Tue. May 21st, 2024

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month begins

May 1, 2024

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The Postal Service will observe Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which begins Wednesday, May 1.

It is a time to celebrate the cultures and achievements of Americans of Asian, Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian descent — the fastest-growing racial group in the nation, according to the 2020 census.

The observance is held in May primarily for two reasons: The nation’s first Japanese immigrants arrived May 7, 1843, and the transcontinental railroad — built mainly through the labor of Chinese immigrants — was completed May 10, 1869.

Recent stamps celebrating this diverse community include Go for Broke: Japanese American Soldiers of WWII; Chien-Shiung Wu, honoring the atomic physicist; the Lunar New Year series; and Diwali, commemorating the five-day Hindu festival of lights.

Hawaii and Hawaiians have been frequent stamp subjects. Among those spotlighted have been Olympic athlete Duke Kahanamoku, Aloha shirts, the Lili’uokalani Gardens in Hilo, and two of the 16 National Marine Sanctuaries stamps.

From 1990 to 2011, a series of stamps highlighted Pacific lands affiliated with the United States, including Micronesia, Palau, American Samoa, Guam and the Marshall and Northern Mariana islands.

The federal government’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month website has more information.

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