By the President of the United States of America
Our national character has been enhanced by citizens who maintain and honor cultural values and customs brought from other lands. Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander ancestry have long been a part of that tradition, enriching the fabric of our society with their unique talents and abilities. This month provides a welcome opportunity to recognize these gifts and to celebrate the daily contributions that Asian and Pacific Americans make to our country's progress.
Every sector of American life has benefited from the extraordinary leadership of those who trace their roots back to Asia and the Pacific Island region. In the arts and sciences, the business world, law, academia, and government, these remarkable individuals have expanded our horizons, achieving exceptional success and demonstrating a dedicated belief in equal opportunity. Asian and Pacific Americans have worked to overcome challenges, often in the face of discrimination and prejudice, and have successfully embraced the opportunities of the American Dream.
As we stand on the threshold of the 21st century, ready to compete in the global marketplace and strengthen our partnerships with the nations of the Pacific Rim, let us draw on the strengths added by Asian and Pacific Americans and applaud their proud legacy of service and dedication to this country.
To honor the accomplishments of Asian and Pacific Americans and to recognize their many contributions to our Nation, the Congress, by Public Law 102-450, has designated the month of May as "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month."
Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 1996 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this occasion with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twentieth.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON