Hispanic Heritage Month does not lie within one particular calendar month. Instead, it lasts from September 15 to October 15 every year. It is a celebration of the historical and cultural contributions of Americans with Spanish, Mexican, Caribbean, and Central and South American ancestries. Events are scheduled throughout the month to honor the legacy and history of Hispanic cultures throughout the world, but mostly in America.
The Library of Congress is the primary backer and supporter of Hispanic Heritage Month. Other supporters include the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, the National Archives and Records Administration, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The month highlights issues such as the Latino experience in America and Hispanic veterans in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Hispanic heritage month was first observed as Hispanic heritage week in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson. In 1988, the celebration was extended to a month under President Ronald Reagan via the approval of Public Law 100-402 on Aug. 17, 1988. September 15 is significant as a start date as it marks the day that independence was granted to the Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.