U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana will give the keynote address at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Hispanic Heritage Month observance ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, in USDA’s Jefferson Auditorium. She will address the celebration theme “Heritage, Diversity, Integrity and Honor: The Renewed Hope of America” by reflecting on the strength and diversity of the Latino culture and community.
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated Sept. 15-Oct. 15. In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week; however, in 1988, Congress voted to expand the observance to a month long celebration. Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, assistant secretary, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education
Keynote speech for USDA’s Hispanic Heritage Month observance
10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Jefferson Auditorium