The 31 days of May celebrate the culture, history, and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. May marks two important dates in the history of Asian Americans. In 1843 the first Japanese immigrant — a 14-year-old boy named Manjiro — arrived in America. In May 1869 the transcontinental railroad was complete. Over 20,000 Chinese immigrants worked on the railroad. In 1990, president George H. W. Bush signed a law to extend Asian American Heritage week to a month. May was officially designated two years later.
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