National Hispanic Heritage Month is the period from September 15 thru October 15 in the United States. During this time our country officially recognizes the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrates Hispanic/Latino cultural heritage. The term Hispanic or Latino, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.
Hispanic Heritage Week was first observed under President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 and was later expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.
The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period known as National Hispanic Heritage Month.
The Hispanic population of the United States is 50.5 million as of April 1, 2010, making people of Hispanic/Latino origin the nation’s largest ethnic or race minority. Hispanics constituted 16.3 percent of the nation’s total population. In addition, there are 3.7 million residents of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.
For more information on Hispanic Heritage Month check out Just the facts at HispanicOhio.com.
Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!