America Comes Alive has profiled several Latino leaders during the past few weeks as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. Today I would like to point out a few of the impressive people we’ve highlighted:
- Adelina Otero-Warren (1881-1965) was active in the suffrage movement in New Mexico. She became a government official and held several school- and health-related offices. Later was state director of the federal Civilian Conservation Corps. In 1922 she made an unsuccessful run for Congress. To read more about her life, click here.
- Gus Arriola (1917-2008) created an “accidental ambassador” for Mexico when he created Gordo in what was to become a very successful daily comic strip that ran from 1941-1985. Comic readers became more familiar with Mexico, and as a result, many made trips south of the border as tourists. To read more about Gordo and Arriola, click here.
- Jose Antonio Romualdo Pacheco, Jr. (1831-1899) is thus far the only Hispanic to serve as governor of California. He went on to represent California in Congress and was the first Hispanic to chair a standing committee (the Committee on Private Land Claims). To read more about Governor Pacheco, click here.
- Ellen Ochoa (1958- ), whose specialty was ofptical engineering, was the first Latina astronaut in the U.S. space program. After flying four successful missions in space, she continued her career with NASA and is now Director of Johnson Space Center (known as “Mission Control.”) Click here for her story.
- Luisa Moreno (1907-1992), labor activist, became one of the prime organizers of the movement against canneries and food-processing plants in the southwest. On behalf of the CIO, she formed the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing and Allied Workers of America (UCAPAWA). In organizing this group she brought thousands of Mexican food-processing workers into the ranks of organized labor. Of the new members, 75 percent were women. Click here to read about Moreno.
I am always looking for people from both the past and the present who should be featured. If you have suggestions, please write me: [email protected].