6 Things You May Not Know About Hispanic Heritage Month
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Our country is more lively, honest, and beautiful because of its Hispanic citizens.
In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson declared September 15 through October 15th as “Hispanic Heritage Month.”
Each year, Americans observe this month-long celebration by recognizing, celebrating, and appreciating the incredibly vibrant culture, history, and contributions of Hispanic Americans.
To put a spotlight on the beauty of these ancestries, we wanted to take a minute to point out 5 important facts about #HispanicHeritageMonth!
- Hispanic Heritage Month starts on September 15th for a reason.
Most month-long observances start on the 1st of the month. So why does Hispanic Heritage Month start on September 15th? Answer: September 15 is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico’s independence day comes just one day later on September 16th, and Chile’s falls on September 18th.
- “Hispanic” and “Latino” mean different things.
According to the National Hispanic Heritage Month website, the month aims to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
The label “Hispanic” refers to people who speak Spanish and/or are descended from Spanish-speaking populations. This is contrasted by “Latino” (or Latina or Latinx), which refers to people who are from or descended from people from Latin America.
- Plenty of “American” traditions originated from Hispanic culture.
Did you know? So many pieces of standard “American” culture were imported from south of the border. For example, the cowboy hat, rodeos, and ranching are all from Spain and Mexico. Several state names like Montana, Colorado, and Nevada come from Spanish words. Even barbeque originated from the intersection of Spanish and Caribbean traditions! (Hint: the word barbecue comes from the Spanish barbacoa.)
- Hispanic Americans have fought in every war.
According to the Minority Veterans Report by the Department of Veterans Affairs, over 1.2 million vets in the US are of Hispanic or Latino descent. However, the military sacrifice and service of Hispanic Americans stretch back to the Revolutionary War. Historically, Hispanic soldiers have fought in every single war, both on and off American soil.
- Hispanic Americans represent a large part of our population.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic Americans number nearly 60 million and represent over 18% of our country’s population! We are so proud to celebrate the incredible culture and achievements of these citizens.
- It’s easier than you think to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
How will you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? Whether you and your family try cooking a new meal, explore a Latin American art exhibit (even virtually!), read a new book by a Hispanic author, or try learning a few Spanish phrases, we can guarantee you will be better for it.
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