By the President of the United States of America
The spirit of America lies in the richness of our diverse cultural heritage, with ties forged through the struggle of all of our people in the quest for freedom and opportunity.
Asian and Pacific Americans have long shared the dreams common to all Americans and borne the heartaches and triumphs of the American experience. In spite of years of struggle and toil, in spite of exclusion and incarceration and discrimination, peoples whose roots lie in Asia and the Pacific Islands have brought forth myriad contributions to this country—in the arts and literature, science, industry, commerce, government, and agriculture.
America owes a profound debt to its Asian and Pacific immigrants, who came to these shores to escape poverty and oppression. They brought to America a spirit which renews the hopes and ideals of the American Republic in forming a more perfect Union.
As we celebrate the accomplishments of Asian and Pacific Americans, we dedicate ourselves to overcoming the legacy of the past, knowing that the tasks in the struggle for full participation and equal opportunity remain incomplete. We are grateful to Asian and Pacific Americans for their presence and for their enduring belief in the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, declare the seven-day period beginning May 7, 1982, as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 12th day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.