April 20, 1981
By the President of the United States of America
The United States is a Nation comprised almost entirely of immigrants and their descendants. The interaction of different cultures, each of which has become a vital part of a culture uniquely American, constantly revitalizes our national spirit and heritage.
Among the most significant components of the American cultural blend are the ancient Asian-Pacific cultures. Asians have brought to the United States values and traditions that profoundly enrich American life. In a variety of fields that span the spectrum of human endeavor -- including art, dance, agriculture, the sciences, medicine, commerce, government and philosophy -- Asian and Pacific Americans have made outstanding contributions to the cultural and technological development of their adopted Nation. Their hard work, creativity and intelligence have inspired their fellow citizens, added new dimensions to our national life and strengthened the social fabric of our land.
Commonly, immigrants have come to American shores with few material possessions, relying on initiative, hard work and opportunity as the keys to success and prosperity in their new Nation. Asian and Pacific Americans have been squarely within this tradition. Overcoming great hardships, they have lived the American dream, and continue as exemplars of hope and inspiration not only to their fellow Americans, but also to the new groups of Asian and Pacific peoples who even now are joining the American family.
The United States owes a debt of gratitude to Asian and Pacific Americans for their contributions to the culture, heritage and freedom of the Nation we together love and serve.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby declare the seven days beginning May 4, 1981, as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week, and call upon all people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 20th day of April in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:34 p.m., April 20, 1981]