Hispanic Heritage – Our History

eLatinaVoices will celebrate two years as an online community on September 30, 2012.   On this page, we will  document historical facts about our history in America.  Those of you who wish to forward information or articles, please send to oraworldwide@cox.net.

Hispanic Facts:

  • A continuous Hispanic/Latino presence in the territory of the United States has existed since the 16th century, earlier than any other group besides Native Americans.
  • 1492 Christopher Columbus, Spain, lands on Salvador and Cuba and Ponce de Leon landed  in La Florida in 1513.
  • In 1690 the first permanent Spanish settlement was estalished in Texas.
  • In 1790 Latino colonists settled in California.
  • Hispanic and Latino Americans have origins in Mexico, Latin America or in Spain.
  • 1820 Mexico gained independence from Spain including settlements in California, Arizona, Texas, Colorado and New Mexico.  American settlers begin moving into Mexican territories.
  • In 1829, Texas begins independent movement and slavery is abolished in Mexico.
  • 1845, Texas is annexed by the United States.
  • 1846, Mexican-American war begins over the annexation of Texas
  • 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ceded the northern territories to the United States. Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Utah and Colorado. 75,000 Mexicans remained in the U.S.
  •  The term Hispanic was first adopted by the Census Bureau in 1980.
  • Hispanics/Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States.  Black Americans are the largest minority group among races. Hispanic Americans historically are considered  part of the Caucasian race, but can be of any race.
  • Hispanics/Latinos represent 16.3% of the population of the United States, which is 50.5 million according to the 2010 Census.  Hispanic females represent 50% of the Hispanic population. (2010)
  • 60.2% of Hispanics were born in the United States. (2010)
  • 65.5% of Hispanics are of Mexican descent, 9.1% Puerto Rican, 3.6% Salvadoran and 3.5 Cuban. (2009)
  • Hispanic purchasing power is projected to be 1.5 Trillion in 2015.
  • As of 2002, there are 1.6 million Hispanic/Latino owned small businesses in the United States.  Tripling in growth from the previous five years.  Hispanic owned businesses contribute $349B to the economy.
  • As of 2007, there are more than 5,000 elected officeholders in the U.S. who are of Latino origin.
  • The highest high school graduation rate is among Cuban Americans (68.7%) and lowest is Mexican-American at (48.7%).
  • Hispanic/Latinos are the longest living Americans.  Live 2 years longer than Non-Hispanics and 8 years longer than African-Americans.
  • Hispanic/Latinos have participated in the military of the U.S. in every major military conflict from the American Revolution onward.
  • As of date, 43 Hispanic/Latinos have been awarded the nation’s highest military distinction…the Medal of Honor.
  • Vice Admiral Antonia Novello, M.D. Public Health Commissioned Corp, is the first woman and Hispanic female  to serve as U.S. Surgeon General.  She is of Puerto Rican descent. Richard Cardona, from Arizona is the second.
  • U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was appointed to the court in August, 2009.  She is of Puerto Rican descent and is the first Hispanic female to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Work in Progress – we will be adding to the above section.  Please forward documented history for inclusion.

The following is part of our history in the United States.  Please read the article.

“L.A. Apologizes For Role in Massive Deportations.”  Huffington Post.  February 24, 2012…

“Anti-immigrant rhetoric like the one displayed by different presidential candidates these days is not new to our country. Decades ago, it was worse. By far.

There was a time when words actually turned into aggressive action. Many still don’t know that under the guise of “American Jobs for Real Americans” and touting it as a panacea to end the high unemployment caused by the Depression, President Herbert Hoover and the federal government launched an aggressive anti-immigrant campaign together with local governments to “repatriate” people of Mexican descent, forcibly deporting scores of individuals.

Although the exact number of Mexican Americans expelled from the U.S. is disputed and perhaps may be never known, most scholars put it at around 1 million.

That was in the 1930s. The so-called Mexican Deportation was so swift, that hundred of thousands of the deportees were actual U.S. citizens.

Seldom discussed in general history courses, advocates have been fighting for years for recognition of this chapter in U.S. history by the government.

This week, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors joined the state of California – which addressed this in 2006 – in issuing a formal apology to victims of the “Mexican Repatriation.”

“United States citizens and legal residents were separated from their families and country and were deprived of their livelihood and United States Constitutional rights, and many were never reunited with their families,” said Board Supervisor Gloria Molina to Los Angeles CBS Local, “Regrettably, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors participated in these efforts.”

Molina was alluding to the role Los Angeles County played in removing whole communities, including passing policies that required proof of legal residency to receive public funds and orchestrating raids in San Fernando, Pacoima, and La Placita.

According to historians Francisco E. Balderrama and Raymond Rodriguez, authors of “Decade of Betrayal: Mexican repatriation in the 1930s”: “Los Angeles became the hotbed of the repatriation movement. Whether Mexicans were employed or unemployed, they were targeted by the Los Angeles County repatriation campaign.”

California alone drove nearly 400,000 people across the border. A commemorative plaque honoring victims will be unveiled at the Los Angeles Plaza de Cultura y Artes this Sunday.

The federal government has never apologized. “


In Arizona, Christine Marin, Professor Emeritus, ASU, Chicana/o Collection and Archives share a little bit of history on repatriation/deportations in Arizona.

My own research shows that in Miami, Arizona, the Miami Copper Company, the Inspiration Consolidated Copper Company, & the Gila County Welfare Association paid for , and arranged for,  the repatriation/deportation of 1,000 Mexicano/Mexican American families from the Globe-Miami, Arizona area to Mexico in the period from September, 1931 to June, 1932. Dr. Paul S. Taylor, noted & highly-respected Sociologist & scholar, estimated that 18,520 Mexicanos/Mexican Americans (over 16% of Arizona’s population in 1930) were repatriated/deported from Arizona between 1930 and 1932….Poor Mexico: so far from God and so close to the United States. Mexico also suffered greatly during this era of the Great Depression, as it, too, was experiencing its own economic downfall, as noted by historians Francisco E. Balderrama & Raymond Rodriguez, authors of “Decades of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s”….…