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National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 - October 15, 2017

September 15 - October 15, 2017

Hispanic Heritage observations began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and were expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period. The expansion was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. National Hispanic Heritage Month stands out from other cultural observances in that it spans two different months: September and October.

Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the achievements, customs and legacies of U.S. citizens with roots in Latin America, South America and Spain. The people in these regions fall into different racial categories, partake in different traditions, practice different religions and even speak different languages-Spanish, English, Catalan, Nahuatl and more. Given what a diverse group of people Hispanic Heritage Month honors, it's important not to generalize about them.

Sharing the dream of equality and boundless opportunity, many Hispanics have marched for social justice and helped advance America's journey toward a more perfect Nation. Ultimately, Hispanics have had a profound and positive influence on our country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service. This month, America acknowledges these vital contributions and celebrates our Hispanic heritage.

By the Numbers

Information about Hispanic civilians in the DoD


Hispanic Medal of Honor Recipients

Hispanic Medal of Honor Recipients


*Hispanics are the largest single ethnic group, in proportion to the number who served, to receive this prestigious award.
Source: Hispanic Medal of Honor Society and Hispanic American Medal of Honor Recipients


There are many types of Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations planned around the U.S.A. Many museums exhibit the work of Hispanic artists. Community groups screen films about the Latino community, and music venues host concerts with Latino performers. In addition, cuisine, crafts and other goods with Latin American origins are displayed during festivals that coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month.

Please share in this special annual tribute by learning and celebrating the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.


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Facts for Features: Hispanic Heritage Month 2017: Sept. 15-Oct. 15

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