How Hispanic Heritage Month Became a Thing

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At Salud America!, we’re excited to discuss Latino health during Hispanic Heritage Month!

This annual U.S. observance, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

How did this observance start?

Hispanic-Heritage-MonthU.S. Rep. Edward R. Roybal of Los Angeles introduced legislation on the topic.

President Lyndon Johnson implemented the observance as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968.

U.S. Rep. Esteban E. Torres of Pico Rivera proposed the observance be expanded to cover its current 30-day period. President Ronald Reagan implemented the expansion.

It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988.

Why is the date of this observance important?

Sept. 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, according to the U.S. Library of Congress.

In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18.

Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is Oct. 12, falls within this 30 day period.

What is Salud America! doing to celebrate this observance?

Salud America! is developing daily content on Latino child and family health.

We also are organizing #SaludTues tweetchats, hour-long discussions on Twitter about a variety of health topics among Latinos, including:

  • 9/19/17: A Healthy Weight for Latino Kids

Find other news about Latino health here.

Who else is joining in?

The American Heart Association is developing content on Latino health issues, too.

VotoLatino has organized the Hispanic Heritage Month Action for an on-the-ground and digital voter registration campaign to shift this cultural celebration to a month of building our community’s political power.

The Latin Times has a great write-up on eight surprising facts about U.S. Latinos.

Explore More:

Family Support

By The Numbers By The Numbers

24

percent

of U.S. public school students are Latino.

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