National Hispanic Heritage Month (Spanish: Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana) is a period from September 15 to October 15 in the United States for recognizing the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.
Hispanic Heritage Month Heritage began as Hispanic Heritage Week. Hispanic Week was established by legislation sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Roybal of Los Angeles and was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. In 1988, the commemorative week was expanded to a month (September 15 to October 15) by legislation sponsored by Rep. Esteban Edward Torres (D–Pico Rivera), amended by Senator Paul Simon, and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the commemoration because it is the anniversary of the Cry of Dolores (early morning, 16 September 1810), which marked the start of the Mexican War of Independence and thus resulted (in 1821) in independence for the New Spain Colony (now Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua).
Hispanic Heritage Week was first proclaimed by President Johnson in 1968 in Presidential Proclamation 3869. Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan gave annual proclamations for Hispanic Heritage Week between 1969 and 1988. National Hispanic Heritage Month was first proclaimed by President George H. W. Bush on September 14, 1989, in Presidential Proclamation 6021. Since 1989, all Presidents have given a Presidential Proclamation to mark Hispanic Heritage Month.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is a time for the United States Military to honor both fallen and active-duty Hispanic Americans who served in the armed forces. Sixty-one people of Hispanic heritage have been awarded the Medal of Honor, two were presented to members of the Navy, 13 to members of the U.S. Marine Corps, and 46 to members of the U.S. Army.
During Hispanic Heritage Month, the U.S. Army commemorates the longstanding and remarkable contributions that Hispanics have made in building and defending the nation. As of September 2018, 136,000 Hispanic soldiers serve in the United States Army, composing 13.8 percent of the Army. According to the official Army website, the goal during Hispanic Heritage Month is to celebrate the diverse and inclusive environment of the United States Army. Through coordinated efforts throughout the Army, this observance will be used to inform Army audiences and celebrate the contributions of Hispanic soldiers, civilians, and their families. The representation of Hispanic Americans on active duty has increased by 10 percent during the past 30 years. In 1985, it was three percent, and in 2016 it was 13.7 percent.
The United States Navy celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring sailors of Hispanic heritage. Hispanic Americans’ military service dates back to the Civil War. As of June 2018, approximately 59,000 active and reserve sailors of Hispanic heritage serve in the U.S. Navy and Marines.
Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.