Hispanic Heritage Month takes place September 15 to October 15 every year as a time to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latino community. Beginning in 1968, Hispanic Heritage Month was originally observed as “Hispanic Heritage Week” under President Lyndon Johnson, but it was later extended to a month during President Ronald Reagan’s term in 1988.
Since then, the month has been celebrated nationwide through festivals, art shows, conferences, community gatherings, and much more. The month also celebrates the independence days of several Latin American countries, including: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua on September 15th, Mexico on September 16th, and Chile on September 18th. They also include holidays that recognize Hispanic contributions such as Virgin Islands-Puerto Rico Friendship Day that is celebrated in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
President Donald Trump officially proclaimed National Hispanic Heritage Month in a release on September 14th, saying:
“Hispanic Americans embody the best of our American values, including commitment to faith, family, and country. They serve in our military and protect us as members of law enforcement. In fact, Hispanic Americans make up half of our Border Patrol agents. The Hispanic-American community has left an indelible mark on our government, culture, and economy.”
During Hispanic Heritage Month, the U.S. Department of Education continues to celebrate the exceptional contributions of Hispanic students across America.
Watch a message commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month from U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos:
Watch staff from the U.S. Department of Education share what Hispanic heritage means to them:
Observing Hispanic Heritage Month allows our country to show its recognition and support for the work Latinos are doing in helping this country grow. Along with recognizing the importance of Hispanic Heritage Month, it is equally important to us at the Initiative that we raise awareness on Hispanic Heritage Month resources available from other agencies within the Federal Government. Compiled below is a list of different resources relevant to Hispanic Heritage Month, along with their respective agencies.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Hispanics in the United States: Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month
- Census Bureau: National Hispanic Heritage Month, 2020
- Census Bureau: Facts for Features: Hispanic Heritage Month 2020
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Health Initiatives and Campaigns for Hispanic Health
- Federal Trade Commission: Empowering Hispanic Consumers and Business Owners
- Library of Congress: National Hispanic Heritage Month
- NASA: La NASA celebra el mes de la herencia hispana 2020
- National Archives: Hispanic Heritage Month
- National Endowment for the Humanities: Hispanic Heritage and History in the United States
- National Institutes of Health: Hispanic Heritage Month
- National Park Service: Hispanic Heritage Month
- Patent and Trademark Office: Hispanic Heritage and Inventions
- Smithsonian Institution: Heritage and History Month Events
- Smithsonian Institution: Top 8 Reasons Why and How We Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
- Social Security Administration: Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Minority Health: Hispanic Heritage Month
- U.S. Department of State: Hispanic Heritage Month, 2020
- U.S. Department of the Interior: Discover Hispanic Heritage at these historic sites
- U.S. Navy: Hispanic Americans in the U.S. Navy