By the President of the United States of America
Hispanic peoples have played a distinguished role in the history of our Nation. They founded settlements in Florida and Georgia half a century before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts, and were homesteading in New Mexico more than 150 years before the War of Independence. The names of scores of American cities and towns?such as Los Angeles, Albuquerque, San Antonio, and Saint Augustine-remind us that many of the explorers and settlers who opened our frontiers were of Hispanic origin.
The Hispanic community has given us generals, admirals, philosophers, statesmen, musicians, athletes, and Noble Prizewinning scientists. Hispanic Americans have contributed gallantly to the defense of our Nation, and many have received the highest decoration our country can bestow?the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Outstanding Hispanic men and women add daily to our Nation's accomplishments in science, technology, the arts, and politics. And Hispanic citizens contribute daily to the quality of our lives. Hispanics exhibit an eminent pride in our American heritage, a passionate love of family, a profound devotion to religion, and an energetic commitment to hard work.
As we enter the 1980's, it is fitting that we pause to recognize and celebrate our Hispanic heritage.
Now, Therefore, I, Jimmy Carter, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning September 14, 1980, as National Hispanic Heritage Week. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to observe this week with appropriate activities and to search out innovative ways for government to work in partnership with the Hispanic community. Hispanic immigrants were among the earliest and are now among the most recent to arrive in this haven of liberty and human rights, and I urge all Americans to reflect on the invaluable contribution they have made to the greatness, the diversity, and the strength of this Nation.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of July in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifth.