This May, pay tribute to Asians and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history.
Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month was created in 1992 to pay tribute to the generations of Asians and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success. 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 the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.
The Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month website was developed by the Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Features include “How Asia Changed the Course of American Art,” “The Tsars and the East: Gifts from Turkey and Iran in The Moscow Kremlin,” “Global Sounds—Asia,” and the Veterans History Project. Visitors can also find information related exhibits and collections, images, and audio/video.
- The County of Los Angeles (Calif.) Public Library worked with the Asian Pacific Resource Center to host a card making party. Patrons of all ages were welcomed to make cards depicting an aloha shirt or happi coat while listening to slack key guitar music and sampling Hawaiin treats.
- Kids and teens at the Harris County (Tex.) Public Library were invited to Origami workshops where they learned about the ancient art and enjoyed Japanese snacks.
- Smithsonian Education offers a wide variety of resources, including Vietnamese America, Chinese American and Korean American lesson plans as well as teacher guides for Buddhism, Islamic art, and Hindu worship.
- The Library of Congress has a number of links to educational resources from its partners, including NEH’s EDSITEment Asian-Pacific Heritage pages, NARA’s Teaching with Documents series, the National Gallery of Art’s “Teaching The Golden Age of Chinese Archaeology” and Teaching Edo Art in Japan,” and the National Park Service’s Asian Reflections on the American Landscape: Identifying Asian Heritage.
- ReadWriteThink lists related classroom activities as well as lesson plans.
- ALA Graphics offers a poster and bookmark to help promote your events.
- The Evanston (Ill.) Public Library has a plethora of resources listed on their website.
- The Cyprus College Library compiled a list of DVDs and books about Asian Pacific American history month.