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Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: home

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

The month of May was chosen to commemorate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month as it remembers the migration of the first immigrants from Japan to the United States on May 7, 1843 and to celebrate the completion of the transcontinental railroad by over 20,000 Asian immigrants on May 10, 1869. But historical records show that the first Asian immigrants arrived in the United States in 1587 when Filipinos first began migrating to California. Immigrants continued to come from the Asian continent and the Pacific Islands through 1920 when the first Samoans were documented in Hawaii. 

Asian American and Pacific Islander Literature- Nonfiction

Works of fiction and poetry by Asian American/Pacific Islander authors

Feature Films


Tells the true story of how Brierley, 25 years after being separated from his family in India, sets out to find them. 

Seven Samurai

Tells the story of a 16th century village whose desperate inhabitants hire seven out-of-work warriors to protect them from invading bandits. 

Asian Americans (PBS documentary)

This five-part series traces the story of Asian Americans, spanning 150 years of immigration, racial politics, international relations, and cultural innovation. It is a timely, clear-eyed look at the vital role that Asian Americans have played in defining who we are as a nation. Their stories are a celebration of the grit and resilience of a people that reflects the experience of all Americans.