September 4, 1981

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

The Hispanic peoples, their traditions, language and culture are a vital part of the American heritage. Their influence on our nation began with the Spaniards long before our revolution brought independence from England. This heritage can today be found almost everywhere in our daily lives: the arts and music we enjoy, the architecture of the homes and buildings in which we live and work, the history we read, and the language we use.

The Hispanic peoples today add to our strength as a nation with their strong devotion to family, deep religious convictions, pride in their language and heritage and commitment to earning a livelihood by hard work. Outstanding Hispanic men and women have advanced our nation in science and technology, business and public service. From the Southwest to the Northeast of the United States, they carry on their tradition of service to the communities in which we all live. This year, San Antonio has joined Miami and other American cities in electing a prominent Hispanic citizen as its mayor. Hispanic Americans bring to us, as well, a tradition of respect for the role of women both at home and in the workplace. Hispanic Americans serve with distinction in our military services today as they have served with leadership and courage on the battlefield in defense of this nation in the past.

Their contributions all too often go unrecognized. It is, therefore, fitting that we set aside this week to honor the Hispanic peoples that are among us as a nation of Americans.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning September 13, 1981, as National Hispanic Heritage Week in honor of the Hispanic peoples who have enriched our daily lives, our traditions and our national strength. In this spirit, I ask all of our citizens to reflect on the sense of brotherhood that binds us together as one people.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:26 a.m., September 8, 1981]