1965: Tipping Point for the Filipino American Community
The Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) announces “1965: Tipping Point for the Filipino American Community” as the theme for this year’s Filipino American History Month. The theme was chosen to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of two momentous events that forever defined and shaped the Filipino American communities in the United States: the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 and the Delano Grape Strike. In addition, many young Filipino American men entered or were drafted into the military and experienced combat during the Vietnam War.
October’s significance as Filipino American History Month is due to the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States when on October 18, 1587, “Luzones Indios” came ashore from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Esparanza and landed at what is now Morro Bay, California.
In November of 2009, both the United States House of Representatives and Senate passed laws – House Resolution 780 and Senate Resolution 298 respectively, officially recognizing October as Filipino American History Month in the United States. Various states, counties and cities in the U.S. have since followed suit and have established proclamations and resolutions declaring observance of Filipino American History Month in their regions. The late Dr. Fred Cordova, who along with his wife Dorothy founded FANHS, first introduced October as Filipino American History Month in 1992 with a resolution from the FANHS National Board of Trustees.
Throughout the nation, the thirty FANHS Chapters, colleges and universities, museums, and other community groups, will be commemorating Filipino American History Month with various activities and events to bring awareness of the valuable contributions Filipinos have made to the fabric of American society.