October is Filipino American History Month!

October is Filipino American History Month!

Did you know that:

• The earliest documented Filipino presence in the continental United States was on October 18, 1587, when the first “Luzones Indios” set foot in Morro Bay, CA, on board the manila-built galleon ship Nuestra Senora de Esperanza?

• The first permanent Filipino settlement in the continental United States was in 1763 in St. Malo, Louisiana? 

Filipino-American Civil War soldier Felix Cornelius Balderry, Company A, 11th Michigan Volunteers. Baldberry enlisted in the Union Army in 1863 at the age of 21 in Kalamazzo, Michigan. He fought in the battles of Chickamauga, Kenesaw Mountain, and the Siege of Atlanta, and returned to Michigan after the war.

• The Filipino American community is the second largest Asian American group in the United States, with a population of more than 3 million people?

• More than a million people of Filipino heritage live in California, by far the largest number in the United States (1 in 3 Filipino Americans live in California)?

• Filipino American servicemen and servicewomen have a longstanding history in the Armed Forces from the Civil War to the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, including 25,000 Filipinos who fought under the United States flag during WWII?

• Andrew Jackson wrote about the “Manila Men” who fought with him in defense of New Orleans under the command of Jean Lafitte in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815?

• Nine Filipino American have received the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor in action that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the United States Armed Forces?

• Filipino Americans have contributed greatly to the arts, music, dance, literature, business, journalism, education, science, healthcare. technology, government, politics, fashion, and other fields in the United States?

The Filipino American Community has a proud and distinguished history of making our state and nation stronger and better.  I’m delighted to celebrate Filipino American History Month with my Filipino friends and neighbors!