While many know the name Cesar Chavez today, his most trusted lieutenant was just as vital to the Mexican farmworkers movement.
Representation matters, and Romauldo Pacheco proved that as the first Hispanic Congressman in American history.
Marcelino Serna came to the U.S. as a undocumented immigrant, and within just a few years, became one of the country's bravest heroes.
The Mexican-American labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez dedicated his life’s work to what he called la causa (the cause): the struggle of farm workers in the United States to improve their working and living conditions through organizing and negotiating contracts ...read more
In the late 1960s, grapes grabbed national attention—and not in a good way. Newly organized farm workers, fronted by Mexican-American civil-rights activist Cesar Chavez, asked Americans to boycott the popular California fruit because of the paltry pay and poor work conditions ...read more
The Mariel Boatlift of 1980 was a mass emigration of Cubans to the United States. The exodus was driven by a stagnant economy that had weakened under the grip of a U.S. trade embargo and by Cuban President Fidel Castro's exasperation with dissent. “Those who have no revolutionary ...read more
In the 1960s, a radicalized Mexican-American movement began pushing for a new identification. The Chicano Movement, aka El Movimiento, advocated social and political empowerment through a chicanismo or cultural nationalism. As the activist Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales declared in a ...read more
When it comes to the fight for workers’ rights in the United States, Latino Americans have been critical players since the early 1900s. Their organizing and agitating have led to improved working conditions and wages in industries across the U.S. “Latinos have been part of the ...read more
The American Hispanic/Latinx history is a rich, diverse and long one, with immigrants, refugees and Spanish-speaking or indigenous people living in the United States since long before the nation was established. And, bringing with them traditions and culture from Mexico, Spain, ...read more
The terms Latino, Hispanic and Latinx are often used interchangeably to describe a group that makes up about 18 percent of the U.S. population. While it’s now common to use umbrella terms to categorize those with ties to more than 20 Latin American countries, these words haven’t ...read more
Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration of the history and culture of the U.S. Latinx and Hispanic communities. The event, which spans from September 15 to October 15, commemorates how those communities have influenced and contributed to American society at large. The ...read more
During his 1960 bid for the White House, John F. Kennedy faced a tight race. Kennedy and his Republican opponent, Richard Nixon, remained neck-and-neck in the polls throughout the campaign season. Kennedy gained leads after his historic TV debate performances, but Nixon gained ...read more
The station was filled with worried faces and hushed voices. Soon, those who gathered there would leave their lives and livelihoods behind as prisoners of the prison camps where over 110,000 people of Japanese descent—most American citizens—would be incarcerated for the duration ...read more
When Romualdo Pacheco walked up to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1877, he’d already served in nearly every government capacity in the still-new state of California. Now, the charismatic politician had broken another barrier as one of the first-ever Latino Congressman. ...read more
Brown v. Board of Education was the landmark Supreme Court case that ended racial segregation in schools in 1954. But it wasn’t the first to take on the issue. Eight years earlier, in 1946, a group of Mexican American families in California won the very first federal court case ...read more
Growing up in the Bronx, Sonia Sotomayor grew up a die-hard Yankees fan. Little did she know that one day, she would play a role in saving the entire sport.
In the 1930s, the Los Angeles Welfare Department decided to start deporting hospital patients of Mexican descent. One of the patients was a woman with leprosy who was driven just over the border and left in Mexicali, Mexico. Others had tuberculosis, paralysis, mental illness or ...read more
In the early 20th century, it wasn’t a crime to enter the U.S. without authorization. Though authorities could still deport immigrants who hadn’t gone through an official entry point, they couldn’t be detained and prosecuted for a federal crime. But that all changed in 1929 when ...read more
There can be confusion over the origins of Cinco de Mayo. Some think it’s a holiday celebrating Mexican independence from Spain (that’s actually September 16), or the 1910 Mexican Revolution (November 20), or that it was dreamed up to sell more beer and guacamole. Cinco de Mayo ...read more
“What are you doing here?” The social worker peered at Carlos Eire, shocked to find the Cuban 12-year-old in a home for delinquent boys in Miami, Florida. “You’re supposed to be with your uncle.” By 1963, the preteen had been living in the foster home for months, accompanied by ...read more
Before Texas was a U.S. state, it was its own independent nation where both Mexicans and white immigrants were citizens. But during the nine years that the Republic of Texas existed, Mexicans became outsiders as white settlers made it more difficult for them to vote and hold ...read more
When the Civil War broke out in 1861, there were tens of thousands of Mexican Americans living in California, Texas and the New Mexico territory; all former parts of Mexico that the U.S. had claimed in the 1840s. With the wounds of the Mexican-American War fresh, these Mexican ...read more
If you ask people to name the victorious Allied Powers in World War II, Mexico isn’t usually a name that comes to mind. But after declaring war against the Axis in mid-1942, Mexico did contribute to the Allied victory in important ways. Despite long standing tensions with the ...read more
July is scorching in Mexicali. The Mexican city just across the border from Calexico, California, averages 108 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, but temperatures often swell into the 120s. In 1955, thousands of disoriented people roamed the city’s streets as the sun bore down on ...read more