The Story Behind Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month
(Photo: Arizona State University)

Every year on Sept. 15, government institutions and community-based organizations across the Unites States commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month. The month-long observation is a time to acknowledge the many contributions that Latinos have made to the political, cultural and social fabric of our country.

While many people are aware of Hispanic Heritage Month, relatively few know the backstory of how it was established.

I know firsthand, because I helped get Hispanic Heritage Month enacted.

I was in intern in the House of Representatives in 1989 and was asked to get co-sponsors for a bill that created Hispanic Heritage Month. I wrote a first-person column in the Los Angeles Times last year about the legislative struggle I faced in getting the bill passed. There were hurdles and frustration along the way. But ultimately, I was successful. Here is my story:

Hispanic Heritage Month: How an intern helped make it happen

My column was read by a reporter at CNN, who interviewed me and wrote about my role in creating the national commemoration. Here is that article:

How Hispanic Heritage Month Was Enacted