September 15th to October 15th is a special time when the nation pays tribute to the achievements, culture, and heritage of Hispanic Americans. Hispanic leaders have been prevalent in our nation for generations, but special remembrance of their contributions began in 1968, when President Lyndon Johnson specified a week to honor Hispanic Americans. President Ronald Reagan extended this tribute to a full month in 1988.
“Our Nation’s story would not be possible without generations of Hispanics who have shaped and strengthened the fabric of our Union,” said President Obama in his National Hispanic Heritage Month proclamation. “They have enriched every aspect of our national identity with traditions that stretch across centuries and reflect the many ancestries that comprise the Hispanic community. This month, we celebrate this rich heritage and reflect on the invaluable contributions Hispanics have made to America.”
César Chávez and Dolores Huerta, for example, are two of the most remembered Mexican Americans. They created the United Farm Workers (UFW) labor union, to fight for better treatment and wages for America’s farmworkers. Through boycotts, hunger strikes, and other nonviolent means, they gave a voice to an underrepresented part of our community. César Chávez and Dolores Huerta join many other great Hispanic American leaders in making this month what it is.