May is the month to recognize the experiences and contributions of Americans of Asian or Pacific Islander heritage. Originally established as a heritage week in 1978, it was upgraded to a month in 1990. According to the Library of Congress' Asia Pacific Heritage Month website, "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."
|Each green dot on the map above represents 3000 Asian Americans. By United States Census [CC BY-SA 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.|
Chronology of Asian/Pacific American History with Relevant Library Resources
1849 - California Gold Rush encouraged large numbers of Chinese to immigrate to US.
: the California Gold Rush and the World ed. by Kenneth N. Owens.
Gold Mountain Dreams (video available through Films on Demand database).
1869 - Transcontinental Railroad completed, many of the workers were Chinese immigrants.
1882 - Chinese Exclusion Act severely limited Chinese immigration to the US.
At : the , 1882-1943 by Erica Lee
1898 - Spain ceded control of Guam and the Philippines to the US.
A W: the of Frontier and Empire - W , 1899-1902 by David J. Silbey
1898 - US annexed Hawaii.
The Betrayal of Liliuokalani, last Queen of , 1838-1917 by Helena G. Allen.
|Queen Liliuokalani in 1891. James J. Williams [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.|
1899 - US gained control of American Samoa (eastern half of the Samoan archipelago). Learn more about American Samoa here.
1910 - Angel Island Immigration Station created in San Francisco Bay.
: gateway to Gold Mountain by Russell Freedman.
Angel Island: A Story of Chinese Immigration (video available through Films on Demand database).
1924 - Immigration Act severely limited immigrants from most Asian countries. Read more about the Act here.
1940 - Angel Island Immigration Station closed.
1942 - President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which authorized the confinement of Japanese-Americans into internment camps.
Looking like the enemy: My Story of Imprisonment in American Camps by Mary Matsuda Gruenewald.
1943 - Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed.
1944 - US gained control of Northern Mariana Islands. Learn more about the Northern Mariana Islands here.
1946 - The Philippines gained independence from the US.
1965 - Immigration Act ends racial quotas, which increased immigration from Asian countries. Read more about the Act here.
Korean Americans (video available through Films on Demand database).
1988 - Civil Liberties Act granted reparations to Japanese-Americans who had been interned during World War II. Read full text of the act here.
The Dick Smith Library has a large collection of resources relevant to the Asian-American and Pacific Islander-American experience. Let us know if we can help you find some information on the topic via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 254-968-9249.