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Asian Pacific American Month

Annual observance began May 1

Douglas D.L. Chong, president of the Hawaii Chinese History Center
Douglas D.L. Chong, president of the Hawaii Chinese History Center, greets attendees at the Year of the Dog stamp dedication ceremony in Honolulu this year.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month — an annual celebration of the nation’s 20 million Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders — began May 1.

About 50,000 Postal Service employees identify as being Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. This represents approximately 7.9 percent of the USPS workforce.

The organization celebrates the contributions of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders through its stamp program. This year’s releases include Year of the Dog, the latest entry in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series, and Byodo-In Temple, a Priority Mail stamp that features a colorful illustration of a popular tourist attraction in Hawaii.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is held in May primarily for two reasons: The nation’s first Japanese immigrants arrived May 7, 1843, and the transcontinental railroad was completed May 10, 1869. Most of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

The Asian Pacific American Heritage Month site has more information.

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