Hispanic Heritage Month has now begun, and runs from September 15th through October 15th. This month is a time to celebrate the important presence of the Hispanic Americans and Latino Americans in the United States. The significance of the start date (September 15th) is the Independence Day of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The countries of Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their Independence Days during this month of celebration. This important event began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson, and was expanded in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan to encompass a full month.