May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, a celebration of the history of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. In commemorating the heritage of these many communities in the United States, the Democratic Party of New Mexico joins in celebrating diversity and the critical role of all people in the history of New Mexico and the nation. We particularly wish to celebrate the significant role of our many immigrant communities in the making of the nation.
The month of May was chosen as Asian-Pacific Heritage Month 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 that connected the United States, through the mountains and deserts of the wilderness, and forged the bond of east and west, as well as establishing a single national economy, from ocean to ocean, were Chinese immigrants.
We also join in celebrating the diversity of leadership that we, as a nation, as a community organization, and as a political party must embrace, if we are to continue to ensure the future success of this great nation and remain a beacon of freedom to the rest of the world.
On Oct. 2, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the Joint Resolution and the first Asian Pacific American Heritage Week was celebrated in May 1979. In 1992, the week was expanded to a month-long recognition when President George H. W. Bush signed the law permanently designating May of each year as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. The law was unanimously supported by both the House of Representatives and the Senate.