Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the history, cultures and contributions of Latinx Americans whose families and ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Hispanic Heritage Month actually began as a commemorative week when it was first introduced in June of 1968 by California Congressman George E. Brown. The push to recognize the contributions of the Latinx community had gained momentum throughout the 1960s when the civil rights movement was at its peak and there was a growing awareness of the United States' multicultural identities.
Brown, who represented East Los Angeles and a large portion of the San Gabriel Valley—both heavily populated by members of the Hispanic and Latinx communities—wanted to recognize the role played by those communities throughout American history.
On September 17, 1968, Congress passed Public Law 90-48, officially authorizing and requesting the president to issue annual proclamations declaring September 15 and 16 to mark the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Week and called upon the “people of the United States, especially the educational community, to observe such week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.” President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first Hispanic Heritage Week presidential proclamation the same day. The observation was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988.
The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.
The LCLAA was founded by a group of Latino/a trade unionists in 1973, the labor council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) has become the leading advocacy group for Latino/a working rights in the country.
LCLAA is the leading national organization for Latino/a workers and their families. LCLAA was born out of the need to educate, organize and mobilize Latino/as in the labor movement and has expanded its influence to organize Latino/in an effort to impact workers’ rights and their influence in the political process. LCLAA represents the interest of more than 2 million Latino/a workers in the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), The Change to Win Federation, independent unions, and all their affiliate unions.