Hispanic Heritage Month, first proclaimed in 1989 by President George H.W. Bush, begins today, Sept. 15, and ends Oct. 15.

At the Sept. 14 City Council meeting, Mayor Stephen Hagerty read a proclamation for Hispanic Heritage Month in Evanston. He said, “We all value, the diversity that we have in our community with ethnic diversity. Our Hispanic population and Evanston continues to grow as it is everywhere and we want to recognize the richness of our community because of The Latinos that live here. …

“National Heritage Month started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage week under President Lyndon B. Johnson, and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, to cover a 30 day period starting today, September 15, and ending on October 15.

“And whereas during National Hispanic Heritage Month, recognition is given to millions of Hispanic Latino Americans, whose love of family hard work and community has helped them unite as a people and sustain as a nation. Whereas it is important to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of Latin Americans and immigrants whose ancestors came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean in Central and South America, and the contributions made by dedicated individuals and helping to preserve the tangible aspects of the heritage that has shaped Hispanics as a people.”

At the School District 65 Board meeting, Board member Rebeca Mendoza said, “I wanted to recognize and honor the start of Hispanic Heritage Month tomorrow, September 15 through October 15. And just recognize the contributions of our 60. 6 million people who identify as Hispanic in this country. … Quería reconocer y honrar el inicio del Mes de la Herencia Hispana mañana, 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre. Y simplemente reconocer las contribuciones de nuestros 60. 6 millones de personas que se identifican como hispanos en este país.”

Today’s Google Doodle honored Puerto Rican civil rights pioneer and business owner Felicitas Mendez. “ Alongside her husband Gonzalo, Felicitas helped to spearhead and win the monumental lawsuit Mendez v. Westminster, which in 1946 resulted in the first US federal court ruling against public school segregation m – almost a decade before Brown v. Board of Education,” according to Google.

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...