Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrates Cultural Contributions of America's Largest Minority

Sep 18, 2023

Decolonization of the Spanish Empire in the Americas

September 15 marked the start of Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) in the US. The event highlights the many contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the culture of the US. HHM runs through October 15.  

HHM was first established as only a week in 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson. It has grown since then. HHM expanded as the number of Hispanic people in the US did. The 2020 US Census showed those identifying as Hispanic or Latino make up 18.7% of the total population. That makes them the largest minority group in the country.    

“I have often said that America can be defined in one word: possibilities,” President Biden said at the start of HHM. “The Hispanic community has always embodied that ideal. It lives in the dreams of those who have only just arrived here and in the legacy of families who have been here for centuries.” 

Cities around the US kicked off HHM with parades over the weekend. For many, it was also a chance to honor an Independence Day. HHM begins in the middle of September because so many countries that were once part of the Spanish Empire mark their independence on or near the 15th. That list includes five countries in Central America! Mexico’s Independence Day is on the 16th. Chile’s is the 18th.  

Other celebrations throughout the month will include the New York Latino Film Festival. Local concerts around the US will feature mariachi and salsa music. And this year will also mark the debut of a new stamp by the US Postal Service. The new stamp will feature pinatas.     

Reflect: What are some ways you could teach others about the traditions and heritage of your culture?

If students wanted to learn when Colombia won its independence, he or she should reference _______. (Common Core RI.5.7; RI.6.7)
a. the infographic only
b. the article only
c. both the article and the infographic
d. neither the article nor the infographic
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