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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 15, 1993




One of our Nation's greatest strengths is its vast diversity. The mosaic of races, ethnicities, and religious groups that comprise America provides us with a powerful energy and an ability to see the world from many viewpoints. Since our country's inception, Hispanic Americans have always been an integral part of this great mosaic. Indeed the history, culture, and traditions of America are greatly influenced by the contributions of those individuals who have their origins in Spain and Latin America.

While the impact of the Hispanic culture is manifest in our Nation's customs and traditions, this legacy continues on beyond the pages of history. Today, Hispanic Americans continue to make important contributions to our society. It would be impossible to think of American Government, business, industry, Armed Forces, agriculture, science, sports, and the arts without noting the presence and full participation of Hispanic Americans. Ellen Ochoa, who has served America proudly as our first Hispanic woman astronaut; Cesar Chavez, whose lifelong passion and commitment uplifted the lives of millions of agricultural workers; Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros and Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena; Master Sergeant Roy P. Benavidez, who won the Medal of Honor for his service in Vietnam; and millions of other Hispanic Americans whose hard work keeps our Nation moving -- all of these patriotic Americans draw their heritage from the rich Hispanic culture.

Many of the traditions that Americans hold so dear are deeply rooted in the Hispanic American values of a strong sense of family, devotion to religious beliefs, and dedication to liberty and democracy. Committed dearly to these precious ideals, Hispanic Americans are helping all of us to uphold the legacy of our democratic society.

America is an ongoing experiment -- an unfinished work. There is much for all of us still to accomplish in order to ensure a brighter and more peaceful world for our children. I know that Hispanic Americans, always conscious of the traditions of their forebears, will continue to work with Americans of every racial, religious, and ethnic background to confront our Nation's health, housing, educational, and human rights concerns. The principles that are such a part of the Hispanic American tradition will serve all of our people well as we strive to address the challenges that the future holds for us.




To commemorate the Hispanic American contributions to our Nation, the Congress, by Public Law 90-498 of September 17, 1968, as amended, has authorized and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating the month beginning September 15 and ending October 15 as "National Hispanic Heritage Month."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month beginning September 15, 1993, and ending October 15, 1993, as National Hispanic Heritage Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighteenth.


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