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Heritage Months

The Office of Multicultural Affairs celebrates the complex and vibrant heritages of our diverse communities. Below is information on our annual celebrations.

Black History Month

February 1 - February 28/29

Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month, began in 1926 when Harvard historian Carter G. Woodson and other members of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History chose the date to match both Frederick Douglass' and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays. Woodson argued that "If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world" and urged visibility and study of the Black experience. Black History Month was officially recognized by President Gerald Ford in 1976, and has been recognized by every sitting President since. 


Women's History Month

March 1 - March 31

In 1981, Congress requested that the President proclaim that the week of March 7 is Women's History Week. The celebration remained a weeklong endeavor until 1987, when the holiday became Women's History Month. To commemorate women's contributions, the first comprehensive federal report on the state of women was released in March 2011.



The First Week of April

At Oklahoma State University, we celebrate LGBTQ Pride during the first week of April. Because Pride typically falls during the summer, when classes are not in session, this allows our community to celebrate together on campus. In 2019, Stillwater Mayor Will Joyce declared the first week of April Stillwater LGBTQ Pride Week.


Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

April 1 - April 30

Nationally: May 1 - May 31

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month began as a heritage week in the legislature in 1977 with joint resolutions from both Representative Frank Horton and Senator Daniel Inouye. In 1992, Congress declared Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. At Oklahoma State University, we honor the holiday in April so that finals and summer do not interfere with the celebrations.


Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month

September 15 - October 15

Hispanic/Latinx heritage was first declared as Hispanic Heritage Month in 1988, expanding from a heritage week started in 1968. September 15 was chosen to honor the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence the same week. 


Native American Heritage Month

In 1990 Congress passed Pub.L.101-343 which authorized and requested the president to issue a proclamation designating the month of November 1990 as National American Indian Heritage Month. Congress chose the month of the November to recognize the American Indians as this month concluded the traditional harvest season. 

President George H.W. Bush issued a proclamation in recognition of the rich history and culture of American Indian tribes in 1990. Since 1995 Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama and Trump have issued proclamations designating November as National Native American Heritage Month.

The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native peoples.

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