Mayor Bruce Teague proclaimed May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Iowa City during the Tuesday, May 4, 2021 City Council meeting. The full proclamation, which can be read on our website, celebrates the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
In 1977, Congress passed, and President Jimmy Carter signed, a joint resolution designating the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week. This ten days was chosen because the first Japanese immigrants to the US arrived on May 7, 1843, and the transcontinental railroad, which relied upon Chinese immigrant labor, was completed on May 10, 1869. On May 7, 1990, President Bush designated the entire month of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month by Presidential Proclamation. In October of 1992, Congress made the month officially permanent by law.
The largest Asian-heritage populations in the US are, in order of size, Chinese, Asian Indian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese. The largest Pacific Island-heritage populations are Native Hawaiian and Samoan. Learn more at the Federal Asian Pacific American Council website.
The proclamation was submitted by the Human Rights Commission and was accepted by Commissioner Ashley Lindley.