In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, which was observed during the week that included Sept. 15 and Sept. 16. The observance was expanded in 1988 by Congress to a monthlong celebration (Sept. 15 — Oct. 15), effective the following year. America celebrates the culture and traditions of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Some of the facts included:
Link to full "Facts for Features" page from the U.S. Census bureau: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb12-ff19.html
52.0 millionThe Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2011, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic or race minority. Hispanics constituted 16.7 percent of the nation's total population. In addition, there are 3.7 million residents of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.
Source: 2011 Population Estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/data/national/asrh/2011/index.html>.
14.4 millionThe estimated population for those of Hispanic-origin in California as of July 1, 2011.
Source: 2011 Population Estimates State Characteristics: Population by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin <http://www.census.gov/popest/data/state/asrh/2011/index.html>
$350.7 billionReceipts generated by Hispanic-owned businesses in 2007, up 58.0 percent from 2002.
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