What was the Cuban Missile Crisis and When did it take place?

what was the cuban missile crisis and when did it take place

President Kennedy flinched from a full-scale invasion of Cuba because he feared a nuclear showdown with the Soviet Union. Perceiving Kennedy as weak, the Soviet Union forced that showdown only eighteen months later, in the Cuban Missile Crisis. In October 1962, U.S. spy planes reported that the Soviet Union was assembling nuclear missile sites in … Read more

How did the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 affect Cuba and Castro’s government?

how did the fall of the soviet union in 1991 affect cuba and castros government

The fall of the Soviet Union hurt Castro’s government drastically. For decades, the Soviet Union had been Cuba’s principal source of arms, trade, and economic assistance. Since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Cuba’s economic situation has been dire. Cuban exiles are waiting eagerly for Castro’s government to collapse or for Castro to die of … Read more

How many people left Cuba right after the Castro revolution?

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From 1959 to 1962, about 155,000 people fled Cuba for the United States. Some were Batistianos, rich allies of Batista. Known as “golden exiles,” they brought along the fortunes they had made from his corrupt regime. Some were wealthy people whose ranches, plantations, or industries had been nationalized. Many were professionals who were considered a … Read more

What is Communism and Where did Communism come from?

what is communism and where did communism come from

As developed by German philosopher Karl Marx and Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ilich Lenin, communism is a political system that seeks to combat poverty and injustice. Unlike capitalists, who believe in private enterprise, communists believe that the state should control economic life by owning and managing all or most industries. Unlike liberal democrats, communists believe the … Read more

Why didn’t the United States like communist Fidel Castro?

why didnt the united states like communist fidel castro

The U.S. government feared from the beginning that Fidel Castro was a communist, even though he said at first that he wasn’t. He nationalized private businesses, including U.S. owned industries and plantations. This meant he took them as property of the state, without paying the previous owners for what he had taken. He executed or … Read more

Where is Little Havana located and Why are there so many Cuban Americans in Miami?

where is little havana located and why are there so many cuban americans in miami

Little Havana is a Cuban American neighborhood in Miami, Florida. Here Spanish is widely spoken. Shops and restaurants reminiscent of Cuba line the main drag, Calle Ocho (Spanish for “eighth street”). Older men play dominoes, a favorite pastime of Cubans, not to mention their West Indian neighbors, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. The existence of Little … Read more

Which of the Puerto Rican characters in the movie West Side Story were actually Puerto Ricans?

which of the puerto rican characters in the movie west side story were actually puerto ricans

Only one of the Puerto Rican characters in the movie West Side Story were actually Puerto Ricans, Rita Moreno, who played the fiery Anita in the 1961 movie. Natalie Wood, who played the ill-fated lover Maria, was an American of Russian-French descent. George Chakiris, who played Maria’s gang-leading brother Bernardo, was a Greek American. The … Read more

When did Fidel Castro win his leadership in Cuba?

when did fidel castro win his leadership in cuba

Fittingly, Fidel Castro gained his leadership in Cuba on New Year’s Day. In the early hours of January 1, 1959, Batista realized his days were numbered and fled Cuba by plane. A few days later, Castro’s troops marched victoriously into Havana.

What do Puerto Ricans eat and What does Cuchifritos come from?

what do puerto ricans eat and what does cuchifritos come from

Puerto Rican cuisine shares much in common with the island’s Caribbean neighbors, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The comidas criollas, or Creole foods, of all these island nations include beans and rice (Moros y Christians, or “Moors and Christians”), roast suckling pig (or lechon), the plantain (a cooking banana), and the yuca (a starchy root … Read more

Who wrote the autobiography “Down These Mean Streets” and When?

who wrote the autobiography down these mean streets and when

The gripping 1967 autobiography “Down These Mean Streets” by Piri Thomas found a wide audience and is still read. Written in English but laced with street Spanish, it tells the story of the author’s rough childhood in Spanish Harlem and the prison term he served for armed robbery. Other Puerto Rican writers include Jesus Colon, … Read more

How many Puerto Ricans are Catholic and Where does Santeria come from?

how many puerto ricans are catholic and where does santeria come from

The vast majority of Puerto Ricans are Catholic, though a minority are Protestant. The biggest Protestant denomination is the Pentecostal Church of God. Many Puerto Ricans practice Santeria, a Cuban-based blend of Catholic and West African elements. Stores called botanicas sell charms, incense, candles, herbs, and other paraphernalia related to Santeria. Botanicas are as much … Read more

Who was the first major Puerto Rican TV star?

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The first major Puerto Rican TV star was Freddie Prinze, who became famous for playing Chicano garage assistant Chico Rodriguez on Chico and the Man (1974-1978). The son of a Puerto Rican mother and a Hungarian father, Prinze joked that he was “Hungarican.” While barely out of high school, he rocketed to fame as a … Read more

What is Salsa and Where did Salsa dancing come from originally?

what is salsa and where did salsa dancing come from originally

Salsa is dance music, a variety of what is called Latin jazz, which is a blend of Afro-Caribbean and Spanish influences and American jazz. It is popular among Anglos and Latinos alike. The name comes from salsa picante, or “hot sauce.” Salsa’s greatest pioneer was Tito Puente (1930–2000), a New York–born bandleader and composer of … Read more

What was West Side Story based on and Was the musical based on real life?

what was west side story based on and was the musical based on real life

The 1957 Broadway musical by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim was ultimately based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The creators of the show wanted to update that tragic love story by placing it in modern urban surroundings. They needed two warring camps, and originally thought of pitting Catholics against Jews. But by the mid-1950s, the … Read more

Who is Fernando Ferrer and How did Ferrer contribute to the Hispanic community?

who is fernando ferrer and how did ferrer contribute to the hispanic community

Democrat Fernando Ferrer has been elected the Bronx borough president for four consecutive terms and has used his position to bring housing and economic opportunity to this once rundown section of New York City. He is also prominent in national Hispanic politics: he hosted national presidential debates for Democratic Party candidates in 1988 and 1992 … Read more

Where Are All the Puerto Rican Restaurants in New York?

where are all the puerto rican restaurants in new york

Mexican, Cuban, and Spanish food can all be found on the menus of swanky restaurants, but Puerto Rican food rarely. This is true even in New York, where many Puerto Ricans have lived for decades. One can find Puerto Rican food in places serving cuchifritos, or fried pork entrails, to working-class people, but not in … Read more

Why did the United States invade Puerto Rico in 1898?

why did the united states invade puerto rico in 1898

From April to August 1898, the United States waged a war with Spain called the Spanish American War. The United States went to war in part to help Cuba win its struggle for independence from Spain. But the war was also prompted by American imperialists who wanted the United States to become a world power, … Read more

What is Chili con carne and Where did Chili con carne originate?

what is chili con carne and where did chili con carne originate

Chili con carne did not originate in Mexico. It first appeared in the United States, among Mexican Americans in San Antonio, Texas, about 1880. The name means “chili peppers with meat,” though the hearty mix of beans, chili peppers, and spices is also available nowadays in vegetarian form. Chili was first sold in canned form … Read more

Why do Puerto Ricans celebrate El Grito de Lares and When?

why do puerto ricans celebrate el grito de lares and when

The holiday known as El Grito de Lares commemorates the night of September 23, 1868, when Puerto Ricans took over the town of Lares and demanded independence from Spain. The revolt was crushed, but the “cry of Lares” had been heard. Slavery was abolished in 1873, and in 1897 the Spanish crown agreed to give … Read more

When did the people of Puerto Rico become U.S. citizens?

when did the people of puerto rico become u s citizens

On March 2, 1917, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones Act, all Puerto Ricans became U.S. citizens, except the few who refused to accept citizenship. Wilson was motivated in part by the need for more soldiers to fight World War I. As citizens, Puerto Ricans were now eligible for the draft. Thousands were soon … Read more

How far is Puerto Rico from the United States mainland?

how far is puerto rico from the united states mainland

The mountainous, tropical island of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Sea is about one thousand miles southeast of Miami, Florida. At one hundred miles long and thirty-five miles wide, it is not quite as big as Connecticut. It is a little more populous than Connecticut, with about 3.8 million people. The only tropical rain forest … Read more

Did Puerto Rico become richer or poorer under the United States?

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At first Puerto Rico became poorer when it became a territory of the United States. In the first few decades after the Spanish American War, American businesses flocked to Puerto Rico to convert much of the agricultural land to sugar production. Farmers who had been growing their own food now worked at growing sugar. Their … Read more

What is the difference between a Taco and an Enchilada?

what is the difference between a taco and an enchilada

Tacos and enchiladas and other Mexican dishes are found today in restaurants and supermarket freezers across the United States, but Americans still have trouble telling them apart. Most of them originated with the Native Americans who lived in what are now northern Mexico and the American Southwest. People in Mexico regard them as appetizers, side … Read more

What do Mexicans consider their national dish, Tacos or Enchiladas?

what do mexicans consider their national dish tacos or enchiladas

Tacos and enchiladas are better known Mexican dishes, but the dish that stands in highest regard among Mexicans and Mexican Americans is turkey in a mole poblano sauce. This thick sauce combines many flavors, including chili peppers, garlic, bananas, onions, and unsweetened chocolate. The dish should be served with tortillas or enchiladas.

Where do most Puerto Ricans in the United States live?

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Nearly a million Puerto Ricans live in New York City alone. That means the Big Apple has a bigger Puerto Rican population than San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital. Other places with growing populations of Puerto Ricans include Texas, Illinois, and Florida. Most Puerto Ricans on the mainland live in cities, but some are migrant farm … Read more

Why isn’t Puerto Rico a state and What would statehood mean for Puerto Rico?

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The main reason Puerto Rico a state isn’t a state is that Puerto Ricans have voted against becoming one. Statehood has certain disadvantages for Puerto Ricans. Because tax exemption for U.S. businesses would end, companies would probably leave the island, throwing people out of work. On the other hand, statehood would give Puerto Rico full … Read more

Which U.S. president was nearly assassinated by Puerto Rican terrorists in 1950?

which u s president was nearly assassinated by puerto rican terrorists in 1950

President Harry S Truman was nearly shot on November 1, 1950, by two Puerto Rican nationalists desperate to win independence for their homeland. He escaped unharmed. Just four years later, on March 1, 1954, three Puerto Rican independentistas, or independence activists, attacked the U.S. Capitol. Two were men, Rafael Candel Miranda and Andres Cordero; one … Read more

Who was Cesar Chavez and Where was Cesar Estrada Chavez born?

who was cesar chavez and where was cesar estrada chavez born

Born in Yuma, Arizona, Cesar Estrada Chavez (1927-1993) was a migrant farm worker and the son of migrant farm workers. Moving often with his family, he attended sixty-five elementary schools and never graduated from high school. He knew firsthand the dismal poverty and injustice suffered by Chicano farm workers. He decided to do something about … Read more

How many Puerto Ricans are blue collar workers?

how many puerto ricans are blue collar workers

Not all Puerto Ricans are blue collar workers, but a majority are. They work in the garment industry and in factories, hotels, and restaurants. Unemployment is high, thanks in large part to the flight of low-skilled manufacturing jobs from New York City over the last few decades. Lack of education, broken families, scarce housing, drugs, … Read more

How many Puerto Ricans on the island are still poor?

how many puerto ricans on the island are still poor

Many Puerto Ricans on the island are poor by comparison to other Americans. Puerto Rico’s 1995 per capita gross product of $7,662 was about a third of the average U.S. citizen’s income on the mainland. However, Puerto Rico is well-off by Latin American standards. For example, Puerto Rico’s per capita gross product is nearly twice … Read more

When did Mexican Americans start organizing politically and When was LULAC founded?

when did mexican americans start organizing politically and when was lulac founded

The first major organization was the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), founded in Texas in 1929. This Mexican American organization sought to protect the civil rights of Mexican Americans and ensure equal opportunity for education and employment. The Community Service Organization (CSO), founded in the late 1940s, emphasized citizenship and voter registration drives … Read more

What Ethnicity are Puerto Ricans and Are Puerto Ricans black or white?

what ethnicity are puerto ricans and are puerto ricans black or white

This is a variation on the old question, “Are Hispanics a race?”. In the case of Puerto Ricans, the answer might be “neither,” “both,” or “the question is meaningless.” Puerto Rico lacks the hard-and-fast separation between the races that is so much a part of life in the United States. Almost everyone in the commonwealth … Read more

How many people in Puerto Rico wanted independence after Spain ceded the archipelago in 1898?

how many people in puerto rico wanted independence after spain ceded the archipelago in 1898

There are still some people in Puerto Rico who want independence, but they are few in number. When Puerto Rican voters were asked in 1993 to choose among independence, statehood, or continued commonwealth status, only 4 percent chose independence. However, the independentistas have often been highly visible. In 1983, a terrorist nationalist group called Los … Read more

What was Operation Bootstrap and How did Operation Bootstrap help reduce poverty in Puerto Rico?

what was operation bootstrap and how did operation bootstrap help reduce poverty in puerto rico

Led by Governor Munoz in the 1950s, Operation Bootstrap was an economic program aimed at relieving Puerto Rico’s poverty. Recalling the old expression “lifting oneself up by the bootstraps,” the program sought to build a modern industrial base for a country that had long been agricultural. The program encouraged U.S. manufacturing firms to set up … Read more

Who sang the traditional Mexican song La Bamba and Where did Ritchie Valens come from?

who sang the traditional mexican song la bamba and where did ritchie valens come from scaled

In 1959, the traditional Mexican song “La Bamba” was transformed into a foot-stomping rock’n’roll hit by Chicano singer Ritchie Valens, born Richard Valenzuela in Los Angeles in 1941. The song’s Latin chord sequence became a standard piece of rock vocabulary in such later songs as “Twist and Shout” (1960). Valens’s career was cut tragically short … Read more

Why did Mexican American immigration stop with the bracero program?

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Mexican American immigration did not stop with the bracero program. Heavy immigration from Mexico continued under the Immigration Act of 1965. By favoring applications from immigrants who already had family members living in the United States, the law encouraged Mexican Americans to bring family members from Mexico.

What happened to Mexican Americans during the Great Depression?

what happened to mexican americans during the great depression

Mexican Americans suffered along with millions of other Americans during the economic catastrophe of the 1930s. Beginning in 1929 with the crash of the U.S. stock market, businesses closed, fortunes were wiped out, and many people, including Mexican Americans, were thrown out of work. Mexican Americans also suffered something worse: the anger of Anglos who … Read more

How did illegal immigrants from Mexico enter the United States during the early 1900s?

how did illegal immigrants from mexico enter the united states during the early 1900s

The long border with Mexico was only lightly policed in the early 1900s. With the help of coyotes, or professional smugglers of immigrants, many undocumented Mexicans made it across the border. Some hid in the backs of cars and trucks. Some waded across the Rio Grande, giving rise to the derogatory term “wetback.” American employers … Read more

When did Mexican immigration to the United States begin to be restricted?

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Some restrictions to Mexican immigration to the United States began to appear early in the 1900s. Mexican immigrants had to register and pay a tax at border stations; illiteracy, disease, or extreme poverty could disqualify them. Restrictions were tightened further in 1924. In that year, the United States launched a quota system for immigration from … Read more

Who were the braceros in World War II and What does Braceros mean in Spanish?

who were the braceros in world war ii and what does braceros mean in spanish

No sooner had repatriation removed Mexican Americans than the country wanted them back. When the United States plunged into World War II (1941-1945), the economic distress of the Great Depression ended. Citizens, unemployed and otherwise, were drafted into military service. Farms and factories came back to life to provide supplies for the troops. Suddenly there … Read more

How did World War I affect Mexican Americans?

how did world war i affect mexican americans

One effect of World War I, in which the United States took part from 1917 to 1918, was to encourage Mexican Americans to move north. With many men at war, northern factories experienced a shortage of labor. Moving north in search of industrial work, Mexican Americans were soon living in Chicago, New York, and elsewhere … Read more

How many Mexican American children are used as Child Labor in the United States?

how many mexican american children are used as child labor in the united states

It is not unusual to see Mexican American children working alongside their parents in the California fields. Nearly one of every five crop pickers in the United States is under eighteen. The following passage comes from S. Beth Atkin’s Voices from the Fields: Children of Migrant Farm-workers Tell Their Stories. It was written by nine-year-old … Read more

What was the first important Chicano novel and When did Jose Antonio Villarreal publish Pocho?

what was the first important chicano novel and when did jose antonio villarreal publish pocho

The first important Chicano novel was Pocho by Jose Antonio Villarreal, published in 1959. Based partly on the author’s life, the novel tells the story of a Chicano youth growing up in California’s Santa Clara valley. Other respected books by Mexican American authors include Bless Me, Ultima (1972) by Rudolfo Anaya; Woman Hollering Creek and … Read more

How did Mexican Americans already in the country react to the new wave of immigrants from Mexico?

how did mexican americans already in the country react to the new wave of immigrants from mexico

Some Mexican Americans welcomed the immigrants as brothers and sisters, but many were displeased. Descendants of the original settlers of California, New Mexico, or Texas were proud of their heritage, just like a northerner who can trace his lineage to the Mayflower. Some prosperous old-timers had only disdain for poor and uneducated newcomers. Others feared … Read more

What brought Pancho Villa to the United States and When?

what brought pancho villa to the united states and when scaled

The Mexican rebel leader Pancho Villa came to the United States in 1916, but only for a short and bloody visit. In March 1916, angered at U.S. interference in the Mexican Revolution, Villa and his guerrillas crossed the border into New Mexico and killed sixteen people in the town of Columbus. President Woodrow Wilson responded … Read more

Who are some other examples of Mexican American singers?

who are some other examples of mexican american singers

Two of the most famous Mexican American singers use Anglo-sounding stage names. Freddy Fender was born Baldemar Huerta; Vikki Carr was born Florencia Cardona. Both openly embrace their Mexican American heritage. In songs such as”Before the Next Teardrop Falls” (1975), Fender displayed the unique brew of country, blues, and Mexican folk known as Tex-Mex music. … Read more

What are some examples of Mexican American Foods?

what are some examples of mexican american foods

Some examples of Mexican American Foods include: A tortilla (“little cake”) is a flat, round bread, like a pancake, made from cornmeal or wheat flour and baked on a hot surface. A burrito (meaning “little donkey” in Spanish) is a soft flour tortilla wrapped around meat, beans, or cheese. An enchilada (“in chili”) is a … Read more

What are curanderas and How do curanderas cure the sick?

what are curanderas and how do curanderas cure the sick scaled

Many Mexican Americans believe Curanderas can cure the sick. Curanderas are folk healers, usually women, who combine Catholic faith-healing with herbology and ancient Aztec and Mayan beliefs. Many people swear by their powers to cure illness, and some southwestern clinics keep them on staff. Some are also parteras, or midwives, who assist at births. Mexican … Read more

Where do most Mexican Americans live and What does the word Posada mean in Spanish?

where do most mexican americans live and what does the word posada mean in spanish

There are Chicano communities all over the United States, but the majority of the nation’s 13.5 million Mexican Americans still live in California, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, the states that border, and once belonged to, Mexico. Their culture forms an important part of that area’s character. A posada is a Mexican American Christmas pageant … Read more

What is a mariachi band and Where did mariachi bands originate?

what is a mariachi band and where did mariachi bands originate scaled

A mariachi band is a Mexican or Mexican American band that walks around playing traditional Mexican songs on guitars, violins, and sometimes trumpets. The musicians wear brightly sequined Spanish costumes and large-brimmed sombreros, or hats. Evolving from rural Mexican origins, mariachi bands became internationally popular in the mid-twentieth century as a musical emblem of Mexico.

Why did Chicano activists use armed force to take back the lost land in the 1960s?

why did chicano activists use armed force to take back the lost land in the 1960s

Some Chicanos activists did use armed force. Reies Lopez Tijerina, who founded the Alianza Federal de Mercedes (Federal Alliance of Grants) in 1963, believed that Chicanos should take back the “lost land” that had belonged to them before the Mexican War. When legal appeals failed, his group of 20,000 Alianza members, aliancistas–turned to direct action. … Read more

Who were the Brown Berets and Where did the Brown Berets come from?

who were the brown berets and where did the brown berets come from

Founded in East Los Angeles in 1967, the Brown Berets were one of many Chicano groups in the 1960s who went even further than Chavez in demanding change. Such groups embraced the name “Chicano”, originally a derogatory term for Mexican Americans, as a badge of honor. They spoke of themselves as brown rather than black … Read more

How are sweet red peppers and red hot chili peppers related and What is a Mexican barbacoa?

how are sweet red peppers and red hot chili peppers related and what is a mexican barbacoa

The big, sweet fruits found on pizzas and salads and the long, skinny, mouth-burning peppers found in Mexican restaurants both belong to the genus Capsicum. Both are native to Latin America. Chili peppers are especially popular in Mexico, which is home to about two hundred varieties. Ground into powder or stirred into chili sauce, the … Read more

Why do so many Chicano artists paint murals and Where did the tradition come from?

why do so many chicano artists paint murals and where did the tradition come from

Painting on walls has a rich history in Mexico, whose world-famous mural painters include Diego Rivera (1886-1957) and Jose Clemente Orozco (1883-1949). Mural painting is seen as a form of public education and inspiration. Mexican American artists have carried on the tradition, often depicting images such as Our Lady of Guadalupe, Aztec symbols, and historical … Read more

Where is there a wall or fence along the border that separates Mexico from the United States?

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In some places along the border there is a barrier that separates Mexico from the United States. At Tijuana, Mexico, a ten-foot-high steel wall separates the two countries, a wall that people climb over every day. There has been talk of building a barrier across the entire two-thousand-mile border, something like the Great Wall of … Read more

Why are many Mexican American immigrants still poor?

why are many mexican american immigrants still poor

As of 1998, the World Almanac reported that 28 percent of Mexican Americans, more than one out of four, lived below the poverty level. Many of these are recent immigrants, and it is possible that education will help raise them from poverty. But the high school dropout rate among Mexican Americans is 50 percent, a … Read more

How many Mexicans have immigrated to the United States during the 1900s?

how many mexicans have immigrated to the united states during the 1900s

From 1900 to 1990 about 3.5 million Mexicans immigrated legally to the United States. Many more are believed to have come illegally. Because unemployment and destitution are perennial problems in Mexico, it is expected that Mexicans will continue to immigrate in large numbers. Some Mexicans migrate back and forth between the two countries, going wherever … Read more

How many people are caught each year trying to cross into the United States from Mexico without proper documents?

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The U.S. Border Patrol catches about one million people each year without documents proving their legal status, sending most of them back to Mexico. Most are Mexicans, though some come from other parts of Latin America, particularly Central America. Those who are caught and sent back to Mexico often return to try another day. Although … Read more