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Commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month

The United States observes September 15–October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month. During the month, we commemorate the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. 

mission specialist Ellen Ochoa
President Barack Obama Greets Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Spanish dancer, dressed in colorful costumes
Top: STS-96 mission specialist Ellen Ochoa poses for a photo on the Discovery's aft flight deck. National Archives Identifier 23208905
Lower L: President Barack Obama Greets Justice Sonia Sotomayor, 9/8/2009. National Archives Identifier 118817965
Lower R: Spanish dancer, dressed in colorful costumes, perform a traditional Mexican dance. National Archives Identifier 6656363

The observance began 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. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988.

September 15 is the anniversary of the 1821 independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua from Spain. Mexico, Chile, and Belize also celebrate their independence in September. 

"Americans All" - Lets fight for victory
Petition for Naturalization for Antonio Rudolfo Quinn
Photograph of Mexican Laborers
Top L: "Americans All" - Lets fight for victory. National Archives Identifier 513803
Top R: Petition for Naturalization for Antonio Rudolfo Quinn. National Archives Identifier 595184
Lower: Photograph of Mexican Laborers. National Archives Identifier 596405

We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by recognizing the contributions made by Hispanic and Latino Americans and celebrating their heritage and culture.

The National Archives’ holdings regarding Hispanic Americans are extensive and include documents on a wide range of subjects including genealogy, military service, and immigration. Some highlights of records found in the National Archives Catalog include, but are not limited to:

Demonstration by Hispanics [and other groups] on behalf of immigrant rights
Cesar Chavez, Migrant Workers Union Leader
L: Demonstration by Hispanics [and other groups] on behalf of immigrant rights, Houston, Texas, 4/11/2006. National Archives Identifier 24076494
R: Cesar Chavez, Migrant Workers Union Leader , 7/1972. National Archives Identifier 544069

Recently digitized and available in our Catalog include records of genealogical interest related to Hispanic heritage, including: 

Explore more events, records, and resources celebrating Hispanic culture from the National Archives on our website. 

Did you know you can use tags in the Catalog to gather a list of records or create a resource guide?

Members of the Hispanic and Latino Organization (HALO) Employee Affinity Group at the National Archives have tagged records in the Catalog related to Hispanic culture to make these records easier to identify and locate. HALO members added the prg_2013 tag to records in the Catalog concerning Puerto Rico, including records that appeared in the Guide to Puerto Rican Records in New York. Additionally, they identified records related to prominent Hispanic Americans, Hispanic and Latino issues in the United States, and tagged each record with the tag lax_2017.  

If you’d like to create a list of records for any purpose, consider creating a code like tag and adding it to the record. Using a unique tag of numbers and letters will ensure that you won’t accidentally draw in records tagged someone else's records to your list.
Puerto Rico. School-pupils and classes
Korean war veteran, Sergeant First Class (Ret) Modesto Cartagena
L: Puerto Rico. School-pupils and classes. Principal, teachers and a few advanced pupils. Mayaguez Industrial School. National Archives Identifier 542391
R: Korean war veteran, Sergeant First Class (Ret) Modesto Cartagena, one of the highest decorated men of the conflict. National Archives Identifier 6519402

3...2...1... Blast Off!

Last chance to join us on a special citizen archivist mission featuring NASA film footage!

We invite you to watch this fascinating series of NASA films, tagging descriptive details found within the films as you watch. You can tag names of astronauts, locations, launches, and even machinery and equipment; all of these details will help make these films more discoverable in our Catalog.

Help us complete this mission. Get started tagging now! 

Kennedy Space Center - Astronauts White, Collins, Lovell and Borman in Mission Simulator and Egress Briefing, 11/1965 National Archives Identifier: 70178535
Get started tagging!
Questions or comments? Email us at catalog@nara.gov.
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