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Why Hispanic Heritage month is celebrated in 2 months

There's a reason Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in September and October.

KUSA - Hispanic Heritage Month runs each year from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, which raises a great question: why is it celebrated in two separate months?

It has a lot to do with independence days.

On September 15, 1821, five different Latin American nations declared independence: Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala all declared independence from Spain.

Eleven years earlier, Mexico did the same on September 16, 1810 and Chile declared its independence from Spain two days later, on Sept. 18.

Fast forward to 1968 and Hispanic Heritage Week officially began under President Lyndon B. Johnson. It was only a week for two decades.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan expanded the week to an entire month, including Columbus Day and the Mexican celebration of Dia de la Raza, both celebrated on Oct. 12.

It's been a month ever since.

Stick with 9NEWS as we continue bringing you stories featuring the Hispanic and Latino communities here in Colorado.

(© 2015 KUSA)