National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates and recognizes Hispanic American contributions to US society and culture. Designated in 1968 when Congress passed Pub. L. 90-498 authorizing and requesting the President to issue an annual proclamation of National Hispanic Heritage during mid- September. September 15th marks the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico celebrates its independence on September 16th.
President Lyndon Johnson issued the first such proclamation [PDF]. Between 1969 and 1988, Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan issued a series of annual proclamations designating a week in September as National Hispanic Heritage Week. In 1988, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-402 [PDF] which amended Pub. L. 90-498 and established National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th to October 15th. Between 1990 and 2009, Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama issued annual proclamations for National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Many organizations across the federal government collaborate to highlight their services as they pertain to Latinx and Hispanic Americans.
Every year the Hispanic Division and the Hispanic Cultural Society at the Library of Congress co-sponsor a rich variety of events including poetry readings, book talks, concerts, and talks with members of Congress in commemoration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. Many of these events are available online through webcasts.