When was it first recognized?
Hispanic Heritage Month began as Hispanic Heritage Week and was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968. From 1968-1988, all presidents recognized Hispanic Heritage Week. In 1988, the recognition week was expanded to a recognition month and was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. President George H.W. Bush issued the first National Hispanic Heritage Month Presidential Proclamation in 1989. Since 1989, every President has issued a Presidential Proclamation to mark Hispanic Heritage Month.
Why was this time period selected?
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.
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