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UNITED STATES – Every year from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 Hispanic and Latino heritage is recognized for its important presence in North America by celebrating Hispanic culture, history, and contributions. President Donald Trump remarked on National Hispanic Heritage Month in his recent proclamation.

“National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the accomplishments of Hispanic Americans who have enriched our culture and society and helped make America into the incredible country it is today. Hispanic-American men and women embody the American values of devotion to faith and family, hard work, and patriotism through their countless contributions as leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and members of our Armed Forces,” Trump said in his Presidential Proclamation.

According to the United States House of Representatives’ archives, the tradition of annual Hispanic recognition began Sept. 17, 1986, when former President Lyndon B. Johnson passed the National Hispanic Heritage Week bill into law. Eventually, senator Paul Simon submitted a bill to turn the week-long recognition into a full month; Simon’s bill was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on Aug. 17, 1988 (Historical Highlights, House of Rep.). Interestingly, Sept. 15, the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage month, coincides with five Latin American countries’ independence days: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile also have days of independence which occur during National Hispanic Heritage Month, with Mexico’s falling on Sept. 16 and Chile’s on Sept. 18.

           In 2018, the Hispanic population in the United States (U.S.) hit a record of 59.9 million—18% of the U.S. total population. Additionally, the U.S. Hispanic populace has made up 52% of all population growth between 2008 and 2018, according to a Pew research study. In 2015, the United States Hispanic households earned $902.8B, $76B of which went to State and Local taxes and $139B went to Federal taxes, according to New American Economy research. In honor of Hispanic contributions, there will be several celebrations throughout the month. New York City will have its annual Hispanic Day Parade on Oct. 14 which draws over a million people (New York Latin Culture Magazine), and indicated on their website, the Smithsonian will host performances, lectures, and family activities emphasizing Hispanic heritage. More locally, faculty and students from Loras College, Clarke University, and the University of Dubuque are welcome to attend the second annual Tri-College Latinx Social Night on Sept. 26 at the Smokestack in downtown Dubuque to celebrate heritages and strengthen cross-university Hispanic and Latino connections, according to Loras College News. The U.S. Department of Education lists five ways one can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month on their own: find out about Hispanic historical and cultural legacies, discover Hispanic leaders and landmarks, read up on Hispanic culture, make a family storybook, and dance to Hispanic music. Hispanic Heritage has a lot to offer and has had an important impact in the United States which is a cause for celebration. National Hispanic Heritage Month brings together the diverse Hispanic Heritages and gives recognition to the Hispanic populace.

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