It is spotlighted in a new traveling exhibit now at the Smithsonian American History Museum–I Want a Wide American Earth, the Asian Pacific American Story.
Materials from the exhibition are also being distributed to 10.000 schools nationwide.
Chinese merchants traded in Mexico City in 1635, Filipino fisherman set up villages in the bayous of New Orleans in 1760 and Punjabi men worked the agricultural fields of the west.
Asian Americans fought on both sides of the civil war, a Chinese American won a landmark Supreme Court decision in 1898 establishing birthright citizenship and Filipino workers marched alongside Cesar Chavez.
The Exhibition will be at the Smithsonian through June 18th,then moves to the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.