Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month: Past and Present
Each year, National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 to October 15. It is celebrated through the rich histories, customs and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
National Hispanic Heritage Month first began as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 under the leadership of President Lyndon Johnson. It was then expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to be observed for a full 30 days. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.
September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Additionally, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18.
The Law Library of Congress has compiled guides to commemorative observations, including a comprehensive inventory of the Public Laws, Presidential Proclamations and congressional resolutions related to Hispanic Heritage Month.
To learn more about National Hispanic Heritage Month, check out the video below!