Department of Defense Education Activity

National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 - October 15


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.

The theme for the 2019 National Hispanic Heritage Month is Essential to the Blueprint of Our Nation.

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

Portrait of Hispanic Active Duty Service Members

Portrait of Hispanic Active Duty Service Numbers

Top 10 Enlisted Career Fields

Top 10 Enlisted Career Fields

Click to enlarge/download

Top 10 Officer Career Fields

Top 10 Officer Career Fields

Portrait of Hispanic DoD GS Civilians

Portrait of Hispanic DoD GS Civilians

Top 10 GS 1-14 Civilian Career Fields

Portrait of Hispanic GS 1-14 Civilian Career Fields

Click to enlarge/download

Top 10 GS 15/SES Civilian Career Fileds

Portrait of Hispanic GS 15 to SES Civilian Career Fields


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 2019: Sept. 15-Oct. 15

In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, observed during the week that included Sept. 15 and Sept. 16. Congress expanded the observance in 1989 to a monthlong celebration (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15) of the culture... Read More


Charts about HS students

A view of the nation’s future through kindergarten demographics

Today’s kindergartners offer a glimpse of tomorrow’s demographics. The number of states where at least one-in-five public school kindergartners are Latino has more than doubled since 2000, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. Read More