Hispanic Heritage Month
September 15 to October 15 is celebrated nationwide as National Hispanic Heritage Month. It traditionally honors the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans as we celebrate heritage rooted in all Latin American countries. During this month, we honor the history, heritage, and accomplishments of Hispanic and Latino Americans of past and present.
Who started Hispanic Heritage Month?
President Lyndon B. Johnson first introduced National Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968. Congress expanded it from a week to a month-long beginning in 1989, after it was amended into public law in 1988 during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.
In Presidential Proclamation 3869, available via the Library of Congress, President Johnson wrote, “Wishing to pay special tribute to the Hispanic tradition, and having in mind the fact that our five Central American neighbors celebrate their Independence Day on the fifteenth of September and the Republic of Mexico on the sixteenth, the Congress by House Joint Resolution 1299, has requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating the week including September 15 and 16 as National Hispanic Heritage Week.”
Hispanic refers to a person who is from, or a descendant of someone who is from, a Spanish-speaking country.
Latino/a or Latinx refers to a person who is from, or a descendant of someone who is from, a country in Latin America.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean?
The celebration was created to recognize the positive impact that Hispanic Americans have left on the country. “Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America,” according to the official government website. It takes place from September 15-October 15 every year.
Why is Hispanic Heritage Month celebrated in the middle of the month?
September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the commemoration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Hispanic countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, who all declared independence in 1821.
This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, all the celebratory events most likely will happen online. If you’re staying home, there are several ways to join the celebration like cooking the traditional dishes from your ancestors, supporting Latin American restaurants and other businesses, you can also take some time to relax and read to learn about someone else’s culture (sometimes even our own)—such as these immigration stories by Latin authors.
Join the conversation on social media en @fviedu by sharing your own inspiration and learning more about Hispanic and Latino heritage by using #HispanicHeritageMonth
To learn more about our online classes click here