First Asian American Exhibit Debuts at the Smithsonian

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In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History has launched its first-ever pan-Asian exhibit.

The exhibition, “I Want the Wide American Earth,” opened in Washington, D.C., on May 4 and will run until June 28, before heading to Los Angeles’ Japanese American National Museum in September, the first leg of its three-year, multi-city tour.

The exhibit looks back on the contributions of early immigrant communities from Asian laborers who helped to construct the Transcontinental Railroad to farmworkers who helped build the nation’s agricultural industry. It also explores the community’s struggle for civil rights, as APAs fought exclusionary laws that severely limited or denied new immigrants entrance to the U.S., and against such racist policies as the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

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