From September 15th to October 15th each year, Americans celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. This is a time set aside to honor the contributions and histories of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central American, and South America.
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 starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.
To honor this month, the library’s main gallery display will feature fiction and nonfiction books by and about prominent Hispanic Americans. It also features histories and travel books about Hispanic countries. Here are a few standout examples:
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
As a book that pays homage to the magical realism and style of such Latin American literary giants as Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jorge Luis Borges, this enthralling work permeates many aspects of Hispanic book culture.
Latino Americans: The 500-Year Legacy That Shaped a Nation by Ray Suarez
“Latino Americans chronicles the rich and varied history of Latinos, who have helped shaped our nation and have become, with more than fifty million people, the largest minority in the United States. This companion to the landmark PBS miniseries vividly and candidly tells how the story of Latino Americans is the story of our country.” -From Goodreads.com
My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
“The first Latinx (Puerto Rican) and third woman appointed to the US Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor has become an instant American icon. Now, with a candor and intimacy never undertaken by a sitting Justice, she recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a journey that offers an inspiring testament to her own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself.” -From Goodreads.com
Travel books are excellent resources to use when getting to know a country. They don’t just contain information on how to travel and tips on where to eat. They are also full of information on local customs, culture, and history, and are often updated annually. This display features prominently from the visually pleasing Eyewitness Series (DK Publishing).
Our Hispanic Heritage Month display will be up until the middle of October. Thanks for reading!