WPI Celebrates Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month

PreviewHispanic and Latinx Heritage Month


Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) celebrates Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month 2023 by honoring and highlighting the diverse culture, heritage, and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx communities throughout history. We encourage our community to study, observe, and celebrate these communities and their rich heritage.   


Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month is when the United States of America celebrates the culture and contributions of its citizens with roots in Latin America and Spain. During the celebration, there are many traditions, pieces of music, arts, foods, and literature displayed by both communities. We also take this time to recognize the achievements and contributions of both communities’ many activists, leaders, scientists, athletes, artists, and more.   


Although today the celebration is a month-long, that was not always the case. In June of 1968, George E. Brown, a California congressman introduced what would later become Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month as a week-long commemoration. During the civil rights movement, the demand for recognition of Hispanic and Latinx contributions grew, especially in the 60’s. On September 17, 1968, Congress passed Public Law 90-48, which authorized and requested President Lyndon Johnson to issue the first of many presidential proclamations for Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Week. In 1987, U.S. Rep. Esteban E. Torres of California would later propose the expansion from a heritage week to a heritage month. Then in 1989, President George H.W. Bush declared the period between September 15th to October 15th as the National Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month.  


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“The timing of Hispanic Heritage Month coincides with the Independence Day celebrations of several Latin American nations. September 15 was chosen as the kickoff because it coincides with the Independence Day celebrations of five “Central American neighbors,” as Johnson called them—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Those five nations declared their independence from Spain on September 15, 1821.”