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–by Joanna Hallac

Last year, I wrote a post about the issues and controversy surrounding the Columbus Day holiday; however, this year, with that holiday right around the corner, it seemed fitting to focus on something a little different happening right now: National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15th through October 15th. It is a wonderful celebration of the many contributions to our country from those who have come and settled here from all over the Spanish-speaking world and the generations of their ancestors who continue to so positively contribute to our country today.

Unlike most commemorative months that usually begin on the first of the month and end at its conclusion, this one saddles two different months for several reasons. First of all, the month of celebration begins on the day, September 15th, that Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras all gained their independence. Additionally, September 16th is the anniversary of Mexico’s independence, and September 18th that of Chile. Lastly, Columbus Day, or Dia de la Razas, also falls within this month long commemoration.

Like any other month that is nationally recognized and celebrated, National Hispanic Heritage Month came from a congressional resolution, originally passed on September 17, 1968, setting aside a week-long celebration. It remained a week celebration beginning on September 15th each year for twenty years. Finally, on August 17, 1988, President Ronald Reagan stretched it out to a month-long celebration, and National Hispanic Heritage Month has been commemorated from September 15-October 15 every year since.

If you are interested in more information, please go to the official website at: http://hispanicheritagemonth.gov/about/.