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Hispanic Heritage Month

What is Hispanic Heritage Month?

During the 1960s and through the peak of the civil rights movement, the United States was becoming ever more aware of the diversity of identities in its communities.

National Hispanic Heritage Month began as a commemorative week beginning on September 15, in 1968, under California Congressman George E. Brown. Brown represented East Los Angeles and a large part of the San Gabriel Valley, two regions that are historically heavily populated by the Hispanic and Latinx communities. President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the official presidential proclamation of Hispanic Heritage Week soon after.

Why September 15? This date was chosen because it coincides with the Independence Day celebrations of five Central American nations—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico also celebrates its independence from Spain on September 16, 1810.

Later in 1989, Hispanic Heritage Week was officially expanded to Hispanic Heritage Month by George H.W. Bush, who’d also sponsored the original 1968 bill.

The rich ethnic heritage of Hispanic Americans gives us cause to celebrate because it is a proud and colorful portion of our Nation’s heritage.

President George H.W. Bush