The month of May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and provides us with an opportunity to pay tribute to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and their positive contributions to our country and communities.
The origins of this celebration date back to 1977, when Representatives Frank Horton (R-NY) and Norman Y. Mineta (D-CA) introduced a resolution to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Spark Matsunaga (D-HI). The month of May was chosen to commemorate two significant milestones: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the U.S. on May 7, 1843, and the contributions of Chinese workers to the construction of the transcontinental railroad, which was completed on May 10, 1869.
President Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution for the celebration in 1978, and President George H.W. Bush signed a bill to extend the celebration to the entire month of May in 1990.
Throughout the month, the UFCW will pay tribute to the culture and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and their positive impact on the labor movement. Do you have a story to share about your heritage and how the labor movement has played a role in your life during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month? Let us know here and we might share it on our blog and social media!