As the number of Latinos in America continues to grow, the influence of Hispanic culture can be felt in everything from mainstream music to family mealtimes. To recognize this diversity, Americans can further embrace Latino culture during Hispanic Heritage Month -- a month long celebration of the many Latino cultures found throughout the U.S. Celebrations begin September 15th and run through October 15th with festivals and family gatherings.
"Hispanic Heritage Month gives us a significant opportunity to celebrate the culture and contributions of Hispanics to Arkansas," said Maura Lozano-Yancy, Publisher of ¡Hola! Arkansas. "I'm so proud to be a part of a state that thrives on its diversity and takes time out to recognize this strength in special ways like this."
Hispanic Heritage Month evolved from a U.S. congressional declaration that honors the diverse peoples of Spanish-speaking backgrounds who have come to America from more than 20 countries.
In 1968, under Public Law 90-498, US Congress approved the glorification of the Hispanic flavor -- and the influence of it in politics, economy and society -- as a weeklong celebration. Some time thereafter, 20 years to be exact, President Ronald Reagan extended the holiday for a period of 30 days (replacing the word "week" with "month" in the original proclamation) with the hopes that the selected dates would coincide with the Independence Day celebrations of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala and Chile.
Today, Hispanic Heritage Month is a national observance authorized by Public Law 100-402, which states that the President is hereby authorized and requested to issue annually a proclamation designating the 31-day period beginning September 15 and ending on October 15 as "National Hispanic Heritage Month". Due to this, and to the enthusiasm produced at Hispanic neighborhoods around the country, during the month tribute is paid (through
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