Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration of the history and culture of the U.S. Latinx and Hispanic communities. The event, which spans from September 15 to October 15, commemorates how those communities have influenced and contributed to American society at large. Throughout this time, AOII will honor, provide education and celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month.
The History of National Hispanic Heritage Month
According to History.com, Hispanic Heritage Month first began as a commemorative week when it was introduced in June of 1968 by California Congressman George E. Brown. The push to recognize and celebrate the contributions of the Latinx community had gained momentum throughout the 1960s when the civil rights movement was at its peak and there was a growing awareness of the United States’ multicultural identities.
Brown, who represented East Los Angeles and a large portion of the San Gabriel Valley—both heavily populated by members of the Hispanic and Latinx communities—wanted to recognize the role played by those communities throughout American history.
On September 17, 1968, Congress passed Public Law 90-48, officially authorizing and requesting the president to issue annual proclamations declaring September 15 and 16 to mark the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Week and called upon the “people of the United States, especially the educational community, to observe such week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.” President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first Hispanic Heritage Week presidential proclamation the same day.
Why Hispanic Heritage Month starts in the middle of September
Rather than starting at the beginning of September, Hispanic Heritage Month takes place over 30 days starting on the 15th. This is a nod to the anniversaries of national independence for a number of Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua all recognize September 15 as the date of their independence, while Mexico’s independence is celebrated September 16 and Chile celebrates its independence September 18.
How To Honor and Celebrate
Join us in celebrating and honoring National Hispanic Heritage Month. We will be sharing resources throughout the month including virtual events, education from subject matter experts and other ways to honor Hispanic communities.
Did you know, the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum are joining in to pay tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.
Resources & How To Participate
What To Learn
What To Watch
What To Read
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