Hispanic Heritage Month

Resources From the State Library and Archives of Florida

National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Begun in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson, the observation was expanded to National Hispanic Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico's Independence Day closely follows on September 16, and Chile's falls on September 18. Also included in this month-long observation is Columbus Day, or Día de la Raza, on October 12.

Explore a few examples of Florida’s Hispanic history and culture.

Floridiana Articles

Joseph M. Hernandez: A Famous Florida First

A Floridian was the first person of Hispanic descent to serve in the United States House of Representatives.


The Cuban Experience in Florida

This unit provides insight into the experiences of Cuban refugees in Florida using photographs, government documents, letters, videos and interviews.

The Cigar Industry Changes Florida

In the decades after the Civil War, cigar making became one of the most important industries in the southeastern United States.

Florida and the Spanish-American War of 1898

Florida, the closest state to the Caribbean and home to a large Cuban immigrant population, became the setting for much of the action in Cuba's fight for independence from Spain.


Spanish Architecture in Florida

The evidence of 500 years of Spanish heritage is clear in Florida's past and present architecture.


Latin Music

Enduring cultural and historical ties connect Florida with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. The influence of Latin musical styles on the music of Florida and the broader United States is one of the most significant indications of this cultural exchange.

Alma, Corazón y Vida: Latin American Music from the Florida Folklife Collection

The 20 tracks compiled on this playlist of Latin American music capture the rich diversity of Caribbean, Mexican, and South and Central American musical cultures documented in the Florida Folklife Collection at the State Archives.

State Library of Florida

Cuban Heritage: Florida & Cuba From Colonization to Castro

This guide explores Cuban heritage in Florida and its influence on our state’s political, historical and cultural landscape. Materials are generally available through interlibrary loan from the circulating collection of the State Library.

Spanish Colonial History

This bibliography lists some of the published works held by the State Library of Florida regarding the events beginning with Spanish attempts to explore Florida. Materials are generally available through interlibrary loan from the circulating collection of the State Library.


Visiting the State Library and Archives

The State Library and Archives of Florida is located on the second floor of the R.A. Gray Building at 500 South Bronough Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399 (two blocks west of the State Capitol).

Our public research facilities are open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on state holidays.

Researchers are encouraged to check with the State Library and Archives to verify operating hours and records availability prior to visiting.

Additional Resources at Your Library

If you need additional assistance locating information for your research, talk to a librarian at your school or public library or use the Ask a Librarian service. A librarian can help you locate primary and secondary resources that may not be retrieved using search engines such as Google.