This September Centric Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

The Hispanic Heritage Month 2014 theme is “Hispanics: A legacy of history, a present of action and a future of success.” 

In 1968, Congress first designated the week including Sept. 15 and 16 as National Hispanic Heritage Week. This week was chosen because of two historical events: Independence Day on Sept. 15, which celebrates the formal signing of the Act of Independence of Central America in 1821; and Mexico’s Independence Day on Sept. 16, which commemorates the beginning of the struggle against Spanish control in 1810. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a full 31-day period beginning Sept. 15.

Spotlight on Ellen Ochoa, PhD, First Hispanic Female Astronaut

Ellen Ochoa was born on May 10, 1958 in Los Angeles, CA. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in physics from San Diego State University, and a Master of Science degree and doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Her pre-doctoral work at Stanford University in electrical engineering led to the development of an optical system designed to detect imperfections in repeating patterns.

Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman in the world to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1993. A veteran of four space flights, Ochoa has logged nearly 1,000 hours in space. She was a mission specialist on STS-56 (1993), was payload commander on STS-66, and was mission specialist and flight engineer on STS-96 and STS-110 (2002).  Dr. Ochoa currently serves as Director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Interesting Reads and Hispanic Business Organizations