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3 Things You May Not Know About APIDA Heritage

May is Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month. This year at MMC, we are getting a head start on celebrating and paying tribute to those in the APIDA community with events throughout the month of April and into early May. 

Here are three things you may not know about APIDA heritage.
  1. 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. In 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a monthlong celebration that is now known as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Source: The Library of Congress
  2. The efforts to galvanize Congressional support for the national recognition of the contributions of Asian Pacific Islanders were largely spearheaded by two woman: Jeanie Jew, a U.S. Capitol staffperson, and Ruby Moy, chief of staff to New York Congressperson Frank Horton. Jew’s great-grandfather M.Y. Lee had immigrated to the U.S. from China in the 1800s and had helped build the transcontinental railroad. Source: Time magazine
  3. The term Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continents and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island). Source: The Library of Congress