Colorful banner that reads National Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 to October 15

History of Hispanic Heritage Month

It’s officially Hispanic Heritage Month! This is a time to honor our roots and pay homage to our beautiful culture, history, and contributions to the world. In this article, our Spanish teachers will talk about the origins of Hispanic Heritage Month and some fun ways to celebrate it.

How Did Hispanic Heritage Month Start?

The month-long celebration we have come to know today actually started off as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 when President Lyndon B. Johnson recognized the significant role Hispanic Americans had in shaping the U.S. About 20 years later, President Ronald Reagan extended this to last an entire month. Hispanic Heritage Month was then signed into law on September 15, 1988.

You might think September 15 to October 15 is a random date range for Hispanic Heritage Month, but the 15th actually lines up with many Latin American countries’ independence days.

Get to Know Some Notable Hispanic Americans

The purpose of this month is not only to recognize our people’s contributions to the country, but to also connect with and embrace our roots. If you aren’t personally Hispanic or Latino, this is a great way to learn about a new culture. Let’s start with learning about just some of the countless notable Hispanic Americans in our history and our culture:

  • Sonia Sotomayor - The first Latina to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Dr. Ellen Ochoa - The first Hispanic woman to go to space, who later became the 11th director of the Johnson Space Center.
  • Antonia Novello - The first woman and Latina to become Surgeon General of the United States.
  • Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta - Founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became known as the United Farm Workers (UFW) labor union.
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda - Actor, singer, lyricist, composer, playwright, and producer best known for Hamilton, Moana, and Mary Poppins Returns.
  • Selena - Known as the “Queen of Tejano music” and one of the most influential Latina artists of all time.

Ways to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Here are some of our favorite ways to participate in and celebrate this wonderful month:

  • Take the time to learn about Hispanic history and culture by reading articles or watching documentaries.
  • Visit a museum.
  • Learn about iconic landmarks and wonders of the world, such as Machu Picchu and the Mayan ruins.
  • Read or listen to books written by Hispanic authors.
  • Attend Hispanic Heritage Month events in your community.
  • Take a Latin dance class, such as Salsa, Merengue, or Bachata.
  • Take a Latin cooking class to learn some traditional, timeless recipes for your next gathering.
  • Take online Spanish lessons with Spoken Learning. We truly believe that learning Spanish opens our students up to new, incredible opportunities. Whether you want your child to gain a world view, or you want to improve your Spanish for work, we have classes for everyone. Our online Spanish lessons are tailored completely to each individual student, and we want nothing more than to help you achieve your goals! Whatever success means to you, our passionate teachers are eager to help!

How Will You Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?

Hispanic Heritage Month is a testament to the influence Hispanics and Latinos have on the world around us. Our traditions can be found deep within American culture and this period is yet another way to remind the nation about the diversity that makes the United States so special and unique. At Spoken Learning, we take pride in not only offering world-class Spanish lessons to all ages, but also teaching others about the culture we are so proud of. If you’re ready for new opportunities, please contact us to get started with your Spanish lessons. We can’t wait to welcome you on this journey. 

Start Learning Spanish Today!

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