Give it a whirl!

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Air Force photograph by Joseph Gocong

Performers whirl and dance to the music in traditional costumes at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Oct. 13, 2016, as Team Edwards wrapped up its Hispanic Heritage Month activities with a luncheon and cultural show at Club Muroc. Several events were held throughout the base from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover the current 30-day period. It was enacted into law Aug. 17, 1988. Sept. 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days Sept. 16 and 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is Oct. 12, falls within this 30-day period.