The idea for Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated throughout the latter half of September and first half of October, began as a way to promote the history, culture and contributions of Hispanic-Americans. Specifically — those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Communities mark the achievements of Hispanic and Latino Americans with festivals and educational activities.
Hispanic Heritage Month - History
Hispanic Heritage Month Established
Hispanic Heritage Week was first observed under President Lyndon Johnson, but it was Ronald Reagan who extended it to a month-long celebration.
Brothers in arms
Over 300,000 Latinos enlisted in the American military and fought in World War II.
Texas Became a U.S. State
Texas joined the union as the 28th state. Mexico had controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence..
Fighting for Freedom
The Spanish governor of Louisiana, Bernardo de Gálvez, joined General George Washington's fight against British soldiers and helped win independence.
How to Observe Hispanic Heritage Month
1. Plan a fiesta
Tasty food, mariachi music, and sombreros for everyone!
2. Involve the kids in fine arts
Light up young minds by educating them about Hispanic arts. Frida Kahlo’s paintings are a good start!
3. Start learning Spanish
We all learned a little bit in school, so why not go all the way! Who knows where that might take you?
4 Hispanic Heritage Highlights
1. A special date
Hispanic Heritage Month starts in the middle of the month to correspond with the independence of many countries like Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile.
2. Going strong
Hispanic and Latino Americans amount to an estimated 17.8% of the total U.S. population, making up the largest ethnic minority.
3. And the winner is...
Oscar Hijuelos, author of "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love," was the first Hispanic writer to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
4. Difference of opinion
Unlike the U.S., chicken tacos are not popular in Mexico. There, they prefer to fill their tacos with steak, chicharron, and chorizo.
Why Hispanic Heritage Month is Important
A. Strong impact on America
Hispanic influences are tightly knitted in the fabric of American life. Think music, food, art, cinema, politics, literature, and so much more.
B. Around one-fifth of the U.S. population is Hispanic
The state with the largest Hispanic and Latino population overall is California with over 14 million.
C. Our kids benefit
While Hispanic children learn about their roots this month, all kids can benefit from learning about Spanish history and culture.