PinterestRe-Pin: Teacher's Guides: Examining primary sources gives students a powerful sense of history and the complexity of the past. Helping students analyze primary sources can also guide them toward higher-order thinking and better critical thinking and analysis skills. Free tools and guides are ready to use in the classroom.

Asian Americans in Politics

Patsy Mink

Learn more about the first Asian American woman in Congress with to celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month! Congresswoman Mink was a vigorous and tireless champion of women's rights and a leader on issues involving education, the environment, welfare, and civil rights. The Mink collection, which numbers nearly 900,000 items, includes personal and professional correspondence, daily schedules, central legislative files, bills, issue mail, speeches, clippings, press releases, scrapbooks, photographs, and other personal papers that can be explored online:

DYK: Patsy Mink, 1st woman in Congress, has papers ? Explore:

Share on PinterestRe-Pin:Congressional Portrait of Patsy T. Mink, former Hawaii representative and Title IX advocate (1927-2002), ca. 1965.

Asian Resources at the Library

Complete Survey of Medical Knowledge

Check out the Asian Division at to celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month! The Library's Asian Division holds more than 3 million items - the largest assemblage of Chinese, Japanese and Korean materials outside of Asia, and one of the largest Tibetan collections in the world! In fact, one of the oldest examples of printing in the world – passages from a Buddhist sutra, or discourse, printed in 770 A.D. – is housed in the Division! Find out more at:

Check out the Asian Reading Room this ! Explore +3 million items:

YouTubeImperial Japanese Dance

Enjoy a charming representation of The Mikado dance by the three Sarashe Sisters in full costume, published by the Edison Manufacturing Co. in 1894.

Share on Pinterest Celebrate Asian-Pacific American History Month with resources and items from the Library of Congress collections.

Sakura: A Symbol of Friendship

Cherry Blossoms

You don't need to be in D.C. to enjoy the cherry blossoms - virtually visit the exhibit “Sakura: Cherry Blossoms as Living Symbols of Friendship” at . The online exhibit illuminates the story of these landmark trees, the historical significance of cherry blossoms in Japan, and their continuing resonance in American culture. The exhibition features watercolor drawings of blossom varieties among the original trees, Japanese color woodblock prints and books, and an array of photographs as well as editorial cartoons, posters, and more!

#TBT: celebrate the gift of from this w/

YouTubeSakura: Cherry Blossoms as a Living Symbol of Friendship

Members of the Library of Congress team for "Sakura: Cherry Blossom as Living Symbols of Friendship" exhibition lead a gallery tour while discussing the special collections that illuminate the history of Washington's landmark cherry trees.

Share on Pinterest Honor Japanese culture this Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month by highlighting the emergence of cherry blossoms! These beautiful flowers stand as a symbol of friendship between the United States and Japan as a gift from 1912.

Asian-Pacific American Veterans

Norman S. Ikari on back stoop of Medical Detachment barracks

Asian-Pacific Americans have made lasting contributions to America’s wartime efforts. Veterans History Project has highlighted seven stories from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq, with special emphasis on the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the “Go for Broke” outfit of Japanese-Americans who fought valiantly in Europe during World War II. Learn more about these men who put their lives on the line for their country:

Share on PinterestRe-Pin: Celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month by honoring those who have served their country. Get involved with the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress and learn more!

For Teens

Gene Luen Yang

This Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, celebrate with the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature at ! Gene Luen Yang is the first Asian American and first graphic novelist to hold this position. His first graphic novel, “American Born Chinese,” was enormously successful and was the first graphic novel to be named a finalist for the National Book Award. The book is about a teenager struggling with his identity – a theme that is common in much of Yang’s work, that emphasizes the importance of celebrating our diverse culture. Read more about his work and his campaign "Reading Without Walls":

Cheer as 1st Amb. for Young People’s Lit

YouTubeGene Luen Yang: Graphic Novels

Gene Luen Yang is a writer of both graphic novels and comics. His work "American Born Chinese" is a creative text that chronicles the Asian-American experience in a way that resonates with teen readers.

For Teachers

Five Asian children holding up small barbells

Teachers! Visit to find ready-to-use Asian-Pacific Americans themed lesson plans and student activities from our online resources. It features the Asian American experience through documents about Japanese and Chinese immigration during the 19th and 20th century. Explore art, exhibitions, and various Japanese prints on Asian American traditions. Discover more:

YouTubeNew Writing from Singapore

In this tribute to Asian Pacific Americans, the Library of Congress invites poet/essayist Jee Leong Koh, playwright Jeremy Tiang, and writer Frank Stewart to read segments from their book “Starry Island: New Writing from Singapore.”

Share on Pinterest Explore sets of selected primary sources from the Library’s online collections paired together with historical background information and teaching ideas.

Tibetan Oral History Archive

Traveling Tibetan tribe

Join this Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month with the Tibetan Oral History Archive Project! This digital archive holds oral history interviews with written transcripts documenting the social and political history of Tibet. Listen to over 700 Tibetan stories from common folk, monks, and Tibetan and Chinese officials speaking about their lives:

Visit to learn about the Project this

Share on PinterestRe-Pin:Check out the Tibetan Collection at the Library of Congress to celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month!