Photo: National Hispanic Month
United States of America has proclaimed National Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 – October 15. In 1968, Public Law 90-468 authorized the president to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week each year. The 100th Congress enacted Public Law 100-402, which extended the observance from a week to a month. The annual observance is now a 31-day period beginning on September 15 and ending on October 15.
THIS YEAR’s 2011 Theme: Many Backgrounds, Many Stories, One American Spirit. It is a month which Hispanics are given the unique opportunity to highlight historical and cultural contributions by Hispanic Americans. For purposes of this celebration the term Hispanic includes persons with ancestry from the countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela, Brazil, Belize and the Virgin Islands.
SEPTEMBER and OCTOBER cover a wide range of independence days for Latin American countries. MEXICO celebrates their independence on September 16 and El Día de la Raza (Columbus Day) is observed on October 12. Chile’s independence celebration is held on September 18, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua all celebrate their independence on September 15.
DESPITE the fact that the United States government enforces its unfair immigration policies, Hispanics from all backgrounds are making contributions to secure America as a strong country. American Hispanics love their native country, but they are loyal to the United States of America. Many young Hispanics have joined the military and have sacrificed their life for America.
HISTORIAN WILLIAM GUILLERMO LUNA is quick to point out that there has been a lot of Mexican immigrants that have made contributions to America, namely, Leonardo [Leo Najo] Alaniz, a baseball pioneer born in La Laija, Nuevo Leon; Pedro Armendariz, an actor in Mexico and U.S. born in Mexico City; Brigadier General Robert Cardenas, Aviation Pioneer [Merida, Yucatan]; Dolores Del Rio, actress, Mexico & U.S. [Durango]; Lorenzo De Zavala, Vice President, Republic of Texas [Bahia/Goliad]; Dr. Hector P. Garcia, Civil Rights Pioneer [Llera, Tamaulipas], SSGT. Macario Garcia, WWII Medal of Honor [Villa de Castano]; Honorable Edward Hidalgo, Secretary of Navy [Mexico City]
LCPL Jose Francisco Jimenez, Vietnam Medal of Honor Hero [Mexico City] [Medal awarded posthumously]; Katy Jurado, Actress [Mexico & U.s. Guadalajara, Jalisco]; Sgt. Jose Mendoza Lopez, WWII Medal of Honor Hero [Veracruz]; Cesar Millan, Dog Behavior Specialist, [Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico]; Dr. Mario Molina, Nobel Prize, Chemistry [Mexico City]; Ricardo Montalban, Actor in Mexico & U.S. [Mexico City]; Roman Navarro, Actor-Silent Movies [Durango]; Carlos Palomino, World Welterweight Boxing Champion [San Luis/Rio Colorado, Sonora]; Sgt. Rafael Peralta, Iraq Navy Cross Hero [Mexico City], medal awarded posthumously; Anthony Quinn, Actor U.S. [Chihuahua]; Gilbert Roland, Actor U.S. [Juarez, Chihuahua]; Ruben Salazar, Journalist/Activist [Juarez, Chihuahua]; Carlos Santana, Musician [Jalisco]; Lupe Velez, Actress U.S. [San Luis Potosi].
HISPANICS are entrepreneurs, entertainers, athletes, doctors, lawyers, religious, law enforcement, military, writers, media personalities, artists, students, educators, political, farm workers, civic leaders, labor and professional people. Hispanic contributions to America are many!