National Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration that starts September 15th and ends October 15th. The month celebrates histories, cultures, and traditions of American Citizens of Spanish, Mexican, Caribbean and Central and South American descent. In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson began Hispanic Heritage Week. Exactly 20 years later, President Ronald Reagan expanded the week to a month and officially enacted it into law August 17, 1988.
- The start of the festive month on September 15 marks the Independence Day of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Then on September 16, Mexico celebrates its Independence Day, followed by Chile on September 18 and Belize on September 21.
In the latter half of Hispanic Heritage Month, Mexicans observe the Día de la Raza (Race Day) on October 12, which was previously known as Columbus Day. Día de la Raza (Race Day) recognizes "the mixed indigenous and European heritage of Mexico." What’s more, the end of the celebration (October 15) is only two weeks away from Mexico’s Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) on November 1 and November 2.
The term Hispanic was first recognized by the U.S. government in the 1970s after population data began to be collected, per the request of Mexican-American and Hispanic organizations.
According to Pew Research Center findings in 2020, there are about 62.1 million Hispanics in the U.S., making up 19% of the total population.