Hispanic Heritage Month

began as National Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968, proclaimed as such by U. S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. It was expanded to a month-long celebration in 1988. This month celebrates the traditions and cultures of all Americans who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. September 15 was chosen since it is the an­niversary of independence of five countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico celebrates its independence on Sep­tember 15th, and Chile on September 18th.

Celebrations in September and October often in­clude cultural activities and programs with speeches, food, dance, and music that recognize the political, ar­tistic, athletic, and educational achievements of Hispan­ic Americans. One well-known political activist was Cesar Chavez who was the major force in the Labor Movement of the 1960s. Cesar Chavez was born to a poor family on a farm in Arizona in 1927. As a young child of ten, he was forced into migrant farm labor. De­spite these obstacles, he grew up to be a gifted leader and organizer. As a person well aware of the inequities that affected American farm laborers, in 1962 he found­ed the National Farm Workers Association in Califor­nia which focused on working for collective bargaining and a minimum wage for farm workers. In 1966, this association merged with other unions, forming the United Farm Workers, which advocated strikes, boy­cotts, and marches to bring about political change. Chavez adhered to the philosophy of Martin Luther King by working in non-violent ways to achieve equity. In 1968 the United Farm Workers advocated a wide­
spread boycott of California grapes, finally signing a contract with the grape growers in 1970. Chavez then continued with a boycott of California lettuce. He died in 1993, but received a posthumous National Medal of Honor Award in 1994 from President Bill Clinton, the highest civilian award that is given by the U. S. government.

Glossary

expand(ed): v. to increase

trace: v. to discover the cause or origin of something migrant: n. someone who moves from place to place, often relating to the harvest industry inequity(ies): n. a lack of equality or fair treatment found(ed): to bring something into existence collective bargain(ing): phrase. a system in which employees talk as a group to their employers to try to agree on issues such as pay and conditions of work wage: n. a fixed amount of money that is paid regularly, usually for work that requires physical skills or strength advocate(d): v. to speak in support of an idea or course of action

strike(s): n. a refusal to continue working because of an argument with an employer about working condi­tions or pay

boycott: n. a refusal to buy or support something in order to express strong disapproval, usually based on political, economic, or social reasons adhere(d) to: v. to maintain a belief or standard widespread: adj. existing in many places posthumous: adj. happening after a person’s death

Подпись: RECOGNITION MONTHSHispanic Heritage Month

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Jeanette Rankin

 

Ellen Richards

 

Amelia Earhart

 

Althea Gibson

 

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