National Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) is celebrated in May to commemorate the contributions of people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the United States. Congress passed a joint Congressional Resolution in 1978 to commemorate Asian-American Heritage Week during the first week of May. This date was chosen because two important anniversaries occurred during this time: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in America on May 7, 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad (by many Chinese laborers) on May 10, 1869. In 1990 Congress voted to expand it from a week to a month long celebration and in May 1992, the month of May was permanently designated as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.

Also: National Jewish-American Heritage Month, Haitian Heritage Month, National Older Americans Month and National Cancer Research Month


5th - Cinco de Mayo (Mexico) – celebrates the victory of the historical battle of 1862 between Mexico and France and is a symbol of Mexican pride and unity.

9th - Mother’s Day - a day to honor mothers and motherhood. It is now celebrated on various days in many parts of the world.

18th - Shavuot* (Jewish) – marks the conclusion of the Counting of the Omer and day the Torah was given at Mount Sinai.

21st - Wesak (Buddhist) – Also known as Vesak, is a famous holiday, sometimes informally called "Buddha's Birthday." It celebrates the birth, enlightenment (Nirvana) and passing away (Parinirvana) of Gautama Buddha.



21st - World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is annually held to help people learn about the importance of cultural diversity and harmony.

27th - National Senior Health and Fitness Day – a health and fitness event for older adults  promoting the importance of regular physical activity and to showcase what local organizations are doing to improve the health and fitness of older adults in their community.

31st - Memorial Day (observed) – a time for Americans to collectively reflect on the impact of lives lost in U.S. wars and to celebrate all war veterans; a national day of mourning.  Since 2000, U.S. citizens are asked to pause for one minute of silence at 3 pm.  This minute of silence is called the National Moment of Remembrance.

 *Begins at Sunset

UAB Special Events

May - National Asian Pacific Heritage Month Resources: Mervyn H. Sterne Library, blog post(s), reading list,