September 15 marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which celebrates the history, culture and contributions of Americans who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking countries of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson began Hispanic Heritage week; President Reagan expanded the observation to a month in 1988; it was enacted into law August 17 of that year.
The date on which National Hispanic Heritage Month begins is significant as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua all celebrate the anniversary of their independence on September 15. Mexican Independence Day closely follows on September 16, and Chile’s falls on the 18. Also included in this month-long observation is Columbus Day on October 12.
The following resources relevant to National Hispanic Heritage Month are available on Florida Memory.
- Latin Music
More information on Hispanic Heritage Month is available from the Library of Congress.