Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins Thursday, Americans with backgrounds in Spain, Mexico, Central, and South America, and the Caribbean honor their contributions and histories.
In honor of this long-established community whose influence is felt throughout the country, the observance spans two months, from September 15 to October 15.
Margie Huerta, the executive director, said, “It celebrates a vast community of Americans who have made invaluable contributions to the United States for over 300 years. Hispanic and Latinx people make important contributions to American arts, culture and humanities, and all aspects of society daily.”
What Is The Origin Of Hispanic Heritage Month?
The festivities began in 1968 as a weeklong commemoration under President Lyndon Johnson, bringing together newly arrived immigrants and native communities that have lived here for centuries. A native of Albuquerque, Ed Roybal co-sponsored the legislation with California U.S. Rep. Edward Roybal.
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan enacted a law that extended National Hispanic Heritage Week to thirty days. During the speech, Reagan praised Hispanics and their cultural pillars of church and school, but most importantly to families.
Are There A Lot Of Hispanics In The U.S.?
In July 2021, the Census Bureau estimated that nearly 63 million Americans were Hispanic. The Hispanic population has grown by more than three times the national population growth rate of 7% between 2010 and 2020, based on a Pew Research Center analysis of 3,140 counties with at least 1,000 Hispanics in 2010.
With 4.8 million Hispanics, Los Angeles County remains California’s largest county. Hispanic populations grew 363,000 in Houston’s Harris County, Texas, between 2010 and 2020.
Why Does The Celebration Last Two Months?
September 15 marks the independence day for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Likewise, Mexico, Chile, and Belize celebrate September 16-21.
At the end of the celebration, Oct. 12 falls into the middle of the month. Spanish-speaking countries refer to Columbus Day as D-a de la Raza, celebrating the conquered lands and peoples that Spain and other European nations conquered.
How Do You Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
Gabriela Baeza Ventura, a professor, said Hispanic Heritage Month pays tribute to a population with cultural roots throughout the country.
It’s time to remember other notable figures, both historical and contemporary, Ventura said, aside from fiestas and Mexican food.