Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month originated with Congress. In 1977 Reps. Frank Horton of New York introduced House Joint Resolution 540 to proclaim the first ten days in May as Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week. In the same year, Senator Daniel Inouye introduced a similar resolution, Senate Joint Resolution 72. Neither of these resolutions passed, so in June 1978, Rep. Horton introduced House Joint Resolution 1007. This resolution proposed that the President should “proclaim a week, which is to include the seventh and tenth of the month, during the first ten days in May of 1979 as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.’” This joint resolution was passed by the House and then the Senate and was signed by President Jimmy Carter on October 5, 1978, to become Public Law 95-419. Then in 1992, Congress passed Public Law 102-450 which annually designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.
The month of May was chosen 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 were Chinese immigrants.
Our first spotlight is Jason Chen, a Quality Technician at our Louisville, KY location!
What drew you to work for O’Neal Manufacturing Services?
I started with a random job search and have been working here at O’Neal for about 18 years. What draws me to come to work every day is the people I work with. Asian culture values inter-relationship among people and I feel comfortable and relaxed working in such an environment.
What do you consider the most important cultural value for you and those close to you?
- Family comes first and respect others
- Be sincere and work hard
What misconception about your heritage or country of origin would you like to correct?
Some people may think Asian cultures are all same. They can be quite different depending on different areas or countries.
What does Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?
It’s a reminder for me to stop from the hustle and bustle. To look back where I came from and think about how I can make myself better and send positive energy to people around me.
What are you most proud of?
My wife and my daughter.