Each year between September 15 and October 15, National Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes and celebrates the history, culture, and diverse experiences of Latinxs in the United States. First commemorated by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 as “Hispanic Heritage Week,” the celebration was later expanded to a month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. The month-long period features the independence day celebrations of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, all of which gained independence on September 15, 1821. Three other Latin American countries also celebrate their independence days during this period: Mexico (September 16), Chile (September 18), and Belize (September 21). The many contributions that Latinxs have made to the United States are commemorated during National Hispanic Heritage Month in numerous ways, including festivals, concerts, and museum exhibits.
This year, we are celebrating Latinx culture and history here at NIU, with a spotlight on the Latino Resource Center and the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies.