CHICAGO – September 15, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today joined Latino leaders from throughout Illinois at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum to mark the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. The month celebrates Hispanic history and culture, as well as the contributions of Hispanics to Illinois.
“We have the opportunity today, throughout the month, and over the course of the year, to celebrate the great impact that the Latino community has made throughout our state,” Governor Quinn said. “It is with great pride that I join in this important celebration.”
This month also marks the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s independence and 100th year since the Mexican Revolution. In commemoration of these landmark dates, buildings along the Chicago skyline will be lit with the colors of the Mexican flag, green, white and red, on September 16. This is the sixth year of the skyline tribute.
Four other Latin American nations – Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela – are also marking the bicentennial of their independence. Governor Quinn presented a certificate of recognition to the Consul General of each country: Hon. Gustavo Martino of Argentina; Hon. José Miguel González of Chile; Hon. Maria Rosa Ferrer of Colombia; Hon. Manuel Rodríguez Arriaga of Mexico; and Hon. Jesus Rodriguez of Venezuela.
The observation of Hispanic Heritage Week began in 1968, but was expanded in 1988 to the month-long celebration from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Nearly two million Illinois residents are of Hispanic origin.