Friday, September 3, 2010

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 through October 15. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was enacted into law in 1988. 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. Incidentally, the word Hispanic does not refer to race, but is an ethnic term for diverse peoples of many races and origins who hold in common the Spanish language. Explore the following online resources and bring Latino heritage to your home and classroom:

  • The library's subscriptions to World Book Online, Britannica Online and Biography Resource Center, which includes a category browse for Hispanic Americans, provide a multitude of background documents, timelines and biographical sketches to assist students with school reports. Just log in with your 10-digit Fauquier County Public Library card number.
  • The library also has plenty of materials (books, DVDs, etc.) on Hispanic Americans and Hispanic History you can check out and take home to enjoy.
  • The Library of Congress' National Hispanic Heritage Month online exhibit includes images and audio/visual presentations that bring history alive for young and old alike.
  • Smithsonian Education features online educational activities and events at the various Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC.
  • FactMonster.com includes biographies of notable Hispanic Americans, information on Spanish accents, and Spanish place names. There are also crosswords and quizzes you can try online or print out.
  • Biography.com celebrates Hispanic Heritage with featured biographies, study guides, online videos and a Latino trivia game.
  • Gale Cengage Learning offers a number of free resources, including biographies of noteworthy Hispanics, quizzes and a timeline.
  • Schlastic Teachers has an online exhibit and teacher's guide that includes Latino history, games and stories from people of Hispanic descent.

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