In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Hispanic Heritage Week bill into law. The purpose of the bill was to designate the week of September 15 as a week to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans to the society of the United States.
September 15 is an important date because it is the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries: Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Mexico and Chile also celebrate their independence days during that week (September 16 and September 18), thus giving significance to the entire week of September 15.
Then in 1987, Senator Paul Simon of Illinois submitted a bill to expand Hispanic Heritage Week into an entire month, and President Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law in 1988, 20 years after Hispanic Heritage Week was signed into law.
Representative Esteban Torres of California describes the purpose of Hispanic Heritage Month best:
“We want the American people to learn of our heritage. We want the public to know that we share a legacy with the rest of the country, a legacy that includes artists, writers, Olympic champions, and leaders in business, government, cinema, and science.”
There are thousand of events and activities across the country (and virtually). These are our favorites:
Lo Nuestro Es Arte: Spotify created an entire page with music, podcasts and playlists that serve as an ode to “all of the rich cultures, expansive music, and strong voices that make up Latinidad.” Explore here!
L’ATTITUDE: A livecast, interactive, four-day event that showcases the contributions of U.S. Latinos in business, media, politics, science and technology. Featuring Emilio Estefan, Joe Biden, Jessica Alba NIKE CEO John Donahoe, and many more speakers! Register here
USHCC National Conference: The largest gathering of Hispanic business leaders in America, featuring leaders from local Hispanic Chambers of Commerce. Participate virtually here
Help Hispanics affected by COVID-19: Hispanic Star partnered with Proctor & Gamble to provide relief to those on the forefront during COVID-19. Learn more about how you can help here