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National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated September 15-October 15  

First celebrated in 1968 as National Hispanic Heritage Week, the period was expanded in 1988 to Hispanic Heritage Month. It incorporates September 15 and 16, the independence days for Central American nations and Mexico. The theme for the 2014 heritage month is, “Hispanics: A legacy of history, a present of action and a future of success.”

4. Lewis H. Latimer (1848-1928): African American

Latimer patented the first electric light bulb with a carbon filament in 1882. An employee of the Edison Company, he wrote the first textbook on the Edison electric system. He supervised the installation of electric lights in Philadelphia and New York City.

Richard Wright (1908-1960): African American  

The most widely read African American writer of the early twentieth century, Wright authored powerful novels; Native Son (1940) was the best known as well as volumes of short stories and essays. His writings exposed the brutal realities of racism both in the Deep South where he was born, and in the urban North where he lived much of his adult life.

5. Tashunka Witko (Crazy Horse) (c. 1842-1877): American Indian (Oglala Sioux)

Tashunka Witko, an Oglala Sioux chief and military leader, helped lead the Sioux and Cheyenne in the war of 1876. He successfully defeated the U.S. army at Rosebud in June, 1876, and eight days later at Little Bighorn. In 1877, he voluntarily surrendered to American troops, and on this date in 1877, a U.S. soldier shot him to death as he was being put into a jail cell.

8. Chusok (choo-sock) (Harvest Festival): South Korea

The most celebrated of Korean holidays, families gather together over three days to honor their ancestors and give thanks for the autumn harvest. Moon cakes, the traditional holiday treat eaten on the eve of Chusok, are shaped as a half moon symbolizing growth and progress.

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (Chung-ch'iu): China

During this festival associated with traditional moon lore, girls wish upon the moon for a good husband and play games that foretell the future of their marriages. Many people have a picnic dinner at night to enjoy the moon.

Moon Festival (Tet Trung Thu): Vietnam

This festival celebrates the harvest moon with lantern processions and trips for children. Like other moon festivals, the traditional holiday treat is the moon cake.

10. Alice Brown Davis (1852-1935): American Indian (Seminole)

Prominent in tribal affairs for much of her life, Davis acted as an interpreter and spokesperson for her people in the courts.  She once participated in a delegation to Mexico that sought unsuccessfully to find a new homeland for the tribe because of the increasing economic and legal pressure from the influx of White people into Indian territory. In 1922, the U.S. government briefly appointed her chief, an office that had lapsed with the end of tribal government years before. However, the governemnt stripped her of that office when she refused to sign over tribal property without reimbursement.

11. Patriot Day: United States

President George W. Bush proclaimed three days of prayer and remembrance to be held each year on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday preceding this date to commemorate the anniversary of the terrorist attack on the United States in 2001. In his proclamation, the president said "On September 11, 2001, America was attacked with deliberate and massive cruelty. . . I ask that the people of the United States and places of worship mark these National Days of Prayer and Remembrance with memorial services, the ringing of bells, and evening candlelight remembrance vigils. I invite the people of the world to share in these Days of Prayer and Remembrance."

15. Independence Day: Central American nations

This day commemorates the declaration of independence from Spain by Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua in 1821.

16. Independence Day (El Día de Independencia): Mexico

On September 16, 1810, in the small town of Dolores, in the province of Guanajuato, Mexico, a parish priest summoned a handful of people to take up arms against the Spanish colonial government. This act began the fight for independence to end 350 years of Spanish rule. The church bell used to call people to that revolt hangs in the National Palace in Mexico City and every year since, it is rung on the eve of September 16 by the President of Mexico. Known in Spanish as Fiestas Pátrias, the holiday is celebrated by people of Mexican origin throughout the world.

19. Sarah "Sadie" Delaney (1889-1999): African American

Born into a slave family in Georgia, Delaney achieved many firsts—the first Black woman to receive a master's degree from the Columbia School of Education, the first Black woman to teach home economics to Whites in New York City schools. She gained fame in 1993 when she and her sister, Dr. A. Elizabeth Delaney, a dentist, published their memoir, Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters' First 100 Years. Now a part of the curriculum in many high schools and colleges, the book remained on the New York Times hardcover best-seller list for 28 weeks and on the paperback list for 77 weeks. The memoir was adapted into a Broadway play receiving nominations for three Tony awards. Delaney enjoyed a life of 109 years.

21. International Day of Peace: United Nations

Beginning in 2001, the United Nations General Assembly established September 21 as an International Day of Peace. All nations are encouraged to suspend hostilities and observe a day of nonviolence and ceasefire. 

22. Chichen Itza Festival: Mexico

The ancient Mayan Pyramid of Kukulkan hosts this festival celebrated on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. The outstanding moment occurs when the mid-afternoon sunlight hits the stairway of the pyramid; shadows appear that look like the body of a serpent creeping downward until it joins the serpent's head carved in stone at the bottom.

23. Grito de Lares (1868): Puerto Rico

Considered the first large-scale armed rebellion against Spanish colonial rule, this revolt commemorates the anniversary of the uprising beginning the movement for Puerto Rican independence. On September 23, a 400-man liberation army led by Manuel Rojas and under orders from the exiled leader Ramón Emeterio Betances, successfully took control of the town of Lares. The forces formed a provisional government, and among their goals, promised freedom for all slaves who joined the rebel army. The army only lasted one day, but it awakened the Spanish government, which implemented some of its aims almost immediately, such as decreeing the gradual abolition of slavery by 1873.

25-26. Rosh Hashanah (New Year): Jewish  

Like most Jewish holidays, it begins at sundown on the evening before the first (full) day. Celebrating the Jewish New Year 5775 and the Jewish month of Tishri, Rosh Hashanah signifies the beginning of the Days of Awe, a period of serious reflection about the year gone by and the year to come. Continuing until Yom Kippur, this period is a time for asking forgiveness from both God and people and for committing oneself to live a better life in the upcoming year. Common greetings include L'shana Tova, "Happy New Year," "Have a healthy and sweet New Year," and "May you be inscribed for a year of good health and happiness."

25. Asuj Navratras begins: Hindu

One of the greatest Hindu festivals honoring the Goddess Durga, the warrior avatar of Goddess Shakti, who according to Hindu scriptures destroyed the demon Mahishasura after a battle lasting nine days and nights. It is one of two Hindu “nine nights” festivals, the other being Chaitra Navratri, which is celebrated in March or April. Asuj Navratri is celebrated with dancing, worshipping at temples, and recitation of sacred scriptures for nine days and nights, culminating on the tenth day with the festival of Dassehra.

28. Confucius' Birthday (Teacher's Day): Republic of China (Taiwan)  

This date marks the anniversary of the birth of Confucius (551-479 B.C.E.), the founder of the main doctrines of Chinese philosophy. "Confucius" represents the Latin version of his title K'ung fu-tzu, meaning "Master K'ung." The Chinese people revere Confucius as the "Teacher of All Generations." Colorful rites are performed at all Confucian temples on this day.

 

The entries for this calendar have been adapted from the Diversity Calendar (TM). Used with permission.

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