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Why do we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?

During this time, we honor the contributions of people with roots in Spain, Central America, South America and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean.

TENNESSEE, USA — September 15 marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. The month-long celebration lasts until October 15.

During this time, we honor the contributions of people with roots and ancestors in Spain, Central America, South America and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean.

Spanish Version: ¿Por qué celebramos el Mes de la Herencia Hispana?

According to the National Archives, Hispanic Heritage Month began as "Hispanic Heritage Week" under President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968. It was then expanded to a month by President Ronald Reagan when it was enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988.  

Sept. 15 is the start of the month because it is the anniversary of independence for multiple Latin American countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico's Independence Day is on Sept. 16, and Chile's Independence Day is on Sept. 18. Also, Día de la Raza, which is Oct. 12, falls in this 30 day period.

More information and events are available on the National Hispanic Heritage Month website, which is hosted by the Library of Congress.