In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, observed during the week that included September 15 & 16. Congress expanded the observance in 1989 to a month-long celebration (September 15 - October 15) of the culture and traditions of those whose ancestors came from trace their roots to Spain, Mexico the Caribbean, Central America and South America.
Sept. 15 is the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.
This year’s theme - “Hispanic Americans: Energizing Our Nation's Diversity” - invites us to reflect on Hispanic Americans’ vitality and their meaningful legacy in our Nation’s cultural framework. As of July 1, 2013, the Hispanic population of the United States was 54 million people, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic or racial minority (17% of the total U.S. population). Additionally:
The United States has the 2nd largest population of Hispanic people in the world, second only Mexico.
Of the 54 million Hispanics in the United States, 65% were of Mexican background, 9.5% Puerto Rican, 3.8% Salvadoran, 3.7% Cuban, 3.1% Dominicano, and 2.3% Guatemalan.
Eight states have over 1 million Hispanic residents: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York & Texas.
1.2 million Hispanics are Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.
2.3 million businesses in the U.S. were Hispanic-owned (in 2007).
Please support the many activities taking place around the Nation in commemoration of National Hispanic Heritage Month and the many contributions Hispanics have made to the United States.