Happy Mexican Independence Day

Today marks the start of festivities for Mexican Independence Day with el Grito de Indepencia, the cry for Independence.

201 years ago the people of Nueva Espana (New Spain) sought freedom from the tyranny of the royal Spanish crown. Much like their North American neighbors, the colonial citizens of present day Mexico desired freedom, equality and the right to elect their own leaders. Through a long and hard battle they won Independence and created the United Mexican States. (see video above.)

Today, also marks the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 – October 15. The period honoring all things Latino, started as Hispanic Heritage Week, as approved by President Lyndon Johnson. It was later expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period. President Reagan understood Latinos and wanted to fully recognized their powerful contributions to our great society.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there are more than 50 million Hispanics in the U.S., 16 percent of the total population, forming the nation’s largest ethnic minority.  Just under half live in California or Texas, and more than six-out-of-10 are of Mexican background.

Underlining the rate of growth of the Hispanic community, 26 percent of all children under the age of 5 in the U.S. are Hispanic.

Find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at www.census.gov.


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