HOUSTON — So why do we celebrate Hispanic heritage month starting on September 15th and running until mid-October?
Independence day for several countries
The reason is that date is significant to a number of Latin American countries. It is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Also September 16th is Mexico’s independence day. Unfortunately, some Americans think that day is Cinco de Mayo. But in reality, September 16th marks the day in 1810 that a catholic priest in Mexico made the first cry for independence. His moving speech lit a spark and inspired a movement.
Start as a week, President Reagan made it a month
Hispanic Heritage Month actually started as a week in 1968. President Lyndon Johnson signed the law making the week of September 15th a time to honor the contributions of the Hispanic and Latin American communities. In 1988, Reagan signed into law a bill turning that week into an entire month to celebrate Hispanic heritage.
Hispanic population growth in Texas
And there is a lot to celebrate here in Texas. According to the census Hispanics make up nearly 40 percent of the state’s population and could soon become the majority in Texas. They helped fuel the lone star state’s population boom since the 2010 census, with two million more Hispanic people now calling Texas home.