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Latino(a) Historical Events

  • Jan 1, 1565

    St. Augustine, FL

    St. Augustine, FL
    St. Augustine, FL, the earliest settlement in North America, is founded. It remains a possession of Spain until 1819.
  • Period: Jan 1, 1565 to

    Significant Historical Events in Latino(a)/Hispanic History

  • Texas

    The first permanent Spanish settlement in Texas, San Francisco de los Tejas, near the Nueces River, is established.
  • Hispanic Settlements

    Hispanic Settlements
    1790's to 1820's - Hispanic settlements begin to thrive in Pimeria Ata, CA. At one time as many as 1,000 Hispanics lived in the Santa Cruz Valley. This includes Cubans, Spaniards, and Mexicans.
  • Alien Act of 1798

    Alien Act of 1798
    The Alien Act of 1798 grants the U.S. President the authority to expel any alien deemed dangerous. Opposed by President Thomas Jefferson, the Alien Act expires in 1800. The Naturalization Act of 1798 raises the number of years from 5 to 14 an immigrant has to live in the United States before being eligible to apply for citizenship.
  • Florida

    The United States purchases Florida for $5,000,000 from Spain.
  • European Immigrants

    European Immigrants
    The United States experienced an influx of European immigrants who were predominantly from Spain. Most of these individuals settled and operated small general stores called "bodegas".
  • Treaty of Quadalupe Hidalgo

    Treaty of Quadalupe Hidalgo
    The United States invades Mexico under the banner of Manifest Destiny. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the Mexican war the same year. Under this treaty, half of the land area of Mexico, including Texas, California, most of Arizona and New Mexico, and parts of Colorado, Utah, and Nevada is ceded to the United States. The treaty also gives Mexican nationals one year to choose United States or Mexican citizenship. Approximately 75,000 Mexican nationals decide to stay in the United States.
  • Foreign Miners Tax

    Foreign Miners Tax
    The Foreign Miners Tax, which levies a charge for anyone who is note a U.S. Citizen, is enacted.
  • Californios

    After the United States took over California in 1846, the biggest issues for Californios (Hispanic Californians) is landownership. The mostly former Mexican citizens have to prove what land they owned before the takeover especially because newly arriving Whites want the land. Congress passes the California Land Act to help provide their claims. Many Californios still lose their land.
  • Vagrancy and "greaser" laws

    Vagrancy and "greaser" laws
    Vagrancy and "greaser" laws prohibiting bear-baiting, bullfights, and cockfights are passed clearly aimed at prohibiting the presence and customs of Californios. ("Greasers" was a negative term Whites used for their Hispanic neighbors.)
  • Mexican wagon drivers

    Mexican wagon drivers
    White businessmen attempt to run Mexican wagon drivers out of south Texas. This violates guarantees offered by the Treaty of Hidalgo.
  • Cigar factories

    Cigar factories
    Cigar factories are built in Florida, Lousianna, and New York to make genuine Cuban cigars. Many working class Cubans follow the industry to jobs in the United States.
  • U.S. Supreme Court

    U.S. Supreme Court
    The U.S. Supreme Court in Henderson v. Mayor of New York ruled that the power to regulate immigration is held solely by the federal government.
  • Railroad

    In the 1880's, Mexican immigration to the U.S. is stimulated by the advent of the railroad.
  • Alianza Hispano Americana

    Alianza Hispano Americana
    The Alianza Hispano Americana is founded in Tucson, AZ.
  • Reclamation Act

    Reclamation Act
    The Reclamation Act is passed, dispossessing many Hispanic Americans of their lands.
  • Mexican Revolution

    Mexican Revolution
    The Mexican Revolution begins and, as a result, hundreds of thousands of people flee north from Mexico and settle in southwestern United States.
  • Brutality

    Brutality again Hispanic Americans in the southwest becomes more common and includes lynching and murder.
  • World War I

    World War I
    During World War I, "temporary" Mexican farm workers, railroad laborers, and farmers are permitted to enter the U.S. to work. Also, the Jones Act is passed extending U.S. citizenship to all Puerto Ricans.
  • Immigration Act of 1917

    Immigration Act of 1917
    Congress passes the Immigration Act of 1917 which imposes a literacy requirement on all immigrants. It is aimed at curbing the influx of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe but ultimately inhibits immigration from Mexico.
  • Border Patrol

    Border Patrol
    The U.S. Border Patrol is created by Congress.
  • L.U.L.A.C.

    The League of United Latin American Citizens is founded in Texas by frustrated Hispanic Americans who find opportunities in the United States are limited.
  • Farm workers

    Farm workers
    Mexican farm workers in the Central Valley (California) cotton industry go on strike and are supported by several groups of independent union organizers.
  • Unionization - 1940's and 1950's

    Unionization - 1940's and 1950's
    Unionization amond Hispanics increases rapidly as Hispanic workers and union sympathizers struggle for reform.
  • Treasurer of the United States

    Treasurer of the United States
    Romana Acosta Banuelos becomes teh first Hispanic Treasurer of the United States.
  • Puerto Rico

    Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico recognized as a colony of the United States.
  • Equal Education Opportunity Act

    Equal Education Opportunity Act
    Congress passes the Equal Education Opportunity Act to create equality in public schools by making bilingual education available to Hispanic and other dual language students. Also, programs enacted to help students learn English.
  • Voting Rights

    Voting Rights
    Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1975 made bilingual ballots a requirement as well as making permanent a ban on literacy tests for immigrants.
  • Central America

    Central America
    Political upheaval and civil war in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala contribute to large migration of refugees to the United States.
  • Mariel Boatlift

    Mariel Boatlift
    Mariel Boatlift (April to September 1980) - 125,000 'Marielitos' (Cubans) migrate to the United States and enter as refugees.
  • IRCA

    Congress enacts the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) which creates a process through which illegal aliens could become legal immigrants by giving legal status to applicants who had been in the U.S. legally since January 1, 1982.
  • Secretary of Education

    Secretary of Education
    Laura Cavazos is named the first hispanic Secretary of Education.
  • Secretary of Transportation

    Secretary of Transportation
    Bill Clinton names Federico Pena, former mayor of Denver, CO, Secretary of Transportation. He also names Henry Cisneros Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Norma Cantu is named Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights in the Department of Education. In all, Clinton names 63 Hispanics to government positions which require Congressional approval.
  • H.R. 4437

    H.R. 4437
    The U.S. House of Representatives passes H.R. 4437 which is intended to strengthen enforcement of immigration laws and enhance border security. The law would impose criminal penalties on aliens who illegally enter the U.S., require employers to verify employment eligibility, authorize the construction of fences along the U.S./Mexico border,and create new roadblocks to gaining citizenship.
  • H.R. 4437

    H.R. 4437
    The Immigration Reform Bill H.R. 4437 dies in Senate.
  • Surgeon General

    Surgeon General
    Antonia Novello is named the first Hispanic and first woman Surgeon General of the United States.
  • Arizona

    The state of Arizona passed Senate Bill 1070 which declares that it is a crime to reside in Arizona as an illegal immigrant and that law enforcement has the right to demand proof of legal residence of those suspected of having illegal immigrant status.