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The original resolution to designate the seven-day period beginning on May 4, 1979, as Asian Pacific American Heritage Week was passed by the US Congress and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on October 5, 1978.

Those days were chosen to coincide with two important dates in Asian American history.

Bush extended the celebration for the full month of May and designated it as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the Proclamation 6130.

On May 1st, 2009, President Barack Obama signed Proclamation 8369 renaming the observance as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Communities often observe Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by holding festivals and education-based activities that highlight the vastly diverse cultures associated with people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and celebrate notable Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have made an impact in history.

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