Breaking Barriers: Asian Pacific Islander Americans in Congress

Explore these sample topics of Asian Pacific Islander Americans breaking barriers in Congress. For more, visit the Asian Pacific Islander Americans in Congress exhibition.

Featured Topics

President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act in 1988. Image courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library/National Archives and Records Administration President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act in 1988.

Japanese Internment Redress

"From Exclusion to Inclusion, 1941–1992: Long Road to Redress"
An essay detailing the passage of comprehensive pieces of legislation apologizing for Japanese internment and compensating its victims.

Japanese Internment Bill
The record that bolstered President Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 to evacuate persons of Japanese descent.

House Select Committee Investigates Japanese Evacuation and Relocation
A blog detailing the House investigation of how to evacuate persons of Japanese descent into “military zones.”

Oral History: “Compensation for Those Who Were Interned”
Representative Patricia Saiki provided a behind-the-scenes account of her efforts to convince her colleagues to support the Civil Liberties Act of 1988

Philippine Independence

In 1933, a delegation from the Philippines posed outside the White House after meeting with President Roosevelt. Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
In 1933, a delegation from the Philippines posed outside the White House after meeting with President Roosevelt.

"Exclusion and Empire, 1898–1941: The Philippines, 1898–1946"
An essay covering the nearly 50-year American presence in the Philippines, from capturing the islands to independence.

Resident Commissioners
A collection of biographies of all the Philippine Resident Commissioners.

Philippine Resident Commissioner Joaquin Miquel “Mike” Elizalde Resigns from the House
A historical highlight detailing the career of Resident Commissioner Elizalde.

Philippine Resident Commissioner Takes Oath
A photo of Carlos Romulo, the final Resident Commissioner from the Philippines, being sworn in by Speaker Sam Rayburn.

Dalip Singh Saund of California was the first Asian–Pacific American Representative. Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Dalip Singh Saund of California was the first Asian–Pacific American Representative.

Featured U.S. Representatives and Delegates

Robert Wilcox of Hawaii
Delegate Wilcox was the first Delegate from Hawaii and the first Asian Pacific American elected to Congress.

Dalip Saund of California
Representative Saund was the first Asian Pacific Islander American elected to the House.

Patsy Mink of Hawaii
Representative Mink was the first woman of color and the first Asian Pacific American woman elected to Congress.

Norman Mineta of California
Representative Mineta was a Representative from California, Mineta was imprisoned by the United States government during Japanese Internment.

Featured Objects and Records

Representative Patsy Takemoto Mink of Hawaii
<i>Representative Patsy Takemoto Mink of Hawaii</i>/tiles/non-collection/n/nhd_mink-office.xml
Congresswoman Patsy Mink and her staff photographed in her Longworth Building office in 1965. Read more about this object.
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
Resident Commissioner Quintin Paredes of the Philippine Islands Postage Stamp Proofs
<i>Resident Commissioner Quintin Paredes of the Philippine Islands Postage Stamp Proofs</i>/tiles/non-collection/n/nhd_stamp.xml
Quintin Paredes – the first Resident Commissioner for the Commonwealth of the Philippines – was honored with a commemorative stamp in 1984. Read more about this object.
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
Resident Commissioner of the Philippines Island, Hon. Pedro Guevara and His Secretary, J.E. Espinas
<i>Resident Commissioner of the Philippines Island, Hon. Pedro Guevara and His Secretary, J.E. Espinas</i>/tiles/non-collection/n/nhd_guevara.xml
Resident Commissioner Pedro Guevara and his secretary J.E. Espina photographed outside the President Calvin Coolidge White House in 1923. Read more about this object.
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
"What America Means to Me"
<i>"What America Means to Me"</i>/tiles/non-collection/n/nhd_saund-campaign.xml
Amazed he was elected to the U.S. House as an immigrant from Asia, Dalip Saund wrote in his 1956 campaign biography, “The American people elected me to their Congress. Where else in the world could this happen?” Read more about this object.
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
Representative Daniel Inouye of California Election Certificate
<i>Representative Daniel Inouye of California Election Certificate</i>/tiles/non-collection/n/nhd_inouye.xml
This certificate of election is for Representative Daniel K. Inouye, who was elected on July 28, 1959, as the first Member of the House to represent the newly admitted state of Hawaii. Read more about this record.
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration