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Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month: Home

Celebrate Hispanic / Latinx Heritage Month

Photo by Dnessa Franklin on Unsplash

 

During National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) we recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate their heritage and culture.

Hispanics have had a profound and positive influence on our country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service. They have enhanced and shaped our national character with centuries-old traditions that reflect the multiethnic and multicultural customs of their community.

Hispanic Heritage Month, whose roots go back to 1968, begins each year on September 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period and Columbus Day (Día de la Raza) is October 12.

The term Hispanic or Latino, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. On the 2010 Census form, people of Spanish, Hispanic and/or Latino origin could identify themselves as Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or "another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin."

Today, 55 million people or 17% of the American population are of Hispanic or Latino origin. This represents a significant increase from 2000, which registered the Hispanic population at 35.3 million or 13% of the total U.S. population.

Share in this special annual tribute by learning and celebrating the generations of Hispanic and Latino Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.

 

History

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The public laws that designated a week and then a month for National Hispanic Heritage are available in th United States Statutes at Large which is widely available through federal depository libraries.

Pub. L. 90-498, 82 Stat. 848 (PDF, 153 KB): A House joint resolution authorizing the President to proclaim annually the week including September 15 and 16 as National Hispanic Heritage Week.

Pub. L. 100-402, 102 Stat. 1012 (PDF, 58 KB): To amend Pub. L. 90-498 to provide for the designation of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

‚ÄčThese laws are codified in the United States Code at 36 U.S.C. 126.

Credits

Creative Commons License  Many thanks to Paradise Valley Community College librarian, John Chavez, for letting us adopt and adapt their original guide. This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.