“Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the history and countless contributions that Latinos have made to the nation over the years. This month we also honor the cultural richness of Hispanics, who come from Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.” — National Hispanic Council On Aging (NHCOA),
Originally enacted by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968, the annual celebration was originally only a week long. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the bill that extended it to a month-long celebration from September 15 — October 15 every year.
Today, Hispanic Heritage month is celebrated nationwide as a way to honor the contributions made by Hispanic Americans.
It’s common to see displays of art, music, literature, poetry, food, clothing, and other cultural expressions as well as recognition of those who have contributed to the fields of science, business, and politics.
Most heritage months begin on the first and end on the last day of the month. So, why is Hispanic Heritage Month different?
September 15th is the day that several Hispanic nations gained independence from Spain. These nations include Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
When President Johnson originally established Hispanic Heritage Week, it began every year on September 15th as a way to honor this date. The week also included the anniversaries of the dates Mexico, Chile, and Belize each gained independence.
When the celebration was expanded to a month, it made sense to continue to honor these important dates.
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated by all Americans as a way of recognizing and honoring the unique cultural contributions of the many Hispanic individuals and groups within the US.
According to the US Census Bureau, the month-long period was set aside to,
“celebrate the culture and traditions of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.”
Every year The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers (NCHEPM) chooses the theme and the poster that will represent Hispanic Heritage Month.
This year’s theme — “ESPERANZA: A CELEBRATION OF HISPANIC HERITAGE AND HOPE”
Here are the posters for this year! Click here to learn more about the artists
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