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AAPI Heritage Month (May 2022): Legislation & Education

This guide contains lists of books, resources, and events celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage.


  • 1882 - The Chinese Exclusion Act is signed into law, prohibiting the immigration of Chinese laborers for ten (10) years.
    • This was extended twice
      • In 1892 for 10 years under the Geary Act, then made permanent in 1902
    • The Act was repealed in 1943, when the United States and China were allies during World War II.
  • 1978 - Public Law 95-419 is approved, creating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week, from May 4 1979 - May 11, 1979.
  • 1992 - Public Law 102-450 is approved by the 102nd Congress.
    • This outlines several findings:
      • on May 7, 1843, the first Japanese immigrants came to the United States
      • on May 10, 1869 (Golden Spike Day), the first trans-continental railroad in the United States was completed with significant contributions from Chinese pioneers
        • (many Chinese laborers worked on the railroad, with many being unpaid or underpaid)
      • in 1979, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week was created
      • in 1990, '91, and '92, Congress and the President proclaimed May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
      • nearly 8,000,000 people in the United States can trace their roots back to Asia and the islands of the Pacific
      • Asian and Pacific Americans have contributed significantly to the development of the arts, sciences, government, military, commerce, and education in the United States


  • Chronicling America - a section of the Library of Congress detailing facets of history in America, including "100 Years Ago Today".
    • Is searchable and contains a bevy of articles on Asian American history, including contemporary documents referencing the Chinese Exclusion Act.
  • Photos, Print, Drawing Database - a Library of Congress database that is searchable. Contains images of Asian American/Pacific Islander history, including anti-Asian rhetoric and pro-Asian imagery.

Public Law 102-450 (1992)

Image of Public Law 102-450, creating AAPI Heritage Month