National Hispanic Heritage Month
National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 in the United States and recognizing the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to our history, culture, and achievements. It signifies the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua. Originally the Hispanic Heritage was only celebrated for a week, but was expanded into a month long celebration in 1988. According to the US Census Bureau, approximately 61 million Hispanics live in the USA.
- In 1492, Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World, landing in the Bahamas.
- In 1565, the first permanent Spanish settlement was established in St. Augustine, FL.
- In 1974 the Equal Educational Opportunity Act allowed for bilingual education.
- In 1975 the Voting Rights Act of 1975 made bilingual ballots a requirement in certain areas.
- In 1988 Secretary of Education, Lauro Cavazos, became the first Hispanic Cabinet member.
- In 1989, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen became the first Hispanic woman elected to Congress.
- In 2001 Hispanics became the nation’s largest minority group.
- In 2009, Sonia Sotomayor became the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.