National Hispanic Awareness Month is an annual celebration of the culture, traditions, achievements and heritage of Hispanic Americans.
National Hispanic Awareness Month is held annually from September 15 to October 15 in honor of the anniversary of several Latin American nations’ independence. The monthly commemoration was created as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 and expanded to a month-long observance in 1988. Hispanic Americans, the largest minority group in the United States, play a prominent role in all facets of American society and culture.
Not only have Hispanic Americans shaped popular culture, but their increasing representation in government and media highlights their larger influence on American life. The October SIRS Knowledge Spotlight of the Month commemorates the myriad contributions of Hispanic Americans and emphasizes the diversity of Hispanic culture in the United States.
Learn more about notable Hispanic Americans and trace Hispanic culture’s unique impact on the American experience in the following SIRS articles and online destinations:
1. Latinos, Hispanics or What?
2. Latinas and the 2008 Presidential Election
3. Some US Hispanics Trace Their Jewish Roots
4. Hispanic Women in America: The Demographic Picture
5. One-In-Five Speak Spanish in Four States
6. U.S. Schools Adjust to Growing Hispanic Population
Periscope: Hispanic Heritage Month
Student Activities & Teacher Resources
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage!
“Every school child should know that the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the United States is St. Augustine, Florida (founded in 1565) and that Hispanic culture had a firm root in the Southeast and the Southwest of what became the United States before the English arrived at Jamestown and before the Pilgrims dropped anchor in Massachusetts Bay… [T]he Spanish, Hispanicized Africans and Amerindians and their mixed-blood descendants provided the basis for the development of much of American agriculture, mining, transportation grid, city planning, architecture and even law in the Southeast and Southwest. For example, such concepts as the right of women to inherit and own property, homestead rights, and the rights of adopted children to be treated the same as genetic offspring are examples of originally Hispanic legal principles that touch us today in the very heart of our existence: our families.”
“America: The Last 100 Years,” Hispanic, Dec 1999
Read more articles from our Spotlights by logging on to our SIRS Knowledge Source® feature page. (Hispanic Americans available during the month of october 2009)