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National Hispanic Heritage Month

John Collier, Jr., a Farm Security Administration photographer took this photo in 1943. In the file, the caption reads, "Albuquerque, New Mexico. Spanish-American girl singing folk songs to her little brothers and sisters." FSA photographers were also sent to document Greenbelt. Courtesy Library of Congress

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year from September 15 through October 15.* It celebrates "the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America" according to a website dedicated to the month that was created collaboratively by organizations like the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Smithsonian Institution. Its origins are from 1968 when Hispanic Heritage Week was established under President Lyndon Johnson. It was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover the 30-day period and was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively.

Stay tuned for more blog posts over the next several weeks as on this topic!

*We have used the term Hispanic here, because that is the term the website that acknowledges this month uses, but to be clear Hispanic refers to people who speak Spanish, whereas the term Latino or Latina refers to people who are from or who have ties to Latin American.

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