Better East Texas: Hispanics integral to U.S. history

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Forty-six years ago, Congress approved and President Johnson signed into law creating Hispanic Heritage Week.

President Reagan expanded it to a month.

Every year, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 is a time to commemorate the influence and impact of Hispanics in all spheres of society in the United States. The footprint of Hispanics can be traced to the 1400s by Spanish explorers, with the first settlement in the U.S., Saint Augustine, Florida in 1565, and in Texas, with the arrival of Cabeza de Vaca in 1528, in what is now Galveston Island.

The contributions are recorded through this great country's timeline.

In 1822, a member of Congress from the Florida territory, in 1866, a Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor winner, and many more having left their mark in government, science, medicine, literature, military service, arts, film and professional sports.

These contributions are binding threads in our society. To neglect them and to continue to emphasize only differences ignores the commonalities that make this country the greatest in the world.

So as we strive for a better East Texas, let's stand together in recognizing one and all.

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