Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated nationwide in the month of May to honor the cultures, traditions, and achievements of Asian Pacific Islanders in the United States. In June of 1977, Congressmen Frank Horton (NY) and Norman Y. Mineta (CA) introduced a House Resolution that called upon the President to proclaim the first 10 days of May as Asian/Pacific Heritage Week. May was chosen because in 1843 during the first week of the month, the first Japanese immigrants arrived in America. Also on May 10, 1869, the transcontinental railroad, built with the labor of thousands of migrant workers, was completed. At the same time, Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both bills were passed, and on October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual week of celebration. In May of 1990, President George H.W. Bush designated the entire month as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Since 1999, Congressman David Wu (OR) and the co-chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus have supported the celebration of Taiwanese American Heritage Week starting from each Mother's Day Weekend in the month of May. In most major cities across the United States, festivals, fairs, and other events honoring our history and culture are held.
In Canada, many Asians have been celebrating their heritage in the month of May since 1979. In December 2001, the Senate adopted a motion proposed by Senator Vivienne Poy to officially designate May as Asian Heritage Month in Canada. In May 2002, the Government of Canada signed an official declaration to designate May as Asian Heritage Month.
This year, the delegations of ‘2020 Taiwanese American Heritage Week and Asian Heritage Month in Canada’ are cancelled due to COVID-19.