Friday, Sept. 15, marks the first day of a month-long celebration of Latino American citizens, their cultures and contributions known as National Hispanic Heritage Month.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed the observation’s annual proclamation which highlighted Hispanic Americans as a “testament to the American promise that anyone can succeed in the United States through hard work.”
Regions around the world are celebrated
Hispanic American citizens have ancestors from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and countries in Central and South America.
National Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968
Under President Lyndon Johnson, Congress passed Public Law 90-498 in 1968. It authorized and requested the President to issue an official annual proclamation of Hispanic Heritage Week.
Congress later passed Public Law 100-402, which amended the previous law to establish a month-long celebration, on Aug. 17, 1988.
The Sept. 15 start date has historical meaning
According to the official website, Sept. 15 is the anniversary of independence for multiple Latin American countries, such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Several other days during the month are notable as well, including Mexico’s and Chile’s independence days (Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively) as well as Columbus Day on Oct. 12.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in multiple ways
There are festivals, special museum exhibits, cultural events and more all over the country to commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month.