Help kick off Hispanic Heritage month this Friday, Sept. 24, in Scandling. Enjoy the festive food and music while learning about Hispanics from across the United States who have had a great impact on our world. The display opens at 5 p.m., so come check it out.
Hispanic Heritage Month began on Sept. 15, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico declared its independence on Sept. 16, and Chile on Sept. 18.
Some notable people with Hispanic heritage (information is from www.infoplease.com)
Luis Walter Alvarez
Birthplace: San Francisco, Calif.
Radio distance and direction indicator—Alvarez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1968. He helped design a ground-controlled radar system for aircraft landings and with his son developed the meteorite theory of dinosaur extinction. (1978)
Birthplace: Laredo, Texas
Barkley, an enlisted private in the U.S. Army, was the first Hispanic American to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. During World War I he voluntarily swam the icy Meuse River in France to gather information behind German lines. He drowned on the way back from the Meuse mission and was honored posthumously with the Congressional Medal of Honor. His Hispanic heritage was not known until 1989.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Clinton Administration
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas
Henry Cisneros served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1993 to 1997, under President Clinton. After working as a professor of environmental studies and a city councilor in his native San Antonio, in 1981 Cisneros was elected mayor, becoming the first Hispanic to serve as mayor of a major U.S. city. During his four terms Cisneros was a popular leader who helped revitalize downtown San Antonio. Cisneros pleaded guilty in 1999 to a misdemeanor count of lying to the FBI. In his 1993 background check for his cabinet position, he lied about payments he made to a former mistress. President Clinton pardoned him in January 2001.
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Astronaut Ellen Ochoa first left Earth in July 1991 and became the world's first Hispanic female astronaut. A mission specialist and flight engineer, she has since logged more than 900 hours in space on four flights, the last in 2002. Dr. Ochoa's many awards include NASA's Exceptional Service Medal (1997) and Outstanding Leadership Medal (1995). Besides being an astronaut, researcher, and engineer, Ochoa is a classical flutist.
Birthplace: Yabucoa, Puerto Rico
In 1992 Nydia Velázquez became the first Puerto Rican woman elected to Congress (Democrat, New York). Velázquez was an activist as a teenager in rural Puerto Rico and came to the U.S. to earn a master's degree in political science at New York University. She has taught university in both Puerto Rico and the U.S. As a U.S. Representative she has been outspoken about voter registration, health care, and family violence.
Raquel Welch (Raquel Tejada)
Welch's early films, such as One Million Years B.C. (1966), Fantastic Voyage (1966), and Bedazzled (1967), established her as a sex symbol, an image she has never shaken. Her other movies include Myra Breckinridge (1970), Mother, Jugs and Speed (1976), and Chairman of the Board (1998). She has also made numerous television appearances, including guest spots on Mork and Mindy (1978), Seinfeld (1990), Spin City (1996), and as a regular on the PBS dramatic series American Family (2002-2004).
Also visit the National Registry of Historic Places