Hispanic Heritage Month 2020

Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 - October 15.

Designated by presidential proclamation, this is a time to celebrate the rich heritage of Hispanic Americans and the many contributions they have made to American culture:

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period.

--The Library of Congress-hosted website, www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov.

President Donald Trump continued the tradition with the September 13, 2017 proclamation:

During National Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate the accomplishments of Hispanic Americans who have helped shape our great Nation…. Demonstrating a steadfast commitment to faith, family, and hard work, Hispanic Americans lift up our communities and our economy as entrepreneurs, executives, and small business owners, and make contributions in areas such as science, art, music, politics, academia, government, and sports…. Hispanic Americans are a testament to the American promise that anyone can succeed in the United States through hard work.

September 15 is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days September 16 and 18, respectively, and Columbus Day or Dia de la Raza is October 12.

drawing of Senator Octaviano LarrazoloSenator Octaviano Larrazolo

1st Elected Hispanic U.S. Senator

Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo was born in Chihuahua, Mexico on December 7, 1859. A former teacher and principal, Mr. Larrazolo was a gifted speaker and devoted champion of civil rights, known for influencing the U.S. thinking regarding Hispanic issues. Mr. Larrazolo was elected Governor of New Mexico in 1918 and later elected to the U.S. Senate in 1928, becoming the first Hispanic American to serve in the U.S. Senate. FCPS salutes Senator Octaviano Larrazolo.

drawing of Sylvia MendezSylvia Mendez

American Civil Rights Activist

Sylvia Mendez was born in Santa Ana, California on June 7, 1936. Ms. Mendez’s family filed a case in federal court against four Orange County school districts in California. Ms. Mendez was the child at the center of the landmark 1947 case, Mendez v. Westminster, which paved the way for the famous Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. In 2011, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. FCPS salutes Sylvia Mendez.

drawing of Rita MorenoRita Moreno


Rita Moreno was born on December 11, 1931 in Humacao, Puerto Rico. Her birth name was Rosa Dolores Alverio. She influenced the entertainment industry for over 70 years as an actress, singer and dancer. Ms. Moreno became the first Latina woman to earn Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony “E.G.O.T.” awards. In 2004, she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contributions to the arts. FCPS salutes Rita Moreno.

drawing of David OrtizDavid Ortiz

Professional Baseball Player

David Americo Ortiz Arias (Big Papi) was born November 18, 1975 in the Dominican Republic. Mr. Ortiz was a ten-time All-Star, three-time World Series champion, seven-time Silver Slugger winner and 2013 World Series Most Valuable Player. Among designated hitters, he is the all-time leader in Major League Baseball history for home runs (485), RBIs (1,569) and hits (2,192). FCPS salutes David Ortiz.

For more information, please visit www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov