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Preview: Miguel Perez from Creators Syndicate

Miguel Perez from Creators Syndicate



Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber.



Last Build Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2018 00:41:13 -0700

 



Finding Dad in a Museum for 08/18/2015

Tue, 18 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0700

There I was, on my Great Hispanic American History Tour, visiting yet one more gallery where our heritage is on display, and much to my surprise — through my camera lens — I made a discovery that almost knocked me down.

I was visiting Miami's Freedom Tower, the National Historic Landmark that served as the U.S. government's "Cuban Refugee Center" in the 1960s and early 1970s, and I was determined to write a very personal account of what that building means to me — how it received my own family when it served as "the Ellis Island of the South."

But nothing had prepared me for the shock I received last week when I entered the tower — now a museum — for the first time in more than 50 years.

Updated: Tue Aug 18, 2015




Smithsonian Omits Hispanics in US History Exhibit for 06/09/2015

Tue, 09 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0700

On the broad streets of Washington, D.C., and within the majestic halls of the U.S. Capitol, our often-hidden Hispanic heritage had not been hard to find. My Great Hispanic American History Tour had discovered many remarkable monuments and works of art recognizing Hispanic patriots and heroes and their contributions to this great nation. I was truly impressed — until I got to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Wow! After visiting so many Hispanic historical sites around the country, what a disappointment!

It was as if I had walked into an average American history book, with all its typical blatant omissions of the contributions of Hispanic Americans. I was amazed to find that "American Stories," the museum's main exhibit outlining American history, rudely and disrespectfully begins in 1776 — and omits the 263 years when mostly Spanish settlers explored and built this nation after Juan Ponce de Leon discovered what is now the U.S. mainland in 1513.

Updated: Tue Jun 09, 2015




Searching for Not-So-Hidden Hispanic Heritage in Washington, DC for 04/21/2015

Tue, 21 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0700

When we go to our nation's capital, mostly as tourists trying to make time to cover all the major attractions, we seldom find enough time to visit some smaller sites that would be monumental if they were elsewhere.

Washington has so many statues, sculptured buildings, busts, monuments and other outdoor attractions that it's easy to overlook many of them — even when some could have special significance to you.

This is especially true for U.S. Latinos, who often fail to see how much Hispanic heritage is on display in Washington.

Updated: Tue Apr 21, 2015




A Tour of the Remarkably Hispanic US Capitol for 03/24/2015

Tue, 24 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0700

You see Hernando De Soto and his Spanish conquistadors as they discovered the Mississippi River. You view different artistic interpretations of the moment Christopher Columbus first landed in the New World. You see Hernando Cortes' meeting with Montezuma in Mexico and Francisco Pizarro on his way to Peru. You see tributes to Spanish monarchs and missionaries — and to U.S. Hispanic heroes and accomplishments.

But you are not leafing through an American history book, where such images are rare. You are walking through the majestic corridors of the U.S. Capitol, where our Hispanic heritage is only hidden from those who don't want to see.

Latino issues may be ignored in Congress — we know that! — but it's not because our elected officials don't see constant reminders of our Hispanic heritage. In the U.S. Capitol, our history is constantly on display. You would have to be blind not to see it.

Updated: Tue Mar 24, 2015




When Galvez Came to Congress for 02/17/2015

Tue, 17 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800

WASHINGTON — It took Congress 231 years to keep this particular promise, perhaps setting a record, but it finally happened in December, when a portrait of Spanish Gen. Bernardo de Galvez finally was hung on a wall in the U.S. Capitol.

Back on May 9, 1783, the Continental Congress resolved to display a work of art that would honor Galvez's service to the United States during the American Revolution. As the governor of Spanish Louisiana, Galvez had supplied food and ammunition for George Washington's troops and had led Spanish and Latin American forces to defeat the British all along the Gulf Coast.

His support of the Colonies and his contributions to American independence from Britain were so crucial that the Continental Congress wanted to display its gratitude. But somehow, it didn't happen.

Updated: Tue Feb 17, 2015




Jefferson's Spanish Library for 01/13/2015

Tue, 13 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800

He was the star of the Founding Fathers, the intellectual architect of our system of government, the author of our Declaration of Independence, our first secretary of state and our third president. He was well-known for his attraction to France. But if you were to ask Thomas Jefferson, he would tell you how important it is for you to learn Spanish.

At least that's what he told his own relatives and friends — persistently!

"With respect to modern languages, French, as I have before observed, is indispensable," Jefferson wrote to his future son-in-law Thomas Mann Randolph Jr. as he advised the young man on his education. "Next to this the Spanish is most important to an American. Our connection with Spain is already important and will become daily more so."

Updated: Tue Jan 13, 2015




The Spanish Savior of St. Louis for 01/06/2015

Tue, 06 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800

Somewhere beneath the Hilton Hotel and Ballpark Village — the fancy new complex built by the St. Louis Cardinals next to Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis — lie the remains of an old Spanish fort that played a key role in defeating the British during the American Revolution.

In fact, had it not been for Fort San Carlos, hastily built by Spanish troops and French Creole settlers to protect the small village of St. Louis in 1780, some historians believe American independence from Great Britain would not have been achieved.

Yet only a small plaque remains to mark the place where such momentous events occurred. If you are not looking for it, you are probably going to miss it. But near the corner of South Broadway and Walnut Street, outside the Hilton's main entrance, the plaque explains the area's historical significance:

Updated: Tue Jan 06, 2015




Searching for Coronado's Quivira for 12/30/2014

Tue, 30 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800

After Spanish conquistador Francisco Vasquez de Coronado gave up on New Mexico because the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola turned out to be made of mud instead of gold — and before returning to present-day Mexico — he went all the way up to present-day Kansas.

Marching with more than 1,000 people, with several thousand head of livestock, and often sending small groups of soldiers to explore in different directions, the 1540-42 Coronado expedition covered a huge territory — through today's Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

He had initially gone to New Mexico based on the stories of a missionary — Marcos de Niza — who had only seen the "golden cities" from a distance, only to realize that the golden structures de Niza had seen were only adobe buildings glittering in the sunlight.

Updated: Tue Dec 30, 2014




'When Cuba Is Free Again' for 12/23/2014

Tue, 23 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800

Some 54 years ago, when I was a 10-year-old Cuban farm boy, my parents sat me down at the kitchen table and gave me lecture I will never forget.

"We want you to grow up to be a free man," my father told me. "And so we are moving to the United States," my mother explained.

I had a million questions and implied objections. What about my childhood friends? Would I ever see them again? Would I have to learn English, attend American schools, eat American food? And most importantly, when would we return?

Updated: Tue Dec 23, 2014




A Hilltop View of Hispanic Heritage for 12/17/2014

Wed, 17 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800

You are standing on a hilltop, next to a beautiful shrine. You see a valley of farmland embraced by mountain ranges. You are overlooking a quaint, historic community at the bottom of the hill — and all of it is named in Spanish.

You are on "La Mesa de la Piedad y de la Misericordia," or the Hill of Piety and Mercy, standing next to "La Capilla de Todos Los Santos," or the Chapel of All Saints, overlooking the San Luis Valley, which is embraced by the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan Mountains. You are in southern Colorado. But from the names of the landmarks here, you could just as well be in Spain.

Welcome to San Luis, Colorado's oldest town, founded by Hispanic settlers in 1851, still inhabited by many of their descendants and still proud of its Hispanic heritage.

Updated: Wed Dec 17, 2014




Under a Utah Lake, Hispanic Heritage Lives for 12/09/2014

Tue, 09 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800

Back in 1776, while 13 British colonies were becoming an independent nation on the eastern side of North America, two Spanish priests were leading an expedition across present-day New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona. They were looking to establish a northern route from Santa Fe to the Spanish settlements in present-day California. But the mighty Colorado River stood in their way.

In an area where the river is walled by huge red-rock canyons, crossing the Colorado was the ultimate challenge back then. But it was achieved Nov. 7, 1776, by two Franciscan friars, Silvestre Velez de Escalante and Francisco Anastasio Dominguez.

They may not be well-known in the rest of the country, where they become part of our hidden Hispanic heritage and where only the Lewis and Clark expedition (although 28 years later) is remembered. But in this area, the two Spanish padres still are recognized as huge historical figures. Their names are everywhere. We have a national park, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument; a town and a river called Escalante; a mountaintop, Padre Point; and Padre Bay, on an astonishing lake that now hides the spot where the two fathers made their historic river crossing in 1776.

Updated: Tue Dec 09, 2014




'Tucson' Is a Spanish Adaptation for 12/02/2014

Tue, 02 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800

Long before southern Arizona was part of the United States and long before it was part of Mexico, back when it was part of the territory of New Spain, the town of Tucson was born.

Its name is a Spanish adaptation of "S-cuk Son," which is what Tohono O'odham Native Americans called their village. But the name Tucson is what stuck, especially after 1775, when the Spanish decided to build a fort to protect the village and called it Presidio de San Agustin del Tucson.

"For about 80 years, the adobe walls of the Tucson Presidio protected the residents of the area from attacks by Apache groups, who opposed Spanish and Mexican peoples and their native allies beginning in the 1600s," according to a historical marker outside today's presidio, which is a re-creation of a small portion of the original fort.

Updated: Tue Dec 02, 2014




If They Knew Arizona's History, They Wouldn't Be So Xenophobic for 11/18/2014

Tue, 18 Nov 2014 00:00:00 -0800

The first time I met him, I immediately perceived that he had a unique talent for bringing Hispanic American history into present-day context. And that's all I needed. Because my history columns seek the same objective, I became an instant fan and follower of Dr. Bernard "Bunny" Fontana.

It was more than two years ago, and we were in the living room of his Sonoran Desert home, just outside the Tohono O'odham Native American reservation in southern Arizona — the area he has explored, researched and exposed in several books as a noted anthropologist and historian.

It was there where he explained that the country has the wrong image of Arizona, a negative, anti-immigrant image created and projected by loudmouth Arizonans, who tend to be recent arrivals from other parts of the country — carpetbaggers — and don't know the state's history of welcoming immigrants from Mexico or even recognize that the state once was part of Mexico.

Updated: Tue Nov 18, 2014




Keeping My Pledge to San Xavier for 11/11/2014

Tue, 11 Nov 2014 00:00:00 -0800

Right then and there, as I knelt on a pew at the Mission San Xavier del Bac church in southern Arizona two years ago, I made a pledge that I would go back — not just for another Sunday Mass but by way of a cross-country pilgrimage to discover America's hidden Hispanic heritage.

This church was so uniquely beautiful, so spiritually fulfilling, so ethnically enriching that it rearranged my professional priorities and took my life in a new direction.

"More people should be aware of the Hispanic heritage that is here," said the Rev. Thomas Frost as he sat with me shortly after celebrating Mass to contemplate the beauty of his church.

Updated: Tue Nov 11, 2014




The Real American Pioneers for 11/04/2014

Tue, 04 Nov 2014 00:00:00 -0800

They were the best that 17th- and 18th-century Europe had to offer. Every one of them was an explorer, a diplomat, a teacher, a cartographer, a farmer, a rancher, a builder, a scribe and a preacher. The men who really settled and first established what now are huge portions of the United States were Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries who worked for the king of Spain.

Most of them were Spanish. But some were from other parts of Europe.

One of them, perhaps the most notable, was Eusebio Francisco Kino, a Jesuit priest who was born in 1645 in present-day northern Italy but was assigned to spread the Word — and the language and culture of Spain — in the land then known as Pimeria Alta and now encompassing a portion of northern Mexico and southern Arizona.

Updated: Tue Nov 04, 2014




Hiking in Search of Coronado's Trail for 10/28/2014

Tue, 28 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0700

As you drive there, you get the feeling you are terribly alone. The area is so remote and desolate that if you are traveling by yourself, it feels a little spooky, like being on a deserted planet. You don't see anyone for miles!

You've driven across the country to visit the Coronado National Memorial in southern Arizona, which commemorates the 1540 to 1542 Francisco Vasquez de Coronado expedition through North America and "the cultural influences of Spanish colonial exploration."

But you are greeted by signs warning you that if you are traveling alone, you shouldn't be there.

Updated: Tue Oct 28, 2014




The Crossroads of Conquistadors for 10/21/2014

Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0700

Using 16th-century maps but traveling on 21st-century highways — and even some waterways — my cross-country trip has been roughly following the route of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, the Spanish conquistador who spent almost eight years traveling across the North American wilderness from 1528 to 1536 — from Tampa, Florida, to Mexico City.

But when Cabeza de Vaca's trail finally headed south into Mexico, my Great Hispanic American History Tour — faithful to the mission of promoting the hidden Hispanic heritage of the United States — had to turn north, on the trail of the other conquistadors who came to North America.

Updated: Tue Oct 21, 2014




A Mexican-American Town for 10/14/2014

Tue, 14 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0700

When a huge chunk of Mexico became part of the United States in 1848, many of the Mexicans who lived in the affected territory moved further south, back into Mexico, because they didn't want to live in the country that had invaded them. Back then, the flow of immigration was in reverse!

U.S. President James Polk had provoked a war with Mexico to forcibly expand U.S. territory, arguing that it was this country's "manifest destiny" to extend across the continent. The Mexican-American War later was called "one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation," by another U.S. president, Ulysses S. Grant, who had served in that war as a young Army lieutenant. But nevertheless, in 1848, Mexico lost almost half its territory, and the United States grew by a third of its size.

Under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the two-year war, for $15 million, Mexico was forced to give up its claim to a disputed portion of present-day Texas and to the entire New Mexico and California territories — which encompassed present-day California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, most of Arizona and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.

Updated: Tue Oct 14, 2014




A Beacon of Hope on a Border Mountain for 10/07/2014

Tue, 07 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0700

Back in 1995, when I was almost 20 years younger, I was daring enough to hike all the way up to the mountaintop. But much to my relief, there was no need to do it again, because this time, I was there for a different reason.

Instead of the view from 4,675 feet above sea level, this time I was there to see that majestic sierra from a distance and to admire the huge crucifix that stands on its summit.

This time, I was on the Great Hispanic American History Tour, and Mount Cristo Rey — in Sunland Park, New Mexico, just west of El Paso, Texas — was a mandatory stop. It was conceived by a Hispanic priest, was created by a Spanish sculptor and has guided Latinos along El Paso del Norte (the Pass to the North) for more than seven decades.

Updated: Tue Oct 07, 2014




A River Runs Through Our Hispanic Heritage for 09/30/2014

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700

When the United States and Mexico agreed to designate a large portion of the Rio Grande as the international border between the two countries in 1848, no one asked the river whether it wanted to accept such a huge responsibility.

And so, because nature is never bound by international treaties, the course of the river kept shifting — making the border inconsistent, inviting unscrupulous land-grabbing and igniting bitter feuds that lasted more than a century.

In the 1850s and 1860s, the Rio Grande changed course several times and created strips of land that constantly came under dispute. And when the century-old feud finally was settled in 1963, it was considered such a momentous achievement that monuments were subsequently built on both sides of the river to commemorate the historic agreement.

Updated: Tue Sep 30, 2014