Heritage Events

Northrop Grumman Heritage Events 

February: African American History Month (Black History Month)

Prior to 1925, little information could be found in the U.S. about African American history. A widely held belief existed that African Americans had made little contribution to U.S. society. In 1926, Carter G. Woodson spearheaded the first Negro History Week to raise awareness. Fifty years later, the week was expanded to a month. February was selected because of the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two individuals who dramatically affected the lives of the African Americans.

March: Women's History Month

The evolution of a month to honor women began on March 8, 1857, when garment workers in New York City staged one of the first organized protests by working women. Women's groups internationally have designated times to mark this day. In an effort to begin adding women's history into educational curricula, a Women’s History week was initiated in 1978. By 1981, the week was a national event, and in 1987, the National Women’s History Project petitioned Congress to include all of March as a celebration of women.

May: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

The rich legacy of Asian Pacific Americans has strengthened the U.S. as a nation. Asian Pacific Americans, a term that encompasses many ethnic groups, worked tirelessly to build a national railroad infrastructure, paving the way for western expansion. The first Asian Pacific Heritage Week was celebrated in 1979, in response to little or no recognition of this population in the 1976 bicentennial celebration. By 1990, the celebration was a month long and then made official in 1992.

June: LGBT Pride Month

Until recently, Pride days for individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (GLBT) were celebrated at many different times all over the U.S. The most significant date in LGBT history occurring in June was the three-day protest in 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, an event that marked the first time that the gay community joined together to fight for its rights, thereby gaining national attention. The anniversary of this event was one of the reasons June was chosen as the nationally proclaimed month to celebrate LGBT Pride.

September 15-October 15: Hispanic Heritage Month

In 1968, Congress first designated the week including September 15 and 16 as National Hispanic Heritage Week. This week was chosen because of two historical events: Independence Day (September 15), which celebrates the formal signing of the Act of Independence of Central America in 1821; and Mexico’s Independence Day September 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 September 15.

October: Disability Employment Awareness Month

In 1945, in an effort to assist disable veterans, Congress designated the first week of October as National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week. In the 1970s, a historic shift in disability public policy occurred. For the first time, the exclusion of people with disabilities was viewed as discrimination. The efforts of disability activities led to significant changes in laws, such as the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 and the designation of a full month to recognize the potential of America’s 30 million working-age people with disabilities.

November: American Indian Heritage Month

Since 1990, many have sought to recognize the great influence American Indians have had on the history, cultural development, and continuing growth of the U.S. Various dates and weeks were acknowledged until 1976, when Congress authorized a week in October as Native American Awareness Week. Finally, in 1990, the month of November was chosen because it is traditionally a time when many American Indians gather for fall harvest festivals, world-renewal ceremonies, and powwows.

*Summaries from ProGroup, Inc. and Novations Group, Inc., “Honoring Differences”