Join the celebrations as we commemorate history, culture and traditions of 8 Latin American countries.
National Latino Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) is when we recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States.
Its roots go back to 1968, beginning on September 15, the anniversary of independence of 8 Latin American countries:
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize.
The biggest celebration is from Mexico called ‘El Grito’. Learn more.
Hispanic Heritage Month began as Hispanic Heritage Week, when it was established by legislation sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Roybal of Los Angeles and was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968.
In 1988, the commemorative week was expanded to a month (September 15 to October 15) by legislation sponsored by Rep. Esteban Edward Torres (D-Pico Rivera), amended by Senator Paul Simon and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.
September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the commemoration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Hispanic countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, who all declared independence in 1821.
In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18, and September 21 respectively.
Let’s go back in timeline:
Hispanic Heritage Week was first proclaimed by President Johnson in 1968 in Presidential proclamation 3869.
Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan gave annual proclamations for Hispanic Heritage Week between 1969 and 1988.
National Hispanic Heritage Month was first proclaimed by President George H. W. Bush on September 14, 1989, in Presidential Proclamation 6021.
Since 1989, all Presidents have given a Presidential Proclamation to mark Hispanic Heritage Month.