National Hispanic Heritage Month

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National Hispanic Heritage Month is the period from September 15 to October 15 in the United States, when people recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the group's heritage and culture.


Hispanic Heritage Month began as Hispanic Heritage Week, established by legislation sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Roybal (D-Los Angeles) and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968.[1][2] The commemorative week was expanded by legislation sponsored by Rep. Esteban E. Torres (D-Pico Rivera) and implemented by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period (September 15 - October 15).[1] It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988 on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

September 15 of every year was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. All declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18, and September 21, respectively.[3]

Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) also celebrates the long and important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans in North America. A map of late 18th-century North America shows this presence, from the small outpost of San Francisco founded in Alta California in 1776, through the Spanish province of Texas with its gauchos (cowboys), to the fortress of St. Augustine, Florida — the first colonial settlement in North America, founded in 1513, ninety-four years before the English landed in Jamestown, Virginia.


Northwest Arkansas Hispanic Heritage Festival, located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, established 2013 by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce.[4]

The El Barrio Latin Jazz festival: This event in the Bronx, NYC starts on September 15 and continues through September 25. People attending the event can learn more about the Latin music scene in Harlem and its global impact while enjoying live jazz performances.

The Smithsonian Institution hosts Hispanic Heritage Month events in Washington, D.C.


On September 13, 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed National Hispanic Heritage Month.[5][6][7]



  • Weber, David J. (1992). The Spanish Frontier in North America. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-05198-0. 
  • Fernández-Shaw, Carlos M. (1987). La Presencia Española en Los Estados Unidos. Madrid: Instituto de Cooperación Iberoamericana. ISBN 0-8160-2314-X. 
  • McDermott, John Francis (1974). The Spanish in the Mississippi Valley 1762-1804. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-00269-5. 
  • McDermott, John Francis. The Spanish in the Mississippi Valley 1762-1804. Urbana, IL. 
  • El Barrio Latin Jazz Festival Retrieved 12 December 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • El Barrio Latin Jazz Festival Retrieved 12 December 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

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