National Hispanic Heritage Month is near, running September 15 to October 15 in the U.S. to recognize the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements for the U.S. Your Abilene Public Library will recognize some influential individuals over the course of this time with mini-bios on our Facebook & Instagram accounts, linking you to additional content in our catalog if you want to check out more materials (both in print and digital formats) to learn more.
Follow us online and learn more about the following people from the past, as well as our present:
- 09-15: Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman in space.
- 09-18: Sylvia Mendez, the girl whose landmark case in California integrated schools.
- 09-20: Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Puerto Rican-American who gave the world the Tony winning musical Hamilton.
- 09-21: Ritchie Valens, the teen singer who introduced American audiences to Mexican music.
- 09-22: Dolores Huerta, who fought for Hispanic American labor rights in California.
- 09-25: Selena, the pop superstar who brought Mexican Tejano music to the masses.
- 09-27: Rita Moreno, the first Hispanic woman to win an Oscar for her role in “West Side Story.”
- 09-28: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the first Latina elected to the Florida House of Representatives.
- 09-29: Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic to serve on the Supreme Court Justice of the United States.
- 10-02: Cesar Chavez, an activist and community organizer working for justice and equal rights.
- 10-04: Roberto Clemente, who paved the way for Hispanic Americans in Major League Baseball.
- 10-05: Jovita Idar, who spoke out against racism and in support of women’s and Mexican-Americans’ rights.
- 10-06: Maria Elena Salinas, the first Latina to receive a Lifetime Achievement Emmy and dubbed the “Voice of Hispanic America.”
- 10-09: Richard Cavazos, the first Hispanic person to become a four-star general in the U.S. Army.
Learn about these individuals on social media, and continue the learning through resources available at your library. All in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which actually began as a weekly celebration, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 and taking place on the week including both September 15 and 16. In 1988, the week was expanded to a month with September 15 chosen as the starting point because it is the anniversary of the Cry of Dolores, which marked the start of the Mexican War of Independence.