Hispanic Heritage Month kicked off on September 15, and will continue through October 15. The city of Nashville has recognized National Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting a series of events aimed at highlighting the city’s rich culture, and the contributions of both Hispanic and Latin Americans to Nashville.
“Hispanic and Latin American experiences, traditions, and cultures have touched every part of Nashville’s neighborhoods and communities,” said Mayor John Cooper. “Our diversity is our strength in Nashville, and in particular, the growing influence and success of many Hispanic and Latin American residents and business owners. I look forward to highlighting some of their stories and encouraging all of Nashville to lift up their success.”
Hispanic Week was established by legislation sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Roybal of Los Angeles and was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. In 1988, the commemorative week was expanded to a month (September 15 to October 15) by legislation sponsored by Rep. Esteban Edward Torres (D–Calif.), amended by Sen. Paul Simon, and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the commemoration because it is the anniversary of the Cry of Dolores (early morning, September 16, 1810), which marked the start of the Mexican War of Independence and thus resulted (in 1821) in independence for the New Spain Colony (now Mexico and the Central American nations of Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua) which became the Federal Republic of Central America.
Mexico, most Central American countries, and Chile commemorate their independence from Spain on September 15, September 16, and September 18, respectively.
Hispanic Heritage Week was first proclaimed by President Johnson in 1968 by Presidential Proclamation 3869. Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan gave annual proclamations for Hispanic Heritage Week between 1969 and 1988. National Hispanic Heritage Month was first proclaimed by President George H.W. Bush on September 14, 1989, in Presidential Proclamation 6021. Since 1989, all Presidents have given a Presidential Proclamation to mark Hispanic Heritage Month.