Quick Facts

World Information Society Day is celebrated each year to raise awareness of how information and communication can be beneficial for societies and economies.

Local names

Name Language
World Information Society Day English
Día Mundial de las Telecomunicaciones y la Sociedad de la Información Spanish

World Information Society Day 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

World Information Society Day 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012
See list of observations below

World Information Society Day is celebrated each year on 17 May to remind the world of the vision of the World Summit on the Information Society to build “a people-centered, inclusive and development-oriented information society” based on fundamental human rights.
World Telecomunication day
World Information Society Day aims to alert people about how information and communication can help improve societies worldwide. ©

What do people do?

World Information Society Day promotes people’s awareness of the power of information and communication to build societies in which they can create, access, use and share information and knowledge to achieve their full potential. Organizations such as UNESCO actively take part in the day by inviting people to engage in various activities to promote campaigns centered on this event.

Public life

World Information Society Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.


The annual observance of World Telecommunication Day, which marks the founding of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on May 17, 1865, drew attention to the work of ITU and the challenges of global communication. In March 2006, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed May 17 as World Information Society Day to recognize the efforts made to advance communication and ITU’s role in helping people connect around the world. The UN’s first World Information Society Day took place on Wednesday, 17 May 2006.

Prior to World Information Society Day, World Telecommunication Day, which was first held in 1969, was celebrated on May 17 by people and organizations such as ITU. Many now refer to this day as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, taking into account the UN’s observance of World Information Society Day. The purpose of this observance is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the internet and other information and communication technologies could bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.


UNESCO has not allocated a specific symbol for the day, although it uses images of modern information and communication technologies to portray the importance of the day.

World Information Society Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Wed May 17 2006 World Information Society Day United Nation day  
Thu May 17 2007 World Information Society Day United Nation day  
Sat May 17 2008 World Information Society Day United Nation day  
Sun May 17 2009 World Information Society Day United Nation day  
Mon May 17 2010 World Information Society Day United Nation day  
Tue May 17 2011 World Information Society Day United Nation day  
Thu May 17 2012 World Information Society Day United Nation day  
Fri May 17 2013 World Information Society Day United Nation day  
Sat May 17 2014 World Information Society Day United Nation day  
Sun May 17 2015 World Information Society Day United Nation day  


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Quick Facts

The International Day of Families is an occasion to celebrate the importance of families to people, societies and cultures around the world.

Local names

Name Language
International Day of Families English
Día Internacional de la Familia Spanish

International Day of Families 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

International Day of Families 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
List of dates for other years

The International Day of Families, annually held on May 15, celebrates the importance of families and the work started during the International Year of Families.
International Day of Families
International Day of Families promotes the importance of a healthy and well-balanced family. © Monakhova

What do people do?

A wide range of events are organized at local, national and international levels. These include: workshops, seminars and policy meeting for public officials; exhibitions and organized discussions to raise awareness of the annual theme; educational sessions for children and young people; and the launch of campaigns for public policies to strengthen and support family units. In some countries, tool kits are created to help people organize celebrations aimed at a particular section of the population, such as school children or young adults.

Public life

The International Day of Families is a global observance and not a public holiday.


The year 1994 was proclaimed as the International Year of Families by the United Nations. This was a response to changing social and economic structures, which have affected and still affect the structure and stability of family units in many regions of the globe. The International Day of Families, on May 15, is an occasion to reflect on the work started during 1994 and to celebrate the importance of families, people, societies and cultures around the world. It has been held every year since 1995.


The symbol of the International Day of Families consists of a solid green circle with an image in red. The image consists of elements of simple drawings of a heart and a house. This indicates that families are the center of society and provide a stable and supporting home for people of all ages.

International Day of Families Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Sun May 15 1994 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Mon May 15 1995 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Wed May 15 1996 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Thu May 15 1997 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Fri May 15 1998 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Sat May 15 1999 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Mon May 15 2000 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Tue May 15 2001 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Wed May 15 2002 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Thu May 15 2003 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Sat May 15 2004 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Sun May 15 2005 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Mon May 15 2006 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Tue May 15 2007 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Thu May 15 2008 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Fri May 15 2009 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Sat May 15 2010 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Sun May 15 2011 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Tue May 15 2012 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Wed May 15 2013 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Thu May 15 2014 International Day of Families United Nation day  
Fri May 15 2015 International Day of Families United Nation day  


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"The Price of Blood" by Thomas Satterwhite Noble

The Price of Blood, 1868, by Thomas Satterwhite Noble (1835 – 1907). Oil on canvas, 39-1/4″ x 49-1/2″.

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The Civil War oftens conjures up images of fighting men of various races, hailing from various states, enlisted in various units.

But, often forgotten is the very important role that Black American women had in the American Civil War, as the following New York Times article addresses.


April 30, 2011, 7:00 pm Updated: 7:50 pm

What Were the Women Doing?


Disunion Disunion follows the Civil War as it unfolded.

When my great-grand-aunt Maritcha Lyons recalled in her memoir that the backroom of James McCune Smith’s store served as a “rallying centre” for public-minded black New Yorkers, she was quite specific about those who came and went. Smith’s room, she wrote advisedly, was “visited daily by men, young and old.” It was these men, she continued, who constituted the “constructive force that molded public sentiment which had much to do in bringing about a more favorable state of things affecting the colored people of the State.”

Why were women not among those who visited Smith’s backroom? After all, women had been activists since the founding of the Republic. Whether white or black, northern or southern, upper or lower class, inhabitants of urban or rural communities, women had banded together from the 1790s on to form benevolent associations, mutual aid societies and church organizations. In the early decades of the 19th century, the Second Great Awakening gave further impetus to their public work: convinced of the sinfulness of humankind, this evangelical revival preached individual repentance and surrender to God; but it also insisted that redeemed sinners engage in moral action and so convert the world. It became the motivating force behind the antislavery movement, providing women with a justification for becoming involved.

Societal gender norms, however, restricted the activism of middle-class women, both white and black. Complaining about the constraints imposed on her because of her sex, white feminist-abolitionist Angelina Grimké famously lamented that “the investigation of the rights of the slave has led me to a better understanding of my own. Human beings have rights,” she proclaimed, “because they are moral beings. Now if rights are founded in the nature of our moral being, then the mere circumstance of sex does not give to man higher rights and responsibilities, than to women.” Women — white and black — chose to ignore these constraints and pushed their way into public activism.

In the early 1830s black women joined forces in Philadelphia to establish the Female Literary Society of Philadelphia, and in Boston formed the Female Afric-American Intelligence Society. Although these societies ostensibly focused on study of the literary world, they also functioned as networking organizations to promote issues of abolition and moral reform. Their members were not shy. Rabble-rouser Maria Stewart, for example, so antagonized black Bostonians with her charges of apathy within the community that she was practically run out of town.

Boston and Philadelphia black women benefited from the unparalleled influence in their cities of white abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, who championed both the emancipation of slaves and the rights of women. In Boston, the New England Anti-Slavery Society, which Garrison helped found in 1833, welcomed black women like Susan Paul. When white women in Boston established the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society without a single black member, Garrison shamed them into integrating their ranks. From its inception, the more progressive Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society brought together white, mostly Quaker, women — Lucretia Mott, Mary Grew, sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimké — and black — Margaretta Forten, Sarah McCrummell, Charlotte Forten, Sarah Forten, Harriet Purvis, Grace Douglass, Sarah Mapps Douglass and Mary Wood. The society adopted Garrisonian goals: immediate emancipation of slaves; antislavery petitions to Congress; suppression of the global slave trade; ensuring the rights of escaped slaves. But they also branched out on their own, joining the free produce movement (the boycott of slave products), organizing fundraising fairs and attending to the well-being of the city’s black community, especially the education of black youth.

In New Yorker Alexander Crummell’s view, however, black women in his city showed little interest in social causes. Writing retrospectively from the vantage point of the 1870s, Crummell, by then an eminent Episcopal theologian, recalled his first meeting with Maria Stewart, who had recently arrived in New York. He expressed surprise at encountering “a young woman of my own people full of literary aspiration and ambitious authorship.” In those days,” he maintained, “the desire for learning was almost exclusively confined to colored young men. There were a few young women in New York who thought of higher things, and it was a surprise to find another added to their number.”

Crummell was accusing New York’s black women of small-mindedness. But he could have been more broad-minded himself. He could have explained the peculiar culture of New York’s black community, whose leadership focused its energies on two causes: entrepreneurship and restitution of black male suffrage, both of which relegated women to the sidelines. (Suffrage was not a dominant issue in Massachusetts, where black men had retained the right to vote.)

He could have acknowledged that black men in Boston and Philadelphia found their New York counterparts strangely out of step with the antislavery movement. As proof, he could have cited a letter written to the Liberator in the early 1840s. “The spirit of virtuous ambition and emulation,” the Boston reader complained, “has died in the bosoms of the young men in New York … some of whom have earned the reputation of lukewarmness and indifference for the success of the anti-slavery cause.”

Finally, Crummell could have acknowledged that, to the extent that New York’s black men did engage in abolitionist work, it was under the aegis of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, which, unlike Garrison’s organization, supported involvement in party politics and opposed merging women’s rights with abolition.

In contrast to Boston and Philadelphia, the archive on black women’s activism in New York is thin. But that hardly means that we need to accept Crummell’s contention that New York’s black women were incapable of thinking of higher things. In fact, the traces that do exist in the archives suggest that they did indeed have ambition. The little that has come to light is largely limited to lists — of women’s names, of female societies — to which no stories are attached.

Disunion Highlights

Fort Sumter

Explore multimedia from the series and navigate through past posts, as well as photos and articles from the Times archive.

These records suggest that New York’s black women were above all dedicated to education. Many became schoolteachers. In 1838, the Public School Society (predecessor of the Board of Education) compiled a list of black women teachers — Caroline Roe, Elizabeth Roe, Eliza Richards, Sarah Ennalls, Maria DeGrasse, Fanny Tompkins, Rebecca Peterson — but said nothing about their accomplishments. Around the same time, a Ladies’ Literary Society, founded by Charles B. Ray’s wife, Henrietta, and comprising many of the same schoolteachers, held a public celebration. Extolling the importance of education for young women, the keynote speaker demanded that they “awake and slumber no more — arise, put on your armor, ye daughters of America, and stand forth in the field of improvement.”

To the extent that we know anything about these women it is because of their relationships to prominent men in the community. Maria deGrasse was married to prominent businessman George deGrasse; Rebecca Peterson was the daughter of the revered schoolteacher John Peterson; Henrietta Ray’s husband was the activist Charles B. Ray.

It’s questionable how much support these men gave their womenfolk. In 1840, for example, Charles Ray agreed with those in Garrison’s American Anti-Slavery Society who held that women — white or black — had the right to be officeholders, and actually put forth the name of a female candidate, only to have her rejected. But a mere year later he vociferously (and successfully) opposed the proposal that women be allowed to attend a Convention of Colored Men as observers, insisting that a man could “do more work abroad without a wife than with her.” Perhaps lack of male support inhibited the activism of these wives and daughters; maybe it also explains the dearth of written records preserved in the archives; surely, it more than hints at why they were kept out of Smith’s backroom.

Black New York women’s greater involvement in public life was inevitable, however, and was perhaps due to Smith himself. In the late 1830s a group of white women had founded the Colored Orphan Asylum to care for the city’s homeless black children. The women maintained an all white Board of Managers, but eventually hired Smith as the asylum’s doctor. So it might well have been Smith who was responsible for the gradual transformation of the asylum into an outlet for black women’s activism. In the 1850s, a black woman, Adelaide Butler, known as Aunt Delia, became matron. Wives, widows and daughters of prominent men — among them Smith’s wife — organized fairs to raise funds on behalf of the orphans. Little did these women suspect that some few years later a violent mob would burn the asylum to the ground on the first day of the Draft Riots. After that, nothing could stop them from moving out into the public sphere to join the war effort.

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Carla L. Peterson

Carla L. Peterson, a professor of English at the University of Maryland, is the author of “Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City.”


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If you missed the outstanding PBS presentation of “Freedom Riders” which aired last night, Monday, May 16, here is your chance to view it. Click on the link here to view this wonderful program of a much forgotten part of America’s history.

In 1961, over 400 Americans put their lives on the line to bring to an end the segregation of interstate travel for Black passengers on buses. These Freedom Riders were Black, White, young, old, men, women, Jew, Gentile, Northern, and Southern. The humiliation of separate facilities both on buses and at bus stops, made for unendurable travel for Black Americans when they got on a bus, be it the Greyhound bus line, Trailways bus line or any other. The CRM sought to have President John Kennedy give federal protection to Black citizens on buses–buses that were licenced under the federal government’s Interstate Commerce Commission that federally regulated buses that traveled America’s highways. The federal government had struck down segregated travel on buses, but for many decades the South gave the federal government the finger and continued its segregation policies on buses and all other conveyances of public travel.

Under the Congress For Racial Equality (headed by James Farmer), the Freedom Riders were prepared to face the insults and attacks they would surely face because they were challenging a way of life that many racist would fight to the death to maintain.

The Freedom Riders who came together to dismantle this racist practice of segregated travel faced savage beatings, and imprisonment. From May 1 through November of 1961, the Freedom Riders, were attacked by Southern racists, attacked just for simply sitting and traveling together on buses and trains as they went through the Deep South.

Freedom Riders at one of their meetings.

Two landmark cases affected travel on public accomodations when Black citizens faced segregation:

The first was the case of Ms. Irene Morgan.

Photo of Ms. Irene Morgan.

On July, 16, 1944, eleven years before Mrs. Rosa Parks was commanded to give up her seat to a White male on a Montgomery, AL. city bus, the then 27-year-old Baltimore-born Ms. Morgan was arrested and jailed in Virginia for refusing to give up her seat on an interstate Greyhound bus to a White passenger. In a 1946 landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-1 that Virginia’s state law enforcing segregation on interstate buses was illegal.

Photo of newspaper article on Ms. Morgan’s lamdmark case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The second was on May 24, 1961, when Freedom Riders were arrested for trying to use a whites-only facility at the bus depot in Jackson, Mississippi. The Freedom Riders’ trip put to test the United States Supreme Court decision, Boynton v. Virginia, which in 1960 overturned the conviction of a Black American law student who was cited for tresspassing in a restuarant in a bus terminal deemed “whites only.”

On paper federal government struck down segregation on interstate buses, but no state in the South upheld the federal legislation against segregated travel on public buses.

Freedom Riders” produced, written, and directed by the award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson features many icons of the CRM, such as Diane Nash; Mae Francis Moultrie; Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.; John Lewis; Jim Zwerg, as well as individual accounts of primary testimony of what it was like to be a Freedom Rider: the riders themselves, government officials and their desire to stop the Freedom Riders, and the ever-present journalists who were on hand to document and bear witness on the historic events.

Diane Nash, Freedom Rider leader and leader of the Nashville Student Movement which took over the freedom ride.

When faced with imprisonment, Ms. Nash stood before the judge who sentenced her to two years in prison for civil disobedience and issued this statement:

“This will be a black baby born in Mississippi, and thus where ever he is born he will be in prison … If I go to jail now it may help hasten that day when my child and all children will be free.”

Ms. Nash, married to James Bevel (of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference)), was pregnant at the time, and she refused to allow her pregnacy to give her any leniency, any appeal bond, nor for bond to be posted for her.

Freedom Riders on their way into history.

Freedom Ride Map

More than 400 men and women participated in the Freedom Rides. See the complete roster.

Each foray into the South by the Freedom Riders garnered them all kinds of violence: racist slurs, spat upon, beaten, teeth broken out, jaws broken. The threat of possible death hung over them. Each time the racists came up with a different ploy to thwart the FR (such as integrating a bus stop facility when the Riders arrived at a Southern destination, then upon the Riders leaving, the facility was reverted back to its segregated mode), and each time the FR devised another way to continue and carry on the movement.

John L. Lewis (left), and Jim Zwerg (right), splattered with blood after being attacked and beaten in Montgomery, AL.

After the most vicious attack which occurredon Mother’s Day,  May 14, 1961,  in Anniston, Alabama by Klansmen who set fire to a bus on which the FR rode, student activists from Nashville, TN organized a ride of their own. From there, the numbers of FR swelled. Local police in Birmingham, Alabama, under the direction of Bull Connor, allowed the KKK to “burn, bomb, kill, maim” for fifteen minutes without police intervention or arrests, a bus that carried Freedom Riders that arrived at a Birmingham Trailways bus station. The FBI stood by as well and gave no protection to the Riders. The U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy refused to give federal protection to the Riders, wanting to wash the government’s hands of the issue by leaving it in the hands of the Southern states.

Freedom Riders escaping their burning bus after it was attacked by Klansmen.

FR Joan Trumpauer-Mulholland recalls why the Freedom Riders took on the mantle of social activism to give freedom, mobility, and human dignity to Black riders and end racial segregation on interstate bus travel:

“We were past fear. If we were going to die, we were gonna die, but we can’t stop. If one person fails, others take their place.”

Your parents tell you, “Don’t start something you don’t finish. Finish it!”

Keep Reading

Journey to Freedom – Retrace the Freedom Rides

Retrace two of the most influential Freedom Rides of 1961: the original CORE Freedom Ride and the Nashville Student Movement Ride.

Issues Facing America: The ’60s

The Freedom Rides of 1961 weren’t the only civil rights revolution taking place during this time. Find out what was happening in the Deep South and around the country that made the Freedom Rides necessary.

Excerpt from Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice

Read an excerpt from Raymond Arsenault’s book, Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice.

Leaders of the Freedom Rider Movement

Get to know seven of the major players involved in the Freedom Rides of 1961.

436 Took the Ride

 The Freedom Riders – Then, And Now (Smithsonian)

Three hundred and twenty-eight Freedom Riders were arrested for their civil disobedience and sent to jails in Jackson, Mississippi as well as to the notorious Parchman Prison located in Sunflower County, MS. While there, the Freedom Riders strove to keep in touch with the outside world, writing letters on tissue paper and paper towels.

Four mug shots

(Left to right: Stokely Carmichael, Margarent Leonard, Kredelle Petway, Paul Green)

If ever there was a prison that was a gulag for Black Americans, it was Parchman. Parchman Prison soon filled to overflowing, but the FR held their ground and would not back down from their righteous crusade, singing spiritual songs that helped them do battle with their jailers.

With the horrific burning of their bus, the Riders began to receive front page news coverage, and most notably, the rest of the world was watching. After almost five months of bus rides and facing the spineless excuses given by the Kennedy administration, the federal government threw in the towel. On September 22, 1961, the Interstate Commerce Commission issued its order to desegregate thus ending the segregation on bus and rail systems that had been in effect for generations. The commission announced that on November 1, 1961, all interstate buses would be required to display a certificate that read: “Seating aboard this vehicle is without regard to race, color, creed, or national origin, by order of the Interstate Commerce Commission.”

Black Americans praised the ruling, but its effect would depend on enforcement – and on that, they were skeptical. CORE, NAACP, FRCC, and others, lined up testing the enforcement of the new rule in November. They sent out dozens of groups throughout the South, the most ambitious test and the most difficult to coordinate.

The testers encountered less resistance than expected. One part of Jane Crow had come to an end.

But, there was still work to be done, as the future would show.

Today, many people give little thought of the ability to pay for a ticket and board a bus, train, airplane, or even a cruise ship. There was a time in America’s history when travel for a Black American was more than fraught with going from one place to another. The simple act of sitting where you wanted to on a bus, to get off the bus at a stop, stretch your legs, get a drink of water, buy a sandwich–without having to face daily slights against one’s humanity.

My sincerest “Thank You” and heartfelt reverence for the many Freedom Riders who put their lives on the line so that I and so many other Americans can take for granted the most simplest and basic of human rights.


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There is Black History Month. There is Cinco de Mayo Day. There is St. Patrick’s Day.

But, did you know that Asian-Pacific heritage is celebrated in the month of May?

From May 1ST to May 31st is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.

This time of year honors the sacrifices, accomplishments, and achievements and contributions that Asian and Pacific Islanders have made to America and the world.

Why the month of May?

It has played a major role in Asian-American history:

-The first Asians to immigrate to the Western hemisphere were Chinese Filipinos, who settled in Mexico. In 1750, Filipino sailors were the first to settle in what is now known as Louisiana;

-October, 1831: the first Japanese to arrive on the North American continent, landed here via a ship wreck of the Hojun Maru, which set sail from Nagoya and was bound for Edo (present-day Tokyo) but instead landed on the coast of Cape Flattery at the northwest tip of what is now known as the state of Washington. The survivors were Iwakichi, Otokichi, and Kyukichi;

-May 7, 1843, the first Americans of Japanese heritage migrated to America;

-May 10, 1869, Chinese laborers finished what would become known as the transcontinental railroad in the United States.

“Later around 1840, to make up for the shortage of slaves from Africa, the British and Spanish brought over slaves or “coolies” from China, India, and the Philippines to islands in the Caribbean, Peru, Ecuador, and other countries in South America.

Manila village © PBS

However, the first large-scale immigration of Asians into the U.S. didn’t happen until 1848. Around that time and as you may remember from your history classes, gold was discovered in America. Lured by tales and dreams of making it rich on “Gold Mountain” (which became the Chinese nickname for California), The Gold Rush was one of the pull factors that led many Chinese to come to the U.S. to find their fortune and return home rich and wealthy.

Most of these early Chinese workers were from the Guangdong (also called Canton) province in China. However, there were also push factors that drove many to want to leave China. The most important factor was economic hardship due to the growing British dominance over China, after Britain defeated China in the Opium War of 1839-1842.


Asian-Americans have had a significant impact on the American Civil Rights movement, most notably the famous Grace Lee Boggs, a noted civil rights activist and Richard Aoki, who was one of the founders of the original Black Panther Party, and was promoted to the position of “Field Marshall”.

 A military veteran who spent his early years in an internment camp, Mr. Aoki, a Japanese-American, donated weapons to the Black Panthers and trained them in their use.

Mrs. Lee-Boggs was a champion of Dr. Martin L. King’s civil rights fight, and to this day, she still stands up for the rights of all Americans.




In the beginning in 1977, there were just 10 days set aside in May to celebrate Asian’s impact on America, but, legislation to pass APAHM  occurred with the involvement of  two congressmen, two senators, and two presidents:

Today, the entire month of May is reserved to celebrate Asian-Pacific American heritage. Back in 1977, though, just 10 days were reserved in observation of the month. In June of that year, New York Congressman Frank Horton and California Congressman Norman Mineta introduced a bill calling for the president to declare the first third of May “Asian-Pacific Heritage Week.” In July 1977, senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga launched similar legislation in the Senate. After both bills passed, President Jimmy Carter designated early May as “Asian-Pacific Heritage Week.” It would take a dozen years before President George H.W. Bush expanded the week-long celebration into a month-long celebration of Asian-Pacific heritage. In 1992, all 31 days of May were officially designated Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.


Some facts about America’s Asian-Pacific American populations:


14.9 million
The estimated number of U.S. residents in July 2006 who said they were Asian or Asian in combination with one or more other races. This group comprised 5 percent of the total population.

Asian girl in traditional dress © Peter Adams/Getty Images

The percentage of the foreign-born from Asia who are naturalized U.S. citizens.

2.5 million
The number of people age 5 and older who speak Chinese at home. After Spanish, Chinese is the most widely spoken non-English language in the country. Tagalog and Vietnamese also have more than 1 million speakers.

The projected percentage increase between 2000 and 2050 in the population of people who identify themselves as Asian. This compares with a 49 percent increase in the population as a whole over the same period of time.

33.4 million
The projected number of U.S. residents in 2050 who will identify themselves as Asians. They would comprise 8 percent of the total population by that year.


The percentage of Asians, age 25 and older, who have a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education. Asians have the highest proportion of college graduates of any race or ethnic group in the country and this compares with 27 percent for all Americans 25 and older.

The percentage of Asians, age 25 and older, who are high school graduates.

The percentage of Asians, age 25 and older, who have an advanced degree (e.g., Master’s, Ph.D., M.D. or J.D.). This compares with 10 percent for all Americans 25 and older. However, different Asian ethnic groups have different educational attainment levels — 68 percent of Asian Indians, age 25 and older, had a bachelor’s degree or more education and 37 percent had a graduate or professional degree; the corresponding numbers for Vietnamese-Americans were 24 percent and 7 percent, respectively.


Miniature zen garden © Jim Boorman/Getty Images

Median household income for Asians in 2005, the highest among all race groups. However, median household income differed greatly by Asian group. For Asian Indians, for example, the median income in 2006 was $78,315; for Vietnamese-Americans, it was $52,299.

Poverty rate for Asians in 2006, down from 11.1 percent in 2005.


1.1 million
Number of businesses owned by Asian-Americans in 2002, up 24 percent from 1997.

$343.3 billion
Receipts of Asian-American-owned businesses in 2002, up 13 percent from 1997. Asian American-owned businesses employed a total of 2.2 million people, and their receipts totaled $307.6 billion, or about $961,379 per company. Also, only 28% of all Asian-American owned businesses were home-based, the lowest proportion for any racial/ethnic minority group.

The number of Asian-American military veterans.

The proportion of employed Asians 16 and older who work in management, professional and related occupations, such as financial managers, engineers, teachers and registered nurses. 




AUTHOR CITATION: Copyright © 2001-2011 by C.N. Le.


Asian-Pacific American’s ancestry hails from Vietnam, Laos, China, Japan, India, Pakistan, Burma, Thailand, Tonga, Figi,and so many other nations, each with their own contribution and history. Anytime of year is a good time to learn of the many contributions of Asian-American and Pacific Islander heritage, and a good time to start is during the month of May.

One way that is both fun and educational, is to attend an Asian-American/Pacific Islander festival, like this one, or this one.

So, this month, celebrate APAHM.











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Published: May 9, 2011


LOS ANGELES — Dana Wynter, who ran from the pod people in the 1956 science-fiction classic “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” died on Thursday in Ojai, Calif. She was 79.

May 9, 2011

Allied Artists

Dana Wynter and Kevin McCarthy in the 1956 film “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

The cause was congestive heart failure, her son, Mark Bautzer, told The Los Angeles Times.

Ms. Wynter was seen frequently on television in the 1950s and ’60s and had roles in movies including “Airport” and “The List of Adrian Messenger.” But she was best known for her role opposite Kevin McCarthy in “Body Snatchers,” Don Siegel’s film about residents of a small California town who are replaced by emotionless duplicates grown from plantlike pods.

A low-budget movie released with little fanfare by Allied Artists, “Body Snatchers” developed a cult following for its paranoid atmosphere and its thinly veiled social commentary. It has since been remade several times.

Mr. McCarthy, Ms. Wynter’s co-star in that film, died last September.

Ms. Wynter was born Dagmar Winter in Germany on June 8, 1931. She grew up in England and studied to be a doctor at Rhodes University in South Africa before turning to acting.

She starred with Robert Lansing in the ABC series “The Man Who Never Was” and was also seen on “Wagon Train,” “Cannon,” “The Rockford Files” and many other series.

Her marriage to the lawyer Greg Bautzer ended in divorce. She is survived by her son.





Published: May 11, 2011

Dolores Fuller, the muse, girlfriend, leading lady and involuntary costumer of Ed Wood Jr., the cross-dressing writer and director of films so awful they have a stupefying, apocalyptic beauty, died on Monday at her home in Las Vegas. She was 88.

May 12, 2011

Screen Classics, via Photofest

Dolores Fuller and Ed Wood Jr. in “Glen or Glenda,” Wood’s 1953 film about a man who likes to wear women’s clothing.

The cause was complications of a stroke, her stepdaughter, Susan Chamberlin, said.

It was Ms. Fuller, or more precisely Ms. Fuller’s sweater, that launched one of Mr. Wood’s most memorable movies, “Glen or Glenda” (1953). The plot centers on a man (played by Mr. Wood) who informs his fiancée (Ms. Fuller) that he likes to wear women’s clothing.

Ms. Fuller was played by Sarah Jessica Parker in the 1994 film “Ed Wood,” directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as Mr. Wood. That movie also stars Martin Landau, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi, who acted in “Glen or Glenda” and other Wood pictures.

After her relationship with Mr. Wood ended in the mid-1950s, Ms. Fuller worked as a songwriter. Her credits include many numbers for Elvis Presley films, among them “Rock-a-Hula Baby” (with Benjamin Weisman and Fred Wise), from “Blue Hawaii,” and “Do the Clam” (with Mr. Weisman and Sid Wayne), from “Girl Happy.”

Dolores Agnes Eble was born on March 10, 1923, in South Bend, Ind., and moved with her family to California as a child. Her first, accidental film appearance was as an extra in Frank Capra’s “It Happened One Night” (1934), which was shooting at the motel in which her family stayed on arriving.

As a young woman, Ms. Fuller found work in television. She was Dinah Shore’s stand-in on “The Dinah Shore Chevy Show” and a regular model on “Queen for a Day,” where she demonstrated the soft pleasures of Gustinette slippers. She also made a few uncredited appearances in big-screen films.

Then, one fateful day in the early ’50s, she answered a casting call from Mr. Wood and became, in a manner of speaking, a star.

“I guess he interviewed a lot of young actresses, but I came in with an angora sweater, and he loved angora,” Ms. Fuller recalled in a video interview posted on YouTube. During their romance, she later said, she became accustomed to his wearing the sweater for relaxation. She never imagined, though, that its inexorable hold over Mr. Wood would eventually be disclosed to the moviegoing public.

In the film’s best-known scene, which endures as a monument to high camp, Mr. Wood confesses his sartorial longings to Ms. Fuller, prompting her to peel off the sweater, a white angora number, and cede it to him with a look of resigned disgust.

He next gave Ms. Fuller a leading role in “Jail Bait” (1954), a tale of crime, plastic surgery and other things that featured the bodybuilder Steve Reeves; she later played a smaller part in his “Bride of the Monster” (1955).

Ms. Fuller was married and divorced several times. Besides her stepdaughter, survivors include her husband, Philip Chamberlin; a son, Don Fuller; and three grandchildren. Another son, Darrel Fuller, died in 2004.

Mr. Wood died in 1978. Ms. Fuller’s films for other directors include “The Ironbound Vampire” (1997) and “The Corpse Grinders 2” (2000).

She also appears in the 1994 documentary “Ed Wood: Look Back in Angora.”





Published: May 15, 2011

Murray Handwerker, who transformed his father’s Brooklyn hot dog business, Nathan’s Famous, into a celebrated national fast-food chain, died Saturday at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He was 89.

May 16, 2011

Bill Mitchell

Murray Handwerker with the Frankie Man mascot in 1977.


May 16, 2011

Tyrone Dukes/The New York Times

A busy Nathan’s Famous counter in Coney Island in 1975.

His son William confirmed his death.

Nathan’s Famous, at Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island, was opened by Mr. Handwerker’s father and mother in 1916 and soon became an American legend, its name virtually synonymous with hot dogs. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt served Nathan’s hot dogs to the king and queen of England.

Mr. Handwerker spent his childhood at Nathan’s Famous. “I was raised behind the counter of the Coney store,” he told The New York Times in 1986. “My playpen was a 3-by-3 crate the hot dog rolls used to come in.”

His father, Nathan, a Jewish immigrant from Poland, and his mother, Ida, had opened the stand with $300 borrowed from the entertainers Jimmy Durante and Eddie Cantor, friends of his father’s who had yet to become stars. Nathan’s sold all-beef hot dogs at a nickel, half of what its Coney Island competitor was charging.

“We were the original fast-food operation,” Mr. Handwerker recalled in an oral history, “It Happened in Brooklyn,” by Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer, rereleased in 2009 by SUNY Press. “We called it finger food; you didn’t need a knife and fork. But it was always quality. My father insisted on that.”

It was Murray Handwerker who turned the family business from a famous hot dog stand to a famous national chain, which went public in 1968. After returning from World War II Army service, Mr. Handwerker joined Nathan’s Famous in 1946 and, his son William said, “had many ideas of expanding.”

In “It Happened in Brooklyn,” Mr. Handwerker recalled returning home with other soldiers in the 1940s and wanting to add other foods to the Nathan’s Famous menu.

“I realized the American soldier had been exposed to French food, his tastes had become more sophisticated,” he said. Despite his father’s objections, Mr. Handwerker successfully introduced shrimp and clams to Nathan’s menu. He later added a delicatessen line.

There were other disagreements with his father, including one over whether to let restaurant managers have days off during the summer. At the time, Murray Handwerker said, the managers were working seven days a week, and he insisted they be given a day off. The first week, they all got terrible sunburns and could not come into work the next day. “My father gave me hell,” he recalled in “It Happened in Brooklyn.”

Mr. Handwerker was born in Brooklyn on July 25, 1921, and graduated from New York University in 1947 with a degree in French. “I loved languages,” he told The Times in 1986, “but the only time I used French was during the old World’s Fair when a lot of French people came to Coney Island for hot dogs.”

By the mid-1960s Nathan’s had three restaurants, and Mr. Handwerker, who became president of the company in 1968, oversaw its expansion over the next decade by adding dozens of company-owned restaurants and franchised units. He also published a cookbook featuring Nathan’s Famous recipes. He became chairman in 1971.

By the early 1980s, Nathan’s was struggling. Its stock, which had reached $42 in 1971, had fallen to $1 by 1981. Mr. Handwerker was forced to close some of the restaurants and abandon the idea of a franchise that would offer a more limited menu. “Nathan’s forte is supposed to be variety,” he said at the time. The company also ran into trouble with some of its franchisees.

The business survived, however, as Mr. Handwerker continued to emphasize its main menu item. “The hot dog,” his son said, “was the mainstay.”

Mr. Handwerker ran the business until the family sold its stake to the Equicor Group, a private investment company, in 1987. He then retired to Florida.

Mr. Handwerker’s wife, Dorothy, died in 2009. He is survived by his sons, Steven, Kenneth and William; his brother, Sol; and several grandchildren.

At the company’s 70th-anniversary celebration near the Times Square Nathan’s in 1986, Mr. Handwerker was being given a hard time by Mayor Edward I. Koch, who complained about the demise of the five-cent hot dog. Grabbing the microphone, Mr. Handwerker explained to the crowd that the five-cent frankfurter went out with the five-cent subway ride.





Published: May 13, 2011

Ron Springs, a former Dallas Cowboys fullback who received a kidney from a former teammate, Everson Walls, in 2007 and fell into a coma after an unrelated medical procedure about seven months later, never to regain consciousness, died on Thursday in Dallas. He was 54.

May 14, 2011

Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Ron Springs, right, and Everson Walls, a former Dallas Cowboys teammate, who provided him with a kidney.

May 13, 2011

Associated Press

Ron Springs in 1981.

The Cowboys’ Web site said the cause was a heart attack.

Springs entered Medical City Dallas Hospital in October 2007 for what was expected to be a routine procedure to remove a cyst from an elbow when he went into cardiac arrest and lapsed into a coma, the Web site said.

In 2008, Springs’s wife, Adriane, filed a malpractice lawsuit against two Medical City doctors, accusing them of causing brain damage to her husband during the cyst operation.

His kidney failure stemmed from Type 2 diabetes, which he learned he had in the early 1990s. It led to the amputation of his right foot and two toes from his left foot, withered arms and gnarled hands.

Doctors told Springs he needed a new kidney in 2004, but he refused to allow his son, Shawn, a cornerback in the National Football League, to be tested for compatibility as a donor, knowing that the loss of a kidney would end his son’s playing career.

As he underwent dialysis, Springs was placed on a transplant waiting list until 2006, when Walls, a close friend since their playing days, volunteered.

The transplant appeared successful, and Springs and Walls established the Gift for Life Foundation to help spread awareness of kidney disease and diabetes. Walls, a 14-year veteran whose All-Pro career included stints with the Giants and the Cleveland Browns in addition to the Cowboys, testified in Washington before a House subcommittee to press for passage of an organ donation bill and a national registry.

In a statement on Thursday, the Cowboys’ owner, Jerry Jones, lauded Springs for “the courage and toughness he displayed until the end.”

Ronald Edward Springs was born on Nov. 4, 1956, in Williamsburg, Va., and played football there at Lafayette High School alongside Lawrence Taylor, the former Giant and Hall of Fame linebacker. At 6 feet and 213 pounds, Springs was a gregarious presence in locker rooms and played one year at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas and three years as a standout at Ohio State under Coach Woody Hayes. He was elected co-captain in 1978.

The Cowboys chose Springs in the fifth round of the 1979 N.F.L. draft. He played eight pro seasons: six for the Cowboys and the last two for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His N.F.L. career statistics were modest — 2,519 yards rushing and 2,259 yards receiving in 112 regular-season games — but he proved invaluable to the Cowboys, blocking for Tony Dorsett, the Hall of Fame tailback.

Springs later coached at Howard University in Washington under his former Cowboys teammate Steve Wilson and worked for the Giants under Coach Dan Reeves in a minority internship program.

He lived north of Dallas in Plano, Tex. In addition to his son, his survivors include his wife; two daughters, Ayra and Ashley; and at least two grandchildren.

Shawn Springs, a 36-year-old free agent who last played for the New England Patriots, toured the country with his father promoting kidney and diabetes awareness, appearing on network morning shows. Shawn at first objected when his father refused to consider him as a potential donor.

“If it came down to it, if that was the last resort, I’d do it,” Springs told The Washington Post in 2005. “I know he told me no, but I’d be a donor. Obviously, my N.F.L. career would be over, but that’s something I would have to do.”

The father responded: “It just justifies the fact that he’s a loving son. But I couldn’t let him do that because I always prayed and wanted him to be a professional athlete.”


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