It is famous for being the birthplace of the Dominican heroines, the Mirabal sisters who gave their lives in the struggle against the dictator Rafael Trujillo. There is a museum in the town, Ojo de Agua (meaning Water Eye) commemorating three of sisters who were killed in the struggle against dictatorship. It is tended to by the remaining sister, Bélgica (Dedé) Mirabal.

The city is named after Francisco Antonio Salcedo who fought in the northwestern part of the country against the Haitian army during the Dominican-Haitian War after the Dominican independence from Haiti in 1844.

In the place where is now the city of Salcedo there was a very small town with the name of Juana Núñez. It was made a Puesto cantonal (an old category that now is called Municipal District) in 1880 as part of the old La Vega province.

With the creation of the Espaillat province in 1885, Juana Núñez was made part of this new province. In 1891, its name was changed from Juana Núñez to the present one, Salcedo.

Salcedo was made a municipality in 1905 and, when the Salcedo Province (now Hermanas Mirabal Province) was created in 1952, the city became the head municipality of the new province.

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