By the President of the United States of America
Our country's Hispanic heritage reaches back more than four centuries. When the Pilgrim Fathers landed at Plymouth Rock, Hispanic civilization was already flourishing in what is now Florida and New Mexico. Since then the Hispanic contribution to America has been a consistent and vital influence in our country's cultural growth.
More than ten million Americans of Hispanic origin today contribute to our national diversity, enriching the quality of American life in the arts, the sciences, sports, religion and the small but important things of everyday living.
Now, Therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning September 10, 1974, and ending September 16, 1974, as National Hispanic Heritage Week. I call upon all the people of the United States, especially the education community and those organizations concerned with the protection of human rights, to observe that week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In celebrating this occasion, I also call upon my fellow Americans to rededicate themselves to the principle of full and equal opportunity for all citizens, and to seize upon the broad spectrum of skills and abilities of those individuals of Hispanic heritage who have so significantly contributed to our Nation's growth and prosperity.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-ninth.
GERALD R. FORD