National Hispanic Heritage Month

Florida State Representative Mario Diaz-Balart wearing his "Kiss Me, I'm Cuban" button: Tallahassee, Florida (1990)

Florida State Representative Mario Diaz-Balart wearing his “Kiss Me, I’m Cuban” button: Tallahassee, Florida (1990)

September 15 marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which celebrates the history, culture and contributions of Americans who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking countries of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.   

Cruz Josefina Gomez showing woven fabric: Miami, Florida (September 1985)

Cruz Josefina Gomez showing woven fabric: Miami, Florida (September 1985)

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson began Hispanic Heritage week; President Reagan expanded the observation to a month in 1988l; it was enacted into law August 17 of that year.

Jesus Rodriguez playing the Venezuelan harp: Naples, Florida (1988)

Jesus Rodriguez playing the Venezuelan harp: Naples, Florida (1988)

The date on which National Hispanic Heritage Month begins is significant as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua all celebrate the anniversary of their independence on September 15. Mexican Independence Day closely follows on September 16, and Chile’s falls on the 18. Also included in this month-long observation is Columbus Day on October 12.

Governor Bob Martinez signing a bill: Tallahassee, Florida (July 1, 1987)

Governor Bob Martinez signing a bill: Tallahassee, Florida (July 1, 1987)

The following resources relevant to National Hispanic Heritage Month are available on Florida Memory.

Learning Units

Video

Audio

More information on Hispanic Heritage Month is available from the Library of Congress.

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