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30 Facts for Hispanic Heritage Month

Presented by Kimberley Blair Pleasant



  • Started as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson

  • Expanded to a month by President Ronald Reagan

  • Enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402

  • Hispanic Heritage Month goes from September 15 to October 15

  • September 15th is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua

  • Mexico’s independence day is on September 16th

  • Chile’s independence day is on September 18th

  • Celebrates Hispanic heritage through festivities that highlight the music and food that represents the countries’ history and rich culture

  • The term Hispanic or Latino, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race

  • Hispanic population in the U.S. is around 55 million

  • California has the largest Hispanic population

  • There are 1.2 million Hispanics serving in the U.S. armed forces

  • Hispanics are the largest ethnic or race minority in the United States

  • The projected Hispanic population of the United States in 2060 is 119 million

  • 73.3% of Hispanics 5 and older speak Spanish at home

  • Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States

  • There are roughly 12.2 million Hispanic family households in the United States

  • Roughly 64%e of those of Hispanic origin in the United States who are of Mexican background

  • Dr. Ellen Ochoa was the first Hispanic woman astronaut to go into space

  • Mario Molina won a Nobel Prize for his crucial work in understanding how the ozone layer is formed and depleted

  • Roberto Clemente was not only a famous baseball player, he was also a humanitarian who worked in the off-season organizing charity drives, donating his time and money

  • Octaviano Larrazolo was the first Hispanic woman U.S. Senator

  • Joseph Marion Hernández was the first Hispanic Member of U.S. Congress in 1822

  • In 1990, Oscar Hijuelos was the first Hispanic writer to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love

  • Romualdo Pacheco was the first Hispanic U.S. Representative, elected in 1876

  • José Ferrer was the first Hispanic to win an Oscar for Best Oscar in 1950 for the film Cyrano de Bergerac

  • Carlos Juan Finlay solved the mystery of what caused yellow fever in 1881

  • Ezequiel Cabeza de Baca, New Mexico's second governor, was the first ever elected Latino governor in the United States.

  • Tom Fears was the first Hispanic Football Hall of Fame inductee

  • Carlos Santana was the first Hispanic Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee in 1998



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