How to Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic American Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. The holiday celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. The holiday cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

Furthermore, The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, also falls within this 30 day period.

Executive and Legislative Documents

The Law Library of Congress has compiled guides to commemorative observations, and includes a comprehensive inventory of the Public Laws, Presidential Proclamations and congressional resolutions related to Hispanic American Heritage Month.

Some highlight events include:

Homegrown: Changüí Majadero Wednesday, September 30, 2020, the library of congress is presenting an online performance by Changüí Majadero. Founded by tres guitarist and vocalist Gabriel García, Changüí Majadero was the result of García’s pivotal pilgrimage to the Guantanamo region of Cuba. Here he learned the changüí from the living masters of the style. He was inspired to spread the spirit of Cuban folkloric music mixed with a dash of East Los Angeles grit. In addition, Changüí is the predecessor of son cubano and salsa, and is a style of music specifically from the region of Guantanamo, Cuba. Its origins can be traced back to the 1800s, which was during the days of slavery in Cuba.

Changüí is to Cuba & Latin America what the blues & early jazz is to American music. Changüí Majadero has played their modern take on changüí in such disparate settings including Lincoln Center, SF Jazz, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and even Dodger Stadium. They performed in the AFC’s Archive Challenge Showcase at Folk Alliance International in 2020. This presentation will premiere with closed captions on formats including the Library’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/americanfolklifecenter External and the Library’s YouTube site (with captions) at https://www.youtube.com/user/LibraryOfCongress External. The presentation will also be available for viewing afterwards at those sites and on the Library of Congress website at https://www.loc.gov/collections/event-videos/.

2020 Américas Award Ceremony On Monday, October 12, 2020, this event will be available to stream free online.

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage month please join the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) and the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress through a virtual, pre-recorded ceremony honoring the winners of the 2020 Américas Award. The Américas Award celebrates Latin American, Hispanic-American, and LatinX creators and their work in youth and children’s literature.

Free tickets are available via Eventbrite

Did You Know?

60.6 million

The Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2019, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. Hispanics constituted 18.5% of the nation’s total population.

Source: Vintage 2019 Population Estimates

12

The number of states with a population of 1 million or more Hispanic residents in 2019 — Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Source: Vintage 2019 Population Estimates

29.8

The median age of the Hispanic population, up from 27.3 in 2010.  

Source: Vintage 2019 Population Estimates

Resources:

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