National Hispanic Heritage Month/Mes de la Herencia Hispana
National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 in celebration and recognition of the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
AFIS billboard posters. Hispanic Heritage Month. Defense Billboard #81, 01/01/2000.
National Archives Identifier: 6507500
This celebration started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was later expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.
The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.
According to this Census, 50.5 million people or 16% of the population are of Hispanic or Latino origin. This represents a significant increase from 2000, which registered the Hispanic population at 35.3 million or 13% of the total U.S. population.
Share with us in this special annual tribute by learning and celebrating the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.
More about National Hispanic Heritage Month at: Prologue: Pieces of History » National Hispanic Heritage Month/Mes de la Herencia Hispana