By the President of the United States of America
America's greatness-its ideals, its system of government, its economy, its people-derives from the contribution of peoples of many origins who come to our land seeking human liberties or economic opportunity. Asian-Americans have played a significant role in the creation of a dynamic and pluralistic America, with their enormous contributions to our science, arts, industry, government and commerce.
Unfortunately, we have not always fully appreciated the talents and the contributions which Asian-Americans have brought to the United States. Until recently, our immigration and naturalization laws discriminated against them. They were also subjected to discrimination in education, housing, and employment. And during World War II our Japanese-American citizens were treated with suspicion and fear.
Yet, Asians of diverse origins-from China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia-continued to look to America as a land of hope, opportunity, and freedom.
At last their confidence in the United States has been justified. We have succeeded in removing the barriers to full participation in American life, and we welcome the newest Asian immigrants to our shores-refugees from Indochina displaced by political, and social upheavals. Their successful integration into American society and their positive and active participation in our national life demonstrates the soundness of America's policy of continued openness to peoples from Asia and the Pacific.
The Ninety-fifth Congress has requested the President by House Joint Resolution 1007, approved October 5, 1978, to designate the seven-day period beginning on May 4, 1979, as "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week."
Now, THEREFORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, declare the week beginning on May 4, 1979, as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. I call upon the people of the United States, especially the educational community, to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and third.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:4.7 a.m., March 28, 1979]