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The origins of Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted at 6:47 AM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 14:41:49-04

It’s all around Arizona. It’s in the names of our streets, parks, and cities. There's an undeniable influence of Hispanic and Latin culture in Arizona.

Dr. Lora Key with the Arizona Historical Society says, “You see it every day, right? If someone mentions Arizona they're going to mention the Mexican and Spanish architecture. The Spanish and Mexican music."

Spain, Mexico, and all those of Hispanic descent getting a moment to celebrate and share their cultures with the U.S.

As Dr. Key explains, the origins of the celebration started here in the United States at the White House.

“In September 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a national Hispanic Heritage Week bill," she says.

And decades later another bill was introduced, “Expanding it to a 30-day period and President Reagan signed it, in August 1988.”

The celebration starts in mid-September and goes through mid-October. Why is the month split that way?

“Several Latin American countries celebrate their independence during this period, for instance, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua. They all celebrate their independence on September 15. Mexico is on September 16 and Chile is on September 17," Dr. Key says.

Different countries but the mission is the same: celebrating and honoring history this month and beyond.