History of Hispanic Heritage Month

Friday marked the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month – it’s celebrated every year from September 15 to October 15.

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It’s a month to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Let’s take a look back at history.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon B. Johnson.
It was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period.
It was officially enacted into law on august 17th, 1988.

The day of September 15th is significant – it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
Also, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

Día de la Raza, or race day, which is October 12, also falls within this 30-day period.