2012 National Hispanic American Heritage Month
Peter Hemmer, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute illustrator describes this year's Hispanic American Heritage Month observance poster. "The inspiration for this year's Hispanic American Heritage Month poster came from Ms. Dawn Smith who creates special observance PowerPoint presentations for DEOMI's Research Directorate," said Hemmer. "I was looking for colorful images and she suggested traditional Latina dress. Researching photographs of brightly colored, swirling dresses inspired me so I created an abstract painting that captures motion and the vibrant, dynamic pulse of Latin American cultures, - he said while describing the artistic background for the poster."

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central 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 Sept. 15 and ending on Oct. 15. It was enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of Sept. 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 Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is Oct. 12, falls within this 30 day period.

Page last updated Thu September 13th, 2012 at 09:45