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Heritage Months

Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 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 and was expanded in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. 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.

Past UTSA Hispanic Heritage Month programs.

LGBTQIA + History/Pride Month

In 1994, a Missouri high school teacher, believed a month should be dedicated to the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian history, and gathered other teachers and community leaders. They selected October because public schools are in session and existing traditions, such as Coming Out Day (October 11), occur that month.

LGBTQIA+ History Month was endorsed by GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Education Association and other national organizations. In 2006 Equality Forum assumed responsibility for providing content, promotion and resources for LGBTQIA+ History Month.

Past UTSA LGBTQIA+ Pride Month programs.

African American (Black) History Month

The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history." That year, fifty years after the first celebration (originally called Negro History Week in 1926), the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) held the first African American History Month. By this time, the entire nation had come to recognize the importance of Black history in the drama of the American story. Since then each American president has issued African American History Month proclamations. And the association continues to promote the study of Black history all year.

Past UTSA Black History Month programs.

Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.

In 1978, a resolution proposing that the President should "proclaim a week, which is to include the seventh and tenth of the month, during the first ten days in May of 1979 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week was passed. During the next decade, presidents passed annual proclamations for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week until 1990 when the observance was expanded to a month.

The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. Because of the academic calendar; UTSA traditionally celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in April.

More Heritage Month Commemorations

Look for events honoring and recognizing Indigenous, Native American, American Indian and Alaskan Native Heritage, Transgender Day of Remembrance, Identity Visibility Days, Homeless Youth Awareness, Hunger Awareness, Veteran and Military Families Awareness, and International Education Week held on nationally recognized dates throughout the year.