National Hispanic Heritage Month

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National Hispanic Heritage Month is the period from September 15 to October 15 in the United States, when people recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the country's history, heritage and culture.


Hispanic Heritage Month began as Hispanic Heritage Week. Hispanic Heritage Week was established by legislation sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Roybal of Los Angeles and was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968.[1][2][3] In 1988, the commemorative week was expanded to a month (September 15 to October 15) by legislation sponsored by Rep. Esteban Edward Torres (D-Pico Rivera), amended by Senator Paul Simon and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.[1] September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the commemoration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, who all declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18, and September 21, respectively.[4]

Hispanic Heritage Week was first proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968 in Presidential proclamation 3869. [5] Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan gave annual proclamations for Hispanic Heritage Week between 1969 and 1988. National Hispanic Heritage Month was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan on September 14, 1989 in Presidential Proclamation 6021.[5] Since 1989, all Presidents have given a Presidential Proclamation to mark Hispanic Heritage Month.[6]

Military Commemorations[edit]

During Hispanic Heritage Month, the U.S. Army commemorates the long-standing and remarkable contributions that Hispanics have made in building and defending the nation.[7] As of September 2018, 136,000 Hispanic soldiers serve in the United States Army, composing 13.8 percent of the Army. According to the official Army website, the goal during Hispanic Heritage Month is to celebrate the diverse and inclusive environment of the United States Army. Through coordinated efforts throughout the Army, this observance will be used to inform Army audiences and celebrate the contributions of Hispanic Soldiers, civilians, and their families.[7] The representation of Hispanic-Americans on active duty has increased by 10 percent during the past 30 years. In 1985, it was three percent, and in 2016 it is 13.7 percent.[8]

The United States Navy celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring sailors of Hispanic heritage. Hispanic Americans’ military service dates back to the Civil War. As of June 2018, approximately 59,000 active and Reserve Sailors of Hispanic heritage serve in the U.S. Navy contributing to the strength of the nation’s force. [9] National Hispanic Heritage Month is a time for the United States Military to honor both fallen and active duty Hispanic Americans' who served in the armed forces. Sixty one people of Hispanic heritage have been awarded the Medal of Honor, two were presented to members of the Navy, 13 to members of the U.S. Marine Corps and 46 to members of the U.S. Army.[9]

Annual events[edit]

The annual Northwest Arkansas Hispanic Heritage Festival is held in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It was established in 2013 by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce.

The El Barrio Latin Jazz festival in The Bronx, New York City is held annually in September to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month.[10]

The Smithsonian Institution hosts Hispanic Heritage Month events in Washington, D.C. One event is the Zoo Fiesta.

The Hispanic Family Festival is held annually at Springdale Park in Springdale, Holyoke, Massachusetts.[11]

The Smithsonian Natural Museum of the American Indian hosted the “Realm of the Jaguar” in Washington D.C. September 22, 2018. A Family Event described as "Enjoy a series of dance performances honoring the magnificent cat whose imagery is often found in Native artistic traditions from Mexico to the Amazon. Appreciate the jaguar dances of Bolivia, Mexico, and Guatemala. You can also explore the mask making as well as traditional and contemporary ceramics."[12]

The 5th annual official Latino Short Film Festivial will occur in Coachella, California. The dates are October 11-15th, 2019[13]

The Carnaval's will host their 12th "Carnaval De La Cultura Latina" during the first week of the Hispanic Heritage month and located on Junction Boulevard in Corana, Queens.[14]

The 54th annual hispanic day parade in New York was located from 44th to 55st and on fifth avenue. It occur on October 14, 2018. [15]


  1. ^ a b "The Creation and Evolution of the National Hispanic Heritage Celebration | House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives". Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of Bilingual Education. SAGE Publications. 2008-06-05. ISBN 9781452265964.
  3. ^ "About National Hispanic Heritage Month". The Library of Congress.
  4. ^ "National Hispanic Heritage Month". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  5. ^ a b "National Hispanic Heritage Month". Library Of Congress. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  6. ^ "Presidential Proclamation on National Hispanic Heritage Month, 2018".
  7. ^ a b "National Hispanic Heritage Month". Deputy Chief of Staff, Army G-1. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Hispanic Heritage Month". U.S. Army Reserve. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  9. ^ a b Poyraz-Dogan, Yonca. "U.S. Navy Observes Hispanic Heritage Month". Navy Office of Information Public Affairs. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  10. ^ El Barrio Latin Jazz Festival
  11. ^ Hispanic Family Festival Website
  12. ^ "Heritage and History Month Events".
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^


  • Weber, David J. (1992). The Spanish Frontier in North America. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-05198-0.
  • Fernández-Shaw, Carlos M. (1987). La Presencia Española en Los Estados Unidos. Madrid: Instituto de Cooperación Iberoamericana. ISBN 0-8160-2314-X.
  • McDermott, John Francis (1974). The Spanish in the Mississippi Valley 1762-1804. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-00269-5.
  • Diaz Soto, Lourdes (2011). Latina/o Hope. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht: Springer Science & Business Media B.V. ISBN 978-94-007-0503-6.
  • Cortes, Carlos (2013). Multicultural America: A Multimedia Encyclopedia. United States, California: SAGE Publications, Inc. ISBN 9781452216836.
  • Arredondo, Patricia (2018). Latinx Immigrants: Transcending Acculturation and Xenophobia. Springer International Publishing, Cham. ISBN 978-3-319-95737-1.

External links[edit]