Rock Region METRO is observing National Hispanic Heritage Month now through Oct. 15 to celebrate the history and culture of the U.S. Latinx and Hispanic communities. National Hispanic Heritage Month was introduced in 1968 by California Congressman George E. Brown, who called on President Lyndon B. Johnson to issue the first Hispanic Heritage Week presidential proclamation on Sept. 17, 1968. The weeklong observation was developed into a monthlong celebration, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, under President George H.W. Bush. The Sept. 15 kickoff date coincides with various Independence Day celebrations of several Latin American nations, including Costa Roca, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, who declared their independence from Spain on Sept. 15, 1821. As part of this observance, METRO recognizes Hispanic and Latinx leaders such as the American Public Transportation Association Chairwoman Nuria Fernandez, general manager and CEO of California’s Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and former chairwoman and first Latina chairwoman Flora Castillo; Victor Ochoa, the Mexican inventor and revolutionary who patented the electric brake in 1907; peer agencies in Central and South America, such as Mexico City’s Sistema de Transporte Colectivo, which just recently deployed its first all-electric microbus and Hispanic and Latinx METRO employees. METRO salutes the generations of Hispanic and Latinx individuals who have enriched the United States of America.