Harlingen Happenings

By Mary Torres, Special to MyRGV.com

The United States observes September 15 through October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans who inspired others to achieve success. President Lyndon Johnson originated the designation as the Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968. President Ronald Reagan expanded the observance to 30 days and enacted the observance into law on Aug. 17, 1988.

On Sept. 14, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. issued a proclamation on National Hispanic Heritage Month, 2021. Among his comments were ” During National Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize that Hispanic heritage is American heritage,” and called upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all Americans to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.

On Sept. 15, Chris Boswell, Mayor, the City of Harlingen, issued a proclamation proclaiming the month of September 15 through October 15, National Hispanic Heritage Month, and the week of Sept. 10 through Sept. 16 as “Mexican Independence Week in Harlingen.” This year’s theme for Hispanic Heritage Month is “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope.” To learn more about National Hispanic Heritage Month, visit The National Archives at  https://www.archives.gov/news/topics/hispanic-heritage-month to discover documents, exhibits, films, blog posts, and more. 

As part of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Genealogical Society of Harlingen is proud to be hosting the 41st Annual State Hispanic Genealogical & Historical Conference Oct. 14-16, at the Hilton Garden Inn, South Padre Island. 

The theme of this hybrid conference is “1821-2021 200 Years of Discoveries, From Revolution to New Frontiers,” There will be three concurrent presentations hourly on Oct..15 and 16 featuring 27 speakers who are authors, distinguished professors, noted historians, and genealogy researchers from the U.S., Mexico, and Israel including representatives from FamilySearch.org, Salt Lake City, UT.  Some speakers will appear in person and others virtually. 

Sponsors include AARP-Texas, Ancestry.com,  City of  Brownsville, MyHeritage.com, SPI Convention & Visitors Bureau, Ann Talbot Roberts, Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., Hispanic Genealogy Society of Houston, SpaceX, The Texas General Land Office, and FamilyTree DNA. 

There will be an exhibit hall with 25 vendors including the Brownsville Historical Association, the Texas General Land Office, Homero Vera, Lucy Garza, Escobar Books, Robert Canales, the Texas State Genealogical Society, H.V. Chapman, Hispanic Genealogy Societies from Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Corpus Christi, Austin and Harlingen, and booksellers from Mexico featuring materials not usually available locally.

Also, there will be tours; a family tree exhibit, receptions, and a banquet on October 16, with Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. as the keynote speaker. The regular registration price of $150 ends on Sept. 30. There is also a special rate of $100 for educators with school I.D. Visit the society’s website, www.rgvhgs.org, and Facebook page to register or for more information. Optional activities such as tours and the banquet are available for an additional fee. Don’t miss the opportunity to attend this International Conference! 

Jackson Street Market Days, one of the Rio Grande Valley’s largest and most popular outdoor monthly events for the entire family will be held on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Historic Jackson St. This event, sponsored by Downtown Harlingen merchants features antiques, arts & crafts, collectibles, downtown shops, food vendors, live music, and much more! If you’re interested in becoming a vendor or want more information about Market Days please call (956) 423-4041.

The Harlingen Arts & Heritage Museum has opened registration for its annual Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) exhibit. If you or your organization would like to create an altar for this exhibit the deadline to sign up is Sept. 28, as there is limited space. The exhibit runs from Oct. 19 and ends on Nov. 14. The opening reception will be on Oct. 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. You can register via the Facebook link on the museum’s Facebook page; at the front desk at the museum located at 2425 Boxwood St. or by phone at (956) 216-4901.