Our Cultural Expanse: Asian & Pacific Islanders, 1800-1918

Our Cultural Expanse kicks off again this month as May is national Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. For the next week we’ll be focusing on different time periods in the U.S. Navy’s history, focus on the contributions and achievements of Asian and Pacific Islanders.

We’ll conclude our heritage focus on Saturday, May 9 at 10 a.m. with a guest presentation at the museum featuring Susan Ahn Cuddy, the first Asian American women to serve in the U.S. Navy. We hope you’re able to stop by to speak with such a distinguished woman.


The U.S. had maintained presence in East Asia to safeguard American interests during periods of unrest. Asian and Pacific Islanders served aboard Union vessels during the Civil War. The conclusion of the war with Spain in 1899 resulted in the U.S. taking control of Spanish in the Pacific including the Philippines, prompting the service of many Filipinos and other Pacific Islanders.Panel 1

Explore our parent command, Naval History and Heritage Command‘s historical presentation: Asian and Pacific Islanders.

For non-military presentations, visit the official website for Asian and Pacific American History Month.

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