Hispanic Heritage Month Archives

October 14, 2013

Hispanic Heritage Month: Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) Digital Collection

Explore the truly amazing Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) digital collection presented through the University of Miami Libraries. This collection is a compilation of digital manuscripts, photographs, letters, maps and other resources held in the University of Miami Libraries. While covering a wide range of topics including anti-communism, literary manuscripts, and refugee records, the collection has particularly strong theater and playwright focus.
The Alberto del Pozo Orichas Collection is a person favorite, featuring a series of drawing depicting orichas (spirit deities) from the Afro-Cuban Santería religion.

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Ochumare by Alberto del Pozo, from University of Miami Digital Collections

Enjoy these unique digital collections while learning more about Cuba's fascinating history!

October 7, 2013

Hispanic Heritage Month: Map of the Americas by Diego Gutiérrez

1562.jpgIn 1562 Spanish cartographer Diego Gutiérrez created the largest, most complete print map of the Americas. Gutierrez used data collected by Spain during its explorations. The map included information on the people, settlements, and environment from the tip of South America to Labrador on the east cost. Gutiérrez's map was the largest engraved map of America to that time.

The Library of Congress' American Memory: Discovery and Exploration project includes a special presentation on the 1592 Map of the Americas, as well as images from the map's engravings.

September 23, 2013

Hispanic Heritage Month: Milwaukee's Spanish Newspapers

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Explore Wisconsin and Milwaukee's history through the eyes of one of our city's many Spanish newspapers! Milwaukee Public Library has several Spanish papers covering the 1960s-90s, as well as current titles. The image above is taken from La Guardia, a bilingual newspaper with a focus on the Chicano led labor movement.

Some of the other Spanish newspapers in the library's collection include the Spanish Journal, known as "La voz hispania de Wisconsin," and El Conquistador.

These and other historic Milwaukee newspapers can be accessed in the Periodicals Department, 2nd Floor of the Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave. Questions about the Spanish newspapers? Call our Periodicals department at 414-286-3073.

September 30, 2013

Hispanic Heritage Month: Experience Ballet Folklorico at Central Library October 12th!

Ballet_Folklorico.JPGGet ready for an experience unlike any other! Ballet Folklorico is once again bringing the dances of Mexico to Central Library in a performance celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Escamilla Entertainment's Ballet Folklorico brings to audiences of all ages enriching perspectives of Mexican culture, featuring dances and dress from Mexico's diverse culture and even a world champion trick roper!

Ballet Folklorico
Saturday, October 12th, 2-3p.m.
Central Library, Shoenleber Reading Room (1st Floor)
814 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Questions? Contact Ready Reference at 286-3011.

September 18, 2013

Hispanic Heritage Month: VOCES, the Oral History Project


Image Courtesy of the the VOCES Oral History Project, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas at Austin.

The VOCES project was started in 1999 by University of Texas professor Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez. Her goal was to document the stories of the Latino experience in World War II, a subject that had previously been mostly ignored by the majority of historians. Now having interviewed over 500 men and women (and recently expanded to include stories of the Korean and Vietnam wars), this project is one of the premier sources for primary accounts of American Latino history. While the actual tapes and archives are located in Texas, there is an excellent website (click here!) that provides many different first-hand accounts of these experiences. Definitely worth the browsing time and more, so why not click over and read about a unique bit of American History today?

September 16, 2013

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

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September 15- October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month! Join Milwaukee Public Library in celebrating the cultures of Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and Spanish-speaking regions and countries of Central and South America with events and diplays throughout our libraries.

This Saturday, September 21st come to the Forest Home Library, 1432 W. Forest Home Ave., for a full day of fun activities!

10:30-11:30 a.m.
Bilingual Story Time
Join us for a fun, interactive bilingual story time that includes stories, songs and a craft, plus a special churro treat!
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1-1:45 p.m.
Tania Alvarez - Miss Latina Wisconsin 2013
Miss Alvarez will present the story El Patito Feo/ The Ugly Duckling and share her experiences as Miss Latina Wisconsin. Express your individuality with an art activity following the story. (Suitable for children ages 6 and up.)

2:30-3 p.m.
Dance Academy of Mexico
Local dancers will present lively traditional Mexican dances. Fun for all ages!

On every Monday and Wednesday throughout Hispanic Heritage Month a different event, individual or resource will be highlighted on the Now @MPL.

October 13, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Clarissa Pinkola Estes

10.13.12.Estes.jpgClarissa Pinkola Estés is an American poet, author, storyteller and psychoanalyst most known for her groundbreaking book, Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype. Her birth parents were mestizos, Mexicans of mixed Spanish and Indian descent, and worked as laborers near the Michigan-Indiana border. At the age of four she was adopted by immigrant Hungarians and spent the majority of her childhood surrounded by first generation Americans. The tradition of oral storytelling held a prominent place in her life and shaped her views on modern culture and technology. Estés obtained a degree in ethno-clinical psychology and worked for over 40 years as a post-trauma specialist. She often uses her writing and poetry in her expressive therapy. Estés was the first winner of the Joseph Campbell Keeper of the Lore award, and the Gradiva Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, among others. View a complete list of works by Clarissa Pinkola Estés available at your Milwaukee Public Library here.

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October 15, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Junot Diaz

10.15.12.Junot.Diaz.jpgJunot Diaz is a writer and educator. Díaz was born in Villa Juana, a neighborhood in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Díaz emigrated to Parlin, New Jersey in December 1974. In elementary school Diaz was was a voracious reader, often walking four miles in order to borrow books from his public library. He completed his BA at Rutgers College in 1992, majoring in English. He worked his way through college by delivering pool tables, washing dishes, pumping gas, and working at Raritan River Steel. He earned his MFA from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1995, where he wrote most of his first collection of short stories. Currently, Díaz teaches creative writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing and is also the fiction editor for Boston Review. He is active in the Dominican American community and is a founding member of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Writing Workshop, which focuses on writers of color. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker magazine, which listed him as one of the 20 top writers for the 21st century. He has also been published in Story, The Paris Review, and in the anthologies The Best American Short Stories four times (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000), The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories (2009), and African Voices. He is best known for his two major works: the short story collection Drown (1996) and the novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007). Both were published to critical acclaim and he won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

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October 14, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Jose Guadalupe Posada

10.14.12.Posada.jpegJose Guadalupe Posada was a Mexican cartoonist and illustrator. He is best known for his satirical political cartoons. Posada was born in Aguascalientes and received his education from his brother. As a teenager, he went to work for a local printmaker where he learned lithography and engraving. Posada obtained a job as a political cartoonist for El Jicote, a local newspaper, but the newspaper closed after 11 issues. By 1875, he had opened his own print shop focusing on book illustrations, posters, and advertising work. Posada later joined the staff of a publishing firm owned by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo. It was during this prolific time that he created his Calaveras- a collection of prints that satirized the upper classes, current events, and religion. Although Posada died in poverty, he remembered for his satirical acuteness and folk art imagery. Read more about Posada and his work at your Milwaukee Public Library by clicking here.

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October 12, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Guy Gabaldon

10.12.12.GuyGabaldon.jpgPrivate First Class Guy Louis Gabaldon was a United States Marine during World War II who despite being only eighteen years old singlehandedly captured over 1500 Japanese soldiers. Guy was born to a Mexican-American family in Los Angeles, but at the age of twelve actually moved to live with a Japanese-American family, the Nakanos, who became his extended family. When the Nakanos were sent to a relocation camp at the start of the war, Guy took the first opportunity he could to enlist. His knowledge of Japanese culture and language led him to be able to work as a lone wolf soldier on Saipan Island, and over the course of the war managed to capture or get the surrender of an unmatched number of Japanese soldiers. He was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions, but is currently under review to instead be awarded the Medal of Honor. Sadly, Guy passed away in 2006 of heart disease.

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October 11, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: America Ferrera

America.jpgAmerica Georgina Ferrera (b. April 18, 1984) is a Latin American actress and producer. She is best known for her role in the hit series Ugly Betty. Ferrera was born in Los Angeles, California and was raised in San Fernando Valley. She started acting at the age of 16 when she signed with a talent agency. Her first film was the critically acclaimed Real Women have Curves, which earned the Jury Award for Best Actress at the Sundance film festival. After several appearances in television and film, Ferrera landed a starring role on the hit ABC comedy Ugly Betty in 2006. Ferrera has won numerous awards including a Golden Globe for best Actress for her role in Ugly Betty. She is celebrated for her positive portrayals of Latinos and Latino culture in the entertainment world.

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October 10, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Gregorio Cortez

10.10.12.GregorioCortez.jpgGregorio Cortez eluded the pursuit of some three hundred sheriffs, deputies, and other posse members in 1901 in Texas, becoming a folk hero in the process. It all started with a tragic misunderstanding and poor translation on the part of a deputy, leading to a sheriff killing Gregorio's brother and Gregorio shooting the sheriff in self-defense. Gregorio then spent twelve days on the run, both on foot and horseback, travelling hundreds of miles and avoiding capture for a long time. The event sadly incited anti-Mexican violence by some bigoted Texan communities, but Gregorio's skill in eluding the authorities helped make him a legend to the Mexican-American people of the time. While Gregorio was convicted of second-degree murder upon capture, he was pardoned in 1913 by the governor of Texas. Gregorio's tale has been adapted into a movie starring Edward James Olmos, which you can get from the library on VHS.

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October 9, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Joaquin Sorolla

Sorolla.Joaquin.jpgJoaquin Sorolla y Bastida (February 27, 1863- August 10, 1923) was an accomplished Valencian Spanish painter. His specialties were portraits, landscapes, and historical paintings. Sorolla began studying painting when he was fifteen years old. At the age of twenty-two, he received a grant which allowed him to study painting in Rome. He received a gold medal at the National Exhibition in Madrid and first prize at the Chicago International Exhibition. Sorolla's most critically acclaimed work, Sad Inheritance, which depicts crippled children bathing by the sea, earned him the Medal of Honor at the Universal Exhibition in Paris. His greatest success was his exhibition at the Galeries Georges Petit in Paris in 1906. The critically acclaimed show earned Sorolla his appointment as Officer of the Legion of Honour. He is considered the greatest Spanish Impressionist artist. Read more about Joaquin Sorolla and his work at your Milwaukee Public Library by clicking here.

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October 7, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Ken Salazar

10.07.12.KenSalazar.jpgKen Salazar was born on March 2, 1955, in Alamosa, Colorado. One of eight children, he grew up on a remote ranch without either electricity or telephone. That is where he learned the values of hard work, family, and faith. Thanks to his parents' lessons, he and his seven brothers and sisters all became first generation college graduates. Salazar earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Colorado College (1977) and a law degree from the University of Michigan (1981). In 1998 Salazar won a bid to become Colorado's attorney general, the first Hispanic to be elected to the job. As Colorado's attorney general, Salazar led efforts to make communities safer and protect Colorado's environment. In 2004, he won a seat in the United States Senate. Salazar became known in the senate, as he had been in Colorado, for his integrity and his talent for finding bipartisan solutions to difficult problems. Well known to each other through their work in the US Senate President Barak Obama, nominated Salazar to be his Secretary of the Interior. He was confirmed as the 50th secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior on Jan. 20, 2009, in a unanimous vote by the U.S. Senate.

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October 6, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: John Carlos

10.06.12.JohnCarlos.jpgHaving just won a bronze medal at the 1968 Summer Olympics, John Carlos entered the history books alongside Tommie Smith when both men raised their black gloved hands in salute and created one of the most iconic images of the civil rights movement. Born in Harlem, New York of Cuban descent, John had Olympic aspirations at a very young age, only to find that the color of his skin was an obstacle to his dreams. Yet he would not let racism stand in the way of his incredible athleticism, or indeed the rest of his life. Now a member of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame and continuing to make speaking appearance, John remains an activist to this day. He has also recently published an autobiography, The John Carlos Story.

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October 5, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Benito Juarez

10.05.12.BenitoJuarez.jpgBenito Juárez was a political reformer and statesman. Juárez was elected president of Mexico five times between 1958 and 1872. Juárez was born into a Zapotec family on March 21, 1806. As a child, he worked in the fields of San Pablo Guelatao. At the age of 12, he was orphaned and sent to life with his sister in Oaxaca. An intelligent child, Juárez was selected to join the priesthood and receive an education. Juárez graduated in 1834 with a law degree from the Institute of Science and Art. Juárez was active in local politics, serving as a city councilman in Oaxaca where he gained a reputation for defending the rights of indigenous people. In 1847, he became governor of Oaxaca, angering conservatives by passing laws that allowed the confiscation of church property. When President Santa Ana returned to power in 1853, many liberals in the Mexican government were exiled, including Juárez. In 1855, Juárez returned from exile and was appointed the Minister of Justice. Juárez instituted the Juárez Law that reduced the power of the army and clergy.

Juárez served as the leader of the liberal faction during the War of Reform, where conservatives contested with the liberal party for control of Mexico. Juárez resumed the presidency when the liberals won in 1861. After the conclusion of the War of Reform, Juárez suspended payment on foreign debt owed to Europe for two years. The French government used this as a pretext to invade Mexico. Juárez directed the struggle to eject the French invaders. In 1866, the United States government warned the French to leave Mexico. French troops withdrew in 1866 and 1867. Juárez became president again in 1967. Juárez is credited with separating church and state and establishing religious toleration in Mexico. Juárez was elected president for a final time in 1871. He died July 18, 1872.

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October 4, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Roberto Crispulo Goizueta

10.04.12.RobertoGoizueta.jpgRoberto Críspulo Goizueta defected from Cuba to America with only $200 and 100 shares of Coca-Cola stock, and would eventually rise to become the President and CFO of Coca-Cola for seventeen years. Born into a wealthy Cuban family in 1931, Goizueta worked for Coca-Cola previously in Cuba before he defected after Castro took control. Goizeueta rose quickly through the corporate ranks, eventually becoming the president in 1980. Under his leadership, Coca-Cola rose to greater success, stock prices soared and new products such as Diet Coke were introduced. New Coke also came to be under Goizueta, proving even great businessmen can have a few snafus on their resume. Having died from lung cancer in 1997, his philanthropic work continues through the Goizueta Foundation, supporting educational and charity institutions.

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October 3, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Joaquin Torres-Garcia

10.03.12.JoaquinTorresGarcia.jpgJoaquin Torres-Garcia (July 28th 1874- August 8th, 1949) was a Uruguayan artist. He was best known for being the founder of Constructivism art philosophy. Torres-Garcia was born in Montevideo, Uruguay but spent most of his life abroad in Italy, France, New York, and Spain. He received his education at the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona where he became influenced by French Impressionism. After school, Torres-Garcia exhibited with many famous artist including Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, and Marcel Duchamp. It was during this time that Torres-Garcia developed his three-dimensional concept for grids and planes made of wood. These pieces, called maderas, were groundbreaking works of art and earned Torres-Garcia international fame. He went on the open the "Taller Torres-Garcia", a school that promoted avant-garde artwork. He is revered today as one of the most influential Latin American artists. Learn more about Joaquin Torres-Garcia at your Milwaukee Public Library.

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October 2, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Gigi Fernandez

10.2.12.GigiFernandez.jpgGigi Fernandez was born in 1964 in San Juan Puerto Rico. For her 8th birthday her parents gave her a gift of tennis lessons. Inspired and displaying a natural talent for the game, she was ranked number one in Puerto Rico as a junior player. This enabled her to win an athletic scholarship to Clemson University in South Carolina. Prior to turning professional, she played tennis for one season at Clemson University, in 1982-83, where she was a singles and doubles All-American and reached the National Collegiate Athletics Association singles final. She turned pro in 1985 and was the first female athlete from her native Puerto Rico to turn professional. Fernandez was skilled as a singles player, but she found her greatest success in doubles. Fernandez won 17 Grand Slam doubles titles and two Olympic gold medals representing the United States of America, and reached the World No. 1 ranking in women's doubles. She reached a career high singles ranking of 17 in 1991. Since retiring from the professional tour in 1997 at the age of 33, she has since focused on being a tennis coach and entrepreneur. She has also focused on her education, earning a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of South Florida and a Masters in Business Administration.

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October 1, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Spanish Harlem

Elbarrio116thLexvia Wikimedia Commons

Spanish Harlem, also known as East Harlem and El Barrio, is a predominately Latino community located in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The neighborhood extends from Harlem River to the North, the East River to the east, East 96th Street to the South, and Fifth Avenue to the west. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the area was mostly inhabited by Italians. In the 1940s, a large number of Puerto Ricans migrated to the area and as their numbers grew, the area became known as Spanish Harlem. The neighborhood is known for its contributions to Salsa music and as a home to many famous artists including Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, and Marc Anthony. Spanish Harlem is a neighborhood that is alive with history and is a melting pot of Latino cultures.

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September 30, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Carlos Fuentes

Carlos Fuentes, 1987

Carlos Fuentes (November 11, 1928-May 15, 2011) was an internationally renowned Mexican Novelist. Fuentes is best known for his masterpiece The Death of Artemio Cruz (1962) and his international bestseller, The Old Gringo (1985). Fuentes was born in Panama. His parents were Berta Macias and Rafael Fuentes, a member of the Mexican diplomatic corp. His father's diplomatic career kept the family moving from country to country in South America. Fuentes started writing in 1940 after the family was transferred to Chile. In 1936, the family was relocated to Washington DC where Fuentes learned to speak fluent English. As a young man, Fuentes studied law in Switzerland and Mexico. His father encouraged him to write but insisted that he also pursue a career in law. After completing his law degree, Fuentes entered the diplomatic corps of Mexico but continued writing in his spare time. His first novel, Where the Air is Clear, was published in 1958. The novel was well received by critics and readers and established his literary reputation. From this point on, Fuentes left the diplomatic corps and devoted his time to writing. Fuentes writings often use the backdrop of history to deal with themes of love, death, and memory. Fuentes received numerous literary awards, including the National Order of Merit (1992), the Cervantes Prize (1987), and Spain's Prince of Asturias Award for Literature (1994). To view works by Carlos Fuentes at Milwaukee Public Library, please click here.

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September 29, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Ruben Blades

9.29.12.RubenBlades.jpgRuben Blades is an internationally popular salsa singer, songwriter, actor, politician, and political activist. Blades was born July 16th, 1948 in Panama City, Panama. Blades first love was music but he studied law, earning a law degree from the University of Panama in 1972. While earning his law degree, civil unrest broke out in Panama and his school was shut down for a period of time. In 1970, during this hiatus, Blades recorded his first album, De Panama a Nueva York: Pete Rodriguez Presenta a Rubén Blades. The album did not sell well and Blades returned to his law school studies. After the completion of his law degree, Blades worked as an attorney and performed music as a side interest. The Blades family relocated to the United States in 1973. Blades started his musical partnership with salsa musician Willie Colon in 1976. In 1978, they released Siembra. This album featured the international classic, "Pedro Navaja." Blades's music is known for its socially conscious lyrics and complex arrangements. Blades is known for his political activism and political career. Blades ran for the office of the President of Panama in 1994 on the ticket of the party that he co-founded, the Papa Egoro party. Blades came in 3rd place with 20% of the vote. In 2004, Blades was appointed Minister of Tourism in Panama and he continues his involvement in international activism for human rights. Blades's acting career began in 1983, in the Last Fight, where he starred as a boxer who also sang. Blades has gone on to appear in many Hollywood films. Click here to view Blades's items at Milwaukee Public Library.

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September 27, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Leo Manzano

9.27.12.LeoManzano.jpgLeo Manzano was born in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato Mexico on September 12, 1984. Manzano moved to the United States with his family when he was 4. He was raised in Granite Shoals Texas, where he became a nine-time state track and cross country champion. Manzano was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He earned a track scholarship to the University of Texas, where he became a five-time NCAA champion and an 11-time NCAA All-American. He made his Olympic debut in Beijing in 2008. Though he went away from Beijing without a medal he was determined to try again. In 2012, he returned to form and won the 1500 m titles at the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships and 2012 United States Olympics Trials. In the 1500 m Final at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Manzano unleashed his signature kick to claim the silver medal. Manzano is the first American to medal in the 1500 m since 1968, breaking a 44 year drought for the U.S. men's middle distance running.

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September 26, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Jovita Idar

9.26.12.JovitaIdar.gifJovita Idar (1885-1946) was a journalist and an activist for the civil rights of Mexican Americans. Idar was born into a family of journalists in Laredo, TX. In 1903, Idar earned her teaching degree from the Holding Institute, a Methodist school. Idar taught kindergarten at Los Ojuelos, Texas but later resigned when she felt that she could not change the poor conditions under which her students lived. In 1911, Idar served as the first president of the League of Mexican Women. The League's mission was to provide improved and free education to impoverished children. After Idar resigned from teaching, she began writing for her family newspaper, La Crónica, edited and published by her father Nicasio Idar. Idar's articles critiqued the economic and social discrimination Mexican Americans faced. Idar also wrote articles supporting the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). In 1913, Idar traveled to Mexico to help nurse the wounded and later joined the White Cross (La Cruz Blanca), an organization similar to the Red Cross. After returning to Texas, Idar worked on the El Progreso newspaper. When the newspaper printed Idar's editorial protesting President Wilson's decision to send US troops to the border, Texas Rangers attempted to shut the paper down. Idar blocked the door to the newspaper and refused to allow them entry. However, the Texas Rangers were later successful in closing the newspaper down and Idar returned to working at La Crónica. Idar ran the La Crónica after her father's death in 1914. Idar also continued her political activism, becoming an active member of the Democratic Party and opening a free kindergarten.

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September 25, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Pancho Villa

Pancho Villa bandolier crop

Francisco "Pancho" Villa (1878-1923) was a charismatic and controversial Mexican Revolutionary War general who championed the poor during a time when Mexico was controlled by the wealthy land-owning class. Villa was born Doroteo Arango to a peasant family in Durango, Mexico. He changed his name to Francisco Villa, after a legendary early nineteenth century Robin Hood figure. Villa began as a bandit, robbing banks and trains. He then joined the revolutionary army against Mexican President Porfirio Diaz. After leading a winning attack to capture the important border city of Ciudad Juarez, Villa was promoted to the rank of colonel. Diaz was overthrown and a new president elected democratically. After a period of tranquility, Villa was once again called to service for his country, this time serving under Victoriana Huerta. Huerta had his own motives and soon accused Villa of insubordination and took control of the country as Villa was imprisoned for two years. Villa escaped with the help of his tutor and gathered over 10,000 troops in what was called his División del Norte. Huerta was finally forced to relinquish his hold on Mexico when Villa captured Zacatecas, Huerta's last stronghold on July 15, 1914.

This marked the last great victory for Villa. After losing out to another revolutionary general for political power in the country, Villa's fall from power was nearly complete. He and his few remaining men hid out in the Sierra Madre staging attacks on U.S. soil as well as against current Mexican President Carranza. After the death of Carranza, Alvaro Obregon was elected President and decided to make peace with Villa by offering a general's pension and a track of land called Rancho del Canutillo. Villa lived there with his family, wife Maria Luz and two children, until he and four bodyguards were gunned down by unknown assailants in 1923. Villa is revered by some and viewed by others as a brutal and ruthless outlaw. What is not disputed is his military prowess and his impact on Mexican history. His life has inspired songs, folktales, films, and stories. See Milwaukee Public Library's books and films about Pancho Villa here.

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September 24, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a Columbian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, and journalist. He is best known for magical realism novels. Garcia Marquez was born in 1927 in Aracataca, Columbia. He began his career in journalism while studying law at the University of Cartagena. His first novella was published in 1955 and several other works soon followed. He achieved international fame with the novels Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude, a classic of twentieth century literature. Garcia Marquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982 and was the first Colombian and fourth Latin American to win the award. Garcia Marquez has been recognized as one of the most remarkable storytellers of the 20th century. Click here to view a complete list of Garcia Marquez's works available at Milwaukee Public Library.

September 23, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Francisco J. Ayala

9.23.12.Francisco.Ayala.jpg9.23.12.Francisco.Ayala2.jpg Francisco Ayala (b. 1934) is a Spanish-American evolutionary biologist and a geneticist at the University of California, Irvine. Ayala is best known for his research on evolutionary genetics and his philosophical stance that there that there is no inherent contradiction between science and religion. Ayala became a citizen of the United States in 1971. He has served as the president and chairman for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2001, Ayala was awarded the National Medal of Science. In 2010, he was the recipient of the Templeton Prize. Ayala donated the 1.42 million dollar prize to charity.

Ayala had published several books including Am I a Monkey?: Six Questions about Evolution, Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion, and On Being a Scientist. Click here to view Ayala's works available at the Milwaukee Public Library.

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September 22, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Cristina Saralegui

9.22.12.CristinaSaralegui.jpgCristina Saralegui is a Cuban American journalist, actress and talk show host. Saralegui was born in Havana, Cuba, on January 29, 1948 to a wealthy family. They fled to Miami's Cuban exile community in 1960 when Cristina was 12 years old. She attended the University of Miami, majoring in mass communications and creative writing. She got her start in the media world as an intern Vanidades Continentel. She worked for many magazines until 1979 she was named Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan-en-Español. In 1989 she was given an opportunity to become executive producer and host of her own television shoe, El show de Cristina. The show, show which became known for discussing controversial topics was a hit and won an Emmy Award in 1991. She even launched her own magazine Cristina la revista ("Cristina the Magazine"). Though Saragelui's talk show went off the air in 2010 after 21 years, she successfully transitioned into the business world with her company Cristina Saralegui Enterprises, Inc. She has her own lines of furniture and clothing and operates her own television production facility. In 2005 she was named one of the "25 Most Influential Hispanics in America" by Time magazine, and received the Corporate Leader Award from the National Network of Hispanic Women.

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September 21, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Ritchie Valens

9.21.12.RitchieValens.jpgPhoto by Salina Cavinzales

A pioneer of both rock and roll and the Chicano rock movement, Ritchie Valens (born Richard Steven Valenzuela) is one of the more tragic figures of early rock. Ritchie began to play music at a young age, teaching himself to play the guitar and also the drums. Ritchie earned a recording contract at the age of sixteen, exemplified by his two greatest hits: "La Bamba" and "Come On, Let's Go", the former being a Mexican folk song blended with rock and roll sung entirely in Spanish. Ritchie's recording success and blossoming popularity led him to appearances on TV and film, eventually leading to a music tour in the Midwest with Buddy Holly and "The Big Bopper". This tour would tragically end in a plane crash that took the lives of Ritchie, Holly, and the Bopper, known as "The Day the Music Died". While his recording career lasted only eight months, Ritchie's music serves as inspiration for a multitude of musicians to this day, a lasting legacy in song and melody. For those interested in his music, the library contains many of Valens' albums.

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September 20, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Dara Torres

9.20.12.DaraTorres.jpgPhoto by Bryan Allison [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Dara Torres is one of the most decorated competitive swimmers in Olympic history. Torres was born April 15th, 1967 in Beverly Hills, California. Torres attended high school at the Westlake School for Girls where she set California Interscholastic records as a member of the Westlake Swim team. Torres continued her swimming career at the University of Florida at Gainesville. Over the span of her career, she has won twelve medals and competed in 5 Olympics (1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, and 2008.) Five of her medals, including two gold medals, were won at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Torres retired from Olympic competition when she placed fourth in the 50 meter freestyle in the 2012 US Olympic Trials. She remains the first and only swimmer from the United States to compete in five Olympic Events.

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September 19, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Roy Benavidez

9.19.12.Roy.Benevidez.jpgMaster Sergeant Roy Benavidez (August 5, 1935 - November 29, 1998) was born on a farm near Cuero, Texas. He lost both parents before the age of 8. At the age of 19 Benavidez joined the US army. In 1965 he was sent to South Vietnam where he was wounded during a patrol, doctors told him he would never walk again. Despite serious injury to his spine, Benavidez walked out of the hospital in July 1966 and returned to Vietnam. He heard a call from 12 men under attack from the North Vietnamese Army, he volunteered to go with one of the helicopter pilots to rescue the soldiers. Armed only with a knife and bag of medical supplies he jumped from the helicopter to join the trapped soldiers. Through his actions and his refusal to be stopped and despite numerous severe wounds, he saved the lives of at least eight men. For his heroism he received two purple hearts and a Distinguished Service Cross. On February 24, 1981, President Ronald Reagan presented Roy P. Benavidez the Medal of Honor. After retiring from the military he worked to defend disability benefits for wounded soldiers and devoted his remaining years to speaking to children about the importance of staying in school and getting an education.
Books by Master Sergeant Benavidez are available at Milwaukee Public Library. Click here to view the titles.

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September 18, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Eddie Guerrero

Photo by paddynapper via Flickr
"Viva la Raza!" was often the battle cry of Eddie Guerrero, one of professional wrestling's greatest stars. Born October 9th, 1967 into the second generation of the Guerrero wrestling dynasty, Eddie was the youngest of his tights-wearing brothers. His career would take him all across the globe, grappling in Mexico, Japan, the United States, and beyond. His hard work, technical skill, and charisma took him far, winning over twenty wrestling championships in his 18 years in the ring. As part of his character, he lied, cheated, and stole his way into the hearts of millions of wrestling fans, becoming the second Hispanic wrestler to win the World Wrestling Entertainment Heavyweight Championship. Tragically, Eddie would pass away from heart failure at the height of his popularity in 2005. Posthumously inducted into both the WWE and AAA Hall of Fame, his legacy is felt through the impact he had on his fellow wrestlers, his family, and the wrestling business itself.
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October 8, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Selena

10.08.12.Selena.jpgSelena was a Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter who became a Hispanic icon in the United States and across Latin America. Selena Quintanilla was born April 16, 1971 in Corpus Christi, Texas. She began performing at the age of five at fairs and quincenerias, and by the age of 15 was awarded "Female Entertainer of the Year" by the Tejano Music Awards. After signing with a major Latin music company, Selena released six albums, including one English and Spanish language album. Selena Live! (1993) was awarded a Grammy for Best Mexican-American Album and her follow-up Amor Prohibido (1994) had four number one hits on the Latin charts. Her English language album Dreaming of You was set to make her a cross-over success but tragedy struck when the young star was murdered by an employee and president of her fan club. Selena was 23 at the time of her death. To date Selena has sold over 60 million albums worldwide and continues to inspire new generations of fans. See a complete list of Selena's works available at Milwaukee Public Library here.

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September 28, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Tania Leon

9.28.12Tanialeon.jpgTania León (b. May 14, 1943) is a Cuban-born conductor, composer, pianist and teacher. She was the first music director of the Dance Theater of Harlem, staying with the company from 1968-1980 and music director for the Broadway hit The Wiz. A guest conductor for orchestras across the United States and Europe, her work has been performed by China National Symphony, and the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 1994 León wrote Scourge of the Hyacinths, an opera based off of a play by Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka. León has taught at Harvard and Yale, and is an advisor to numerous arts organizations.

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September 17, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Yuyi Morales

9.17.12.YuyiMorales.jpgYuyi Morales is an award winning children's author and illustrator. Born in Xalapa, Mexico, Morales moved to the United States with her husband and young son in 1994. Missing her family and feeling isolated due to language barriers, Morales sought refuge in art. Drawing had been a hobby since childhood but had not been pursued professionally. As her son began learning English with children's picture books, Morales also learned the language and discovered the exciting possibilities of being a children's book illustrator. Her first illustrations for an English-language book were for Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez. An immediate hit, her work was said to be organic and beautifully rendered. Morales then moved on to writing as well as illustrating in her next title, Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book. Morales has won the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award twice, an award which honors "Latino authors and illustrators whose work best portrays and celebrates Latino cultural experience in a children's book." She is the author of numerous other works that can be found in the library's catalog here.

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September 16, 2012

Smithsonian's Hispanic Heritage Cultural Tour

9.16.12.Smithsonian.jpgIn celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Smithsonian Institute is featuring an online, interactive Hispanic Heritage Cultural tour highlighting objects, stories, and people who bring to life the history and culture of Latinos in America. Audio clips from experts describe the objects in the cultural tour and firsthand accounts on how these objects were used are provided. The tour includes an activity section that will appeal to parents and educators.

Smithsonian Institute Hispanic Heritage Cultural Tour:

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September 15, 2012

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

9.15.12.HispanicHeritageMonth.jpgToday marks the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month. In 1968 President Johnson established National Hispanic Heritage Week to recognize and celebrate the cultures of Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and Spanish-speaking regions and countries of Central and South America. The week long event was expanded to 30 days in 1988 by President Reagan and National Hispanic Heritage Month is now celebrated annually from September 15- October 15. The month begins on September 15th to recognize the independence anniversaries of several Latin American Countries. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua all declared independence on September 15, 1821. Three additional countries celebrate their independence in September: Mexico on September 16th, Chile on September 18th and Belize on September 20th. Over the course of the month, a different event, individual or resource will be highlighted on the Now @MPL blog in celebration of Hispanic heritage.

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September 10, 2012

Noche de Arte at Central Library!

Sanchez_Diana_Work.jpgPhoto by Diana Sanchez

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15) Milwaukee Public Library is pleased to present local artists Diana Sanchez and Ishshah Sua Teran for a Night of Art / Noche de Arte on September 18th!

Noche de Arte
Tuesday, September 18th
5:30-7pm, Remarks by the artists at 6:00pm
Rare Books Room, Central Library 814 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Each artist will display a several examples of their work and discuss their artistic development and the meaning of the pieces. The art will be on display at Central Library until October 15.

Sanchez's work researches, through photography, the complexity of spaces where humans and animals meet. Teran's jewelry examines nature's models, systems, and elements.

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About Hispanic Heritage Month

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Now @ MPL... in the Hispanic Heritage Month category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Health is the previous category.

Historic Photo Collection is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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