National Hispanic Heritage Month - September 15th - October 15th
National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed in the United States from September 15th through October 15th by celebrating the cultures, history and accomplishments of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Central and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. This month long observation gives the American people an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the various contributions Hispanic Americans have made to this country.
The term "Hispanic" is derived from "Hispania"; a Latin term used to name the Iberian Peninsula (present day Spain and Portugal). It is used to refer to Spain, the Spanish language and also to the Spanish-speaking nations around the world. Hispanic America is comprised of 19 countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela.
While each of those countries have their individual governments, cultures and flags, Angel Camblor, a captain of the Uruguayan Army, created a flag to represent all countries of Hispanic America. It was first raised on October 12th 1932, Columbus Day, in the Independence Square of Montevideo and was officially adopted by all member countries of the Pan-American Conference in 1933. Over the years this flag has had a few different names including the Flag of Hispanic Heritage; the Flag of the Hispanic People, La Raza (Flag of the Race) and most recently has been called the Flag of the Americas. The white background of the flag symbolizes peace and the yellow Incan sun represents the awakening of the new lands, the three crosses on the flag represent the ships Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria sailed by Christopher Columbus, who discovered the Americas. The crosses are typically colored purple/violet to represent the royal colors of Spain.
Throughout the history of the Americas, the influence of Hispanic cultures has been present. In 1968, in an effort to give recognition to the important roles the Hispanic cultures have played in American history, President Lyndon Johnson issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week that includes September 15th and 16th to be Hispanic Heritage week. The week of September 15th and 16th was chosen because a wide variety of Latin American countries celebrate their Independence Day on these dates. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala celebrate their independence on September 15th while Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence on September 16th and 18th, respectively. In 1988, President Ronald Regan expanded this observance to cover 31 days when he issued a proclamation designating September 15th through October 15th to be National Hispanic Heritage Month.
As a country founded by immigrants, the influence of the Hispanic cultures is a fundamental component to the diversity of the American people. National Hispanic Heritage Month gives us all a chance to learn about our history, and to share the history of other cultures.
Please note: although we believe the information on this page to be accurate, its purpose is intended for the entertainment and enjoyment of our readers. It should not be taken as literal truth or used for research.
Click here to read some great quotes such as:
"We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls."
~Robert J. McCracken
"Men love their country, not because it is great, but because it is their own."