National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the history, culture , economic, social, and political areas, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from the White House to community organizations across the United States.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30 day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

September 15 is 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.

In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

The impact of Hispanics in this country continues to grow. According to an official data: The Hispanic population in the United States is now 54.1 million, or 17.1 percent of the total population.

By 2060, it is estimated that the Hispanic population will total 128.8 million, 28.6 percent.

On the other hand, while the U.S. born Latino population has only increased six fold over 1960 – 2013, there are nearly 30 million more U.S. born Latinos in the U.S.

The United States has the second largest Hispanic population in the world after Mexico, which has a population of 120 million.

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