By Mariah McGarraigh / Staff writer

Hispanic Heritage month starts on Sept. 15 and ends on Oct. 15. It’s a time to celebrate with music, food, and festivals to honor the contribution that Hispanics have made to the United States and to celebrate their culture and history.

National Hispanic Heritage Month was first proclaimed by President George H. W. Bush on Sept. 14, 1989. Sept. 15 holds significance considering it’s the independence day for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico celebrates independence on Sept. 16, followed by Chile on Sept. 18 and finally Belize on Sept. 21.

Hispanic Heritage Month originally started as a week in 1968 by President Johnson. There were two attempts to make a month out of hispanic heritage instead of a week. In 1987, Esteban Torres, a California representative tried to expand the week of celebration to a month, which would allow more time to coordinate events and activities to celebrate the hispanic culture, but the bill didn’t pass.

Then senator Paul Simon of Illinois submitted a similar bill, which was signed and passed by president Ronald Reagan on Aug. 17, 1988. President Bush then declared the 31-day period on Sept. 14, 1989. In 2020 there were 62.1 million Hispanics in the U.S. making up 19% of the population. During Hispanic heritage, you can join the celebration by checking your local library and event centers for activities honoring and celebrating hispanic heritage month with games, food, music, people and more

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