Minnesotans are celebrating Hmong American Day today, with events at the state Capitol this morning and a closing ceremony this evening at the History Center.
May 14 is recognized as the 39th anniversary of the day that Hmong began leaving Laos after helping the United States during the Vietnam War. About 70,000 Hmong have settled in Minnesota.
Organizers say Hmong American Day can help Minnesotans learn about the Hmong people’s culture, history, and alliance with the United States during the Vietnam War. It also highlights Hmong resilience: “Despite war-torn global displacement, the Hmong continue to thrive and influence Minnesota’s local economy, political leadership, artistic innovation, cultural vibrancy, and academic excellence.”
Gov. Mark Dayton will speak at an opening ceremony this morning on the state Capitol mall. Also on the speakers list are:
- U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison
- State Sen. Foung Hawj
- St. Paul City Council Member Dai Thao
A closing ceremony will be held 6-8 p.m. at the History Center.