By the President of the United States of America
From the earliest days of our Nation's history, Hispanics have played a central role in our country's development. First as explorers, then as settlers, and today as leaders in all segments of society, men and women of Hispanic ancestry have contributed greatly to our national heritage.
As a nation, we have not always properly appreciated these contributions. Too often, Hispanics have been the victim of stereotypes and prejudice. Even today, Hispanics endure a disproportionately high unemployment rate. As a nation, we must reaffirm our commitment to eliminate these residues of prejudice and bigotry.
Our Hispanic American communities continue to grow with our Nation. They share with our Nation a deep pride in their language and culture, and a sense of justice and compassion which nurtures our democratic system and keeps it progressing. It is important that we recognize these singular benefits and encourage their perpetuation.
This country must continue to provide its many ethnic groups with the opportunity to contribute their ideas, their experience, and their energies to the betterment of our society. We must be receptive to the richness of diverse cultures, but we also must work to assure that all Americans benefit in turn from the resulting improvements. With the assistance of our Hispanic citizens and through our own continued commitment, these goals will be achieved.
In 1968, our government formally acknowledged the value of our Hispanic heritage when Congress by joint resolution (82 Stat. 848) asked that the President issue an annual proclamation designating the week including September 15 and 16 as National Hispanic Heritage Week.
Now, THEREFORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning Monday, September 10, 1979, as National Hispanic Heritage Week. I ask that all Americans reflect on the Hispanic heritage of our Nation and on the need to assure that all citizens share in the prosperity and abundance of our great country.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and third.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4 p.m., May 22, 1979]