a history lesson, and the apa heritage festival

Hey, did you know that May is APA Heritage Month? The one month a year set aside to celebrate of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States (big deal, I say—every day is APA Heritage month around here). The occasion originated as a congressional bill back 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 procalim the first ten days of May as Asian/Pacific Heritage Week. The following month, Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed. On 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 into a month-long celebration. In 1992, the official designation of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month was signed into law. 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. Because we all know who built the railroads. I got all this information here.

Anyway, there are cool Heritage Month events and activities happening throughout this month... for those of you in New York, the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans presents the 28th Annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival, the largest Pan Asian outdoor event on the East Coast. It's a big fat event featuring live music, dance, martial arts, film screenings, children's activities, arts and crafts and over a hundred participating organizations. It all goes down this weekend on Sunday, May 6th, noon-6:00pm at Union Square Park North.

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