National Hispanic Heritage Week, 1971
By the President of the United States of America
From the earliest explorations of the New World, men and women of Hispanic origin and descent have contributed significantly to the development of our American nationality. The geographic .names of our country fully attest to that contribution. In fact, the oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine, Florida, was founded by Spanish explorers in 1565—406 years ago. Amerigo Vespucci, the man whose name graces our land, came to this hemisphere on a Spanish ship.
Our Hispanic heritage touches our everyday lives as well—our music, our architecture, our currency, and our cuisine. The voyages of Spanish explorers to the New World are a common starting point for the study of American history in our schools. Americans of Hispanic origin and descent have served our country with distinction throughout our State, local, and national governments—and continue to do so today.
In the past, men and women of Hispanic origin and descent helped to discover, develop, and people this land. We are fortunate that today they are our own people.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD NIXON, President of the United States of America, in accordance with a joint resolution of Congress approved September 17, 1968, do hereby proclaim the week beginning September 12, 1971, and ending September 18, 1971, as National Hispanic Heritage Week. I call upon the people of the United States, especially the educational community, to observe that week with appropriate ceremonies and activities which call attention to the richness of our Hispanic heritage and the contributions to our diverse society by our citizens of Hispanic origin.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-sixth.