- Fiza Pirani The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Friday, Sept. 15 marks the first day of a month-long celebration of Latino American citizens, their cultures and contributions known as National Hispanic Heritage Month.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed the observation’s annual proclamation, which highlighted Hispanic Americans as a “testament to the American promise that anyone can succeed in the United States through hard work.”
Here are five things to know about Hispanic Heritage Month:
According to the official website, the month-long celebration of the country’s 57 million Latino-American citizens “pays tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.”
Hispanic American citizens have ancestors from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and countries in Central and South America.
It all began in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson. Congress passed Public Law 90-498, which authorized and requested the President to issue an official annual proclamation of Hispanic Heritage Week.
Congress later passed Public Law 100-402, which amended the previous law to establish a month-long celebration, on Aug. 17, 1988.
According to the official website, Sept. 15 is the anniversary of independence for multiple Latin American countries, such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Several other days during the month are notable as well, including Mexico’s and Chile’s independence days (Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively) as well as Columbus Day on Oct. 12.
There are festivals, special museum exhibits, cultural events and more all over the country to commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month.
- Spotlight on U.S. Hispanic Writers (Library of Congress)
- Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life (New York Botanical Garden)
- Picasso: The Early Years, 1892-1906 (National Gallery of Art)