From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Hispanic_Heritage_Month
Jump to: navigation, search A U.S. Navy vice admiral and an intelligence specialist celebrating Hispanic American Heritage Month in San Diego Hispanic Heritage Month is when people recognize the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the United States and to celebrate Hispanic Cultural heritage and Hispanic culture. itwas approved by the President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was allowed into law on August 17, 1988 on the approval of law 100-402. 15 de septiembre was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the
anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. They all declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 17, and September 21, respectively."  Hispanic Heritage Month also celebrates the long and important presence of Hispanic Americans in North America Spanish explorers traveled further north along the Pacific Coast to Canada in 1774 and by the late 18th century had created a military post on Vancouver Island, 350 miles north of Seattle. The Spanish sailed up the Atlantic Coast through the Chesapeake Bay in 1526, then called the Bahía de Santa María, about 80 years before the romanticized English encounter with Pocahontas. In the 1520s Spanish navigators also explored as far north as Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and the present site of Bangor, Maine. The Spanish settled the southwest of North America in the 16th century and officially founded Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1610. As part of the Treaty of Paris (1763) peace settlement of the French and Indian War, the territories west of the Mississippi River, including Louisiana and New Orleans, were ceded to the Spanish. Nearly all of the surviving 18th century architecture of the Vieux Carré French Quarter dates from this Spanish period. It is a time that we eat food and tell stories.