National Hispanic Heritage Month © Thomas Roche/Getty Images
From early Spanish colonialism to modern day civil rights struggles, the timeline of Hispanic and Latino history in the US is a rich one. Hispanic Heritage Month—September 15 to October 15—is dedicated to the history, culture, and heritage grounded in Latin America. It began as Hispanic Week in 1968 and has since evolved into a 30-day celebration. Why does it start in the middle of the month? September 15 sees the first of a series of independence days in several Latin American countries—El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. They are followed by Mexico, Chile, and Belize, which mark theirs on September 16, 18, and 21, respectively.