Did you know that National Hispanic Heritage Month actually started as a one-week celebration? The observation started in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded to 31 days under President Ronald Reagan in 1988.
Do you know why it starts in the middle of the month, September 15, instead of on the first of the month as other ethnic celebrations do? That’s because Hispanic Heritage month includes the history, culture and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean plus Central and South America.
[pullquote align=”right”]The 2012 Census identified 60.5 million people or 18% of the population as being of Hispanic or Latino origin.[/pullquote]
September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico celebrates their independence on September 16 and Chile on September 18.
Who calls himself or herself “Hispanic” or “Latino”? The U.S. Census Bureau defines the category as those of Spanish origin regardless of race. The 2012 Census identified 60.5 million people or 18% of the population as being of Hispanic or Latino origin. As you might guess, the top two places in the U.S. with the highest percentage of Latinos are Texas and California, but populations are rising throughout the U.S.
Whether you have many, few or no Hispanic friends, observing National Hispanic Month is important for our children who are Latino as well as for those who will most certainly be studying, working and living alongside people of Spanish-origins.
The Moors takes pride in celebrating with the many members of our community that are of Latino descendants.