Bunker Hills by Leo Politi
"Dreams from Bunker Hills"   click


Editor: Mimi Lozano ©2000-2018

Table of Contents

United States
How should Marijuana fit in?
Spanish Presence in the Americas Roots
Heritage Projects
Historic Tidbits
Hispanic Leaders
Latino America Patriots

Early Latino Patriots
Family History 

Books & Print Media
Films, TV, Radio, Internet

Orange County, CA
Los Angeles, CA

Northwestern US

Southwestern US

Middle America
East Coast

Caribbean Region
Central/South America
Pan-Pacific Rim


Somos Primos Advisors   
Mimi Lozano, Editor
Mercy Bautista Olvera
Roberto Calderon, Ph,D.
Dr. Carlos Campos y Escalante
Bill Carmena
Lila Guzman, Ph.D
John Inclan
Galal Kernahan
Juan Marinez
J.V. Martinez, Ph.D
Dorinda Moreno
Rafael Ojeda
Oscar Ramirez, Ph.D.
Ángel Custodio Rebollo
Tony Santiago
John P. Schmal

Submitters/attributed to: 
Sean Abajian 
Jesse Adams
Roger Atwood
Manuel Barajas
Luis Julius Benavides
Sean Braswell
Kate Andersen Brower
Hon. Judge Edward Butler

Juana Bordas
Sean Braswell
Rick Bravo
Carlos Campos y  Escalante
Bill Carmena
Betty Castro 
Sylvia Contreras
Sharon L. Davis
Juan Carlos Delgado
Sharon Eubank
Felicia Fonseca
Nazario A. Gonzales
Jesus Garcia Calero
Rob Garcia
Moises Garza
Yvonne Gonzalez Duncan
Tim Graham
Eddie Grijalva 
Tomás Guerra  
Julio Guerrero
Sara Guerrero
Odell Harwell
Walter Herbeck
Aury L. Holtzman, M.D.
Bob Jones
Sam Katz
Philip Kennedy 
Jeff Klinkenberg  

Annie Laskey
José Antonio López 
Liset Marquez
Leroy Martinez
Frank Mendoza
Giulio Meotti
Sarah Moosazadeh
Dorinda Moreno
Dr. Joseph Morris
Danny Musselman
María Ángeles O'Donnell-Olson 

Ramon Padilla
Rudy Padilla
Katie Pavlich
Joe Perez
Joe Perry
Laura Perry
Daniele Piomelli
Lizbeth Persons Price
Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
Ross Porter
Ben Potter
Fran Purnell 
J. Gilberto Quezada 
Armando Rendon
Crispin Rendon
Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Oscar S. Ramirez, PhD  


Tom Rivera
James S. Robbins 
Ann Robinson
Refugio I. Rochin, Ph.D.
Roger Wood
Tony Saavedra
Joe Sanchez
Gema Sandoval 
Scott Schwebke
Teri Sforza
Matthew Shaer 
Bob Solomon
Monica Smith
Kurt Snibbe
Brooke Edwards Staggs
Mark Tapscott
Victoria Tollman
Manuel Trillo 
Charley Trujillo
Mario Valadez

Al bert Vela, Ph.D.
Mario Verzcia 
Jim Vogel
Andria Volpe
Bill Whatley
Kirk Whisler
Ashley Wolfe 
Sarah Zhang


                  Quotes or Thoughts to Consider 

" America can both deliver riches to many and a decent life to all."  ~ Warren Buffett

"What are you doing for other?"  ~ Martin Luther King

             "As California goes, so goes the nation."  

You will find many articles under the United States that pertain to California. Because of California's size, Hollywood and the Dot-com  California's influences the nation. The saying "As California goes, so goes the nation"  is becoming more and more evident.  Now with marijuana in California, the state is posed to be the national grower and distributor.  California voters must be informed and take on more responsibility for how marijuana will affect not only California, but the nation.





The Genius of America, Warren Buffett Shares the Secret of Wealth in America
Extract from "Turn On Your Light" by Sharon Eubank
Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 15, 2018 was a Day of Service 
Subtracting College Algebra by Oscar S. Ramirez, Ph.D .
How religious is California compared to the rest of the U.S.? 

Islamic America: Muslims to Become 2nd-Largest Religious Minority by 2040
What Causes wildfires?    Humans, experts say . . . by Liset Marquez
Tribal College Journal
Franklin, the US state that could have been by José Antonio Lopez
Median US Household Income by Ethnic Groups
Benefits of Working for the Federal Government
What happened in the US in 2017?

The Genius of America

Warren Buffett Shares the Secrets to Wealth in America


I have good news. First, most American children are going to live far better than their parents did. Second, large gains in the living standards of Americans will continue for many generations to come.

Some years back, people generally agreed with my optimism. Today, however, pollsters find that most Americans are pessimistic about their children’s future. Politicians, business leaders and the press constantly tell us that our economic machine is sputtering. Their evidence: GDP growth of only 2% or so in recent years.

Before we shed tears over that figure, let’s do a little math, recognizing that GDP per capita is what counts. If, for example, the U.S. population were to grow 3% annually while GDP grew 2%, prospects would indeed be bleak for our children.

But that’s not the case. We can be confident that births minus deaths will add no more than 0.5% yearly to America’s population. Immigration is more difficult to predict. I believe 1 million people annually is a reasonable estimate, an influx that will add 0.3% annually to population growth.

In total, therefore, you can expect America’s population to increase about 0.8% a year. Under that assumption, gains of 2% in real GDP–that is, without nominal gains produced by inflation–will annually deliver 1.2% growth in per capita GDP.

This pace no doubt sounds paltry. But over time, it works wonders. In 25 years–a single generation–1.2% annual growth boosts our current $59,000 of GDP per capita to $79,000. This $20,000 increase guarantees a far better life for our children.

In America, it should be noted, there’s nothing unusual about that sort of gain, magnificent though it will be. Just look at what has happened in my lifetime.

I was born in 1930, when the symbol of American wealth was John D. Rockefeller Sr. Today my upper-middle-class neighbors enjoy options in travel, entertainment, medicine and education that were simply not available to Rockefeller and his family. With all of his riches, John D. couldn’t buy the pleasures and conveniences we now take for granted.

Two words explain this miracle: innovation and productivity. Conversely, were today’s Americans doing the same things in the same ways as they did in 1776, we would be leading the same sort of lives as our forebears.

Replicating those early days would require that 80% or so of today’s workers be employed on farms simply to provide the food and cotton we need. So why does it take only 2% of today’s workers to do this job? Give the credit to those who brought us tractors, planters, cotton gins, combines, fertilizer, irrigation and a host of other productivity improvements.

To all this good news there is, of course, an important offset: in our 241 years, the progress that I’ve described has disrupted and displaced almost all of our country’s labor force. If that level of upheaval had been foreseen–which it clearly wasn’t–strong worker opposition would surely have formed and possibly doomed innovation. How, Americans would have asked, could all these unemployed farmers find work?

We know today that the staggering productivity gains in farming were a blessing. They freed nearly 80% of the nation’s workforce to redeploy their efforts into new industries that have changed our way of life.

You can describe these developments as productivity gains or disruptions. Whatever the label, they explain why we now have our amazing $59,000 of GDP per capita.

This game of economic miracles is in its early innings. Americans will benefit from far more and better “stuff” in the future. The challenge will be to have this bounty deliver a better life to the disrupted as well as to the disrupters. And on this matter, many Americans are justifiably worried.

Let’s think again about 1930. Imagine someone then predicting that real per capita GDP would increase sixfold during my lifetime. My parents would have immediately dismissed such a gain as impossible. If somehow, though, they could have imagined it actually transpiring, they would concurrently have predicted something close to universal prosperity.

Instead, another invention of the ensuing decades, the Forbes 400, paints a far different picture. Between the first computation in 1982 and today, the wealth of the 400 increased 29-fold–from $93 billion to $2.7 trillion–while many millions of hardworking citizens remained stuck on an economic treadmill. During this period, the tsunami of wealth didn’t trickle down. It surged upward.

In 1776, America set off to unleash human potential by combining market economics, the rule of law and equality of opportunity. This foundation was an act of genius that in only 241 years converted our original villages and prairies into $96 trillion of wealth.

The market system, however, has also left many people hopelessly behind, particularly as it has become ever more specialized. These devastating side effects can be ameliorated: a rich family takes care of all its children, not just those with talents valued by the marketplace.

In the years of growth that certainly lie ahead, I have no doubt that America can both deliver riches to many and a decent life to all. We must not settle for less.

Buffett is the CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway

TIME Magazine, January 15, 2018



Editor Mimi:
This story below was  shared by Sharon Eubank in response to a directive given in 1979 by then President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Spencer W Kimball. "Turn on Your Light".  

The message 40 years ago was for women to be righteous, to be articulate, to be different, to be distinct and to be happy doing so.  She shared the following story making her point beautifully.  What touched me was the unity, cooperation, and willingness for strangers taking action to help strangers.  

When Buffett writes in the article above that " America can both deliver riches to many and a decent life to all," 
I believe it. Americans working together can do it.  Our Constitution gives us the form and guidelines to do so. Common sense and history should guide us to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Extract from "Turn On Your Light" by Sharon Eubank

"Let me tell you a story that happened this July on Panama City Beach in Florida.5 Late in the afternoon, Roberta Ursrey saw her two young sons screaming for help from 100 yards (90 m) out into the ocean. They had become caught in a strong current and were being carried out to sea. A nearby couple tried to rescue the boys, but they also got caught in the current. So members of the Ursrey family dove in to rescue the struggling swimmers, and quickly nine people were caught in the rip current.

There were no ropes. There was no lifeguard. The police sent for a rescue boat, but the people had been out in the ocean struggling for 20 minutes, and they were exhausted and their heads were slipping under the water. Among the onlookers on the beach was Jessica Mae Simmons. Her husband had the idea to form a human chain. They shouted at people on the beach to help them, and dozens of people linked arms and marched into the ocean. Jessica wrote, “To see people from different races and genders come into action to help TOTAL strangers [was] absolutely amazing to see!!”6 An 80-person chain stretched toward the swimmers. Look at this picture of that incredible moment.

Swimmers creating a human chain

Everyone on the beach could think only of traditional solutions, and they were paralyzed. But one couple, in a split second, thought of a different solution. Innovation and creation are spiritual gifts. When we keep our covenants, it may make us different from others in our culture and society, but it gives us access to inspiration so we can think of different solutions, different approaches, different applications. We aren’t always going to fit in with the world, but being different in positive ways can be a lifeline to others who are struggling.

The fourth is to be distinct. Distinct means to be recognizably well defined. Let me go back to the story about Jessica Mae Simmons on the beach. Once that human chain was stretching toward the swimmers, she knew she could help. Jessica Mae said, “I can hold my breath … and go around an Olympic pool with ease! [I knew how to get out of a rip current.] I knew I could get [each swimmer] to the human chain.”7 She and her husband grabbed boogie boards and swam down the chain until they and another rescuer reached the swimmers, and then they ferried them one by one back to the chain, who passed them to the safety of the beach. Jessica had a distinct skill: she knew how to swim against a rip current.

The restored gospel is recognizably well defined. But we have to be distinct about how we follow it. Just as Jessica practiced swimming, we need to practice living the gospel before the emergency so that, unafraid, we will be strong enough to help when others are being swept away by the current."

Source: Ensign, November 2017 "Turn on Your Light" by Sharon Eubank
Original Source:  See McKinley Corbley, "80 beachgoers formed a human  to save family being dragged out to sea by riptide," July 12, 2017  goodnews network.org

Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 15, 2018 was a Day of Service



  http://files.constantcontact.com/5efe37a9001/e99b2ab3-5712-4629-b1b2-1b2e3986085e.jpg King  believed, "Life's most persistant question - is what are you doing for others?" In this Spirit the King holiday is a day of SERVICE.  By standing up for and serving one another and -- we can create the "good and compassionate society" King envisioned.  MLK day reminds us of the power of service and the responsibility we have as citizens of a free democracy to ensure that our country remains true to the founding values that have made us a great people.


 Sent by Juana Bordas  juanabordas@gmail.com


- Subtracting College Algebra

Is that the Key?
The Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee and Online News included an article regarding Community College Chancellor Elroy Ortiz Oakley’s concern about college intermediate algebra for students not in the fields science, technology, engineering or math.  His expression was that algebra is, “A major barrier for students of color, preventing too many from completing degrees.” He continues, “About three-fourths of those of who transfer are Non-Stem majors, who should be able to demonstrate reasonable skills by taking statistics, or other math courses more applicable to their fields. College-level algebra is probably the greatest barrier for students-particularly first-generation students, students of color-obtaining a credential.” Is he making the right call?

I am sure the Chancellor was acting in good faith when he issued concern about the Non-Stem Students’ category that in too many cases includes students-of-color.  I think he would also agree that there exists a large pool of students-of-color, Stem and Non-Stem students, who have been excellently prepared and have become successful in life. In addition, he would certainly acknowledge that literature abounds with articles lamenting the need to re-mediate large numbers of college students, particularly Non-Stem students, who graduate from high school and are unprepared for college work, particularly in mathematics and for advanced degrees. 

Quick Return Expected
Fortunately, the venue for unprepared high school graduates is found in remedial coursework offered in the community colleges system. Here are questions that I have dusted from the archives of time and leave for academics to resolve: What are Community Colleges doing to reduce attrition rates of at-risk-students? Attrition has plagued institutions from time immemorial and without solution. I say that without bringing into focus financial needs.  Too often, families of minority group students expect a quick return of results and when that does not occur little encouragement is given for the son or daughter to continue. Thus, we find another statistic. Those families often do not understand that the academic experience is long termed and that results may or may not be forth-coming.  That point is often hard to convey. Such condition may appear minor as one looks from the outside but it is not so for many families. It just seems to add a variable that influences the drop-out rate and success in the classroom.  Whether we accept it or not, family attitudes are transmitted into the classroom and they directly affect the success.

Even Plato asked himself, “What are we going to do with these students?” Concern for students’ success has been hanging around for a long time. His concern was about raising the bar to fit the needs of his time and not lowering it as it would deceive students into thinking they were at even par with others. Much as then, it is a well-known fact that today’s workforce must meet the needs of industry, business etc. Schools must be in synch with the needs of industry.,

A broad brush lowering of curricular standards for Non-Stem students will hold their degrees suspect when applying for jobs. Employers do not expect minimal standards. Granted, though workforce demands are becoming more blurred between Stem and Non-Stem individuals, those with less skills may be burdened with less opportunity for vertical mobility and standards of living they may not find palatable.  Mr. Art Cordova CEO of “ADC LTD NM,” the third leading Personnel and Physical Security System in the United States, was asked how he was so lucky in his business. He responded, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”  In essence, that is what life is all about! 

Is Decreasing Required Units, the solution?
Let me get back to the case for statistics: It is commonly recognized as applied mathematics. Granted, algebra is the basic foundation for success in such advanced statistic classes. While it falls under the rubric of mathematics it is seen as a method applicable to real world problems. One would be negligent in dispelling the notion that some level of mathematical sophistication is not necessary for every major course of study. Goals being discussed by colleges, should they come to pass, are moving in the direction of decreasing the number of units from87 to79.  That should baffle anyone’s mind. It appears to suggest colleges are more concerned with degree out-puts to make them look good than guiding students through rigorous program paths. Such proposed curricular changes will mark a low point that will not benefit the underserved students, most being students-of-color.  

The Chancellor’s concern reminds me of my former high school principal who insisted that I take courses in “manual training” which at the time included carpentry and auto mechanics.  I saw nothing wrong with a two-tiered system and still do not, however; his plan was not for a poor boy whose aspirations were to get out of the farm fields. I emphatically said no and his response was, “Suit yourself.”  I think he meant well but suspect he saw nothing better for a student-of-color.

Today, I see a continuing and pathetic rate of completion of majors, many changes in major courses of study; large dropout rates, degree completion rates that often extend well beyond four years, and students going heavily into debt.  Looks like stalemate in education. The idea that federal financial aid is scholarship (free money) is a delusion in the minds of many students. It is best to forget that notion, as they will find themselves holding debt upon graduation or six months after dropping out of school.  Frankly, breaking through the phony glass ceiling is a tough one. 

Standards to compete in main stream
With all that said, institutions of higher learning must be held accountable for setting and meeting standards that prepare students to successfully compete in the main stream of American Society. Work standards are reaching new heights while the skills of the work-force lag behind. A reminder, the Community College System should have learned from the academic successes and accomplishments of first generation American Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese students who often excel in their academic studies, despite language barriers. Those students continue to transfer to the top universities in the country and graduate with honors. Is it all in the mustard seed that makes that possible?  Perhaps the following should be asked: What is missing in the fabric of Hispanic and Black families that creates such disparity in the success between their children and aforementioned successful students?

It is a truism that genetics and culture influence critical thinking and capacity for learning. Non-Stem students do not and will not take a consolation prize when it comes to learning. The question is how the three aforementioned groups of students and parents, construe, validate, formulate and incorporate a college learning experience into their lives? Is it tenacity? How do they differ? Could it be levels of expectation ingrained in their formative years? I beg to say, intermediate algebra is not the greatest barrier for “students of color,” it is the inability of many to internalize the values of education as authentic and transformative experiences.  Absent that, sadly even talented ones often fail. 

Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese "student-of-color" succeed, why?
The model of true scholarship and success has been set before us by first generation Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese students. While they continue to excel and become productive members of society, too many of our students-of-color continue to fail. Could we for a moment accept the general notion that all college enrollees are not necessarily suited for the academic world of learning but that perhaps non-degree majors are best suited for them? The question of failing “students-of-color” has been run to the ground.  It is a sad commentary that so many are ill prepared.  How can we make the illusion of success a reality for them?

Our colleges, institutions of higher learning, have historically been bastions of education where intellectual thinking flourishes; preparation for life gets much of its definition and demands of an advanced society are met.  But, our schools have fallen prey to social pressure; thus, endorse broad-brush approaches, such as, unrealistic accommodation by lowering of educational standards toward the “mean;” where equality or lack-there-of is the focal issue; where any semblance of inequality in ego development must be corrected and the mistaken notion that equality toward vertical mobility is within reach for every individual.  While education has fallen in love with the touchy-feely approach, our country must not continue to depend on well-educated and talented people from other countries to meet its workforce demands. 

Change is required on the part of universities
It will take new of thinking on the part of curriculum committees as they grapple with the needs of our cultural changes and how to best prepare students. This calls for examination of the state-of-the-art curricular offerings; relevancy of programs; courses and asking hard questions such as: Are we meeting the needs of a changing society, if not, how do we bring about such a change. This may mean discarding programs and courses that are not of significant value to the modern-day student. Continued expression of the old and established formats may be creating a permanently impoverished and jobless class of graduates and non-graduates. 

Key: Family Attitudes in conjunction with colleges 
In defense of the school system, one major destructive ingredient for lack-of-success of many students-of -color has been mistakenly directly and levied upon teachers, schools and lack of funding. One would be remiss in not declaring and not acknowledging that family attitudes toward schools in general lack in understanding. Uninformed parental attitudes regarding education; not setting an atmosphere of expectations for children and the failure to transmit that the benefit of education is a long road that demands hard work and dedication appear to be lacking Those family attitudes in conjunction with colleges considering lowering standards and insignificant course-work will water down preparation of students for employment and regress opportunities for vertical mobility within the main stream of American society. We certainly do not wish for future generations to continue the sentimental journey of life, as only seen through faltering eyes, as they reminisce about what their lives could have been and a world that has left them behind. Though some will say it does not exist, others will say it has never begun.  I wonder what Plato would say? He might venture to say, Learning is a long process that must begin at home and be embellished through rigorous study. Absent that experience, children will not rise to a lovely dawning, but will joylessly stand.

Oscar S. Ramirez, PhD

11 January 2018


How religious is California compared to the rest of the U.S.? 
These maps have the answer

By Kurt Snibbe | ksnibbe@scng.com | Orange County Register  
Published: December 12, 2017 | Updated: December 13, 2017 

Highly religious by state

California is ranked as the 35th most religious state in the U.S., according to the Pew Research Center’s religious landscape study. Mississippi, Alabama and other Southern states are among the most highly religious states in the nation, while New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine in New England are among the least.  The Pew Research Center has a state by state breakdown

most and least religiousAmerican views



52 percent

The Pew Research Center study shows that overall, 
52 percent of Americans strongly agree that religious faith is very important in their life.

21 percent

21 percent 
agree that 
faith is very
in their life.

Learn more about these maps at the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies. California is ranked the 35th most religious state and tied with Nevada and Minnesota. Here’s a look at the state’s profile of non-Christians religions. . . .  by their presence by counties. 


Islamic America: Muslims to Become 2nd Largest Religious Minority by 2040
Note green-turquoise sections in map above

Latest Pew Report Posted On 12 Jan 2018
Minimum editing by Mimi

According to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center, America has some demographic changes coming over the next twenty years. In their review of population growth in the United States, the survey group found that Muslims will almost certainly become the second-largest religious minority in the country by the year 2040. Far from being “banned” from entering the United States, Muslims are poised to become an ever-greater presence in our culture, our neighborhoods, and our politics. 

Muslims are indisputably on track to overtake Jews as the next-largest religious minority, and they will do so over the next two decades.

“In 2007,” Pew reported, “we estimated that there were 2.35 million Muslims of all ages (including 1.5 million adults) in the U.S. By 2011, the number of Muslims had grown to 2.75 million (including 1.8 million adults.”

Since that time, the study found, the U.S. Muslim population has grown at a rate of approximately 100,000 per year, thanks to immigration and high fertility rates. The research organization said that the total Muslim population is expected to reach 8.1 million by 2050, doubling their current share of the country’s demographics to become 2.1% of the population.

So-called “ethnic Muslims” – those who happen to come from Islamic families but do not themselves pay any more than lip service to the religion – are not the problem, but “moderate” Muslims are just as much a problem as outright Islamists and extremists. By constantly apologizing and advocating for Islam . . .  they will have more political influence than ever and their increased presence in culture and government.  


Editor Mimi: it appears that Christians in California and in the nation need to be alert that religious freedom include Christianity and beliefs of Christians.  In our tolerance for others of different faiths, we need to stand bold and strong in support of our own beliefs. Our respects for the rights of minorities should not in any way demean our own Christian faith.  Our Christianity in action will strengthen our youth and strengthen our nation. When you look at the horror of suicides, drug overdoses, and homelessness among our young people, we need to be actively and positively engaged in solving civic and social problems around us.  Contentious, confrontive, riotous voices is not what Jesus taught,  "Blessed are the peace makers, for they will be called the children of God."  Matthew: 5:9

The numbers below are from the previous article: How religious is California compared to the rest of the U.S.? 

California has more religious diversity than most states, according to a metric created by the Public Religion Research Institute.
The least diverse states were in the South. Mississippi is the least diverse.  

Those who identify as atheist, agnostic or nothing in particular have increased from about 8 percent of the population in 1976 to 24 percent of Americans in 2016.   

Percent unaffiliated by age

Pew Research Center, Public Religion Research Institute, Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies



What Causes wildfires? 
Humans -
experts say . . .  by Liset Marquez
Orange County Register, Dec 7, 2017

This week’s explosion of
fire activity in Southern California may have many wondering: How do wildfires start?

In short, by humans, says John Keeley, who has been researching fire records from the past 100 years to determine the historical causes of fires in the state.

During Santa Ana winds one of the most common causes is power lines being blown down. Another is arson.

“Humans are the only sources of fires during Santa Ana winds,” said Keeley, a research ecologist with United States Geological Survey. “You don’t get lightning during Santa Ana wind conditions. Humans are responsible for all the fires, either directly or through the power lines.”

Though official causes for the current wildfires have not been released, Keeley said history has shown that sparks from lines are a huge factor in igniting wildfires.

According to Cal Fire statistics, seven of the top 20 most destructive California wildfires were caused by power lines or arson. Another seven on that list are still under investigation or undetermined.

“A lot of arson-ignited fires occurs under Santa Ana wind conditions because I suppose the arsonist sees that as an opportunity to create a really big fire,” he said by phone Thursday afternoon.

As for other causes reported by CalFire and the U.S. Forest Service, Keeley said his research has found:

• Debris burning

• Smoking

• Campers leaving fire unattended

• Kids playing with matches

• Sparks from trains

• Outdoor equipment

• Weed whackers

• Vehicles

With vehicles, Keeley said, “catalytic converters get real hot and you pull your car off to the grass alongside the road and a lot of fires get started that way.”

In coastal California, lightning accounts for about 1 percent of all fires; in the Sierra Nevada, about 45 percent; and in northeastern California, 60 percent, he said.

What’s not a factor?    Climate change, Keeley said.

He said climate change would only figure in California’s more heavily forested landscapes in the state.

Looking at 100 years of climate data and fire data for the state, “in Southern California we could not find any relationship between climate and fire,” he said. “We believe the reason is, every single year it’s hot enough and dry enough for a big fire.”

Which means it’s outside factors that determine a big wildfire.

“That’s usually people igniting fires under bad conditions,” he said. OC Register


 "My family and I were affected by the wildfires in California in 2016. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. 
In our neighborhood our neighbors refer to our house as the farm due to all of our animals. As the fire grew and winds began to pick up it was time to figure out a way to pack up our most prized possessions as well as our animals who we consider family. There was no way that we were going to leave them behind. With everything packed up and ready to go we waited for the Sheriff’s department to evacuate us but thanks to our wonderful firefighters they were able to stop the fire from spreading to our neighborhood. 

Come to find out that the fire that threatened to take so much away from us and surrounding areas was brought on by an arsonist. Many people and animals were displaced with nothing to go back home to, schools were closed due to the poor quality of air and heavy amounts of ash and people with health problems were in the emergency room just because of someone’s lack of better judgment."

-Ashley Wolfe  (Mimi's granddaughter)


Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education

We Are All Related

Marjane Ambler   ♦  

The flag is carried proudly beside the eagle staff at a pow wow in Cody, WY. Photo by Mike McClure

Since September 11, 2001, the word “partnership” has taken on a whole new meaning. The Attack on America occurred as this issue on partnerships was going to press, forcing us to withdraw one essay and replace it with new thoughts about the significance of the attack to American Indian people and to our partnerships.

New Yorkers watched superficial barriers separating person from person crumble following the attack. Instead of keeping one another at arm’s length, New York City suddenly became a giant home town. Reflecting the new intimacy, a policeman said “bless you” to a pedestrian who sneezed, and it made national news.

Tribal communities shared the feelings of outrage and solidarity that flooded the country. We frantically emailed and telephoned to inquire about the welfare of relatives and friends in New York and the Washington beltway. Several tribal college presidents were flying to Washington September 10 and 11. The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) Cultural Learning Center office is 20 blocks from the World Trade Center, and the American Indian College Fund also has a New York office, although it is located further from the disaster area. Thankfully, everyone was safe and accounted for. Our New York staffs say the outpouring of support from the tribal colleges was overwhelming.

Following their rural instincts, John Phillips, David Wise, and Shawnda Zindler responded to the rumor of a fourth plane by walking 10 miles, across the Potomac, to escape Washington, D.C., where they had been attending a meeting on September 11. Phillips is on the AIHEC staff, Wise is from Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, and Zindler is from Salish Kootenai College.

On September 12, more than 100 students, faculty, and staff gathered at the medicine wheel on the United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) campus for prayers and songs. (United Tribes is an intertribal college in Bismarck, ND.) The student senate there organized a bingo and donated the proceeds to the disaster victims, and we have heard of similar efforts by other tribal college student groups to raise money, distribute ribbons and flags, and organize prayer vigils.

As the dust settled, faculty, staff, and students at tribal colleges heard more about the welfare of their relatives in Washington and New York. Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College student Carl Rasanen was relieved to hear that his brother-in-law, a fireman in New York, was safe and one of those working 30 hour shifts in the rescue effort. Tribal college personnel worried about their sons, daughters, brothers, and cousins in the Armed Services who were on alert status.

Americans everywhere became aware that we are one large family, interdependent and interconnected. The UTTC board of directors met on Sept. 17 and sent a resolution to President George W. Bush expressing sympathy for the victims and support for efforts to combat terrorism. The resolution focused mostly upon the horrible attack, almost parenthetically mentioning Indian people’s own experiences with massacres and with prejudice. It said in part:

As tribal nations, we stand in complete condemnation of these terrible and horrific acts. The cultures of our member Nations teach us that we are all related, and never has this felt more true than now when our nation has suffered such a terrible disaster and where our Nation has lost so many of its lives, so many of its citizens, innocent victims all.

We, the member Tribal Nations of United Tribes Technical College and United Tribes of North Dakota, recognize the suffering of the victims and their families and offer to them our deepest sympathies, our prayers, and our support.

As Nations and as peoples who have suffered our own share of disasters, we seek answers to the senselessness of these acts. As the Nation deals with its grief and loss, we ask that our fellow citizens not condemn anyone because of their race or their religious or political beliefs.

The tribal leaders recognized that some people’s fear and anger were already being expressed against any people with dark skin and different belief systems. Explaining the resolution UTTC President David M. Gipp said Native Americans are very patriotic. “We believe very strongly in this country.”

As a non-Indian, I found it astonishing to see the prominence of the American flag when I first started attending Indian events 25 years ago. The stars and stripes are beaded into vests and sewn into jackets of pow wow dance regalia. Indian veterans carry the red, white, and blue with immense pride at pow wow and parade processions, along side tribal nation flags.

In every war since the American Revolution, Indians have fought on the side of the United States. In World War I, more than 10,000 American Indians fought for this country, despite the fact that one-third of the Indians were not even recognized as citizens of the United States at that time, according to historian Donald Fixico, a history professor at the University of Kansas. In World War II, 25,000 served, and 43,000 served in Vietnam, according to Fixico.

Non-Indians are surprised by the patriotism because we are aware of the atrocities committed against Indian people under that flag at Sand Creek, Wounded Knee, and countless other sites. Innocent civilians — women and children — were terrorized, slaughtered, and mutilated.

We could compare the carnage of an Indian village massacred during the mid 1800s to that of the September 11 attack on America, but we won’t.

We could quote Dennis McAuliffe’s documentation of the Reign of Terror in Oklahoma during the 1920s, when hundreds of his Osage people, including his grandmother, were murdered because of their oil royalties. (Bloodland, 1999). We could, but we won’t.

We could dwell on the savage methods used by the missionaries and the U.S. government to eradicate Indian values and religious beliefs, methods that have scarred and maimed the spirits of Indian people and made them suspicious of anyone trying to “help” them.

We won’t dwell on these atrocities because we are following the lead of the Indian people themselves, the people who wrote the UTTC resolution, and the dozens of tribal chairmen expressing their condolences in Indian Country Today, a national publication of the Oneida Nation. Tribes across the country were among the first to donate money, blood, and other goods and services to help their fellow Americans.

We won’t dwell on the shameful history of our country’s treatment of American Indians because this history is one of the largest barriers to partnership. In my 25 years working amongst Indian people, I have come to believe that non-Indians erect this barrier more than Indians. The Indian people I know want us to acknowledge the history, but they also want us to move on, as they have, toward the future. The understatement in the UTTC resolution demonstrates this. When we focus upon the genocide, it is difficult for us to look at Indian people, much less work with them.

The Indian people have responded with a generosity of spirit typical of many if not all tribes’ traditions. Unfortunately, the repercussions of the attack in the long run could hurt the tribal colleges deeply. As the nation remains preoccupied with the aftermath of the attacks, we worry that the colleges might be forgotten.

The American Indian College Fund depends upon individual donors for half of its disbursements to tribal colleges and upon corporations and foundations for the other half, according to College Fund Executive Director Rick Williams. Individual donations fall when the stock market falls, and foundations are also affected by the stock market. Corporations are focusing necessarily upon rebuilding, making them less likely to contribute to the colleges’ capital campaigns for building campuses.

At press time in September, it looked as if this could be one of the darkest hours for the College Fund and for the individual fundraising efforts of the colleges. It is too soon to predict how domestic programs will fare in Congress as the nation focuses upon national defense.

Now is the time for solidarity and for joining hands around the globe against the rage that claims so many innocent lives. It is a time for generosity of spirit, not for building artificial barriers based upon race or political or religious beliefs. Effective partnerships depend upon mutual respect, friendship, and passion for good work. Let us remember the traditional Lakota concept used in the United Tribes Technical College resolution: We are all related.

Marjane Ambler has been the editor of the Tribal College Journal since 1995.

Tribal Communities Respond to Attack on America

A few examples of the many outpourings of support from tribal communities are listed below. They come from the pages of Indian Country Today, a national newspaper owned by the Oneida Tribe of New York (<www.IndianCountry.com>):

  • In Connecticut, The Mohegan Tribal Council voted unanimously in 15 seconds to pledge $1 million to aid victims of terrorism and their families
  • In New York, Mohawk ironworkers rushed to join the rescue and cleanup effort at the World Trade Center, helping to clean up the remains of the skyline they helped construct.
  • In California, the Morongo Tribe donated $25,000 within 24 hours of the attack to the Red Crow to enable it to fly a disaster squad to New York.
  • In Arizona, the Yavapai Prescott Tribe contributed $250,000.
  • Also in Arizona, Tohono O’odham Tribal Chairman Edward Manuel wrote to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with condolences for lost lives at the Pentagon. He said it is time for prayer instead of revenge.
  • In South Dakota, the Oglala Public Safety Department sent a search and rescue team with Emergency Medical Technician training from the Pine Ridge Reservation to New York.


Sent by Kirk Whisler  kirkwhisler@gmail.com 


  (File photo:
  RGG/Steve Taylor)

the U.S. state 
that could have been

Jose "Joe" Antonio Lopez
Jan 7, 2018


Interestingly, Spain’s influence is woven into the very fibers of our nation’s record. While that may sound odd given our country’s traditional attachment to England, it does show that Spanish roots also run deep in U.S. history. Indeed, many interesting aspects have been omitted from the conventional storyline. 

Unfortunately, starting with elementary classroom instruction, teachers must follow carefully scripted lesson plans that in some cases conceal actual events. For example, students learn that beginning with the original thirteen states, admission to the union was an ordinary procedure, with each new state waiting its turn. For example, we were told in the classroom that Vermont became the fourteenth state in 1791; followed very orderly by Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio. Though, that non-controversial process wasn’t always the case. 

Take the state of Frankland (or Franklin), for example, it came very close to replacing Vermont as the fourteenth state. Never heard of it? Hopefully, the following summary will briefly cover just one tantalizing tale hidden within U.S. history. 

Frankland was a farming region generally straddling North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia. It was initially Spanish-claimed territory and populated mostly by indigenous Native American tribes who resented U.S. encroachment. However, shortly after U.S. independence, the white settler population rapidly grew. 

It’s believed that some of the newcomers crossing into the territory were dissatisfied with the U.S. independence movement itself. Kentucky settlers, for example, made overtures to Spain requesting they become a Spanish state. 

As one settler leader put it in his letter to the Spanish Louisiana Governor, “…I conceive highly of the advantages of your government”. Also seeking active links to Spain were Anglo settlers in Cumberland (Tennessee). 

Sufficient to say, their friendship toward the Spanish shows how intimately Spain was involved during the formative years of the U.S. Plus, we all need to remember the reason we celebrate July 4th. That is, for over eight years, the U.S. and England were enemies engaged in mortal combat until peace was achieved in 1783. 

As to the Frankland settlers, they felt betrayed when the central government opened large territorial grants to east coast investors, including land parcels that Frankland farmers occupied and had improved themselves. Realizing a need to unite, they had no option but to incorporate. Thus began their rite of passage. 

A petition for statehood was prepared in 1784 and submitted accordingly. Taking the correct steps, they set up town councils, a court system, and other symbols of organization. As governor, they elected John Sevier, a statesman and hero of the U.S. War of Independence. Also, to appease skeptics, they changed the state’s name to Franklin (honoring Benjamin Franklin). 

It appeared that Frankland settlers were well on their way. Seven states accepted the request, but approval fell short of the two-thirds majority needed for admission. Progress suddenly stopped, and hope turned into disappointment. Per the Articles of Confederation, statehood was disapproved. Notably, North Carolina officials declared victory, since they had convinced the other states not to support admission. 

Left with no other choice, Governor Sevier sought help from Spain, hoping to become part of its jurisdiction. Please note that seeking Spain’s support would have been considered a natural alternative. Why? Because U.S. citizens still perceived Spain as a dependable next door neighbor, not as their enemy. 

Likewise, Spain was a steadfast bulwark of support and ally who had largely enabled the colonists’ own independence from England. Moreover, the idea made sense. The State of Franklin would benefit from Spain’s control of the Gulf of Mexico region, including the entire span of the Mississippi River, thus assuring unlimited commercial trade potential. 

In truth, Spain, its people, and culture enjoyed dignity and respect throughout the young nation during the late 1700s. For example, the most successful Washington, D.C. official events, ceremonies, and galas were hosted in private residences of the Spanish delegation. Also, George Washington was a frequent guest at the home of Diego de Gardoqui, the Spanish Ambassador. 

Boston was considered a bilingual city, with its busy docks filled with Spanish naval crews contributing to the local economy. One of the most successful merchants in New England was Aaron López, a Sephardi Jewish resident of Newport. Shop keepers’ sales staff spoke the language. Bostonians read works by Spanish literary masters and supplies were often sold out. Bookstores carried nearly as many Spanish language books as they did in English. 

For instance, Thomas Jefferson owned several of them and he spoke Spanish. He successfully recommended that Spanish be taught at the University of Virginia. Spanish plays and operas were well attended and Spanish artists (singers, writers, painters, sculptors, architects, etc.) were held in high esteem. 

Thus, Spanish culture was greatly admired in post-colonial U.S.A. The question is, why did the amicable relationship between the young U.S. and Spain end? 

Simply stated, the strong bond couldn’t withstand the constant pressure put upon it by the craving of more land by the U.S. That is, its leaders opted for expansion at Spain’s expense. 

Historian Carlos M. Fernández-Shaw puts it this way: “For about 20 years, relations between the U.S. and Spain were marked by growth and cooperation. … Inevitably, a period of friction ensued owing to the great expansionism of the Anglo-Saxon settlers.” 

How much land did the U.S. take from its former ally Spain? U.S. appetite for Florida (to present-day Alabama) was satisfied with 1821’s Adams-Onis Treaty, a document Spain signed under stress. Thirty years later, the U.S. reprised its Manifest Destiny goal with the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that the sovereign Republic of Mexico also signed under duress, thereby ceding to the U.S. its northern territories (from Texas to California). 

What happened to Franklin? Four events derailed Governor Sevier’s noble plans for autonomy. First, the most senior Spanish official in America, General Bernardo de Gálvez, offered sincere sympathy to Franklin promoters, but declined to be part of a perceived seditious act within the U.S., a country with whom Spain was at peace. 

Second, animosity due to North Carolina’s claim to Franklin led to armed conflict and bloodshed between the two state militias. Third, and the most significant, the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1788, granting federal government authority over the disputed land. 

Finally, the fourth blow quickly followed. It was then that federal officials redistributed the contested area, bringing an end to Franklin (Frankland), a U.S. state that could have been. 

As to Spain’s vital impact in the country that became the United States, the words of historian Charles F. Loomis come to mind, “The honor of giving America (the U.S.) to the world belongs to Spain”. 

About the Author:  José “Joe” Antonio López was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and is a USAF Veteran. He now lives in Universal City, Texas. He is the author of several books.  His latest are “Preserving Early Texas History (Essays of an Eighth-Generation South Texan)” and “Friendly Betrayal”. Books are available through Amazon.com.  Lopez is also the founder of the Tejano Learning Center, LLC, and www.tejanosunidos.org, a Web site dedicated to Spanish Mexican people and events in U.S. history that are mostly overlooked in mainstream history books.





 For more information go to:  http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

You will quickly note .Figures for Hispanic Americans and African Americas are absent.   PEW researchers included data for Hispanics under White.  The conclusion one draws from the graph above,  is that ethnic minorities Americans were doing quite well, but  White Americans were on the bottom financially.  

This is a very strange compilation of information, an injustice to both Hispanics (whose status is not included) and to White for a distortion of these figures by being included among the Hispanic numbers:  a good example of why we have to question and analyze information ourselves.



Benefits of Working for the Federal Government

Under the previous US congress, between 2010 and 2016,  the number of federal workers paid more than $200,000 annually increased, not a reasonable 2 or 5 percent, but 165 percent. Those making $150,000 or more by 60 percent, and those getting $100,000 or more by 37 percent.

As chief marketing and sales officer for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), James P. Cochrane earns $250,335 annually making him the highest paid public relations employee of the federal government. The USPS lost $5.1 billion in 2016.  

Right behind Cochrane is Stephen Katsanos, who pulls down $229,333 as a public affairs official for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). And the third highest-paid federal public relations employee is Titus Simmons, also of the FDIC, at $215,248, according to “Mapping The Swamp,” a new report compiled by Open The Books, an independent nonprofit that tracks federal spending using the government’s own numbers.

These three individuals are among the 3,618 federal workers who get an average of $101,827 annually to put the best possible “spin” on government every day. That comes to $368.4 million a year. A big reason for such a huge sum is that 1,807 of the federal government’s public relations workers are paid $100,000 or more, up from 1,501 in 2012.

In fairness to Cochrane, the USPS is a semi-government corporation and had to contribute $5.8 billion to pre-fund postal retiree health care costs. Without the pre-funding, the USPS would have shown a $200 million profit, according to official postal data. The pre-funding is the focus of an intense and long-running debate between USPS officials and Congress.

Even so, the 3,618 government spinmeisters are a tiny segment of the 1.97 million career federal civil servants the report tracks. The review doesn’t include more than 700,000 civil servants employed by the Department of Defense, any of the uniformed members of the U.S. military, or those working in the U.S. intelligence community.

Federal workers are paid $1.1 million a minute, $66 million every hour, and $524 million each day.

“Mapping The Swamp” may be the most comprehensive and creative report ever compiled on the true size and cost of the federal government. These 10 findings highlight the hundreds of previously undisclosed facts contained in the report:

1.) Federal workers are paid $1.1 million a minute, $66 million every hour, and $524 million each day.

The number of federal workers paid more than $200,000 annually increased 165 percent between 2010 and 2016, those making $150,000 or more by 60 percent, and those getting $100,000 or more by 37 percent.

3.) More than 400,000, or roughly one of every five, federal workers makes a six-figure income. Nearly 30,000 of them are paid more than all 50 state governors.

4.) On average, federal workers get 10 paid holidays, 13 paid sick days and 20 paid vacation days each year. If all of them took full advantage of their paid leave, it would cost taxpayers more than $22 billion.

5.) Hundreds of federal workers get cash bonuses every year. The highest such bonus last year went to a human resources manager who received $141,525!

6.) More than 35,000 lawyers are employed by the federal government but only a third of them work for the Department of Justice. Collectively, the government lawyers were paid $4.8 billion in 2016.

7.) There are 3,498 police officers working for the Department of Veterans Affairs at a cost of $172 million. But officials there can’t provide data for the number or kinds of crimes committed on VA property.

8.) Pay averaged $100,000 or more at 78 of the 122 independent agencies and departments examined for the swamp report.

9.) Between them, the USPS and the VA employ more than half of the total federal workforce covered by the report.

10.) There are an additional two million federal workers at the Department of Defense and the U.S. military.

“We found small and large agencies across the federal government gaming the system for personal gain — and it’s expensive for the taxpayer,” Open The Books CEO and founder Adam Andrzejewski (pictured at the top of this article) said in a media release.

“Congress should hold hearings to bring transparency to all the information we’re still missing, including performance bonuses and pension payouts,” he also said. “It’s time to squeeze out waste from compensation and stop abusive payroll practices.”

Source of Information: 

​Senior editor Mark Tapscott can be reached at mark.tapscott@lifezette.com. Follow him on Twitter here.​

‘Mapping The Swamp’ Report Shows It’s Even Bigger, Costlier Than You Think. Paying federal workforce costs taxpayers $1.1M per minute, according to a pro-transparency group, Open The Books


IN 2017  
Below is list of 55 current or future positive changes 
sent by Oscar Ramirez,

Preceded by Apple's  major announcement: 

Apple announced in in January that the company would be investing
$350 billion into the U.S. economy over the next five years.

According to a press release, Apple plans to create 20,000 new jobs in the United States over the next five years thanks to a $350 billion capital investment. 

Combining new investments and Apple’s current pace of spending with domestic suppliers and manufacturers — an estimated $55 billion for 2018 — Apple’s direct contribution to the US economy will be more than $350 billion over the next five years, not including Apple’s ongoing (1) tax payments, the (2) tax revenues generated from employees’ wages and the (3) sale of Apple products.

Apple specifically laid out in the press release their plans to create 20,000 new jobs through hiring at their current campuses as well as the creation of new ones.

“Apple expects to invest over $30 billion in capital expenditures in the US over the next five years and create over 20,000 new jobs through hiring at existing campuses and opening a new one. Apple already employs 84,000 people in all 50 states,” the press release reads.

A GBH research note revealed in January that Apple would be bringing $200 billion in foreign cash back to the United States as a result of the GOP tax reform bill.

“With Apple & Cook set to repatriate roughly $200 billion of cash based on our estimates we believe accelerated buybacks, another dividend hike, and potentially larger M&A will be the trifecta of benefits shareholders could expect to see in 2018.” 

1. $78 Billion promised reinvestment from businesses like Exxon, Bayer, SoftBank, Toyota 
Gas prices lowest in more than 12 years
3. More than 600,000 Jobs created
4. $89 Billion saved in regulation rollbacks... so far
5. Unemployment lowest since May 2007
6. Mortgage applications for new homes rise to a seven year high
7. $600 million cut from UN peacekeeping budget
8. $22 million saved by reducing white house payroll
9. Dept of Treasury reports a $182 billion surplus for April 2017 (2nd largest in history)
10.Action taken to promote energy independence   
11. Stock Market is at the highest ever in its history
12. VA allowed to terminate bad employees
13. VA allowing private healthcare choices for veterans
14. Got out of flawed Trans Pacific Partnership
15. Median household income at a 7 year high
16. Pulled out of the lopsided Paris accord which had USA paying most.
17. China agreed to import our beef
18. Illegal immigration now down 70% > the lowest in 17 years
19. Rollback of A Regulation to boost coal mining jobs
20. MOAB dropped on ISIS
21. Travel ban reinstated from terrorist harboring nations
22. Executive order to help insure religious freedom
23. Jump started NASA
24. Arranged from 7% to 24% Tariff on lumber from Canada
25. Targeting of MS13 gangs
26. Deporting violent illegal immigrants
27. Signed 41 bills to date
28. Creation of a commission on child trafficking
29. Creation of a commission on voter fraud
30. Creation of a commission for opioids addiction
31. Giving power to states to drug test unemployment recipients
32. Consumer confidence highest since 2000 at index 125.6
33. Historic Black College University initiative
34. Women In Entrepreneurship Act
35. Creation of an office to assist victims of illegal immigrant crimes
36. Reversed Dodd-Frank that chokes small banks
37. Repealed DOT ruling to take power away from local governments for infrastructure planning
38. An Order for increased action to stop crime against law enforcement
39. End of DAPA program
40. Incentives created for companies to return to America
41. Businesses promoted to create American Jobs
42. Country encouraged to once again - 'Buy American and hire American'
43. Regulations > 2 cut for every one created 
45. Review of all trade agreements to make sure they are America first
46. Apprentice programs being organized to learn job skills
47. 2017, the highest manufacturing surge in 3 years
48. Keystone pipeline approved
49. FBI denied a new building
50. $700 million saved with F-35 renegotiation
51. Bids for border wall are well underway
52.  NATO allies boost spending by 4.3% to share their defense
53. The release of 6 US humanitarian workers held captive in Egypt
was negotiated
54. 59 missiles dropped in Syria
55. Supreme Court Judge Gorsuch

Oscar Ramirez osramirez@sbcglobal.net   
January 16, 2018

AN UPDATE since the signing of the budget,  about 270 corporations as a result of the corporate tax changes, are giving out bonuses to employees.



Where Does Marijuana Fit In?

Everything to know about California marijuana laws of Jan 1, 2018 
Can pot blunt the Opioid epidemic? 
Aury L. Holtzman, M.D. Physician cannabis expert, says:   "Absolutely Yes!"


Everything to know about California marijuana laws kicking in Jan. 1, 2018

By Brooke Edwards Staggs 
The Cannifornian

Jan. 1 will be a historic day in the world of cannabis, as California opens the world’s largest legal marijuana market.

Though the state has had a massive medical marijuana industry for more than 20 years — an industry that’s created a de-facto recreational market — the new laws will mean huge changes. Just don’t expect a cannabis free-for-all.

Here’s a look at some of what’s about to be legal, what isn’t and what still needs to be ironed out:

Q: What changes Jan. 1 when it comes to cannabis in California?

A: As of 6 a.m. Jan. 1, California will become the sixth state to allow licensed shops to sell marijuana to anyone with an ID showing they’re 21 and older — just like buying alcohol from a bar or liquor store. That means doctor’s recommendations for medical marijuana will no longer be required to make a purchase in these shops.

Jan. 1 is also the day that new state regulations and temporary licenses kick in for every type of marijuana business. But since many of those new rules are being phased in, most businesses won’t look much different until later in the year.

Q: So, will people be smoking weed on the streets?

A: Not legally. State law says no one can consume marijuana in public, even in areas where it’s legal to smoke cigarettes. That means no smoking on the streets, in bars, in parks, etc. Anyone caught smoking weed in public faces a fine of $100 to $250.

People can already smoke cannabis in their own homes or other private property. And a small number of cities plan to allow cannabis lounges after Jan. 1.

Q: Where will I be able to buy marijuana Jan. 1? Will current medical cannabis dispensaries automatically become open to everyone?

A: Medical dispensaries won’t necessarily make the switch, at least not on Jan. 1. Retailers still need separate licenses to sell medical and recreational cannabis. Cities get first say on issuing those licenses, and most cities in California so far aren’t allowing recreational marijuana sales. That means many medical dispensaries will still only be able to sell marijuana to people who have doctor’s recommendations on New Year’s Day.

That said, in cities where recreational cannabis sales are permitted, existing medical dispensaries often have the OK to sell both as soon as their state licenses come through.

Keep checking The Cannifornian’s map of legal recreational marijuana shops, which is updated frequently as the state issues new licenses.

Q: What will I need to bring to buy marijuana?

A: If you are 21 or older, you’ll only need a valid ID to buy up to an ounce of marijuana from a licensed shop. Out-of-state licenses are OK.

Q: What should I expect from my visit to a marijuana store? And with so many products on the shelves, how will I know what to buy?

A: The days of choosing between a joint or a bong in black-lit head shops are long over.  Many legal dispensaries today look more like cafes or Apple stores, with dozens of different product types displayed artfully in glass cases. You can always ask the shop’s budtenders for recommendations. But there’s no guarantee what experience or training that budtender might have, so it’s wise to educate yourself on available strains and methods before you go shopping.


MedMen, a dispensary in Santa Ana, is one of the largest marijuana shops in the state.

Keep in mind that new regulations effective Jan. 1 require that all products sold in California be tested for purity, checking for pesticides, molds and other contaminants. Cannabis products must be tested for potency, too, with labels spelling out the levels of THC, CBD and other active compounds. And the state is setting new limits on how much THC can be in some products.  

(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

However, some of those regulations will really kick in later in 2018. The state gave retailers six months to sell inventory that doesn’t comply with the new rules so long as that product has a warning label. That means new cannabis consumers and people with health conditions should be cautious. By summer of 2018, cannabis items sold in California will be required to meet the new safety, testing and purity requirements.

Q: Can I have marijuana in my car while I’m driving?

A: The rules here are pretty much the same as with alcohol.

You can’t consume marijuana while you’re driving. You can’t have an open container that’s accessible, meaning you have to leave anything you’ve bought at the store in its sealed package until you get home.  Better yet, throw your products in the trunk.

And, of course, you can’t be under the influence of marijuana while you’re behind the wheel — though how that’ll be sorted out remains a question.

Experts are still trying to come up with a concrete way to measure current cannabis impairment. In the meantime, if an officer sees signs of impaired driving, and a blood test shows you have cannabis in your system, you can be charged with driving under the influence.

Q: What are the rules about growing marijuana at home? https://i0.wp.com/live-cannabist.pantheonsite.io/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Home-grow.png?w=481&crop=0%2C0px%2C100%2C310px

A: Since Nov. 9, 2016, every Californian 21 and older has been allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants per household so long as those plants are kept out of public view.

Local governments do get to put some restrictions on those home-grows, though. Many have banned outdoor gardens completely, while others are require pricey permits to grow plants indoors.



Q: Can jobs still test for marijuana now that it’s legal?

A: Yes, they still can. Prop. 64 clearly stated that employers can test workers for marijuana and choose to not hire new workers — or fire existing workers — for any positive test. And some employers, such as federal agencies or transportation workers, are required to test for cannabis.

There’s anecdotal evidence that some companies aren’t testing for marijuana anymore. But that’s up to each employer, and they’re free to change that policy at any time.

Q: Isn’t marijuana still federally illegal?

A: It is indeed. And Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made no secret of the fact that he dislikes marijuana.

But an amendment to the federal budget currently blocks any federal resources from being used to go after individuals or businesses that are acting in compliance with their state’s marijuana programs. That amendment was continued along with the funding plan through Jan. 19. So long as Congress extends the amendment again when it approves the full 2018 budget, Californians following state cannabis laws shouldn’t have to worry.

Q: How do I know if a marijuana business is legit?

A: Licensed marijuana businesses that are open to the public must post a copy of their permits in public view.

You can also check with the state agency responsible for overseeing that type of business.

If it’s a store, testing lab, distributor or microbusiness, search the Bureau of Cannabis Control’s online database. You can also check out our evolving map of licensed recreational marijuana shops.

If it’s a cultivator, search the Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis division portal.

If it’s a manufacturer, check the Department of Public Health’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branchthough it hasn’t yet produced its online database, so licenses will still need to be verified directly through the agency.

Q: Will you still be able to buy marijuana on the black market as easily as you can now?

A: Californian’s black and gray markets for marijuana have been massive for decades, and no one expects those illicit businesses to disappear overnight.

But as legalization nears, some cities have cracked down on unlicensed marijuana businesses. And more of that is expected over the coming year, with a portion of tax revenue from legal sales earmarked to help law enforcement to shut down illegal operators.

Q: Is there any reason to still have a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana?

A: Californians with medical marijuana cards will have some advantages after Jan. 1.

They won’t have to pay state sales tax on any purchases, which means they’ll generally save around 8 percent.

They will have access to more potent products, such as topicals and concentrates with up to 2,000 milligrams of THC, rather than the 1,000-milligram limit on recreational products.

Patients also will be able to grow more than six plants at home and possess more than an ounce if needed for their condition.  It will be up to each person to decide if those advantages outweigh the cost and time it takes to get a doctor’s recommendation.

Q: What’s going to happen to prices?

A: Expect a bit of a roller coaster, at least for awhile.

After-tax prices for recreational cannabis in Washington state after legalization show the cost to consumers was nearly cut in half. (Graphic by Kurt Snibbe, The Cannifornian)

Initially, most experts say prices will go up. Businesses will face costs to comply with new state regulations and new taxes, and some of those expenses will be passed on to customers.

All cannabis sold legally in California from Jan. 1 will include a special 15 percent tax. And recreational cannabis will also be subject to state sales tax, which is around 8 percent. Local governments that allow businesses also can tack on their own taxes, which are expected to be around 5 to 10 percent.  But the price jump — if it happens — might not be permanent.

In other states that legalized cannabis, prices tended to drop significantly after the market adjusted to new taxes and other rules. In Colorado, for example, market reports show the wholesale price of marijuana fell 40 percent from the first half of 2016 to the first half of this year.

Q: What can I do if my neighbor’s marijuana smoke is stinking up my house?

A: People are generally allowed to consume cannabis inside their homes or on private property out of public view.

If drifting marijuana smoke is bothering you, you can try calling police at their non-emergency number or your local code enforcement office to report a nuisance. But since it’s not illegal, that might not get you very far.

If you live in an apartment or under a homeowner’s association, or if your neighbor is a renter, you might have better luck contacting those entities. Housing complexes and landlords can ban smoking in their units.

Q: I want to know more about getting into the industry. Where do I start?

A: We recently published this checklist of 10 steps to starting a marijuana business in California. As you can see, the process to get licensed isn’t simple or cheap. But there are resources to help, including the California Cannabis Industry Association and a growing list of industry consultants.



Question: What is the difference between THC and CBD?

Answer: a major difference between the two is that THC is psychoactive, and activates the mind, while CBD calms the mind. In the upcoming monthly series, 
I will explain how to use both CBD and THC  to treat symptoms and medical conditions.  

~ Aury L. Holtzman, M.D. Physician Cannabis Specialist



Can pot blunt the opioid epidemic? 
We don't know because the federal government blocks research.
Daniele Piomelli and Bob Solomon

An epidemic of opioid abuse is ravaging the United States and, as we look for ways to respond to it, some see cannabis as part of thut outdated federal legislation, having concluded almost 50 years ago that there is no medical value to cannabis, is blocking all meaningful efforts to understand the real benefits and risks of the plant.
There are critical open questions about cannabis, and without research conducted under rigorous scientific standards, we will not find answers. If you think these questions don’t really matter in daily life, let’s look at three scenarios.Your friend is one of the 1,125,000 people in California who use medical cannabis. Before going to bed, he drinks a cannabis tea because it helps him go to sleep. The morning after, he feels well rested and doesn’t experience any aftereffects. But one day, as he is driving to work, the police stop him for a random blood THC test (this type of test is already in use in Colorado and may be adopted in California). Your friend turns out to be THC positive and loses his driver’s license, even though there is no correlation between blood THC levels and intoxication. The same person can have detectable blood THC levels and be perfectly functional, or have undetectable levels and be impaired. We need research to develop objective, unbiased ways of measuring cannabis intoxication, or innocent people will end up paying for a crime they did not commit.The Controlled Substance Act is the single greatest impediment to increasing our knowledge of cannabis.

Oe solution, while others see it as part of the problem. This is just one area in which unbiased scientific research is necessary, br let’s say your grandfather is convinced that cannabis is the only thing that helps him with his arthritis pain. He is not alone in believing this — cannabis use in persons over 50 has tripled in the last 10 years, a phenomenon primarily driven by self-medication for pain and sleep problems. You are happy for grandpa, but then you notice that he has become more forgetful than he used to be. Is this a normal consequence of age, or a side effect of the drug? Will forgetfulness turn into memory impairment? We can’t answer this question now, because the effects of cannabis have never been studied in elderly people. Research shows that that in old mice, low doses of cannabis may actually improve memory — but what about in humans?One last example, which takes us back to the opioid crisis. States in which cannabis is legal have 25% fewer deaths for opioid overdose than states in which medical use of the drug is not allowed. These are credible data, but do not necessarily mean that cannabis is a solution to the opioid crisis. Cannabis reduces many forms of chronic pain in people, but we do not know if it can replace opioids. Nor do we know if the use of cannabis attenuates or worsens the risk of developing an opioid addiction.

Finding the answers to all of the above questions is more than feasible.  
Yet the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, or CSA, stands in the way. First, researchers seeking to study cannabis and its chemical constituents (even the innocuous cannabidiol) may only use plant material from a single federal contractor, the University of Mississippi. That cannabis is very different from the cannabis generally available to the public in California and elsewhere, which creates a problem of “external validity”: what researchers are allowed to study in the lab or the clinic does not tell them much about what happens in the real world. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration must approve any use of the University of Mississippi cannabis, a process that requires researchers to jump through unnecessary hoops. This is not news. We have known for years that the Controlled Substance Act is the single greatest impediment to increasing our knowledge of cannabis. It matters now because, come January, Proposition 64 (the Adult Use of Marijuana Act approved by California voters in November 2016) will take effect in full and cannabis will be legally available for recreational use in the most populous state in the union.

California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control is working hard to put sensible guidelines in place and regulate its use, but even the most thoughtful regulation cannot replace research. If science does not fill the knowledge void, then interest-driven pseudo-science will. Ideologists and special interests are already pushing hard in that direction.Proposition 64 calls for and funds research on cannabis. Despite out-of-date federal legislation, it is essential that we implement this key component of the proposition and support the rigorous scientific work needed by medical providers, consumers, law enforcement and entrepreneurs alike.

Daniele Piomelli and Bob Solomon are directors of the UCI Center for the Study of Cannabis. 

Sent by Dr. Frank Talamantes 


Question: Can cannabis be used to blunt the opioid epidemic?

Answer:  Cannabis can absolutely be used to treat Opioid addiction, and can be used to treat pain more effectively, and safer than Opioids.  The problem for most patients is that not all strains of cannabis help with pain, and some even make the pain worse.   The most important consideration in treating pain or addiction with cannabis, is to select the proper strains.  

~ Aury L. Holtzman, M.D. Physician Cannabis Specialist


M       M  

A REAL CASE from my files . . .

A 60-year-old female patient consulted me at my office with a complaint of chronic and severe pain due to multiple back surgeries.  She had been maintained on chronic very high dose of Opioids for more than 33 years.   Throughout that period she reported inadequate pain control, and was forced by the pain to take more than her prescribed dose.  She frequently run out of her prescribed Opioids and would end up in the emergency room for pain and opioid withdrawals.

I guided her to select the proper type of cannabis medicine for her pain.  By using cannabis she was able to completely taper off all Opioids, and be Opioid free for the first time in 35 years.

In future issues of my column, I will present all information needed to select the proper type of medical cannabis to treat a multitude of medical conditions including pain and addiction.

I will be happy to answer your specific questions about the medicinal use of cannabis. Please send them to my mom (Editor Mimi) for me to answer. mimilozano@aol.com 

~ Aury L. Holtzman, M.D. Physician Cannabis Specialist


 A beautiful painting of a Grey Stallion in a Stable by Jose Manuel Gomez. The BAPSH would like to thank Sr Gomez for the kind use of his painting


Rancho Del Sueño, Madera, California.
Equus Survival Trust of North Carolina
June 8-10, 2018: Ninth annual Conference on the American Revolution 
2017-2018 SAR Americanism Poster Contest: Theme: General Bernardo de Galvez
Nace La Fundación Civilización Hispánica 

The Spanish Horse (Andalusian) is believed to be the most ancient riding horse in the world. Although the origins of the breed are not clear, Spanish experts adamantly maintain that it is in fact a native of Spain and does not owe one single feature of its makeup to any other breed.

Welcome to Rancho Del Sueño
Madera, CA


                  Rancho Del Sueño is home to the largest gene pool in existence for this historic breed.
          It is the ONLY facility with enough genetic diversity in this breed to save them from extinction

There are few entities in this world as majestic and breathtaking as the Spanish horse.   We are the equine division of the Heritage Discovery Center,  a registered 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the critically endangered Colonial Spanish Wilbur-Cruce Mission Horse.  Our mission is to save this extraordinary breed from extinction

The Cruce Horses are direct descendants of those brought to the New World from Spain in the early 16th century and are an integral part of the southwest's early history.  The foundation stock of our herd originated from Father Kino’s Mission Dolores in Sonora, Mexico and were brought up to the Pimería Alta, the area made up of Southern AZ and Northern Sonora, Mexico.  These horses bear a striking resemblance to those depicted in the Baroque art following the Renaissance period and are more like the original horses of Spain than the breeds that exist in Iberia today.

Rancho Del Sueño is a 40 acre conservation and visitation center.   Feel free to inquire about visiting these unique and fascinating horses, or ask about participating in our equine assisted learning (EAL) or wellness programs. “They were our companions from sun up to sundown and sometimes deep into the night, year in and year out.  They had speed, stamina, courage, and intelligence.”   ~ Eva Antonia Wilbur-Cruce


The Colonial Spanish Wilbur-Cruce Horses are CRITICALLY ENDANGERED and on the BRINK OF EXTINCTION!  There are now LESS THAN 200 of these historically significant horses left in existence.  Rancho Del Sueño is the ONLY facility with enough genetic diversity in this breed to save them from extinction. A recent DNA study executed by Dr. E. Gus Cothran of Texas A & M University shows remarkable findings involving the Wilbur-Cruce Horses at Rancho Del Sueño.  LEARN MORE

Save the Cruce Horses.  It costs $200 per day to feed the horses at Rancho Del Sueño.  All contributions are greatly appreciated and will directly fund our conservation program.  We are a registered 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.  All donations are tax-deductible.  Now more than ever we are in need of funding. Without sufficient support soon, we will be unable to continue our conservation program and this valuable gene pool will be lost forever. 

Robin Collins, Executive Director
Heritage Discovery Center, Inc.
40222 Millstream Lane
Madera, California 93636
559 868-8681
559 868- 8682 fax


Editor Mimi: You'll find information about Robin and Rancho del Sueno in July 2014, April 2015 and June 2016.

Plus, you will find Robin throughout  many, many other issues of Somos Primos.  Robin introduced me to the Equus Survival Trust.  Victoria Tollman, includes
pony and donkey breeds in the Equus survival effort.  The pony and donkeys also played an important role in the development of the United States.



The Equus Survival Trust's main thrust is providing grassroots education as it relates to endangered breed conservation:

The time has come to stop thinking of horses like the Carolina Marsh Tacky as a "rare" novelty and begin looking at them as an endangered animal.
Many Americans have no idea that so many historical horse, pony and donkey breeds teeter on the brink of extinction.

North America has viable breeding populations of over 25 different such breeds. Some are foreign and some are pure American. Sheer numbers will not save them. It requires sound breeding practices and good stewardship to keep the gene pools viably diverse and the breeds usefully productive.  

Mission Statement

The Equus Survival Trust is an educational non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the traditional traits and the genetic diversity of historical equine breeds (horses, ponies and donkeys) threatened with extinction. The Trust supports these breeds by engaging in collective conservation efforts, educational promotions, and by supporting the network of endangered breed equine associations, and enthusiasts around the globe, with special emphasis on North America and breeds unique to North America.

(1) by creating or compiling new and existing public resources, and by organizing and/or supporting exhibitions, clinics and lectures and competitions or inspections that enhance conservation and preservation

(2) by focusing on supporting or creating conservation markets that enhance the survival of endangered equines while retaining the historical inner and outer characteristics of these breeds

(3) by maintaining an aggressive presence in the public eye, particularly in publications and on the Internet.

As we begin to build individual breed pages, we invite you to browse our site and learn about the various breeds. Find out how each is unique, how these breeds are anything but museum pieces, and why they are endangered.

Most importantly, learn how you might become involved as an owner, future breeder, volunteer or financial supporter of some of the rarest equines in the world. 

Victoria Tollman  EquusSurvivalTrust@yahoo.com  336-352-5520



June 8-10, 2018

Judge Ed Butler, President General 2009-2010, 
announced that The ninth annual Conference on the American Revolution will focus on





The conference will be conducted at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD on June 8-10, 2018.  Several history scholars will be presenting scholarly papers at the conference. 

There will be time for participants to have informal meetings with these scholars. SAR's Distinguished Scholar, Prof. Gabriel Paquette will conduct the meeting.   

When Judge Butler was president general his theme was "Remembering Spain".  He has been directly or indirectly involved in recruiting Hispanics into the SAR.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Spain and the American Revolution. Ninth Annual Conference on the American Revolution (Johns Hopkins University, Jun 2018) (DEADLINE 1 JUN 2017)

The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) invite proposals for papers to be presented at the Ninth SAR Annual Conference on the American Revolution. This conference shall examine and reconsider Spain’s role in the American Revolution. Though the participation of France in the American Revolution is well-established in the historiography, the role of Spain—France’s ally as a result of the so-called “Family Compact” that united the two Bourbon monarchies—is relatively understudied and under-appreciated. This neglect is surprising, given Spain’s significant material and martial contributions to the American effort from 1779. The renewal of interest in global and international history makes such continued neglect untenable: Spain and Britain clashed repeatedly during the global war of which the American Revolution was but one theater, whether in the Caribbean, the Gulf Coast and Florida, Minorca, and Gibraltar. Following the establishment of American independence, Spain remained one of the nascent republic’s most significant allies and the Spanish empire became one of its most significant neighbors and, often illicitly, trading partners.

Proposals should explore an aspect of the involvement of Spain in the American Revolution and may consider, secondarily, Spain’s (and Spanish America’s) interactions with the United States in the early republican period. All approaches and historiographical orientations will be considered, whether diplomatic, cultural, military, economic, social, imperial or intellectual.

Proposals should include a 300-word abstract and a short (maximum 2-page) CV. Proposals should be submitted by June 1, 2017 to gabriel.paquette@jhu.edu, with the subject line “2018 SAR Annual Conference Proposal”. Notification of acceptance will be given by the end of June 2017.

Publication of accepted papers, following revisions, in an edited volume with a major university press is anticipated soon after the conference itself. It is therefore required that participants submit their full-length (c. 6,000 words), relatively polished papers for pre-circulation two months prior to the conference itself (i.e. by April 8, 2018).

The SAR will cover presenters’ travel and lodging expenses and, in addition, offer a $500 honorarium.

The 2018 SAR Annual Conference on the American Revolution will honor the notable contributions to the study of the international history of the American Revolution made by Professor David Armitage (Harvard University) and Professor Sylvia Hilton (La Universidad Complutense de Madrid).

(Source: HNet)



Judge Ed Butler, co-founder of SPAR and President General of the National Society Sons of the American Revolution announced today that General Bernardo de Galvez will be the theme for the 2017-2018 SAR Americanism Poster Contest.

The contest is directed to students in the 4th or 5th grade, depending on which grade year the American Revolution is taught in your educational system.

Prizes are as follows:  1st Place - $300 Cash; 2nd Place - $200 Cash; 3rd Place - $150 Cash; 4th and 5th Place - $100 Cash.  Students from all 50 states are invited to participate.

The Texas SAR topic for 2017 - 2018 year’s contest is:  

"An event involving Bernardo de Galvez in the Revolutionary War"

Posters will be judged by the following criteria:

1.     Does the poster express the annual theme?

2.     Does the poster show originality by the student?

3.     Does the poster show evidence of research?

4.     Does the poster show artistic merit and creativity?

5.     Does the poster accurately reflect the historical event?

6.     Is the poster neat and visually pleasing? 

The winner from each local school will compete at Chapter level.  The Chapter winner will then advance to competition at the Texas SAR State Conference.  The Texas Society winner will represent the State Society at the National Level. 


  • Poster will be on standard poster board (22" x 28")
  • Any media of drawing material may be used, and students may paste unpublished material (not commercially printed) on their boards.
  • No three dimensional posters will be accepted.
  • No group project posters.  Each poster must be done by one individual student.
  • All entries must have the following information taped to the back of the poster:
    Student's Name, Address, Home Telephone, Age, Grade, Name of School, Name of Teacher, and Sponsoring SAR Chapter.  The front of the poster must not be signed.
  • The students Social Security Number will be required for State Winners, before entering National Contest, to be eligible for National Prizes.
  • Only one entry per school may be entered in the local SAR Chapter competition and chapter entries are limited as stated in item #2 below for state competition.
  • The cutoff day for entering at the Local Chapter level is February 1st. 


1. All paper work shall be mailed to the State Poster Chairman before March 1st at the following address:

SAR Americanism Poster Contest
% Bill Whatley 
1406 Festival Dr.
Houston, TX 77062

Please tape the following additional information to the back of the poster that your chapter is submitting for the Texas SAR State competition:

a.  A completed National Entry Form from the National Web Site
b.  A signed parental consent form
c.  The new Authenticity Form signed by the educator of the student submitting the poster
Note:  All above Texas SAR forms are included in the Poster Contest Support Pack.

2.     A Chapter may submit one poster for every 50 posters they have as follows:
     (1 poster to 99 posters - the chapter will be allowed one poster at the Texas SAR Annual Convention.
     100 posters to 149 posters - the chapter will be allowed two posters at the Texas SAR Annual Convention and so on.)

3.     Each chapter will be responsible for bringing their winning poster to the Texas SAR state meeting or if you cannot attend send poster to:

SAR Americanism Poster Contest
% Bill Whatley
1406 Festival Dr.
Houston, TX 77062




Los miembros fundadores de la Fundación Civilización Hispánica - Isabel Permuy

Nace la fundación que reivindicará juntas la historia de España y América  
La Fundación Civilización Hispánica está destinada a difundir los logros
del pasado común por medio de largometrajes, series y exposiciones

Madrid 17/01/2018

Hay un relato bastante extendido de nuestra historia que no es justo, porque pone el énfasis solo en cuestiones negativas bien engrasadas por la Leyenda Negra. La Historia de España no ha gozado, fuera del ámbito académico, de la defensa de los valores de la civilización que compartimos con casi 600 millones de personas. Para dar un impulso a un relato diferente nacía ayer en Madrid la Fundación Civilización Hispánica.

Dirigida por Borja Cardelús, es, sencillamente, una buena idea que tiene por objeto difundir de una manera eficaz las diversas aportaciones de España y del mundo hispánico a la Humanidad y luchar con las armas de la razón y la verdad histórica contra esa Leyenda Negra y sus manidos clichés. No para negar aspectos negativos perfectamente conocidos, sino para poner bajo los focos algunos aspectos positivos que no han tenido la fortuna de calar en la opinión pública, y que definen la singular importancia de la civilización que nació de la unión de dos mundos.

Muy pocas conquistas han dado lugar a una civilización a lo largo de la historia. La Civilización Hispánica nace del mestizaje y hoy representa elementos como la lengua española, la cosmovisión que compartimos y muchos otros valores heredados del cristianismo, un sentido vital de la comunidad, tanto como la arquitectura y otras manifestaciones culturales. La Fundación tratará de difundir, a través de proyectos eficaces (sobre todo tiene vocación de ayudar al nacimiento de series y películas, materiales audiovisuales, exposiciones y publicaciones de gran divulgación…), todos estos elementos que unen a la Comunidad Hispánica incluyendo a los 55 millones de hispanos que viven en Estados Unidos y que comparten esta misma cultura.

No se trata por tanto de una mera reunión para la reivindicación del pasado, sino la celebración actual de la historia que nos une con el fin de extender ese sentimiento a actividades y proyectos que nos permitan, desde los dos lados del Atlántico, redescubrir una identidad por encima de prejuicios y clichés.

En los últimos años se ha producido en España una curiosa paradoja: junto a la pobre formación histórica en nuestros sistemas educativos y a la disgregación del relato en algunas comunidades autónomas, existe un nuevo entusiasmo por la historia, que miles de lectores buscan en los medios de comunicación, en especial ABC, o a través de la eclosión del género de la novela histórica.

Por ello, la Fundación quiere aportar una visión que impida la hegemonía de la visión negativa, la Leyenda Negra, que cuestiona la inmensa contribución geográfica, humanística y cultural de la civilización hispánica, reconocida por los mayores especialistas. España incorporó a todo un Continente a la Cultura Occidental, rompiendo los límites del relato bíblico y dando carta de naturaleza al mundo moderno. Además, mantuvo desde el inicio una política integradora hacia los indios, no siempre respetada, claro está, pero que creó un corpus legal del que surgiría el primer humanismo. Y el esfuerzo de la exploración del siglo XVI permitió una revolución científica que hoy muchos consideran el origen de la Europa ilustrada.

Pero lo más importante es que España realizó dos políticas determinantes: la fundación de ciudades con sus imprentas, universidades y conventos, que transformaron la economía de la época (se comerciaba mucho más que el oro), creando las bases de la primera globalización y el mestizaje que puso en marcha una nueva sociedad pujante y orgullosa.


http://www.abc.es/cultura/abci -nace-fundacion-reivindicara- juntas-historia-espana-y- america-201801170129_noticia. html


Bernardo de Galvez Documentary Project


Editor Mimi: 

Since 1986 I have been involved with many groups with the goal of spreading information about the connection that all those who have a Spanish surname have a connection and heritage back to Spain.   

Proving the Spanish presence, as explorers and settlers and as crucial supporter to the American Revolution seemed an excellent approach to prove to our youth they have every reason to be proud of their ancestry.   Mostly this message was being embraced by Latinos.  Then I realized that there were non-Hispanic who are also interested in getting the message out.  Especially supportive were retired military.

After gathering support locally in Orange County California,  we mounted a three-day event at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center California honoring Bernardo de Galvez, with the support of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution.  Below are just some of the activities in which I and other promoters of the concept have been engaged.

2003 Orange County:  Somos Primos/ Latino Activists for Education
Three Day of events honoring the memory of General Bernardo De Galvez
www.somosprimos.com/sp2003/spn ov03/spnov03.htm

2005 Texas Connection to the American Revolution   
Participated in the  July 4 Washington, DC parade
www.somosprimos.com/sp2005/ spaug05/spaug05.htm

2007 Sons and Daughter of the American Revolution
Laredo, Texas 110th Annual
George Washington Parade, February 17
www.somosprimos.com/sp2007/ spmar07/110th_annual_george_ washington_p.htm

December 2014 YOU got the Bernardo de Galvez portrait hung in DC. All historically informed Latinos are grateful to you for that!  http://www.somosprimos.com/ sp2015/spjan15/spjan15.htm

Books have been written, magazine articles, events, and presentations have increased on the importance of General Galvez.    Now under the leadership of Judge Butler, many groups have come together to produce a documentary in English on Bernardo de Galvez.  Below are the organizations in support of the project. 

We would like to get support from Spanish groups in the United States.  We are aware that a well-executed documentary on Galvez was produced by a Spanish film producer;  however, it is in Spanish.   The goal is to produce a film that would be viewed on US public broadcasting stations. 

Supportive materials would be produced and distributed through SAR/DAR's national contacts,  which are already in place.  Note below at the poster competition being run by Judge Butler.

We would appreciate a collaboration in place with you, which would reflect your support of the documentry in English concept.   

Thank you very much,  Mimi Lozano

 Organizations that have signed resolutions endorsing the making of a two hour television documentary about Galvez and Spain's assistance with the American Revolution:  

Mimi Lozano, Editor Somosprimos.com,
Co-Founder of the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research 1986
Co-Founder of Spain's Presence in the Americas Roots ( SPAR)

Judge Edward F. Butler, Sr., author and
President General National Society Sons of the American Revolution 2009-2010
Co-Founder of Spain's Presence in the Americas Roots ( SPAR)

Lynn Forney Young, President
Co- Founder of the Texas Genealogical College
President General National Society Daughters of the American Revolution 2013-2016

Jack V. Cowan, Founder,
Texas Connection with the American Revolution

Gary Foreman, CEO
Native Sons Productions

Joe Lopez, Governor
Order of the Granaderos y Damas De Galvez

Mari Tamez,  President
Canary Islanders Assn.

Rev. Dr. James C. Taylor, Governor
Texas Society Order of the Founders of North America 1492-1692

 Lytleton T.  Harris, IV, former Governor General
Order of the Founders and Patriots of America

 Charles Luna, Governor
Society of Colonial Wars of Texas

Sanford Reed, Commander
Military Order of the Stars and Bars

William E. Leon, President
1812 Society of Texas

 William N. Marrs, Jr., President
Texas Society Sons of the Revolution

 Wayne Courageous, President
Texas Division Washington's Army at Valley Forge



Lost History of American Documentary: 1565 Saint Augustine
10 Mentiras Prohibidas del Descubrimiento Conquista de America 



The Lost History of American Documentary (2018)
1565 landing at Saint Augustine.

Excellent visuals.  I especially enjoyed seeing some library archives with boxes and boxes of documents, reports written by Spanish soldiers documenting their efforts and the facts associated with their efforts.  At last Pedro Menendez was described correctly as a Adelantado, instead of the term which most Europeans prefer, for obvious reason, . . . Conquistator. 

It was clear that the English Queen was interested in gold when she gave Francis Drake the title of Sir.  He stole from the Spanish with her blessing and he was paid handsomely for his piracy.  

St Augustine was the first multi-cultural colonial society on the East coast.  The narrator said the description of St. Augustine. at that time, sounds very much like our culture today.     



Proven by the records is that those who among the first ships were families, with women and children on the records of the Spanish ships. In addition the men were a cross-section of of needed skills, such as carpenters and blacksmith.  

Once again the emphasis is made that the Spanish explorations was to bring the Catholic faith and religion to the indigenous. 

Found by Carlos C. Campos y Escalante


10 Mentiras Prohibidas del Descubrimiento Conquista de America 

En este video se expone diez mentiras o incongruencias del Descubrimiento y Conquista de América

Host Mario Verzcia . .  Para Buscar la Verdad



Host Mario Verzcia explores the First Big lie about the discovery of the Americas. Verzcia adamantly states that it was not to find a route for spices and obtain gold.  Colón's voyage was the acts and goals of a Christian.  Verzcia  presents his position is based on the words of Cristóbal Colón himself, concerning his historic voyage, as found in a March 4th, 1493 entry in:

"Cristobal Colon, Textos y documentos completos, Edicion de Consuelo Varela Nuevas cartas: Edicion de Juan Gil".

Colón writes his reason for the voyage was  to find and enlist the support of those promised in the book of Isaiah  . . who would come from the "East" and help Israel in its defense against the Muslim's war against the Jews.   

Editor Mimi: Please watch the video. 
Thank you to Carlos Campos y Escalante for finding this fascinating video.  And there are 10 more lies to read about. 

Copies of this book are available from Amazon



Edward Soza
March 24, 1921 -  December. 28, 2017 at 96 years old
Business Exporter and author of six books on the Soza family of Tucson, Arizona


Edward Soza Obituary

Edward Soza
March 24, 1921 -  December. 28, 2017 at 96 years old
Business Exporter and author of six books on the Soza family of Tucson, Arizona



Edward Soza, 96, of Altadena passed peacefully into heaven on Dec. 28, 2017. He was born March 24, 1921 in Benson, Arizona to Juan Moreno Soza and Maria Yanez Soza. Ed graduated from North Phoenix High School in 1940. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1940-1946, during which he received a BA in Economics from Penn. State. He married Phyllis Fine of New Jersey on Aug. 1, 1947 and they celebrated 70 years of marriage.

Ed was passionate about family and researching his roots. He wrote six books on the history of Arizona homesteaders and researched his genealogy back to the 1700's. He was instrumental in meeting and connecting with relatives he discovered, bringing everyone together for Soza family reunions in Tucson, Arizona. There is a room dedicated to the Soza family in the John C. Fremont house, "La Casa del Gobenador" in Tucson, honoring them as one of the founding families of Arizona.

Ed's career in the export business spanned 30 years and took him to the Philippines, Indonesia, South America, and South Africa. He later worked in real estate for 15 years before retiring. He was active in his community serving in the Rotary Club  of Altadena, Altadena Town and Country Club, Board of Realtors, Tournament of Roses, Westminster Presbyterian Church, and the Tucson Heritage Foundation.

Ed is survived by his wife, Phyllis; their children, Stacey Guzman of Apple Valley, Holly Nease of San Diego, and Lawrence Soza of Covina; five grandchildren, Heather Cook, Lauren Nease, Ben Nease, Mia Soza and Sarah Soza; and three great-grandchildren, Collins, Jolie, and Shepard Cook. He also survived by two sisters, Josephine Michalec and Raquel Soza, and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service and reception was January 13, 10:00 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1757 N. Lake Ave. Pasadena, Ca. 91104. A military burial will followed at 2:00 p.m., Mountain View Mortuary, 2400 Fair Oaks Ave. Altadena, Ca. 91001.  Published in San Gabriel Valley Tribune on Jan. 9, 2018

Sent by Monica Smith   tortelita@aol.com 



On Jan 12, 2018, at 6:42 PM, nazario a. gonzales <ngonzalestito@gmail.com> wrote:  

Dear Soza/Sosa Family Members:

Cousin Phil notified me that Edward Soza passed away. Edward spearheaded the Soza Family Reunions beginning back in 1976. The first reunion celebrated 200 years of Soza presence in Arizona. He worked with many family members including my dad, Hector Soza, and many others to make our family reunions successful. He did a wonderful work in behalf of all of us. At the reunions, I discovered so many wonderful relatives and an extended family beyond belief. He is to be credited for his effort. 

His obituary in included in this email. http://www.legacy.com/obituari es/sgvtribune/obituary.aspx?pa ge=lifestory&pid=187782477

Please read it and enter your recollections of Edward in the memorial book. I did. Maybe at our next reunion, it can be dedicated to Edward. 

Below is a URL for pictures of the Soza family which Edward compiled. Explore the whole site which is preserved by the University of Arizona. Please pass this on to other Soza family members. If anyone has email addresses for Edward's family, 
please forward this to them....

Nazario A. "Tito" Gonzales
17170 Pine Avenue
Los Gatos, CA 95032



Specialist 4 Frankie Sanchez: 
Remembering Frankie  by James S. Robbins 
Frankie Sanchez U.S. Army, 1st Cavalry Division by Rudy Padilla

Specialist 4 Frankie Sanchez
Remembering Frankie 
by James S. Robbins 
May 26, 2006

Saying goodbye to a man I never knew. Back in college I picked up a used LP entitled A Year in a New Kind of War. It was a 1966 release from ABC records, an album made from an episode of the television news magazine Scope. The topic of the program was the first year of America’s expanded involvement in Vietnam. 

One of the noteworthy segments was an interview between ABC reporter Howard K. Smith and his son, Frank Smith, a soldier in the 1st Air Cavalry Division. Howard had come to Vietnam for the interview, but the circumstances were not what he expected. He found his son at a dressing station being prepared for evacuation to treat severe wounds he had received in the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley. 

Frank’s platoon had been overrun by North Vietnamese regulars, and most of his fellow soldiers killed. He survived by pretending to be dead himself, and spent a horrifying night laying on top of the bodies of his comrades, being used as a sandbag for an enemy machine-gun emplacement. “Sandbag” Smith, as he was later known, was eventually rescued, and medevaced back to base with little hope he would survive. 

Nevertheless he gave a lucid interview to his father, who for his part was coolly professional despite the agony he must have felt seeing his son in that condition. 

Frank described in detail the engagement, the chaos (“guys with their guts hanging out…everybody was screaming”), and the aftermath. “They were killing the wounded,” he said. “We could hear them–when they found an American who was wounded they would kick him over on his stomach and they would shoot him.” 

Frank was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism in the engagement, and went on to become an Emmy-winning correspondent. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Towards the end of the program we meet Frank Sanchez, father of Specialist 4 Frankie Sanchez, who was killed in a firefight February 23, 1966. 

Frank reads the telegram he was sent informing him of his son’s death. His voice grows tremulous as he reads the words–“has asked me to express his deepest–I guess–regrets that your son Specialist Frankie Sanchez”–he chokes–“died in Vietnam”–he stifles a sob–“as the result of hostile action.” 

It is a moving segment, and one can sense Frank’s anguish. A new kind of war, but some things remain constant. Shortly after finding the record I was in Washington visiting family and took the opportunity to make my first trip to the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial. It was and remains a moving experience. 

An extraordinary silence encloses you as you descend next to the rising black granite panels. There is a stillness, a deep sense of reverence in the place. One can see it on the faces of a visitors, and in the Wall itself. The simple lines of the black panels, grey cobblestones, and sidewalk interrupted by the intermittent offerings of flowers, flags, notes, and mementoes. 

One can hardly recall the original hostility to the monument, the “slit trench of shame” as some called it. I suspect no one who has actually stood there could ever think such thoughts. 

I did not know anyone who died in Vietnam, but I remembered the name Frankie Sanchez, so I looked him up in one of the glass-encased guidebooks. He was born June 12, 1937, in Dodge City, Kansas. He was 28 when he died. He had been in the service ten years, and this was his first tour in Nam. His name was located on panel 05E line 68. I found him, with some looking–the names have a tendency to blend. But when I spotted his name, a thrill ran through me, of recognition, affirmation, and inexplicable loss. The name was at arm level–I reached out and touched it, running my fingers over the letters lightly carved in cool, shiny granite. 

I never knew Frankie, but I could hear his father’s pain in a decades-old recording, and the connection between that voice and the rough letters beneath my fingers awakened a deep sense of empathy. I knew he had family members to mourn him, those who knew and loved him. That was not my place. But I wondered if they had ever stood on that spot, if they had ever had a chance to visit him there, to see him among his comrades, listed with the 31 others who died that same day. I thought, well, maybe they have, or maybe not. Nevertheless, I was there, and there for him, and that was something. As Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote of his eventual interment at Arlington, “perhaps some people will come in to say goodbye.” 

I visited Frankie numerous times over the years, whenever I was in Washington and went to the Wall, or after I moved here, frequently acting as tour guide for visiting friends. Frankie connected me to the place in a way I otherwise would not have been–not as strongly as the friends and loved ones of the fallen, nor surely so powerfully as the veterans whom one can see there on any given day, distinguishable by the contrast between their set jaws and a certain softness around the eyes. 

Recently I sought to learn more about Frankie, and with the assistance of the VFW I made telephone contact with his Uncle Isaac. Unfortunately, his father Frank Sanchez had passed away, but the similarity between the brother’s voices, in timbre and accent, was remarkable–it was as though I was having a conversation with that 40-year-old recording. 

I learned that Frankie came from a family that had well served this country. His father was one of six brothers. Alvin, the oldest, was an Army infantryman who had served in the Mediterranean Theater in World War II. Rudy served as a corpsman in the South Pacific and was severely wounded. Gavino landed at Normandy. Louis was sent home from the service for being color blind, so instead he became mayor of Dodge City. Isaac, who was younger, fought with the Army in Korea. And Frank Sanchez, who worked on the railroad, was deemed an essential war worker and not allowed to get in the fight. 

“Frankie was a really great guy,” Isaac said. But he was short in February 1966–that is, he did not have much time left on his tour. In fact Frankie was very short. He was down to a day, and anyone knows that is bad luck. Back then the Defense Department used taxis to deliver the news to families, and Isaac was in the cab business. The cabbie who got the thankless task asked Isaac for help, so they went together to find his brother Frank, who was expecting Frankie home soon. It was the same telegram he read on Scope. 

Frankie’s wife lived in Georgia with their son, also named Frankie, and she wanted him buried there. But the coffin passed through Dodge City on the way and the family was able to pay their respects. Since then they had not in fact been to Washington to visit the Wall–but back in 1990 while in Colorado Springs for the VFW Isaac saw the Moving Wall, the half-scale replica of the memorial that tours the country. It stopped in Dodge City in June 2002, and the rest of the family was able to see Frankie’s name. 

So now you know what I know about Spec 4 Frankie Sanchez. He is one of the more than 58,000 men and women who died in Vietnam, and whose names are carved in stone on the national mall. I never knew Frankie, but I will never forget him. — James S. Robbins is senior fellow in national-security affairs at the American Foreign Policy Council, a trustee for the Leaders for Liberty Foundation, and author of Last in Their Class: Custer, Picket and the Goats of West Point. Robbins is also an NRO contributor.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/217745/remembering-frankie-james-s-robbins 

Sent by Rudy Padilla  opkansas@swbell.net


Frankie Sanchez U.S. Army, 1st Cavalry Division
By Rudy Padilla



One of America’s most haunting past military battles would likely be the Vietnam War.  When I hear the song “More Than a Name on A Wall” by the Statler Brothers, I am reminded of our brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.  The first few lyrics of the song are:

I saw her from a distance
As she walked up to the wall
In her hand she held some flowers
As her tears began to fall

She took out pen and paper
As to trace her memories
She looked up to Heaven
And the words she said were these

She said “Lord my boy was special
And he meant so much to me”
And oh I’d love to see him
Just one more time you see

All I have are the memories
And the moments to recall
So Lord could you tell him
He’s more than a name on a wall


It has been said of the Vietnam Wall “You can touch it and in return – it will touch you.”  My cousin, Frankie Sanchez was a casualty of the Vietnam War.  He was an extraordinary young man.  As the others, he obeyed orders and gave it his all before his life was cut short.  I, along with family attended funeral services for his Mother in Dodge City, Kansas several years ago,

I remember my aunt Marcelina as always being very pleasant and she always made us feel welcome when we visited Western Kansas.  The loss of her son in 1966 in my opinion gave her a sadness which could never go away.

It was always a joy when I visited Dodge City or my cousins visited us in KC Kansas in the 50s.  Cousins Lena, David and Frankie were always fun to visit with.  David was my age and liked adventure.  Even though Frankie was 2 years older, he always liked to talk to younger kids to get them to speak up.  He was like an older brother to me.

Recently after I requested some material about Frankie from his sister Lena, she sent me several newspaper clippings from the Dodge City Globe.  The publication of Wednesday, March 9, 1966 had the headline “Mass Conducted For First Local Viet Nam Fatality.”  The Mass was held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, where Frankie had served as an altar boy. 

During the sermon, the Rev. Leonard Burghart spoke of responsibilities.  He said “Our boys died in vain, when our citizens at home will not take up the torch of liberty and justice - and minority groups are denied the very rights our boys are asked to defend on the battlefront.”

The history of the Sanchez family was one of service.  Frankie’s dad and 3 uncles all served in World War II and his other uncle was badly wounded in the Korean War.  He was a good brother to his only sister Lena and younger brother, David.

He would serve in the Kansas National Guard for a year then would switch over to the Regular Army.  He had 10 continuous years of active service in the Army.  He was a gunner as part of a helicopter crew - 1st Air Mobile Unit, Co. A1st Cavalry Division.  He was to be flown back to the States the next day when he lost his life on Feb. 23, 1966.  He was the first casualty of Dodge City in Vietnam.

His loss was deeply felt by all who knew him. According to the newspaper headline later in the month, his loss was also a wake-up call to many. 

The title “Dodge City War Impact Reviewed” followed a copyrighted story in the Wall Street Journal of March 24, 1966.  This story reviewed the effect of the Vietnam War on the 14,000 residents of Dodge City.

“In interviews with scores of residents, reporter Everett Groseclose found that Our Lady of Guadalupe church was packed for the funeral of Frank Sanchez, a victim of the war. College students contributed double the quota of blood at St. Mary of the Plains College, aided by Dodge City Junior College; and youth are working harder to stay in colleges in hopes of avoiding the draft.”

On JULY 1, 1965 the 1st Brigade (Airborne) of the 1st Cavalry Division was no longer a conventional infantry unit, but had become an air assault division. Frankie Sanchez was a part of the new 1st Cavalry Division.  I am proud of him. He was a door machine gunner.

He will always be in the thoughts of his family and the Air Cavalry at www.allthewaybrigade.com [1] – scroll down to “Our Fallen Comrades” – click on January – March 1966 – under “YOU ARE REMEMBERED” – Killed in Action date 02/23 – Sanchez Frankie SP4 A Co 1st Bn/12th Cav.

His sister, Lena remembers him as a loving person who left Dodge City as a very young man.  She recalls his working part-time at a local dairy farm before his classes at high school.  In spite of being neat in appearance and a hard worker, there were no full-time jobs offered to him, after his many attempts. 

The U.S. Army was an option for his later earning a college education.  There were no employment opportunities for him in his home town – then he would spend many years away from his home in western Kansas. She remembers the family trauma on learning of his death in Vietnam and then – the loneliness which was felt after he was gone.

Virtualwall.org – Details
SP Frankie Sanchez
Birth: June 12, 1937        Hometown: Dodge City, Kansas
MOS: Infantryman Date of Casualty: February 23, 1966
Location of Loss: Bin Dinh Province, South Vietnam.
Reason: Ground Casualty.




Online Home of the Grranaderos y Damas de  Galvez, San Antonio chapter
June 8-10, 2018: Spain and the American revolution, Ninth annual Conference


The Online Home of the Granaderos y Damas de Galvez / San Antonio Chapter 



The mission of the organization is to inform the public about Spain’s substantial although generally little known contributions to the success of the American Revolution.

Membership is open to anyone who is interested in helping carry out the mission of the organization.  It is not based on genealogical criteria.

Contact Us To Join


Our members include professional and amateur historians and educators who perform individual research, write articles, or deliver speeches at public or private events. We also participate in civic or patriotic ceremonies and parades.  In most activities, we wear Spanish colonial uniforms and carry the Betsy Ross colonial American flag and the Burgundian Spanish colonial flag to symbolize the collaborative efforts of Generals George Washington and Bernardo de Gálvez 
during the American Revolutionary war.  


MLa Granada newsletters archives, go back to 2012
Wonderful history and overview of the very active chapter. 

Joe Perez
Governor, San Antonio Chapter
Order of Granaderos y Damas de Galvez




Ninth annual Conference on the American Revolution 
 June 8-10, 2018
Spain and the American revolution, Ninth annual Conference



Judge Ed Butler, President General 2009-2010, announced that The ninth annual Conference on the American Revolution will focus on Spain and the American Revolution.       

The conference will be conducted at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD on June 8-10, 2018.  Several history scholars will be presenting scholarly papers at the conference.  There will be time for participants to have informal meetings with these scholars.  


SAR's Distinguished Scholar, Prof. Gabriel Paquette will conduct the meeting.

Registration now available. When Judge Butler was president general his theme was "Remembering Spain".  He has been directly or indirectly involved in recruiting Hispanics into the SAR. 

Only serious scholars should consider attending.




Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D. , author of  "Hispanic Surnames and Family History"
Discover the meaning and history behind your last name





This Portuguese surname derives from the city of the same name. It was adopted by a French family headed by Arnado de Bayán moved from Galicia to Acevedo, Portugal, and back to Spain in the early 12th century. Gosino Bayan’s sons took the name Pérez de Acevado.˴̀

Most of the Acevedos living in the U.S. have roots in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Family histories can also be found in Argentina and Chile.

In California, Corporal Francisco Antonio Azevedo, born in Sinaloa, Mexico, in 1748, was part of the 1769 Portolá expedition. He served at the Monterey garrison and with Julián Acevado of Loreto, Baja California, in San Diego from 1782 to 1790. Francisco also was stationed in Los Angeles from 1808 to 1819. Jose Acevado, a mulatto from San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico, was stationed at Santa Barbara in 1789.

Antonio Acebedo married Maria Eusebia de la Soledad Duarte in Los Angeles in 1821. Juana Tomasa Acebedo, daughter of Francisco Acebedo and María Verdugo of Baja California, married Juan María Duarte in 1821.



Genealogists believe that Acosta, Costa and Costilla come from the same source, but they differ on what that source is.

Some claim the name originated in the late 1400’s in Portugal; others that it came from a noble Roman family. Some believe the name originated with a Gothic king names Acosta, whose descendants carried it from Burgos to Castilla, Arag
ón, Galicia, Andalucía and Portugal.

Acosta is the 76th most popular Spanish surname in the United States. Most U.S. Acostas trace their lineage to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

Family histories have also been identified in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru and Venezuela.

Residents of 1820 Tucson included Salvador Acosta. Cristina Acosta was listed in 1831 as a member of the household of Cristoból Montoya.

In Nacogdoches, Texas, in 1792, Jose Manuel de Acosta, a 52-year-old Indian servant and native of Los Adaes, was living with his wife Juana Quirós, and a 14-year-old son. Los Adaes natives Juan de Acosta, 25, and Andres de Acosta both raised families there.

Several Acosta families resided in Pensacola, Florida, in 1784. Domingo de Acosta, 31, lived there with his wife, Francisca M
éndez, and their daughter, María Antonia. Josefa María Acosta, 32, and her husband, Baltazar Cabrera, were raising two children.

Pensacola residents Pedro Acosta, 35, and his wife, Cecilia Artiles, had two daughters, Josefa and María del Carmen. María Dolores de Acosta and her husband, Gabriel Marin, 33, had three children.


The little bios above were part of a series that were written by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D. and published in newspapers in the 1990s.  His book Hispanic Surnames and Family History, published in 1996 by the Genealogical Publishing Company was considered a groundbreaking work on Hispanic surnames the first comprehensive analytical work on Hispanic surnames in the most extensive bibliography of his family family histories ever published.  




A lifelong student of Hispanic studies, Dr. Platt has a Ph.D. in Latin American studies and is the author of over 20 books, including family histories, geological guides, and indexes. An Expert in  paleography and surname evolution, developed courses for Brigham Young University.   President  of the Institute of  Genealogy  and  History  for  Latin America  





Your last name gives you a sense of identity and helps you discover who you are and where you come from.

Interesting facts to learn about your  surname:

  • Meaning and History
  • Where your family lived in the U.S. and U.K.
  • Average life expectancy
  • When your family immigrated to the U.S.
  • Common occupations
  • Service in the civil war


Samples of what you can get

You can enter your last name to learn its meaning and origin, or browse surnames alphabetically: 
Sent by Walter Herbeck,  tejanos2012@gmail.com 



Eva Longoria, the actress. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 
RootsTech Saturday, March 3, 2018, at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah
Who am I by J.Gilberto Quezada

From: Sam Katz
Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2018 3:24 PM
To: 'Joe Sanchez'
Subject: Some history ... from Sam Katz


I know you are always interested in Hispanic history in America. One of my favorite stories is the ancestry of Eva Longoria, the actress. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for PBS traced her family roots, and found her family and direct ancestors (named de La Goria) had landed in America from Spain 15 years before the Mayflower landed. The family owns the exact same acreage of Texas down near the Mexican border (a ranch) that they have owned since the 1600s! He told her she is one of the few families in America – and possibly the only family in America – that lived under five different flags: the Spanish flag, the Mexican flag, the Texas flag, the Confederate flag, and finally the American flag. That’s how crazy-long they have lived in the U.S. I saw the original show on PBS where they found the family’s land deeds in the archives of the Spanish monarchy (they needed permission from the King to buy). She always thought she was “Mexican,” although her father would tell her, no honey, we’re Spanish. It is quite a story and puts to rest the Pilgrim/Puritan notions that they are “the original settlers.” They aren’t even close. The oldest settlement in America is St. Augustine, Florida, which had its 500th birthday not too long ago. ! Thought you would enjoy the following


Sam Katz
Executive Assistant to the President
The Gold Shield
Detectives’ Endowment Association, Inc.
26 Thomas Street
New York, NY 10007
(212) 587-1000 -- Phone
(212) 732-4863 -- FAX


Finding Your Roots' Henry Louis Gates Jr. to Keynote 
RootsTech 2018

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (9 January 2018)--RootsTech is pleased to announce  Louis Gates Jr. will be a keynote speaker at  2018 on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Easily find and share this announcement online in the Newsroom.)




RootsTech 2018

Dr. Gates is perhaps best known in genealogy circles for his current role as the host of  Your Roots, his ground- breaking genealogy series on PBS, now in its 4thseason. 

The series combines traditional genealogical paper research with genetic Y-chromosome DNA, mitochondrial DNA, and autosomal DNA to discover the family history of well-known Americans.

Gates has been engaged in genealogical and anthropological studies for most of his career. 

Dr. Henry Louis Gates is host of PBS' Finding Your Roots and will be a keynote speaker at RootsTech 2018.

Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Keynote RootsTech 2018



Prior to Finding Your Roots, he hosted and co-produced  American Lives 1 and 2, using genealogy and DNA to document the lineage of more than a dozen African Americans and hosted  of America, a four-part series examining the genealogy of 12 North Americans of diverse ancestry—also for PBS.

As an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, he has created 18 documentary films. His six-part PBS documentary series,  African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (2013), which he wrote, executive produced, and hosted, earned the Emmy Award for Outstanding Historical Program—Long Form, as well as the Peabody Award, Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, and NAACP Image Award.

Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the  Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University (first titled the W.E.B Institute for African and African American research)—a position he has held since he arrived at Harvard in 1991. During his first 15 years on campus, he chaired the Department of Afro-American Studies as it expanded into the Department of African and African American Studies with a full-fledged doctoral program.

He has authored or co-authored 22 books and is also hailed as a literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder. Professor Gates serves as chairman of  daily online magazine and chair of the Creative Board of FUSION TV. 

He also oversees the Oxford African American Studies Center, the first comprehensive scholarly online resource on the topic and, through a funding grant, has developed a Finding Your Roots curriculum to teach science through genetics and genealogy.

Gates received his B.A. in English language and literature summa cum laude, from Yale University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Cambridge in 1979. Since then he has received 55 honorary degrees and numerous prizes. In 1981 Dr. Gates was a member of the first class awarded “genius grants” by the MacArthur Foundation. 

In 1998, he became the first African American scholar awarded the National Humanities medal. He was named to Time’s 25 Most Influential Americans list in 1997, Ebony’s Power 150 list in 2009, and the magazine’s Power 100 list in 2010 and 2012.

He is currently a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and serves on a wide array of boards, including the New York Public Library, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Aspen Institute, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Library of America, and the Brookings Institution. In 2017, the Organization of American States named Gates a Goodwill Ambassador for the Rights of People of African Descent in the Americas.

RootsTech is hosted by FamilySearch, 

50 East North Temple St, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150 United States


 I was 4 years old.




J. gilberto Quezada

Hi Mimi

As a young boy growing up in the barrio El Azteca during the 1940s and 1950s, I was not aware of any ethnic classification that applied to me or to any of us.  The barrio was the second oldest neighborhood in the city of Laredo, Texas, and was comprised of middle and lower class working families that were about 99.9% Mexican American.  The term of "Mexican-American" did not even exist at that time. 

My father had a younger brother, Tío José, and I met him a few times when he who would come to visit us from Monterrey, Mexico.  All I knew was that my parents were from Mexico, Mamá from Veracruz and Papá from San Luis, Potosí.  My mother was the only one in her family to leave Mexico City, where she was living with her godparents (madrina and padrino).  She came to the United States with my father.  I never knew my maternal grandparents or my aunts and uncles.  

Like the rest of the barrio residents, we spoke Spanish at home and in the local businesses.  The only time we spoke English was in school, and that was because Spanish was prohibited.  We were punished if we spoke our native language.   It felt odd in high school, having to take Spanish as a foreign language.   


So, I saw myself as a Mexican who happened to be born in Laredo.  And, this was pretty much the modus operandi throughout my childhood, into my adolescence, the teenage years, and as a young adult.  These growing up stages corresponded  with my educational levels from elementary, middle school, high school, and Laredo Jr. College.

It was not until the fall of 1967, when I attended St. Mary's University that I came across the term, "Mexican- American," while reading a report in the library about the status of low-income housing for Mexican Americans in San Antonio, Texas.  After careful consideration and reflection, I could consider myself a Mexican-American since I was both an American by birth and a Mexican by heritage.  Consequently, I felt comfortable with that hyphenated term.  And, while taking a course on Mexican history with Dr. Hubert J. Miller, I also learned that because of my brown skin (moreno), I was a mestizo, a historical, social, and cultural product of a class mixture between Spaniards and Indians.  This new race was born in the sixteenth century when Hernán Cortez conquered the Aztecs.  More to the point, the mestizos were the off springs of marriages between Spaniards and baptized indigneous women.  Although, many mestizos were born out of wedlock.  

So, besides being a Mexican-American, I was also a mestizo!  In the barrio El Azteca, there were many mestizos, just like me and some even had a darker shade of brown.  My father, Pedro, was tall, about five-ten, and was white.  I am also tall, at six-three, so I know that the Mexican Indians were short, perhaps, I may have some Spanish blood.  My mother, Eloisa, was short, about five-four, and had fair skin.  My older brother Peter was white and my older sister and I were brown-skinned.  I was not conscious of the color of my skin until I was about four years old and our next door neighbor, Conchita Salazar, affectionately called me, "mi prietito," my little dark one.  This cognomen bothered me for the rest of my growing up years and sometimes I asked my dear Lord why I was not born with my brother's skin color.  However, it was not until I was attending Laredo Jr. College, during the formative years of my academic studies, that I began to discern that people are judged more by their intellectual perspicacity than by the color of their skin.  So, being moreno did not bother me again.

My wife, Jo Emma, is white skinned and has a grandiose and impressive genealogy on both her paternal and maternal sides, tracing her ancestral roots all the way back to England and to Spain respectively.  I do not have a documented pedigree like hers.  As a matter of fact, I can only go back to my maternal and paternal grandparents.  On my father's side, I know the name of my great-grandmother and that's where my family tree stops.  After watching the Ancestry DNA commercials on TV for a long time, we decided to satisfy our curiosity and find out where our roots come from.  So, In late November 2017, my wife and I decided to purchase the Ancestry DNA kit and determine once and for all our historical ancestry.  Due to the Black Friday sales, Ancestry DNA was having a special price of $59.00 per kit.  So, we took advantage of this opportunity. 

The complete process was relatively simple and very easy to follow.  The instructions were self explanatory.  Once we received the Ancestry DNA kit, which came in a small white box, the first step we needed to do was to activate the DNA kit online by using the activation code number that was on the back of the instructions card and on the small glass tube.  We went to: ancestrydna.com/activate, and each of us provided an email address, a password, and we entered our own 15-digit activation code.  This code linked my sample to me and Jo Emma's code to her.  Then, each of us filled our small slender tube with our saliva, up to a black wavy line.  We replaced the funnel with the cap that was provided and secured it tightly.  The cap contained a blue solution called the stabilizing fluid.  When it was tighten, the solution was released and mixed with the saliva.  We shook the tube for at least five seconds to make sure the sample mixed thoroughly with the blue solution.  The next step was to place the tube in the enclosed collection bag and sealed it with the adhesive tape.  And, the last step was to place the sealed collection bag in the prepaid mailing box, sealed it with the adhesive strip, and off we went to the local post office branch.  

We mailed both samples on Friday afternoon, December 1, 2017 and by Thursday evening, December 7, we each received an email from Ancestry DNA stating: "Thanks for sending in your DNA sample.  Your DNA results will likely take 6-8 weeks, but due to high demand, they may take longer.  So what's next?  Your sample is in queue to be processed, and we'll let you know once we start extracting and analyzing your DNA."  In my case, I want to confirm the fact that I am really a mestizo, and by what percentage.

On Tuesday evening, December 12, 2017, I received an email from Ancestry DNA stating in part:  "Here's what's happening with your DNA.  Your DNA results will be ready in 2-4 weeks...."

Well, I finally received my DNA results and I would like to share them with you.  As you can see from the analysis below, my ethnicity is estimated as follows:

1.  Native American (Jalisco, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, and Michoacán) = 34%
2.  Europe South = 24%
3.  Iberian Peninsula = 21%
4.  Ireland, Scotland/Wales = 8%
                       Total = 87%

B. Then, from the Low Confidence Region, my ethnicity is estimated as follows:   
1.  Europe West = 4%
2.  Finland/Northwest Russia = 2%
3.  Africa North = 2%
4.  European Jewish = 1%
5.  Mali = 1%
                  Total = 10%

C. And, the last three percent of my ethnic analysis comes from the following:  
1.  Senegal = <1%
2.  African Southeastern Bantu = <1%
3.  Great Britain = <1%
4.  Polynesia = <1%
                       Total = 3%

Totals of A + B + C = 100%

So, my DNA is a mixture of many different ethnic groups from different parts of the world that through the centuries came down to yours truly,      Gilberto



My paternal grandparents, Emilia Rodríguez and Cipriano Juárez

My parents, Eloisa LIma Carmona and Pedro Quezada

My older brother Peter sitting next to Mamá.  My nephew 
Carlos Quezada (my older sister's (Lupe) son is standing behind Mamá


L-R:  back row:  Papá, me, my wife Jo Emma, and my older sister Lupe
L-R: front row:  Mamá, my nephew Carlos, and my niece Verónica, she is my sister's daughter.


I am standing in front of one of our bookshelves that we have in our house.

~ Gilberto



Ancient Infant's DNA Reveals New Clues to How the Americas Were Peopled
Discovery of the Upward Sun River infants 
by Ben Potter

Her 11,500-year-old remains suggest that all Native Americans can trace their ancestry 
to the same founding population.




Around 11,500 years ago, at a place that is now called the Upward Sun River, in the region that has since been named Alaska, two girls died. One was a late-term fetus; the other, probably her cousin, was six weeks old. They were both covered in red ochre and buried in a circular pit, along with hunting weapons made from bones and antlers. “There was intentionality in the burial ceremony,” says Ben Potter from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, who uncovered their skeletons in 2013. “These were certainly children who were well-loved.”

Now, several millennia after their short lives ended, these infants have become important all over again. Within their DNA, Potter’s team has found clues about when and how the first peoples came to the Americas.  They did so from East Asia—that much is clear. Today, Russia and Alaska are separated by the waters of the Bering Strait. But tens of thousands of years ago, when sea levels were lower, that gap was bridged by continuous land, hundreds of miles wide and covered in woodlands and meadows. This was Beringia. 

It was a harsh world, but you could walk across it—and people did.

The Upward Sun River infants, who have been named Xach’itee’aanenh T’eede Gaay” (Sunrise Girl-Child) and “Yełkaanenh T’eede Gaay” (Dawn Twilight Girl-Child) by the local indigenous community, were found at a crucial point along this route. Few human remains have been found from such a northerly or westerly part of the Americas, or from such an ancient time. “It’s hard to impress upon you how rare they are,” says Potter. “The window into the past that these children provide is priceless.”

By analyzing the older infant’s genome, Potter and his colleagues, including José Víctor Moreno Mayar and Lasse Vinner, have shown that she belonged to a previously unknown group of ancient people, who are distinct from all known Native Americans, past and present. The team have dubbed them the Ancient Beringians.

“We’d always suspected that these early genomes would have important stories to tell us about the past, and they certainly didn’t disappoint,” says Jennifer Raff from the University of Kansas, who was not involved in the study.

By comparing Xach’itee’aanenh T’eede Gaay’s genome to those of other groups, the team showed that the Ancient Beringians and other Native Americans descend from a single founding population that started to split away from other East Asians around 36,000 years ago. They became fully separated between 22,000 and 18,000 years ago, and then split into two branches themselves. One gave rise to the Ancient Beringians. The other gave rise to all other Native Americans, who expanded into the rest of the Americas. Native Americans, then, diverged into two more major lineages—a northern and a southern one—between 14,600 and 17,500 years ago.

This story unequivocally supports the so-called Beringian standstill hypothesis, “which for a long time has been the dominant explanation for how people initially peopled the Americas,” says Raff. This scenario says that the ancestors of Native Americans diverged from other East Asians at a time when ice was smothering the Northern Hemisphere. That left them stranded and isolated for millennia somewhere outside the Americas, for their eastward movements were blocked by a  giant ice sheet that covered much of North America. Only when that sheet started melting, around 15,000 years ago, could they start migrating down the west coast of the Americas.

Xach’itee’aanenh T’eede Gaay’s genome anchors this narrative in time, suggesting that the millennia-long pit stop took place between 14,000 and 22,000 years ago. It doesn’t, however, say where those early peoples stood still.

In one scenario, they paused in Beringia itself and split into two lineages there. One, the Ancient Beringians, stayed put. The other eventually made it further east and south and gave rise to the other Native Americans. If that’s right, “there was just a single migration of people from Asia who peopled the New World,” says Connie Mulligan from the University of Florida. She and others have found further evidence for that idea, but “this study provides the final piece needed to prove there was only a single migration,” she says.

But Potter prefers an alternative scenario in which the standstill took place further back in northeast Asia, and the Ancient Beringians split from other Native Americans there. Both groups then independently traveled into Beringia and subsequently into the Americas, perhaps by different routes or perhaps at different times.

Partly, this debate hinges on a controversial archeological site at the Bluefish Caves in Canada’s Yukon Territory. A recent study says that animal bones from the site, which seem to bear traces of human cut-marks, are 24,000 years old. Raff accepts the Bluefish evidence; Potter doesn’t. If the marks really were made by humans, and really are that old, people must have been in Beringia by that point, and likely paused there. If they’re not ... the find doesn’t really rule out either hypothesis.

Either way, both scenarios can now be tested with future data from either ancient DNA or archaeological finds. And both scenarios argue against an attention-getting study from last year which claimed that hominids were in North America 130,000 years ago, based on the bones of a mastodon that had supposedly been butchered with nearby stone tools. “I am super skeptical about that,” says Potter. “Early modern humans aren’t even out of Africa at that point, so you’d be talking about, I don’t know, a Denisovan? And there are no Denisovans within 10,000 miles of that site”

It’s also unclear what became of the Ancient Beringians. They have no obvious direct descendants, and the people who currently live at the Upward Sun River—the Athabascans—are descended from one of the other groups of Native Americans. It’s possible that the Athabascans may carry traces of Ancient Beringian ancestry, but it’s hard to say without analyzing their genomes.

Such work has a troubled history.  In the 1990s, Arizona State University scientists collected samples from the Havasupai  tribe to study the genetics of diabetes but, without their knowledge, also used those samples to study schizophrenia, inbreeding, and migration patterns. When the Havasupai found out, they successfully sued the university for $700,000 and banned its researchers from their land

Another bitter controversy surrounded the Ancient One—an 8,500-year-old skeleton that was discovered in Washington State, and became known as Kennewick Man in non-native circles. For almost two decades, five tribes pushed for the bones to be reburied, fighting against parties who disputed his native ancestry. After an analysis of his genome confirmed that he was indeed Native American, Barack Obama signed an order in December 2016 finally allowing him to be reburied. The five tribes were all invited to take part in future studies, but only the Colville tribe accepted.

Some of the scientists involved in sequencing the Ancient One’s genome also worked on the Upward Sun River study. “They’ve made progress in doing more consultative and consensual research,” says Kim Tallbear from the University of Alberta, who studies the intersection of race and genetics and is a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribe. But she’s also disinterested in the questions they are asking. “This type of research is done largely for the benefit of nonindigenous peoples,” she says. They center a “settler-colonial narrative” about a “largely one-way migration story into the Americas and the idea that everyone is in some form an immigrant.”

Indigenous peoples, TallBear says, have more complex narratives about their relationship with their lands, and their webs of obligation with each other and other animals. “I am interested in indigenous worldviews conditioning more scientific inquiry. What different questions might indigenous peoples ask of genomics?”

Potter says that he takes these concerns very seriously, and worked hard to keep a positive relationship with indigenous communities. Unlike in the case of the Ancient One, he made sure to get the support of the Athabascans before any work was actually done and any DNA was sequenced.

“I’m also interested in what they’re interested in,” he says. “What can we include in our analysis that we can give back to them?” For example, after learning how important salmon fishing is to the Athabascans, his team found evidence of the earliest such evidence in the Americas. “The longevity of resource use in the past is highly relevant to people now,” he says.

That's the kind of insight that TallBear is after: not into how people got there, but how they actually lived. And given the two dead infants, those lives were likely harsh. “We don’t know the overall population but we can reasonably infer that it was relatively low—maybe 20 to 40 people,” says Potter. “To have these children die over one or two summers, in the season with the most abundance of resources, tells us something about risky and delicate nature of life in the far north.”

Sent by Dorinda Moreno and John Inclan   


My Family History: Chapter 2, Our First House . . . . 10 Questions
I Made it to 74 by Julio Guerrero
Write Your Life Story, 52 Stories by Family Search
July 16-20, 2018  Voices Oral History Research: Summer Institute

My Family History: Chapter 2 The First House
Editor Mimi:  My First House memory is under the Los Angeles category.

The first house that I can remember was _____________________  rented/owned/shared with us/large/small/different/cozy/crowded, etc.  

The year was about ____________________.

I was about _______________  years old.

The United States was________________________.

The neighborhood was ______________.

We lived close/far______________________ from our extended family.

My Dad had a job as a ________________________ and my Mom _____________________.

I have some memories that stand out, one in particular  ____________________________.

That event/incident had a life-long influence on me because  ________________________________.  

Julio Guerrero 


I miss you Mom…..   

Source: camila@umich.edu


New Year's Resolution: Write Your Life Story #52Stories  

FEATURE ARTICLE SUMMARY (1 January 2018)--A popular new year's resolution is to write your personal life story or family history. There's something about the swift passing of the previous year and the fresh dawning of the new year that makes us reflect on where the time has gone and the experiences that have led us to the present. For some of us, we feel this mooring inside of us urging us to capture the highlights of our travails in life. 

What's that you say? Write my life story? No one would be interested in your story? Hogwash! No doubt your parents, grandparents, and your great-grandparents likewise thought they
were ordinary, boring, blah-blah people that no one would be interested in reading about. But what would you or I give today to have a personal history of them, written about them, and by them?! Be real. You need to start writing your personal history

No One Is Ordinary, Really

You see, each of us is a unique living story that needs to be told. What you deem as mundane daily life for you today will one day be a great family treasure to your posterity. It will help them to stay connected with you, your personality, across generations long after you graduate from this mortality. (Does this remind you of 

You see, each life story is comprised of many individual memories, experiences, and stories which, when accumulated, tell the interesting journeys of each of us. When compiled, these happenings become a priceless legacy. And who better to tell our own stories than us? And if you don't capture them, no one will. But the hardest thing is knowing what to write.

One Question a Week

none">What if you only had to answer one question per week—and you got to select the question? It doesn’t matter if you write a few paragraphs, a single page, or several. Hey, it's your memory and your story. You tell it the way you recall it or want it to be remembered.  

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Voces Oral History Research 

Summer Institute: July 16-20, 2018
The University of Texas at Austin campus

workshop is for faculty and graduate students wishing to use oral history in research. This weeklong institute will be helpful to the beginner, intermediate and advanced scholar. Instructors include scholars who have created their own oral history projects, have published widely using oral history and are leaders in oral history publishing and teaching. 

Theory and methodology of oral history
Using oral history to study under-researched topics
Publishing oral history research
Teaching oral history to undergrad and grad students
Archival considerations
Best practices
Developing an oral history project for academic research

class will be kept deliberately small to allow participants ample time to discuss and workshop their own plans and ideas.
Chief Instructors:

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, Ph.D., Professor of Journalism, The University of Texas at Austin
· Founder and Director, Voces Oral History Project; 
· Founder and Editor, US Latina & Latino Oral History Journal

Todd Moye, Ph.D., Professor of History, University of North Texas
· Former Director, Tuskegee Airmen Oral History Project
· President, Oral History Association

To apply: Please send:
1. A short (not more than 3 pages) statement of purpose on:
a. Why you wish to take the workshop
b. Possible research areas you wish to develop
c. Where you are in your academic journey

2. And a CV to: voces@utexas.edu
Application dates: Nov. 1, 2017 through March 10, 2018
Cost: $750 (includes lunches)

Housing option: Special housing accommodations are available for participants, starting at $40 per night (estimated) and up. Housing arrangements and payments must be made directly with either UT Housing or the AT & T Center. Housing details provided after acceptance.

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Professor, School of Journalism
The University of Texas at Austin
--also –
Founder and Director, Voces Oral History Project
And Founder and Editor, U.S. Latina & Latino Oral History Journal



Ethnic Studies Learning Channel, Chusma  House
Ethnic Studies Now Coalition Resources
March 29, 2018:   Lead  Summit IX
United We Learn, Resources for under-represented students


Outstanding resource of cultural/heritage videos.

Ethnic Studies Learning Channel
Chusma  House


There have been remarkable advancements in the training of academics, writers and artist in Ethnic Studies since its initial inception over 45 years ago. Given the rapidly changing multicultural demographics of the United States it is of the essence that curriculum of historically neglected groups be included and expanded in the educational institutions.   This  Learning Channel will act as a platform to deliver video taped presentations and lectures on topics that are covered in the myriad of Black, Asian, Indigenous, gender and Chicano/a studies classes. The archived videos will be available to a large online audience. This will enable educators to augment the content of their class subjects with specialist in their respective fields.

language and concepts of the lectures will be structured to reach a wide demographic of students, from high school to undergraduates. Pedagogically, it is well researched that students learn better when they are taught with a curriculum from which they can culturally identify.  It is also important for students of all ethnic groups to have access to a nontraditional and creative curriculum.  This type of curriculum will benefit students at all academic levels.

 When appropriate, graphs, charts, maps, animation and other teaching aides will be presented in the videos. To enhance the lectures, study guides, synopses of lectures, reading, writing and research assignments, community projects, vocabulary building, questions for discussion and bibliographies will be included in the lecture package. This will enable students to acquire the reading, writing, research, and study skills necessary for educational success.

text-underline:none">*Link: https://www.tinyurl.com/chusmahouseonyoutube

Sent Charley Trujillo 

Educational Insights
Ethnic Studies Now Coalition



Ethnic Studies continues to move strong, thanks to you, your work, your support, your advocacy. Included here are a few important updates we'd like to share. This is separated into two sections for you, state level, and district level updates.

AB2016 State Level Updates:

ESN has been in collaboration with the California Department of Education (CDE) in preparing for the AB2016 Model Curriculum development. We have advocated for a) group-specific Ethnic Studies courses, based on the four core racialized groups, as well as a comparative Ethnic Studies course, to be a part of the model curriculum, and b) that the curriculum writing/sourcing be a team effort with representatives of each of these groups from throughout the state. The CDE will be hosting a public input webinar on Tuesday, January 9th, 3pm to help guide the development of the model curriculum. To RSVP, please click here. If you cannot attend, but would still like to share your thoughts on the webinar's guiding questions, please complete this poll so your responses may still be considered in the curriculum development.

Further, to assist with these efforts moving forward, there is an ESN Statewide Curricular Advocacy Regional Task Force, please email info@ethnicstudiesnow.com if you would like to connect with the coordinators/leads for your region.

Lastly, on this note, classroom teachers/professors, curriculum writers, developers, and multimedia artists, throughout CA and beyond, please join the Ethnic Studies Curriculum Collective, which will formally launch this summer, and which will help inform this project as well. The vision is to network, gather and develop curricular examples from throughout California and the country, as Oregon is also moving forward at the state level, Tucson is vindicated and celebrating after the recent momentous victory, and districts from Washington to Texas to Rhode Island are moving forward at district levels. Let's start bringing this all together more, nationally, especially at this critical time.


ESN Chapter Updates


On December 20th, Compton Unified School District unanimously voted in favor of a resolution for the implementation of Ethnic Studies. In the next month, an advisory committee will be formed to provide recommendations to the Superintendent. While this victory could not have been reached without the leading efforts of Ethnic Studies Now - Compton, it is only the beginning, and they ask for the coalition's continued support.


Ethnic Studies classes are currently being taught at approximately 50 high schools, and applicants are sought for an ES Teacher Leadership team that will meet 6 hours for four Saturdays this spring semester, with regular hourly pay rate. There are 12 available spots; LAUSD ES/Critical Pedagogy Teachers Please Apply, We Need You!  Here is the short application - Due January 8th!

Santa Barbara

SBUSD has declared Ethnic Studies a priority for the high school graduation committee. As ESN we have been collecting letters of support, meeting regularly, and received a $7,590 grant from the Fund for Santa Barbara to support our upcoming community forums at the local high schools, anti oppression film screenings and dialogues, and our annual block party in the Spring. Please email Faby at ethnicstudiesnowsbusd@gmail. com for more info!

San Diego

We are pleased to inform you that on November 15th, 2017 San Diego Unified School District's Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee (ESAC) approved a 6 year plan for the development and implementation of Ethnic Studies courses district-wide. SDUSD has one introductory Ethnic Studies course on the books and two more in development. Please contact trish@cuttingedgeeducation.com , Chair of SDUSD's ESAC to learn more about our work and plan.

Inland Empire

Alvord Unified is hosting an Ethnic Studies Professional Development to promote, train, and expand ethnic studies teaching and teachers. Also, ESN IE is moving ahead on our first regional summit April 21st, 8am-3pm. This full day summit will have workshops centered on Ethnic Studies student organizations (MEChA, BSU, LGBT+, etc.), teaching ethnic studies in K-12 101, mobilizing for ethnic studies with local elected officials, ethnic studies for parents, and intersectionality and issues facing our interconnect communities. Please contact Frank Perez, fcperez11@gmail.com for more information about the conference and Ethnic Studies in the IE!

And there you have it, if your ESN chapter/region/district, statewide and nationally, has any updates you'd like to include in future email blasts, please email info@ethnicstudiesnow.com, and let us know! The next era of Ethnic Studies is upon us.

Sincerely,  Sean Abajian, Outreach Coordinator  


        Over the past decades, Latinos have emerged as the largest minority in the nation, with majority populations in many states and regions, and in some cases, the majority demographic among school-age children. In many ways, this is our moment as a major cultural influence on art, music, food, and so forth. Our workers, too, are the backbone of many sectors of the intertwining local, regional, state, national and global economies. Yet, the strength of our schools and communities, basically put “our place in the world”, is impossible to evaluate without focusing on the educational outcomes of Latino students.

  Latinos continue to have some of the highest dropout/pushout rates, score among the lowest on achievement tests, and have low college enrollment and graduation rates. Both Latino students and teachers have a high mobility rate, are located in racially segregated communities with high poverty rates, and attend schools with fewer resources, staffing, and programs.

              Albeit, our communities’ and nation’s strengths continue to depend, to a large extent, on the positive educational outcomes of Latino students (in general), it is the educational attainment of Latina females (in particular), that is essential to our well-being and success. Latinas make up 1 in 5 women in the United States, 1 in 4 female students in public schools, and by 2060 are predicted to form nearly 1/3 of the total female population. Simply, LATINAS DEFINE THE FUTURE – as few factors better predict a student’s educational outcomes than the education of his or her mother.  

Yes – Latinas have made significant progress in a number of areas of education and well-being over the last decade, and currently Latino males are faring more poorly than their female counterparts. Latinas are also incredibly entrepreneurial, as the number and rate of Latina-owned businesses has increased eight times that of men-owned businesses. Yet progress has been extremely slow and Latinas are faring much more poorly than their counterparts from other ethic/racial groups, still earning less in the labor market (earning less than 60 cents for every dollar a white man earns for the same job), have the least access to health care of any group of women, and are still more likely to live in poverty and as single heads of households. 

As a group, Latina females start school significantly behind other females, and without proper support and intervention are never able to completely catch up to their peers. Latinas graduate from high school at lower rates than any major subgroup, and are also the least likely of all women to obtain and complete a college degree. 
Please join us Thursday, March 29, 2018 as we convene key stakeholders: teaching professionals and educators, researchers, academics, scholars, administrators, independent writers and artists, policy and program specialists, students, parents, families, civic leaders, activists, and advocates. In short, those sharing a common interest and commitment to educational issues that impact Latin@s. 

Follow Latino Education and Advocacy Days (LEAD) on any or all of our social media networks, and help promote a broad-based awareness of the crisis in Latino Education and enhance the intellectual, cultural and personal development of our community's educators, administrators, leaders, parents and students.  Share our links and show your online community that Latino education is the economic imperative of our time, and the civil rights issue of our generation.  

Event Website: http://leadsummit.csusb.edu/   Program: https://coe.csusb.edu/lead-summit/summit-program 
You are cordially invited to attend LEAD Summit IX -  ¡VIVA LA MUJER! -   Thursday, March 29, 2018 
No Cost to Register and Attend! 




Resources for underrepresented students



I'm a member of United We Learn, and we're dedicated to making college attainable and more affordable for underrepresented and underprivileged students. I'm working on a campaign to find and share college success, financial aid, and scholarship resources with students who are first generation college, LGBTQ, low-income, or who lack representation due to their gender, race, or disability status.
Best, Jesse Adams
Community Outreach
United We Learn
P.O. Box 77021, San Francisco, CA 94107


What is the mark up on drugs?  U.S. Department of Commerce Answers
Worlds' Greatest Grandpa, Dr. Joseph Morris, Review Laura Perry
Elder Action: Encourage seniors to Nurture by Jim Vogel
Beginner's Guide to Vegetable Gardening by Tim Graham


What is the mark up on drugs? 

 Sharon L. Davis, Budget  Analyst U.S. Department of  Commerce Answers

Did you ever wonder how  much it costs a drug company for the  active ingredient in prescription medications?   Some people think it must cost a lot, since many  drugs sell for more than $2.00 per tablet.  We did  a search of offshore chemical synthesizers that  supply the active ingredients found in drugs approved  by the FDA.  As we have revealed in past issues  of Life Extension, a significant percentage of drugs  sold in the United States contain active ingredients  made in other countries.  In our independent  investigation of how much profit drug Companies  really make, we obtained the actual price of  active ingredients used in some of the most popular  drugs sold in America . The data below speaks for  itself.  



Celebrex: 100 mg
Consumer price (100  tablets): $130.27
Cost of general active ingredients:  $0.60
Percent markup: 21,712%

Claritin: 10  mg
Consumer Price (100 tablets): $215.17
Cost of  general active ingredients: $0.71
Percent markup:  30,306%

Keflex: 250 mg
Consumer Price (100  tablets): $157.39
Cost of general active ingredients:  $1.88
Percent markup: 8,372%

Lipitor:20  mg
Consumer Price (100 tablets): $272.37
Cost of  general active ingredients: $5.80
Percent markup:  4,696%

Norvasc:10 mg
Consumer price (100  tablets): $188.29
Cost of general active ingredients:  $0.14
Percent markup: 134,493%

Paxil: 20  mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $220.27
Cost of  general active ingredients: $7.60
Percent markup:  2,898%

Prevacid:30 mg
Consumer price (100  tablets): $44.77
Cost of general active ingredients:  $1.01
Percent markup: 34,136%

Prilosec:20  mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $360.97
Cost of  general active ingredients $0.52
Percent markup:  69,417%
Prozac:20 mg
Consumer price (100  tablets) : $247.47
Cost of general active  ingredients: $0.11
Percent markup:  224,973%

Tenormin:50 mg
Consumer price (100  tablets): $104.47
Cost of general active ingredients:  $0.13
Percent markup: 80,362%

Vasotec: 10  mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $102.37
Cost of  general active ingredients: $0.20
Percent markup:  51,185%

Xanax: 1 mg
Consumer price (100  tablets) : $136.79
Cost of general active  ingredients: $0.024
Percent markup:  569,958%

Zestril:20 mg
Consumer price (100  tablets) $89.89
Cost of general active ingredients  $3.20
Percent markup: 2,809%

Zithromax:600  mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $1,482.19
Cost of  general active ingredients: $18.78
Percent markup:  7,892%

Zocor:40 mg
Consumer price (100  tablets): $350.27
Cost of general active ingredients:  $8.63
Percent markup: 4,059%

Zoloft: 50  mg
Consumer price: $206.87
Cost of general active  ingredients: $1.75
Percent markup:  11,821%
Since the cost of prescription drugs is  so outrageous, I thought everyone should know about  this.  Please read the following and pass  it on.  It pays to shop around.  This helps  to solve the mystery as to why they can afford to put  a Walgreen's on every corner.  On Monday  night,
Steve Wilson, an investigative reporter for  Channel 7 News in Detroit did a story on generic drug  price gouging by pharmacies.  He found in his  investigation, that some of these generic drugs were  marked up as
much as 3,000% or more.  Yes,  that's not a typo:    three  thousand percent!    So often, we  blame the drug companies for the high cost of drugs,  and usually rightfully so.  But in this case, the  fault clearly lies with the pharmacies  themselves.  For example, if you had to buy  a prescription drug, and bought the name brand, you  might pay $100 for 100 pills.
The pharmacist  might tell you that if you get the generic  equivalent, they would only cost $80, making you  think you are 'saving' $20.  What the pharmacist  is not telling you is that those 100 generic pills  may have only cost him $10!
I am asking each of you to please  help me by copying this letter, and passing it into your  own e-mail, and send it to everyone you know with an  e-mail address.


At the end of the  report, one of the anchors asked Mr. Wilson  whether, or not there were any pharmacies that did  not adhere to this practice, and he said that Costco  consistently charged little over their cost for the  generic drugs.
I went to the Costco site, where  you can look up any drug, and get its online  price.  It says that the in-store prices are  consistent with the online prices.  I was  appalled.  Just to give you one example from my  own
experience, I had to use the drug, Compazine,  which helps prevent nausea in chemo  patients.
I used the generic equivalent, which  cost $54.99 for 60 pills at CVS. I checked the price  at Costco, and I could have bought 100 pills  for $19.89.  For 145 of my pain pills, I paid  $72.57.  I could have got 150 at Costco for  $28.08.

I would like to mention, that although  Costco is a 'membership' type store, you do NOT have to  be a member to buy prescriptions there, as it is a  federally regulated substance.  You just tell them  at the door that you wish to use the pharmacy, and they  will let you in.   (This is true)

The World's Greatest Grandpa 
by Dr. Joseph Morris


Review by Laura Perry
Remember me . .  

How do you explain to a child that 
Grandpa or Grandma has Alzheimer's disease?


Gerontologist Joseph Morris Ph.D. '07 realized that while there is a lot of information written for those caring for Alzheimer's patients, there's not much available to help young children understand the devastating disease.
So Morris wrote a children's book focused on educating parents and children: The World's Greatest Grandpa — A Children's Guide to Understanding Alzheimer's Disease. "In many minority communities," he says, "there is a strong relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. Yet Alzheimer's disease and other related dementias are not really discussed. Breaking down the barriers helps start the conversation."

When Morris was writing the book, he thought about his own personal experiences. His mother developed dementia at an early age, and he remembered how difficult it was to explain to his siblings.

In the book, 10-year-old Quincy and his mom visit Grandpa. But something is wrong — Grandpa doesn't seem to know Quincy or his mom. So they take Grandpa to the hospital, and after a series of tests, the doctor delivers the diagnosis — Alzheimer's.

"Writing a children's book allowed me to explain Alzheimer's in a way that could be easily understood," Morris says. "My goal was to show that Quincy's experience could be the experience of any child, and that you are not alone."
The book took Morris about a year to write, as he was still representing more than 500,000 nurses as the executive officer of the California Board of Registered Nursing. He shared drafts with educators, researchers and other clinicians to make sure the message was appropriate.

Since the book was published, the feedback has been positive. Readers appreciate the unique concept and applaud the sweet story that is much needed.

Morris' long-term goal is for the book — which he says was a "labor of love" — to be adopted by community and senior centers, as well as by schools. He would love to see The World's Greatest Grandpa used in children's hospitals and embraced by Alzheimer's-related groups.

The book ends with a very positive message: "Just remember the good times - and remember he's still the greatest grandpa. That didn't change. The love is still here." 

Source: UCLA MAGAZINE, January 2018, pg. 8 



Welcome to Elder Action 

Hi there, 
I love all of the fantastic tips you have on your site for seniors 
looking to take better care of their physical and emotional selves. 


If you’d like to add more, I’ve added a short list of tips below that might make sense to add to that page. If you like them, they’re yours to share! I really appreciate you being an advocate for senior wellness, and if there is any more I can do to help your cause, please email me. I’d be happy to write something for you to share on your blog or send you more articles.  These are just a few of the articles that you will find on our site:

6 Powerful Ways To Help Seniors Avoid Isolation 
It can be difficult for seniors to maintain their social lives as they age, especially if they live alone. This is a great resource for supporting them to stay active socially. 

Home Modifications Increase Senior Safety 
This is a given - it’s important for our elders to make sure their homes are a safe environment. 

16 Chair Exercises for Seniors & How to Get Started 
This is great - it’s got exercises for people of all abilities, and even includes helpful videos. 

9 Essential Mobile Device Apps for Senior Citizens 
I appreciate that this explains the kinds of apps seniors should have on their mobile devices rather than listing specific apps (which may or may not stick around). 

Building The Ultimate Reading Nook For Your Home: A Guide For Bookworms 
My mother loves to read and hosts a monthly book club - she actually referred me to this great resource. (Actually, it’s been a great way for her and my dad to avoid feelings of isolation!) Thank you! 

All the best, Jim 
Jim Vogel
Welcome to ElderAction. 

If there’s one thing we’d like you to take home, it’s that it’s time we stop passing over the elderly.  That will likely be you some day, you know; do you treat your seniors the way you’d like to be treated? We’re Jim & Caroline and we’re based out of Raleigh, NC. About five years ago, we had to return to our hometown to care for our ailing parents. Little did we know how much we’d learn about the modern senior condition.  Since that first year of our return, we’ve been doing our best to fight for senior mental health and support. We hope you’ll join us in this!Our goal here is to highlight ways in which we can give seniors support.

We’re always tinkering with this site and adding more findings, so we hope you’ll check in regularly. 

“Right from the moment of our birth, we are under the care and kindness of our parents. Later on in life, when we are oppressed by sickness and become old, we are again dependent on the kindness of others. Since we are dependent on the kindness of others at the beginning and end of our lives, then how can we neglect projecting kindness towards others in the middle of our lives, when it is our best time to share it?”

Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem 

 "Beginner's Guide to Vegetable Gardening" 

Hi there,  
My name is Tim Graham, and I just came across your resource page:  http://www.somosprimos.com/toc.htm
I'm emailing to give you a quick pitch to include my new "Beginner's Guide to Vegetable Gardening" on the page. 
If interested, you can check it out here: 
Let me know if there’s anything else I can do, I'm happy to help out in any way I can (write the blurb for you? etc.)I’ll also be sure to share your website out to my social followers (14k+ Facebook, 8k+ Twitter, 3k Pinterest). I'm sure you'd get some nice publicity. Have a great day! Cheers,
Tim Graham
Yard and Garden Guru



How Lin-Manuel Miranda's non-stop work ethic from a young age made 'Hamilton' one of the most
       successful musicals of all time by Carrie Wittmer
Spanish organist Raul Prieto Ramirez Named San Diego Civic Organist

Prioritizing diverse casting over historical accuracy

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

How Lin-Manuel Miranda's non-stop work ethic from a young age made 'Hamilton' one of the most successful musicals of all time by Carrie Wittmer,
Dec. 21, 2017

Lin-Manuel Miranda seemingly came out of nowhere. After creating "Hamilton" he became a household name, and his career has skyrocketed in the years since as he's continued to keep busy.

"Hamilton," which he wrote and starred in, made its Off-Broadway debut in 2015, and it quickly became one of the most popular and most profitable musicals of all time. It ranks among classics like "The Phantom of the Opera," "The Lion King," and "Wicked."

At the end of 2017, and with a mostly new cast, "Hamilton" is still one of the most popular shows on Broadway. Tickets are still hundreds of dollars (or thousands on resale websites), and have to be purchased months in advance. 

But "Hamilton" wasn't Miranda's first big hit. He also wrote and starred in "In the Heights," a musical combining hip hop and salsa that he started to work on while he was in college.

Miranda’ relentless, non-stop work ethic — which is reflective of founding father Alexander Hamilton, whom Miranda admires so much he wrote an entire musical about him — has gotten him far in the entertainment industry, even though people he trusted told him to give up on "Hamilton" while he was working on it. 
But Miranda kept perfecting his passion project, and it paid off — literally. “Hamilton” consistently sells out all 1,321 seats at the Richard Rodgers Theater in New York City and its touring productions across the country and in London.
At 37, Miranda has won a Pulitzer Prize, an Emmy, three Tonys, and two Grammys. He's also been nominated for an Oscar. An Oscar win would award Miranda the coveted EGOT: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

In addition to his passion for hip hop-infused musicals that bring diversity to the often white-dominated entertainment industry, Miranda expertly uses his platform and fame for the greater good. In 2017, Miranda was (and continues to be) an outspoken advocate for hurricane relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which brought devastation to Puerto Rico in September. 

Here, we've profiled the rise of Miranda's booming career, to see how he did it and how he continues to aim higher every day: 

An early interest in musical theater
An early interest in musical theater
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Miranda was born in New York City, and grew up in upper Manhattan.

Miranda credits his inspiration for a career in musicals to "Les Miserables," the first show he saw on Broadway. He saw it with his family when he was seven years old.

His music tastes eventually evolved to include R&B and hip hop, but musical theater was always a passion. When he was in high school at Hunter College High School, he participated in musical theater.

And in college, he started writing his first musical, "In the Heights," that eventually made it to Broadway. 

Miranda's non-stop work ethic started in college at Wesleyan University. Miranda wrote an early draft of his first musical, "In the Heights," when he was a sophomore in 1999. The show was added to Wesleyan's student theater company, Second Stage, and played in April 2000.

The lively musical combines hip hop with salsa and Latin sounds, and is set in the Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights, a Hispanic-American neighborhood close to where Miranda grew up. 

After the show's debut, Miranda was approached about expanding the show into a Broadway production. After a run in Connecticut in 2005, "In the Heights" made its premiere on Broadway in February 2008, when Miranda was 28 years-old. The show received mostly positive reviews, with many critics noting Miranda's emotional lyrics as its strength.  

“In the Heights" won four Tony awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score, and the show ended its run in 2011. By then, Miranda was already two years into his work on his biggest hit, "Hamilton."
After college, when Miranda was in his 20s and supporting himself while working on "In the Heights," he wrote political jingles.  Miranda wrote the jingles in English and Spanish for ads for politicians including Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York. He got the work through his father, who worked as a political consultant.

Even when Miranda was supporting his career in music, he was writing it. "Hamilton"




Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Miranda began working on "Hamilton" in 2009. 

He was inspired to write a hip-hop musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton after reading the 2004 biography "Alexander Hamilton" by historian Ron Chernow. 

"Miranda saw Hamilton’s relentlessness, brilliance, linguistic dexterity, and self-destructive stubbornness through his own idiosyncratic lens," wrote The New Yorker in 2015. "It was, he thought, a hip-hop story, an immigrant’s story."
Miranda has said that Hamilton reminded him of rapper Tupac Shakur, which is how he came up with the idea for a diverse hip hop musical about Hamilton's life.

Miranda worked on "Hamilton"— a project people, including his mentor Steven Sondheim, told him would never work — for years. He has said that he worked on the songs "Alexander Hamilton" and "My Shot" for an entire year each. But Miranda never let anyone’s opinion discourage him, and it ultimately made its debut at the Public Theater in 2015. Months later, it went to Broadway. 
"Hamilton" became an overnight hit, with tickets selling out and being resold for thousands — if you could even find one. In 2016, "Hamilton" won the Pulitzer Prize for drama. 

Sondheim, who was sent Miranda's lyrics before the show came out and didn't think it had a chance, later told The New York Times, "the wonderful thing about Lin-Manuel’s use of rap is that he’s got one foot in the past."
After over two years on Broadway, "Hamilton" is still selling out theaters, and audiences have to buy expensive tickets months in advance. In 2016, The New York Times reported that it makes about $600,000 per week in ticket sales in New York City. The show has since been expanded to other cities in the United States including San Francisco and Chicago, and recently made its international debut in London.M
A son of Puerto Rican immigrants, Miranda has made diversity an integral part of his work. 

"In the Heights" was about a Hispanic-American neighborhood in Manhattan, and the musical was cast accordingly.

But if anyone else had written a musical about Alexander Hamilton and his peers, it would have probably featured an all-white cast, since these historical figures were white. With "Hamilton," Miranda opted for color-conscious casting. He chose non-white actors, save for the campy role of King George III. 

For Miranda, representing the spirit of Alexander Hamilton, the spirit of the Founding Fathers, and the spirit of the American Revolution, which emulates that of American hip hop, was more important than visual historical accuracy.  

‘The idea of hip hop being the music of the Revolution appealed to me immensely,’’ Miranda told The New York Times in 2015. ‘‘It felt right.’’
Much of the original cast has left "Hamilton," but the show continues its color-conscious casting, and does so in its touring productions as well. 

"The Hamilton Mixtape" and more
Prioritizing diverse casting over historical accuracy

M"The Hamilton Mixtape" and more

Theo Wargo / Getty

Miranda isn't in the cast of "Hamilton" anymore. He left in 2016 to move on to other things, but he still hasn't lost one bit of his passion for Hamilton. 

In 2016, "The Hamilton Mixtape" was released. "The Hamilton Mixtape" is an album that features covers of songs from Hamilton by popular artists including Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend.

"The Hamilton Mixtape" debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and marks the largest sales in a week for a compilation album since "Cruel Summer" by GOOD Music in 2012.

But Miranda didn't stop there. In December 2017, Miranda released a song with indie band The Decemberists, about Benjamin Franklin. Miranda wrote the lyrics, and the band wrote the music.

In 2018, Miranda will release new songs every month on Hamildrops. Hamildrops will consist of songs like the Ben Franklin song that didn't make it into "Hamilton."

In 2017, Miranda got drunk and talked about Alexander Hamilton for so long that Comedy Central's "Drunk History" had to extend his episode.

In 2017, Miranda got drunk and talked about Alexander Hamilton for so long that Comedy Central's "Drunk History" had to extend his episode.

Comedy Central  

"Drunk History," created by Derek Waters and Jeremy Konner, is Comedy Central's liquored-up version of our nation's history. Comedians and actors get drunk and retell a historical event. Then A-list actors, from Michael Cera to Winona Ryder, act out the narration. 

In a 2017 episode, Miranda got drunk and told the story of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.  Speaking with Business Insider in September, Emmy-nominated "Drunk History" production designer Chloe Arbiture said that Miranda talked so much about Hamilton that his episode was extended. 

“For the Lin-Manuel Miranda episode, we knew he was going to talk about Hamilton," Arbiture said. "But we didn't know it would be a long standalone episode. But there was so much great footage that we couldn’t cut. So to do it justice, we morphed it into his own episode.” Arbiture mentioned that the extended episode length was a challenge for the production design team, especially for budget reasons. Usually "Drunk History" episodes feature a few historical events per episode. 

Two years after its debut, and long after Miranda left his starring role in the musical, he is still passionate about Alexander Hamilton's life, and can literally talk about it for hours — even when drinking.  

Film projects

Film projects



Puerto Rico efforts
Getty Images

In addition to his theater and TV work, Miranda collaborated with Opetaia Foa'i and Mark Mancina on the music and lyrics for the 2016 Disney film “Moana,” which earned him an Oscar nomination for the song "How Far I'll Go" in 2017. He started to work on the music for the film in 2014, a year before "Hamilton" came to Broadway.
He also co-wrote and contributed vocals to the cantina song, "Jabba Flow," which was featured in 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
Miranda will star opposite Emily Blunt in "Mary Poppins Returns," due to come out in 2018. 
In 2017, it was confirmed that Miranda is working with songwriter Alan Menken on new music for Disney's live-action version of "The Little Mermaid."   


Puerto Rico efforts  
In September of 2017, Hurricane Maria brought devastation to Puerto Rico.  His parents had grown up on the island and in his youth, Miranda had spent summers there visiting his grandparents.  
Since the hurricane hit, Miranda has used his platform and voice to raise awareness and funds for disaster relief. He visited Puerto Rico and saw what little remained of his grandparents' beloved home.
"My job is to amplify the concerns of Puerto Rico," Miranda told CBS News in November. Miranda said that there are still towns in Puerto Rico struggling to get aid. 


Elite International Concert Organist and Artistic Director 
and Founder of the Barcelona Summer Organ Festival and Academy 
Known for his powerful personality, passionate expressiveness and Mediterranean sense of musicality 

(San Diego, CA) – After a months-long search, the Spreckels Organ Society, City of San Diego, and San Diego Park and Recreation Department have announced Spanish organist    Raúl Prieto Ramírez will be the next San Diego Civic Organist and Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society.    

A search committee of some of San Diego’s top musical leaders, as well as representatives of the Spreckels Organ Society Board of Trustees and the City of San Diego selected Prieto Ramírez from a field of outstanding applicants from all over the world.     “Out of a large number of internationally based applicants, the Search Committee unanimously chose Raúl to be the next Civic Organist,” says Jack Lasher, President of the Spreckels Organ Society. “He is obviously an outstanding organist, but he also embodies the charisma and personality that we felt were equally important. We are proud of our decision and thrilled to present him to San Diego.”     

Prieto Ramírez is Artistic Director and Founder of the Barcelona Summer Organ Festival and Academy, where he has attracted audiences by the thousands. His joy is making great music exciting and accessible for everyone – especially kids – and he is well known for being one of the few concert organists who performs from memory. His powerful personality, passionate expressiveness, gift for communication, and outstanding technique make him shine in a wide range of repertoire and styles. 

Spreckels Organ Society audiences loved him best in evaluations collected during late summer/early fall audition concerts. Critics have praised his performances at major venues all over the world as “simply awe-inspiring,” “electrifying,” “colossally talented,” “fearless,” and “audience rose to its feet with applause at every opportunity.” Prieto Ramírez has been invited to serve as a jury member at international organ competitions to judge the works of rising stars, and records for the Brilliant Classics label. He teaches Master Classes at universities around the world from Indiana University to Baylor, and Austria to Moscow, and before joining the Spreckels Organ Society he founded the Sursa American Organ Competition in partnership with the prestigious Moscow Conservatory.   


Prieto Ramírez’s role as Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society is already underway as he takes over the planning and scheduling of all Spreckels organ concerts. In addition to year-round Sunday organ concerts at 2 p.m., and the 10-concert Monday night International Summer Organ Festival, he is calling the shots for all upcoming concerts at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.   “As I became aware of my talent at age 15, I felt the impulse to serve this world making music come alive and shine in the spirit of every human being. As I embraced such a commitment, I never could have dreamed of a better place and better people to share my art with than those of San Diego,” says Prieto Ramírez. “The Spreckels Organ Society supports the world’s largest outdoor musical instrument in the largest cultural urban Park in America's Finest City. Just that says it all for an artist like me. I encourage all San Diegans to fully enjoy what makes San Diego such a unique special place, and come to the Balboa Park Organ Pavilion to open their hearts and soul for a weekly dose of passion for life through the amazing power of music.”  Prieto Ramírez will be only the eighth person in history to have held the position of San Diego Civic Organist. His predecessor, San Diego Civic Organist Emerita Dr. Carol Williams, held the position for 15 years before moving to Virginia in 2016 to reside nearer to family.   
“The traditional position of Civic Organist is unusual in the country, and illustrates the City of San Diego's commitment to supporting arts and cultural opportunities for both citizens and visitors,” said Susan Lowery-Mendoza, District Manager for the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department. “ I'm pleased that the fine reputation of Balboa Park and the historic Spreckels Organ helped us attract a musician with Raul's excellent qualifications."   Raúl Prieto Ramírez will move to San Diego with his Barcelona-born wife, Teresa Sierra. Sierra studied piano with legendary Saint Petersburg professor Leonid Sintsey, and has won several piano competitions. She is a sommelier (WSET), and holds degrees from Barcelona University in music education, and in music business and management.  
Raúl Prieto Ramírez’s first Sunday concert as Civic Organist was held on Sunday, January 7, 2018 at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. Admission was free, and refreshments were served to those who attend to welcome Prieto Ramírez to San Diego.

“The traditional position of Civic Organist is unusual in the country, and illustrates the City of San Diego's commitment to supporting arts and cultural opportunities for both citizens and visitors,” said Susan Lowery-Mendoza, District Manager for the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department. “ I'm pleased that the fine reputation of Balboa Park and the historic Spreckels Organ helped us attract a musician with Raul's excellent qualifications."    Raúl Prieto Ramírez will move to San Diego with his Barcelona-born wife, Teresa Sierra. Sierra studied piano with legendary Saint Petersburg professor Leonid Sintsey, and has won several piano competitions. She is a sommelier (WSET), and holds degrees from Barcelona University in music education, and in music business and management.  

Raúl Prieto Ramírez’s first Sunday concert as Civic Organist will be on Sunday, January 7, 2018 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. Admission is free, refreshments will be served to those who attend to welcome Prieto Ramírez to San Diego.     An Inaugural Concert is being planned for Saturday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

The Spreckels Organ Pavilion is located in the heart of San Diego's beautiful Balboa Park. Admission and parking are free. All ages are welcome as are friendly pets on leash.


This first-of-its-kind organ designed to play for an outdoor audience has been amazing music-lovers since December 31, 1914, when from his presidential desk, Woodrow Wilson touched the telegraph key that set off fireworks and lit the Pavilion’s 1,644 incandescent bulbs launching the Panama-California International Exposition.    Among the first of Balboa Park’s cultural gems, thanks to the vision of brothers Adolph and John D. Spreckels, the Spreckels Organ is a pipe organ that can perform the full range of musical masterworks. Built by the Austin Organ Co. of Hartford, CT, the Spreckels Organ was deeded to the City on January 1, 1915 at the opening of the Panama-California Exposition and has played steadily ever since. The organ is maintained by L. W. Blackinton and Associates, Dale Sorenson, Curator.  The Spreckels Organ is sponsored by the City of San Diego, The Department of Park and Recreation, and the nonprofit Spreckels Organ Society, assuring that this civic treasure entertains music lovers throughout the year.   

Lizbeth Persons Price, Public Relations
price.lizbeth@gmail.com, mobile: 619-254-9965

Ross Porter, Executive Director
Spreckels Organ office phone: 619-702-8138
Hi-res images available at this link: https://goo.gl/photos/zxbk2ezFFt8QHXzX9

Sent by María Ángeles O'Donnell-Olson 
Cónsul Honorario de España en San Diego
Teléfono: 1-619-448-7282


A Subversive Bull: Robert Lawson and the story of Ferdinand by Philip Kennedy
“Los Escribanos Chicanos”   Reviving a Revered Title by Refugio I. Rochin
To x or not to x, that is the question to ask

A Subversive Bull: Robert Lawson and the story of Ferdinand 
by Philip Kennedy

Published by Viking Press in 1936, the release of Ferdinand came during the era of the Great Depression. That year also saw the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. In light of these events, Ferdinand started to take on a much greater significance. Ferdinand, the bull presented a Spanish character who stood out from society and refused to fight. Those who supported the violent uprising that was led by Francisco Franco viewed it as pacifist propaganda and they banned its publication. 

Credit: Collider //Illustration Chronicles, First published in 1936, 
The Story of Ferdinand was written by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson
On a damp and rainy Sunday in October of 1935, Munro Leaf sat down to write a story. He had been eager to work with his friend – the illustrator Robert Lawson – for some time and so he decided to pen a book which he felt might suit the illustrator’s skills. Lawson was a master at drawing animals but horses, dogs, cats, rabbits and mice had all been done a thousand times already. Leaf wanted something new and decided that his story should be about a bull. What he created was called The Story of Ferdinand. It was a simple but amusing tale of a peaceful Spanish bull who had no interest in bullfighting.  

The endpapers of the book as seen in this 1966 edition. Source: Thorn Books.

Leaf was himself rather modest about the work; remarking once that he had written it in less than forty minutes. Yet once the words were combined with Lawson's beautiful black-and-white etchings, the pair felt quite satisfied with the outcome. Indeed, they even joked that their publication had the potential to go on and sell twenty-thousand copies. Two years later the book had sold more than twelve times that amount. 

What was even more surprising was the reaction that the simple story was getting. In no time at all their picturebook was being labeled as subversive and it was stirring up all kinds of international controversy. Banned in Spain, burnt by Hitler and continuously dissected and deconstructed, The Story of Ferdinand remains, to this day, a fascinating example of the power of picture books.

Once upon a time in Spain there was a little bull and his name was Ferdinand' Photograph: Illustration Chronicles 
Published by Viking Press in 1936, the release of Ferdinand came during the era of the Great Depression. For this reason, its initial release was rather modest. 

It seemed that their publisher was only mildly enthusiastic about it and so only one-and-a-half-thousand copies were originally published. That year also saw the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. In just nine short months after the book's release, Spain saw itself caught in a violent war between a right-wing group of Nationalists and the country's democratic, left-leaning government. 

In light of these events, Ferdinand started to take on a much greater significance. Leaf and Lawson's book presented a Spanish character who stood out from society and refused to fight. Those who supported the violent uprising that was led by Francisco Franco viewed it as pacifist propaganda and they banned its publication. It wasn't until Franco's death in 1975 that this ban was eventually removed. 

Above we can see Ferdinand's mother. She respects her son's right to freedom of thought and believes he must establish his own sense of identity. We also Ferdinand growing older while the spectra of death (shown as a vulture) looks down upon him. Photograph: Illustration Chronicles 

Despite the tendency for people to read a political message in the story Munro Leaf always maintained that its only agenda was to entertain. “It was propaganda all right,” he's quoted as saying, “but propaganda for laughter only.”Even with all that said, people continued to draw their own meanings from the book. Clearly, Ferdinand is a story that celebrates the right for people to develop their own unique identities. Yet, to some, this message can be seen as dangerous when people don't conform to the mainstream or when they don't help to further a national agenda. Franco and his supports certainly saw it this way. So too did Hitler who apparently labelled it as “degenerate democratic propaganda”. During World War II he ordered that all copies be destroyed. After he was defeated in 1945, thirty-thousand new copies were quickly published and handed out freely to the children of Germany in the hopes of encouraging peace between nations.

What they wanted most of all was to be picked to fight at the bull fights in Madrid'; a picture of the other bulls.
Photograph: Illustration Chronicles .

Even with the controversy that surrounded it, the book managed to become a massive international hit and a cultural phenomenon. In 1938 it outsold Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind and it went on to become the number one bestseller in the US that year. Today it has been translated into more than sixty languages and has sold millions of copies worldwide. 

Ferdinand had – and continues to have – many famous admirers. People like H.G. Wells, Gandhi and Ernest Hemingway all supported the book; while musician Elliott Smith sported a tattoo of the peaceful bull upon his arm. One year a giant Ferdinand floated down New York's Sixth Avenue as part of the Macy's Day Parade. On another occasion, the bull's story was turned into a song by the jazz duo Slim & Slam. Even Disney got involved, creating an animated adaptation of the story in 1938. 

Ferdinand sitting quietly under the cork tree and the five men in very funny hats. Photograph: Illustration Chronicles 
Much of its success must certainly lie in the fantastic pairing of Leaf's words with Lawson's illustrations. One account suggests that the illustrator loved the text so much that he managed to produce a complete "dummy" book on the same day that he had read it. Another account suggests that the illustrator was initially intimidated by the text, having never drawn a bull before or even been to Spain. And so for that reason, it may have taken him several months before he had researched enough to properly put pen to paper. 

Whatever the truth may be, the book manages to transport its reader into Ferdinand's world effortlessly. The anatomy of the bulls are perfect and the costumes of the picadors, matadors and banderilleros all feel accurate. Yet these technicalities go unnoticed. What stands out is the beautiful interplay between the words and pictures. Ferdinand is a warm, good-natured and humorous book that is filled with inventive flourishes and a sharp rhythm that allow the text and image to carry equal importance. 



A detail from the book showing two Banderilleros who have now become afraid of Ferdinand. They call him 'Ferdinand the Fierce' Photograph: Illustration Chronicles.

A philosophical reader will certainly draw political themes out from this story, but many will argue that its true longevity has nothing to do with the possible metaphors within it. A young audience isn't drawn to The Story of Ferdinand because of its political parallels. They like the book because Ferdinand is an easy character to empathize with.

[Editor Mimi: If readers are to see political parallels, then I must point out that this review did not include a very important part of why the Banderilleros were afraid of Ferdinand.   

The Amazon brief posting of Ferdinand describes the story as such:  "Ferdinand likes to sit quietly and smell the flowers, but one day he gets stung by a bee and his snorting and stomping convince everyone that he is the fiercest of bulls." 

Ferdinand was not fierce, dangerous, wild, and unpredictable. In spite of the size and potential to kill and maim, Ferdinand was gentle and peace loving. It was only when he was provoked that he responded and as soon as the pain subsided, he once again was the peaceful bull that was his nature.]

Another strength of the title comes from the fact that Leaf and Lawson don't patronize their young readers. “I have never, as far as I can remember, given one moment's thought as to whether any drawing that I was doing was for adults or children” Lawson once said. "I have never changed one conception or line or detail to suit the supposed age of the reader.” Perhaps this is the main reason for the book's survival.  

Ferdinand ran to the middle of the ring and everyone shouted and clapped because they thought he was going to fight fiercely and butt and snort and stick his horns around' 
Photograph: Illustration Chronicles 

Lawson felt that the terms "children’s author" and "children’s illustrator" were condescending. He believed that these titles suggested that an author or illustrator had to cater their work to fit the limited tastes or understandings of young readers. He believed that the opposite was, in fact, the case. He felt that children were less limited than adults. “They do not know that they ought to admire certain art because it is ‘naive’ or ‘spontaneous’ or because it has been drawn with a kitchen spoon or a discarded shirt front,” he said. “They are, for a pitifully few short years, honest and sincere, clear-eyed and open-minded. To give them anything less than the utmost that we possess of frankness, honesty and sincerity is, to my mind, the lowest possible crime.”The final page of the book shows Ferdinand after he has returned from the bullrings of Madrid. He sits peacefully on his hill.  Scan: The Story of Ferdinand (1936)  http://amzn.to/2hxjOZP

The final page of the book shows Ferdinand after he has returned from the bullrings of Madrid. He sits peacefully on his hill.
[Philip Kennedy is an illustrator living and working in Dublin, Ireland. Illustration Chronicles is a website where I write about the history of illustration. Through his work as an illustrator, he has collaborated with clients on a broad range of projects including editorial work, comics, album covers and educational resources. His love for history has seen him work in a number of museums including Dublin's Chester Beatty Library, the National Gallery of Ireland, London's Design Museum and the British Museum. As a writer, he has written texts for educational materials and also worked for several years as a staff writer for The Fox Is Black.  A graduate of London's Kingston University (MA Illustration) and the National College of Art & Design, Dublin (BA History of Art and Fine Art), he has taught as a visiting tutor and often facilitates workshops and activities for children.  Emailhim at: hello@philipkennedy.net
Source: Portside moderator@PORTSIDE.ORG
Editor Mimi: As a child, Ferdinand was one of my favorite books. I loved the strength, his enjoyment of the flowers, and his pure contentment with life. That he expressed his might when he was provoked, seemed reasonable and right, but his heart was always turned to peace.




  Reviving a Revered Title

“ESCRIBANO PUBLICO" a.k.a. Scrivener (history writer, legal writer, gave legal approval of legal documents etc.)

A serious & honorable profession brought by Hernan Cortez the minute he stepped foot in the New world, the "escribanos" took note of history in the making and Cortez was an escribano himself!!!

In 1792 the "Real Colegio de Escribanos de Mexico" was established due to the large group of escribanos in Nueva Espana...

El escribano es la persona que por oficio público estaba autorizada para dar fe de las escrituras y demás actos que pasaban ante él.

El término también suele asimilarse a Secretario y Pendolista, entendiendo éste último como persona que escribe con muy buena letra; también se asimila a memorialista, entendiendo así a la persona que por oficio escribe memoriales o cualesquiera otros documentos que se le pidan. Según el Diccionario de Autoridades el término “notario” aparece asociado con éste concepto y queda definido en este Diccionario de Autoridades como: “Escribano público.

En lo antiguo se daba este nombre a los que escribían con abreviaturas. Hoy se distinguen de los escribanos en que estos entienden en los negocios seglares, y los Notarios en los de los eclesiásticos.

Se llama también el que escribe a la mano lo que otro dicta o nota.

Pero si nos vamos a la voz “escribano”, el Diccionario de Autoridades nos ofrece como definición:
“Escribano. Aunque esta palabra en general comprende a todo hombre que sabe escribir: sin embargo el uso y estilo común de hablar entiende por ella al que por Oficio público hace escrituras y tiene exercicio de pluma, con autoridad del Príncipe o Magistrado, de que hai distintas clases: como Escribano Real, del Número, de Ayuntamiento, de Cámara, de Provincia, de cuyos empleos y oficios y sus obligaciones tratan difusamente las leyes del Reino. Sale del verbo escribir.”

Hoy, el uso de media electrónica es el nuevo poder de ESCRIBANOS CHICANOS!



Refugio, gracias por compartir esta herencia hispana y su foto de un gran mentor e intelectual.  Creo que tambien soy un escribano Chicano, aunque mas productivo en cuentos orales de mi comunidad Xaripa sin fronteras.  Tengo que ponerme las pilas a usar la pluma electronica [computadora] mas seguido y documentar lo que generaciones de mi gente ha vivido en estas tieras ajenas que antes eran nuestras.


Manuel Barajas, Ph.D.
Professor & Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Sociology
California State University, Sacramento
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819
(916) 278-7576  


Somos en escrito The Latino Literary Online Magazine
To x or not to x, that is the question to ask

More and more I’ve begun to see the use of the letter “X” in otherwise lucid and proper writing in an attempt to neuter the words, Latina and Latino, thusly, latinX. The X factor, as I understand it, was intended to allow for persons who do not identify as o’s or a’s to use a gender neutral, or X-factored term. I get that.Problem is there seems to be a “movement” seeking to have “latinX” designate all persons who are indigenous to the Americas, with Hispanic roots through bloodlines and ethnicity, born and/or living in the United States of America, who do not identify solely as of white European/Caucasian origin—my definition of a Latina or Latino.From what I can gather, the X thing dates back to 2014 – three whole years ago! – and has gained acceptance among many persons, and organizations, of indigenous Hispanic origin. As editor of a magazine which daily strives to find and consider for publication that particular italicized composite of writers described above, the idea of the “X” factor violates basic tenets of literary endeavor, that we respect language, that it be organic and that it elevate the meaning and purpose of the Word. Or, as my old friend and preeminent scholar of Chicano literature, Felipe de Ortego y Gasca, put it, it’s “an insidious blurring of hereditary and cultural roots.”Put another way, while it purports to allow for “gender inclusivity,” the use of the “X” blithely obliges the millions of people in the U.S. who are Hispanic by birth and identify as either male or female to veil their gender; it’s a form of linguistic neo-imperialism, to put it bluntly. Or, to put it more colorfully, the tail wagging the dog.I understand the intent, and basically I support and respect those who seek some recourse, but not at the expense of common sense or a language that is no one’s own to hash up.Besides, Latino and Latina are already made-up nouns, concocted by protagonists for an English dominant society. Adding an X compounds the linguistic hegemony conveyed in the words which have their origins in the bowels of the U.S. Census Bureau and the Congressional Budget Office, such as the use of Hispanic as a noun. (I get a lurch in my stomach to hear the term.)

Have any discussions about the suffiX taken place during the past few years—confabs involving hopefully a wide range of interested parties, such as socio-linguists, writers, community activists, even politicians, to arrive at a broadly accepted term or policy about the issue? It appears that the use of X has made its way into certain areas of parlance much as the terms, Latino and Hispanic, did—by unilateral actions and arbitrary decisions by persons otherwise evincing a social evolution in the meaning of gender. Personally, I don’t care how anyone might want to identify themselves, as long as it doesn’t impose on my right to call myself what I want. I did hear of a symposium, titled, LatinxFuturism, held June 22nd last by the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute in New York City. The questions posed for discussion were: Do Latinxs see themselves as having a common ground or are we more concerned with our individual national constituencies? How do intersectional politics of race and gender fit into the mix? Is it possible to see a future for LatinXs in New York and the U.S. that brings together all of our issues?

The questions are basically worth addressing eXcept they presume the predominance of the X factor as the predicate for eXchange of ideas. The first question might have been, can we impose on all indigenous Americans of Hispanic origin the further Anglicization of a term imposed on us by X-ing the Spanish language?
At the kind of conference I envision, I could conjure up a few alternatives for consideration. In order of potential acceptance (or not), they are:

1.   Establish a policy with all sides taken into consideration that henceforth, the word, Latine (or other term agreed upon), could be used to connote gender inclusivity. In other words, make it a bland social construct like Hispanic (lurch) as a noun.

2.   Do what I do, only use the term preferred by the individual I’m considering for publication such as MeXican, Puerto Rican, or Nicaraguense, or an –o, –a, or –x.

3. Consider terms within the Spanish idiom which are organic to the language, that is, which can be derived from the actual language itself, not forced from without, especially given the English dominant nature of the letter, “X.” No word in Spanish starts with X, eXcept derivatives of Greek-based words, such as Xenophobia. X is not found in any form as a suffiX within the Spanish language. One critic I read showed how a sentence with the o’s and a’s changed to “X” looked like—an egg splattered on a wall is more appealing to the eye.a. Several of the demonyms of ethnic/national origin have been folded easily into U.S. usage without raising gender flags: e.g., MeXican, Colombian, Venezuelan, etc.; in fact, that terminology covers most of the Latin American countries. Only a few demonyms raise the “X” flag and they’re all in the U.S.A.: Chicano/a, Hispana/o, and Latina/o: as far as I know, none of these terms are used as identifiers in Latin America.

4. Evolve a term which is gender neutral, whose meaning derives organically from the Spanish language itself and thus acceptable worldwide. A basic method of demonymizing an ethnic term in English is simply to add -an, or –ian, to wit:a. Chicanan or Chicanian, Hispanan or Hispanian, and Latinan or Latinian. Alternatively, how about Chicanamerican, Latinamerican, or, Hispanamerican?

5. We could spend at least three years in conferences, webinars, and online video calls or whatever other technology develops during the time to reach a consensus. Recollection alone serves me with regard to the name-calling battle that occurred within the National Association of Chicano Studies, back in 1994, I believe, when women academics brought a national conference to a halt over their demand that the name be changed to National Association of Chicano and Chicana Studies.

a. This suggests another solution: adding the X factor as a separate entity to o and a to produce, e.g., National Association of Chicano, Chicana, and ChicanX Studies or NACCCXS). In general usage, the outcome would look like this: Chicana/o/X as in “the Chicano/a/X Literary Club.” Obviously, a kind of oXymoron, because there’s nothing literate about the suffiX: o/a/X.Wouldn’t it be less cumbersome simply to turn NACCS into NACS – National Association of Chicanan Studies?

b. Another solution might lie in the only other demonym I know of for an ethnic/national group in the Americas that’s gender neutral, alluded to above—Nicaraguense. So, we could have Chicanense, Hispanense or Latinense, or just “Nense,” for short. 

So, to sum up, before the use of X as a suffiX for Chican-, Latin- or Hispan- spreads any further willy-nilly, I suggest certain steps occur:
Let’s agree that we need to have a serious discussion about the X factor.·  Determine the problem or issue the X factor seeks to resolve.

Conduct discussions including organizations dedicated to scholarly and policy pursuits, writers and a broad spectrum of our communities—no government officials allowed— to address the various options.·  Reach a consensus about which term makes logical, practical, and literate sense, and publish the outcome far and wide—within the U.S. at least because I don’t believe anyone cares beyond our borders.For sure, Somos en escrito will publish every word of the outcome. 

For now, I defer to the default status: call yourself whatever you want, let everyone else do the same, and think really hard about what makes sense.

-Armando Rendón, Editor   
Somos en Escrito Magazine



National Association of Latino Independent Producers - NALIP:  We are Inclusion 
Breath of Fire workshop: Intro to TV Writing with Producer, Gabriel Llanas 

National Association of Latino Independent Producers 

Throughout the past 18 years, NALIP has evolved as a leader in the promotion and advancement of Latino content creators across media. Every day we are a step closer to changing the media landscape by seeing more images made by and about Latinos. As we continue to grow, we have been fortunate enough to develop an extensive network of people who help us strengthen our influence in the industry through collaboration, and we decided to launch a new campaign to highlight those faces of NALIP.

Whether you're a director, filmmaker or industry executive, your work with our organization has shaped what #WeAreInclusion means.

NALIP has celebrated the convergence of media and diversity in the general market. Now, we want to take it a step further and push for the INCLUSION of diverse stories and people in the industry. Over the past few months, we interviewed NALIP members; their answers and personal stories of tenacity, tribulation and triumph inspired a project highlighting their influence within the industry and NALIP. Hearing their stories inspired us to continue our commitment to inclusion and to widely declare that we are the inclusion that will drive the future of the entertainment industry forward.

#WeAreInclusion is how we move forward in the current media ecosystem. We hope you find inspiration through these stories and that they propel you forward or help you up in the ladder of INCLUSION.

Watch the trailer. . . 
The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) seeks to inspire, promote, and advocate for Latino content creators in media. As an established non-profit organization, NALIP advances the development of Latino content creation through its programs focusing on narrative, documentary, TV, and digital ..

We are excited to highlight NALIP creative, Angel Manuel Soto, whose current project has been selected for the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Check out his incredible trajectory & what inclusion means to him. Learn more and stay tuned for next week’s profile.  

Intro to TV Writing with CW's Supergirl's Producer, Gabriel Llanas 
Sara Guerrero, Artistic Director info@breathoffire.org

Hello 2018! & Breath of Fire New Works Lab Submission Call!
16 years ago Gabriel Llanas wrote his first play for the Minnesota Fringe Festival. It was a kung fu adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet that was produced and directed by two friends of his from college. Together they continued working tirelessly producing theater for four years and making no money. In 2008 he graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts with an MFA in screenwriting and he began working as an intern in the writer's office of the television show Private Practice. Since then he has worked as a staff writer on five shows on three networks. He is currently a producer on the CW's Supergirl.

WORKSHOP: An introduction to the often absurd, sometimes rewarding and occasionally lucrative world of television writing. We will discuss what the day to day work of a television writer is, different paths into the profession, and how to develop the most important piece of writing for any aspiring television writer: a clever twitter handle. Just kidding. we'll actually talk about original pilots. What makes a good one, how long they should be, things to avoid and things to strive for. All participants should come prepared with one or two ideas for an original television show that they would like to write. There will be a small screenwriting assignment in the week between workshop sessions. Even if your ultimate goal is not to be a television writer, the guidelines of writing for television can be applied across disciplines and hopefully you will come away from the workshop with a better understanding of how to craft an efficient scene that grabs the attention of readers and viewers alike.

REQUIREMENTS: To commit to both days. This is a two part workshop. All participants come prepared with one or two ideas for an original television show that they would like to write. Only 20 Spaces Available. MUST RSVP & RECEIVE an email Confirmation to attend.


Event is made possible by the California Arts Council Cultural Pathways two year matching grant and the Cal State Fullerton Grand Central Arts Center Artist-in-Residency Program.
for details, visit:


Saturday, February 10th:  SHHAR, John Schmal, “The History of Northwestern Mexico”   
Saturday, February 24th:
Leroy Martinez, "From Across the Spanish Empire"
Westminster 1868 street map
Community Embraces Dr. Vela book:  TRACKS  to the Westminster Barrio  1902 to 1980s
The Orange County Heritage by  Eddie Grijlava
The Preservationist Toolkit – The Basics of Preservation Planning, Technology and Advocacy
The Acjachemen Indians of OC Story Project: 
        Indigenous Voices of San Juan Capistrano

Come join us at the February 10, 2018 monthly meeting of the Society Of Hispanic Historical & Ancestral Research (SHHAR) featuring John Schmal, author of several genealogy/history books and genealogy researcher as our speaker.  

He will provide a PowerPoint presentation entitled:  “The History of Northwestern Mexico.” John will discuss the history of Soñora, Sinaloa and Chihuahua from the time of the Spanish contact to the final surrender of the Yaqui Indians in 1927.  The topics discussed will include the early colonial settlement, the silver industry, the War of Independence, the French occupation (1861-67), Pancho Villa and the 189-year war waged by the Yaquis against the Spanish colonial and Mexican governments (1740-1920s)

John Schmal is a long time member of the SHHAR Board of Directors and has been a great resource to the organization through the years.  

The free presentation will take place at the Orange Family History Center, 674 S. Yorba St., Orange. Volunteers will provide research assistance from 9 -10 a.m., and Schmal will speak from 10:15 -11:30 a.m.
For information, contact Letty Rodella at lettyr@sbcglobal.net.



From ACROSS the SPANISH Empire: 

Spanish Soldiers Who Helped Win the American Revolutionary War, 1776-1783  . . . Arizona, California, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Texas Military Rosters

Author:  Leroy Martinez, J.D


DATE:                  Saturday, February 24, 2018

TIME:                  1pm-4pm

LOCATION:         Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum
18127 S. Alameda St.
Rancho Dominguez, CA  90220  


Come visit Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum (near Long Beach, CA) for an informative lecture by the author, Leroy Martinez, J.D., a member of Sons of the American Revolution (SAR).  For further info, please contact the museum at 310-603-0088 or visit www.dominguezrancho.org. 

Sent by Sylvia N. Contreras  Sylvia@Linkline.com  

The reaction to Dr. Albert Vela's  book, "Tracks to the Westminster Barrio  1902-1860s " has been overwhelming. The book  as clearly playing a role in bringing the historic community together.  Reminiscing over shared memories has been sweet.  perhaps Dr. Vela's  example will lead others to share their communities in an intimate, factual way, as a historian, but from the perspective of and insider.


Jan 11, 2018, Mario Valadez wrote:  
Hi Dr. Vela,
 I finally got the book. Thank you very much. The cover is awesome. I also enjoying the maps and pictures of Mexican-American families in the early 20th Century. 

I went to Westminster High School back in the 1990s. I was never taught about the history of Mexican-Americans in Westminster, the Mendez Case for example, which I learned about in college.  I wish had read this book or something similar back in high school. 

In 2012, I returned to Westminster High as a student-teacher when I working on the social science teaching credential at CSULB.  I was the only Latino teacher in history. I remember hearing a conversation between two white teachers that the only contribution of Mexican-Americans to city of Westminster was the West Trece gang. I was shocked and angry about those comments. West Trece  (originally starting as a dance club in 1968, was called the Gaylords at Westminster High). It was hardly the largest gang in Orange County, or even the most violent in Westminster.  I am pretty sure those teacher are now retired. 

Have you reached out to Westminster High School or Johnson Intermediate schools library about your book?  Your book needs to be in these libraries.  

Do you mind if I email the pdf that you sent me to a teacher at Westminster High School?  Congratulations on your book! Thank you for highlighting the contribution of Mexican-Americans in the city of Westminster.  
my best,  Mario Valadez 


Received this note from Wendy Gallagher. . .John & I were classmates at Mater Dei HS ('56) & Loyola University ('60). He was my best man '61. . .  

I'm flabbergasted by what Wendy's plans to promote TRACKS in Santa Rosa County!

To think TRACKS just came out for sale Jan 1, 2018!

I mentioned to you that Roisin McAree, PrincipalBl Sac School has done an ad to advertise the book and
will do a blurb in the Church Bulletin about it with pastor's permission.

John & Wendy live in Santa Rosa where fires burned their home to the ground most recently. 



On Jan 15, 2018, at 9:12 PM, frank mendoza wrote: 

Danielito, buenas tardes,  

Just want to thank you for sending me your thoughts regarding my contribution to Professor Al’s book, “Tracks”. I wrote those memories a few years back and am delighted that Al thought them worthy of inclusion in his masterful work. I enjoy writing on whatever I might have knowledge of or experiences of my past. I have other short, short stories/articles that I would share with you if interested. You recall that one story of mine that occurred when in third grade at the 17th Street School and sent to you that I titled “The longest walk”. I have other stories of my past and can send them to you. I have also written articles that have been published in the Westminster Herald and one in the OC Register. These are mainly regarding our barrio’s heroes who were KIA in WWII and Korea; and an article that I titled, “Echoes of Requiems”, this being as an introduction or preamble to the 6 heroes of our barrio. Anyway, Danielito, thanks again for your kind input. Frank ’55. K Sent from Mail for Windows 10 

From: Danny Musselman
Sent: Saturday, January 13, 2018 8:10 AM
To: Frank Mendoza '55; Louis Holguin '57; Al Vela '56
Subject: "Tracks' 

Francisco....I just finished reading Al's book, 'Tracks'. I knew you were a damn good writer but Holy Cow!  Your contributions to the book were excellent! I have told you before that you have a real knack to writing and ought to do more of it. Just wanted to commend you! Good Job! 
Louie  your efforts and contributions to the book were excellent, also. I had no idea that some of my closest Amigos from Mater Dei had such talents as well as experiences. 
Al....My thanks to you for all your hard work and smarts to put this book together. Your mastery of the trials and tribulations of my Hispanic compadres was eye opening!!!   
To all of you, Mil Gracias Danielito, the half-breed Puerto Rican 
Thanks for including me in your email, amigo Eddie.
Eddie . . TRACKS TO THE WESTMINSTER BARRIO: 1902-1960s, is continuing to receive very positive reviews. . .am most gratified that professors at CSUF, USC, UCLA, and Los Angeles Harbor College plan to use TRACKS this year (Spring / Fall). 
Chapman University (Rand Boyd) has accepted my book for use at the Leatherby Library. Tim Scott, Regional Branch Mgr, OC Libraries likes it. LMU, CSULB and others are showing interest in TRACKS. 
To think book became available only 10 days ago! Frankly, Eddie, there is 
much excitement for it in Orange and Los Angeles Counties. 

Hello MIMI,
The article on bias is about 90% complete but will be unfinished
until I can catch up with administrative type jobs related to TRACKS!
I'll probably get it ready for the March edition. . .
In meantime, I keep getting great comments re TRACKS!
Estimados Amigos! 
 Somewhere along the way I visualized or became aware of the social web or relationships among 
persons from the various barrios.  Consider this web of barrios: 
Westminster - la 17teenth - Santa Anita - Artesia - Logan - Stanton - Colonia Independencia - La Habra 
El Mo - Los Alamitos - Wilmington -  
In other words, the barrios were interrelated thru friendships, sports, jobs, marriages. . .they never stood  
isolated. . . 
I saw this once I started emailing Bob Torres and sharing info and thoughts. . .of course, el coronel Holguín 
introduced Bob to me long ago when he hosted a bunch of Chicanos for menudo. . .in his back yard. . . 
lot of vatos there. ¿qué no Louie? By the way, amigos, I major in sociology at Loyola '60.    Al 


To be placed on the waiting list, kindly email the author, 
Albert V Vela, PhD at SiglerPark@gmail.com,

Write checks payable to DIOCITO PUBLISHING COMPANY
MAIL TO: Albert V. Vela
12 Tarragon Drive
East Hampton
CT 06424-1755 
Give name, phone and address indicating the number of books you wish to purchase. 
CA: $39.95 + $3.50 (8.75% sales tax) + $3.99 (media postage/handling) = $47.44 per book 
CT: $39.95 + $2.54 (6.35% sales tax) + $3.99 (media postage/handling) = $46.48 per book 
The book describes the founding of the barrio;
includes narratives of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1919);
and the Cristero Rebellion (1926-1929); 
education before Mendez et al. v Westminster et al.; 
when softball was king in the 1940s; why Mexican American families journeyed north to the San Joaquín and south to the Imperial Valley to make a living; how Mexican American families from Santa Ana, Garden Grove, El Modena, and Westminster rallied around Gonzalo and Felícitas Méndez to overcome the school segregation of their children; excerpts from original court documents of Mendez v Westminster depicting the oral arguments by the defendant school districts and Atty David C Marcus who represented the plaintiffs. . .and more. 
Readers will enjoy many historical photos never before seen by the public at large, and be fascinated by the interviews. To be placed on the waiting list, email the author (Albert V Vela, PhD) -  SiglerPark@gmail.com. 

County Courier Jan 2018 / OCHS
Jan 11, 2018 
Hi Mimi,
This photo is in front cover of the County Courier Jan 2018 ed. Monthly publication of the Orange County Historical Society. Phil Brigandi will be presenting tomorrow on the breakup of the ranchos. Rev. Lemuel P Webber bought 6400+ acres from the Stearns Ranchos. The Colony population was 625 residents in 1877. By 1879 the Westminster Township had numbered 951. The Mendez et al. vs Westminster et al. civil rights case had its origins in the Westminster Barrio.
Mexican families began to move into the original Presbyterian Colony area in 1900s. 
Sigler Park would be that huge area to left of Presbyterian Church (dedicated 1879; bottom foreground). The 2 structures represent the first school in the colony. Across the street from this Church (street = Olive), is the present Blessed Sacrament Church rectory, and parking areas. It's on this property that the Vela, Medina, Rivera, Alarcón, 
Gonzalez, Hernández, and Herrera families lived off Spruce St. An alley running left-right (south-north) is evident off Spruce Street. The Methodist Church is in background. 
When the Vela family rented a house on Spruce Street near the alley, the author (5 yrs old)would venture into the remote area of the back yard to investigate the broken down horse stalls and wagon. He'd also "drive" an 1919 Ford bed-truck with wooden spoke wheels. The author learned that "Tanis" Esparza, the owner, delivered wood with the truck. Two big fig trees grew in the back yard whose fruit the author picked and devoured.
Running east-west next to the two churches would be North Plaza Street. And south of No. Plaza (left) is So. Plaza St (now has a different name).
Moving left (south) would be Main Street (east-west). Olive Street takes you to the majority of barrio families lived. This area was known as "la garra." The upper or north side closer to the "downtown" we called "la liga."
Almond St (now 17th or Westminster St) is the first street on the right. It went from Seal Beach/Long Beach toward the west to Santa Ana. Just south of Olive Street appears to be the Colonies' first motel later known as Hazel's Oklahoma Café.
Westminster became known for its dairies and fertile soils. Well-to-do families also ran farms in areas south (left side) where the Westminster Mall is (Fwy 405). As a kid mom would send me off to buy a dozen eggs from a dairy farmer just southwest of Sigler Park. About a five minute walk. Colonists also owned large parcels in all areas beyond the Colony proper. Colonists also grew walnuts and vineyards, and later on, someone planted an orange orchard off the northern part of Golden West Street (near the Garden Grove Fwy).
Eucalyptus Street (unseen; now Hoover) is in lower part of picture. In 1897 he Santa Ana & Newport RR Company (SA&N) lay tracks from Newport to Shell Beach (Huntington Beach). At Huntington Beach the line curved north toward Westminster running all the way to Stanton and Anaheim. (For information on the Westminster Colony, see Ivana Freeman Bollman's excellent study, Westminster Colony, California: 1869-1879.
The SA&N ram cars loaded with celery picked up at the Smeltzer ranch and farms owned by Westmnster colonists. The Southern Pacific RR bought the lucrative SA&N Company in 1899. (see Donaldson, S. & Myers, Wm, Rails Through the Orange Groves, Vol. 2, pp. 157-59). The tracks ran roughly 10 yards alongside Hoover Street (old Eucalyptus). 

Hi Mini, Edward Grijalva asked me to forward you this LINK from the California Preservation Foundation. https://californiapreservation.org/events/basics-2018/   
I will be speaking at a CPF program at the Mission San Juan on Feb 8th. In my program I will be presenting a short film about El Toro, California and Edward is featured in the film. Once the film is completed later this month I will be sending out a LINK to it if you’d like to spread the word about the film. There is a cost to attending the entire program.    California Preservation Foundation    https://californiapreservation.org/events/basics-2018/ 
Sent by Larry Saavedra larryssaavedra@gmail.com
Multi-Media Producer and Creative Director, Quick Dog Productions

The seasoned preservationist knows that there are many tools and technologies available to help identify, preserve, protect and promote historic resources. However, the basics of modern preservation are still something of a mystery to those who do not regularly work with potential and designated historic resources or who may be trying to become more familiar about preservation practices to effectuate historic conservation activities in their community. This workshop is designed to provide some of the basic preservation tools to help anyone seeking to promote or engage in historic conservation as part of their business, organization, or as a community advocate. A complimentary tour of Mission San Juan Capistrano will be provided to those attending the workshop in-person. 

Understand some of the basic tools, principals and practices in historic conservation
How preservation can be supported by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and municipal ordinances
Understand how historic resource evaluations and surveys play a vital role as planning tools
How media and technology can be used to help promote preservation projects
Date: Feb 08, 2018
Time 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Early Registration
Members & Partners $115
Non-Members $150
Late Registration
Members & Partners $130
Non-Members $165
Live Broadcast
Members & Partners $60
Non-Members $75

by Eddie Grijlava

After all these years of researching my Grijalva history, I did not stop to realize my dig roots in orange county California. 

 Here are two documented facts about my Grijalva, heritage of Orange County California.
 Fact number one: The two major groups of American Indians in Orange County, California were thought to originate from Shoshonean Tribe.. They came to be known as the Gabrielino/Tongva and the Juanneos because of their proximity to the San Gabriel and the San Juan Capistrano missions in California.

Fact number two: The first land owner in the Orange County area was Don Juan Pablo Grijalva. He was a retired Spanish soldier. The Spanish King granted him permission to establish and own a ranch that was named, EL RANCHO SANTIAGO de SANTA ANA. At the end of the Mexican/Spanish war, Mexico took California away from Spanish control. The Mexican government restricted mission activities to religious duties. The land was granted to Mexicans. They were mandated to improve the land. Is to place many years before Moulton Ranch, the Irvine Ranch and the Segerstrom Ranch.

 I proud to say my bloodline comes from the Native American Indian tribeGabrielino/Tongva Tribe and Spanish.

The Acjachemen Indians of Orange County Community Story Project
Indigenous Voices of San Juan Capistrano

Lecture and discussion of stories produced for the Acjachemen Community Stories project by Cultural Anthropologist.  Stephen O'Neil. "Their Stories in 
Their Words" The Acjachemen (Juaneno) Indian Community.

We’re Still Here: To Be a Southern California Native American in the 21st Century
San Juan Capistrano Library * 
31495 El Camino Real 92675|

The Continuing Struggle: Federal Recognition, for Generations Past and Future, Saving the Ancestors Laguna Hills Tech Library * 
25555 Alicia Pkwy 92653 SUN MAR 25 2PM  
Cultural Revitalization: Language, Basketweaving, Relearning Traditional Tools
Laguna Niguel Library * 
30341 Crown Valley Pkwy 92677


This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment of Humanities. For more, please visit www.calhum.org    

Sent by Yvonne Gonzalez Duncan
Source: Ann Robinson |  Secretary to Deputy Denise Churchill | SSA | Children & Family Services  | 714-245-6108


From San Antonio to Bunker Hills in Los Angeles  by Mimi Lozano
Feb 1: Downtown L.A. Historic Core: Touring Some of the Newest Adaptive Reuse Projects
February 10th:  Immigrant Stories, and American Journey
February 13th: Jose G. Ramos Bicycle Whittier Monument Committee 
Theatre at Ace Hotel
Millennium Biltmore Hotel

From San Antonio to Bunker Hills in Los Angeles by Mimi Lozano

The memory below is Chapter 2 of My Life History
Bunker Hills, the First House I Can Remember 

It must’ve been in 1934 because mom said I was an infant in arms, and I was born in October 1933. It was towards the end of the Great Depression. Mom's parents and all her brothers and sisters had moved to Los Angeles. Mom wanted to go to Los Angeles to be with her “familia.   

Perhaps it was for the cost of the gasoline that dad made a rather questionable arrangements with some man he happened to meet in a bar. The man wanted to pick up his children at the elementary school they attended, and drive to Los Angeles. It was a divorce situation and It was against the legal divorce arrangements.    

Mom, my sister Tania, and I would travel with the man to Los Angeles . . . in his car as a cover.  The police would not be looking for a family group of four children, a mother and a father. Dad would drive in a separate car. Perhaps dad agreed . . . in exchange for the cost of the gasoline.  

Mom agreed because she would be reunited with her family. With two little ones in diapers, and no family, she was desperate. I doubt that either mom or dad at even thought of the consequences, if they had been caught. Kidnapping is a very serious crime and they would’ve been accomplices.  

Mom said she packed two boxes of sandwiches and other foods, plus diapers, clothing, and blankets. We left San Antonio with this stranger and his two children. While they were traveling, Mom said all the radio stations were blasting over the air, asking for help about the children who had been kidnapped by their father. Mom said for days the kidnapping even made the newspapers, both the San Antonio and Los Angeles newspapers. She did not know what happened, if the children had ever been reunited with her mother. 

When they got to Los Angeles Dad and Mom found an abandoned house and squatted for a duration. Mom said a drawer out of a chest was used for my bed.  

Abuelito Alberto and Abuelita Petra were renting a room in one of the large houses in the Bunker Hills area. Many Mexican families had moved to the area. After a while, we too were living in the same house with grandma and grandpa. I seem to remember .mom saying that Dad made money by finding abandoned cars fixing them up and selling them. Mom would clean the house for her older sister who provided food in exchange.  

Mom was happy, being there with family, but dad wanted to return San Antonio, where he was born, had had a business and had family. One day dad took Tania, my sister, and left for San Antonio.

I was an adult before I was able to put the pieces together. I remembered some incidences happening where we lived when I was about 16 months old which I did not think would’ve happened if my year and a half older sister had been there.
I asked my mom where my sister was when we lived Bunker Hills. She looked shocked and said, "You can’t have remembered that. You were just a baby." I said I remembered that for while, Tania was not with us. I did not know how many months.

Mom said that against her wishes, Dad had taken Tania to San Antonio, assuming Mom would follow him back to San Antonio. She did not.

There was a physical confrontation between mom and dad. It may have been when dad was was leaving the house with Tania. I remember being held in the arms of my grandmother, watching Mom and Dad fighting on the sidewalk, lots of screaming, and blood on my mom’s forehead and face.
I asked my sister if she remembered being taken to Texas when she was a child, and she proudly said that, was when “dad stole” her and took her to meet all the relatives. For her, it was a good memory. Ultimately Dad brought Tania back. Mom and Dad reassumed their marriage, which ultimately resulted in divorce.My sister's relationship with our Dad was also much closer than I had with him. He and I never did seem to bond.

In spite of it all, I do not remember lots of bad times, mostly it was memories, with cousins aunts and uncles. We were taken to Echo Park, Griffith Park, Silver Lake, La Brea Tar pits, "el rio".   The houses were big, especially inside and they were tall, three stories, and sometimes more; stately, majestic to a child; interesting, some looked like castles.


History of Bunker Hill: Early Development
In 1867, a wealthy developer, Prudent Beaudry, purchased a majority of the hill's land. Because of the hill's excellent views of the Los Angeles Basin and the Los Angeles River, he knew that it would make for an opulent subdivision. He developed the peak of Bunker Hill with lavish two-story Victorian houses that became famous as homes for the upper-class residents of Los Angeles. Angels Flight, now dubbed "The World's Shortest Railway", took residents homeward from the bottom of the 33% grade and down again. 

Initially a residential suburb, Bunker Hill retained its exclusive character through the end of World War I, but in the face of increased urban growth fed by an extensive streetcar system, its wealthy residents began leaving for enclaves on the Westside and Pasadena. Bunker Hill's houses were increasingly sub-divided to accommodate renters. Still, Bunker Hill was at this time "Los Angeles's most crowded and urban neighborhood".  By World War II the Pasadena Freeway, built to bring shoppers downtown, was taking more residents out. Additional post-war freeway construction left downtown comparatively empty of both people and services. The once-grand Victorian mansions of Bunker Hill became the home of impoverished pensioners. Wikipedia

www.messynessychic.com/2013/07/25/the-lost-victorian mansions-of-downtown-la/

archived from realpeople@downtownnews.com 


Despite once attracting high-income residents with its fashionable apartment buildings, By the 1920s, Bunker Hill had become a working class lodging district. The once thriving leafy ... After the Great Depression, the grand old Victorian mansions were run-down and being used as cheap apartment hotels. 

I was relieved to learn, as an adult and got interested in history, to find that Bunker Hill history had been saved in the preservation of some of the Victorian mansions. It was through the efforts and attention of artist Leo Politi that the Los Angeles history of Bunker Hill is known and appreciated. 

Especially well known for his children's books;. however, he verged into adult books to the most innovative which was the hills, a series of paintings of this stately Victorian houses which populate advanced section of downtown before the skyscrapers irrevocably altered the landscape  In total third 30 books and illustrated an additional 15 to 20. 

In scrolling through photos this one attracted my attention. It seemed very familiar to me. Research revealed it was was referred to as the Castle.  Located at 325 S. Bunker Hill, it appears it was among some of the few Victorian mansions preserved as part of the history of Los Angeles.  Leo Politi immortalized the Bunker Hill mansions with his art.  


During its 60-plus year tenure as a multi-unit residence, the Castle would play host to all walks of life : Salesmen, doctors, waiters, elevator operators, miners, firemen, tailors, printers, hotel food checkers and many others called the Castle home, at some point in their lives. 

When the WPA conducted a census of the area in the 1939, the castle at 325 S. Bunker Hill Avenue was comprised of fifteen separate units, including a small guest house, built in 1927. The landlord’s family resided in four rooms while the rest of the tenants occupied single rooms and shared six toilets. Rent ranged from $10 to $15 a month and occupancy at the Castle was anywhere from six months to eight years. The WPA reported that majority of the occupants were single, white and over 65 years of age.  

When we were living there, in 1934-35, there were Mexican families, and lots of children.  My grandfather was quite educated. He was superintendent of schools in Sabinas Hidalgo, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. He could read in three languages, and spoke fluently in Spanish and French.

Jean Bruce Poole, historic museum director of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. She knew Polti since 1977 when he painted the mural "the Blessing of the Animals" on the side of the Biscailiz building, depicting the annual Olvera Street event. 

"His paintings were always very sweet," she continues, " they were not of people in sorrow or agony or distress. He painted people as he like to see them, happy and enjoying life and being good." 

In preparing this chapter, it made me more aware of the heartache associated with migrating families and individuals, the confusion of separation from loved ones, challenges to adjust to the new. The dissociated from the familiar, . . . growing, changing, adjusting. Our ancestors did, and many of us did also.  

Remembering helps heal memories and increases understanding. Recently one of my cousins repeated a thought that I shared with her long ago, concerning my father's death. She said I told her, "My one regret about my relationship with my dad, was not being able to know my father . . . as an adult."   

I hope you accept the challenge and start writing your own personal family history, for yourself and for others. The ten questions which I answered are in the Family History section. 

Downtown L.A. Historic Core: Touring Some of the Newest Adaptive Reuse Projects
 This Workshop is Made Possible by a Generous Partnership with Spectra.
Feb 01, 2018    . . .   5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Members $15  Non-members $25 Downtown Los Angeles is in the midst of a major construction boom that is revitalizing many areas of downtown, including the historic core. Adaptive reuse projects have been recently been completed or are underway at some of the largest historic buildings in the historic core that will continue to transform the area into a trendy hotel, residential, shopping and eating destination. This tour will take you on a tour that includes 4 recent historic projects near south:

Start at the original Bank of Italy’s transformation into the newly opened NoMad Hotel
See the current revitalization at LA’s largest historic rehabilitation project, the Broadway Trade Center
The adaptive reuse of the Commercial Exchange Building into the Freehand Hotel
End the tour at the Ace Hotel (United Artist Theater) at the rooftop bar for no-host drinks and a social reception
California Preservation Foundation    https://californiapreservation.org/events/basics-2018/ 
Sent by Larry Saavedra larryssaavedra@gmail.com
Multi-Media Producer and Creative Director, Quick Dog Productions who also writes about an Orange County workshop,


Floricanto began creating dance works based on our personal experiences about 20 years ago because, although we love our traditions deeply, they do not depict our current reality. Mexican folk dance traditions have enriched us. strengthened us, and given us a unique artistic perspective. But most of our company members were all born in the United States. 
We have danced folklorico to learn more about who we are and where we come from. We found that part of who we are is here in the schools we attend, the neighborhoods we live in, the friends we laugh and play with. 
We have also come to understand that the efforts our parents, grandparents and our communities have made to make our world a better place for us are key to the opportunities we now have.  This is the context for our Immigrant Stories program. In it we honor their contributions, celebrate their strength and tenacity and recognize that their work is not complete. It is up to us to continue on the path they began to carve for us and our future generations. 
Our cultural traditions have taught us to be proud of who we are. Our ancestors are showing us how to do this with dignity love and respect. We hope you can join us. 
Sent by Gema Sandoval floricanto@att.net 


To all Veteran lovers and fans 
of Jose G. Ramos 

MThe Jose G. Ramos Bicycle 
Whittier Monument Committee
Requests your support

=================================== ===================================
We, "The Jose G. Ramos Bicycle Whittier Monument Committee" is sending out our newest newsletter.
We have formed a GoFundMe Account to raise monies to help the City of Whittier build the "Jose G. Ramos Whittier Bicycle Monument"

If you would like to see the monument built, please log on to our GoFundMe Account for Jose G. Ramos and donate what you can. In two days we have raised $260.00 and climbing. 

Target goal is $5,000.00 which is a portion of the cost and showing the City of Whittier our dedicated support for their recognizing another Whittier Resident Vietnam War Veteran Hero, Jose G. Ramos.
If you would like to support the committee, please attend the Whittier City Council Meeting on Tuesday February 13, 2018 at 6:30, Whittier City Hall where Greg Alaniz, Whittier Director of Parks and Recreation, will be submitting his report on my proposed Jose G. Ramos Bicycle Whittier Monument.
Please see attached Newsletter for information. Please help us by sending to your E-Mail list this Newsletter. Much appreciated in you helping us help Veterans and continually supporting WHVVD, Inc.

Read below why we and the City of Whittier want to honor our Vietnam War Veteran HERO!

Sincerely, Alfred Lugo
WHVVD Public Relations Director
Jose G. Ramos was a citizen of Whittier, CA and after the Vietnam War, in which he was a medic, realized the lack of respect the United States held for returning soldiers from Vietnam, he decided to ride his bicycle from our City of Whittier, California to our Nation's Capital, Washington D.C. His accomplishments resulted in the state of California and several other states declaring March 30th as "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day". The Ramos Family has donated the bicycle that he rode to Washington D.C. and the funds donated will be used for the bicycle to be placed at a location that has yet to be determined, painted, mounted and a plaque with the inscription of Jose G. Ramos' achievements of making March 30th Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day across America which will also include a portrait of Jose G. Ramos. On behalf of the Ramos Family, The Jose G. Ramos Whittier Bicycle Committee Founder, Alfred Lugo and the rest of the committee members, we would like to thank you in advance for your donation and help in making this monument a reality. Our current goal at this time is the starting budget for this project. This monument will not only benefit Vietnam Veterans but as Jose G. Ramos said it "A Welcome Home to veterans of all wars past and present, "Welcome Home".

The Jose G. Ramos Whittier Bicycle Monument was designed by Alfred Lugo, Veteran Advocate, and WHVVD Public Affairs Director



Theatre at Ace Hotel

Center for the Art of Performance Goes Downtown
Lovers of Artistic expression who live on L.A.'s Eastside received a gift last fall, when UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance (CAP) began programming almost one-third of its offerings in downtown Los Angeles at the Theatre at Ace Hotel. No longer is a trek to Westwood required in order to experience CAP UCLA's unique mix of dance, contemporary music, indie folk, world music, spoken word, theater, jazz and more.
But this is much more than a change of venue. It's a cross-town collaboration, says CAP UCLA's artistic and executive director, Kristy Edmunds, with "shared aims around community cause and unfettered creativity."
Indeed, the maverick nature of CAP UCLA's programming under Edmunds' direction, showcasing what she calls "the ever-adventurous artists of our time," suits the increasingly edgy vibe of downtown L.A. The central city, in the midst of a creative renaissance, serves as a vibrant hub attracting throngs of artists, art lovers and young creatives, many of whom live on the city's Eastside. According to Edmunds, the number of artists now based in L.A. has reached critical mass, and CAP UCLA provides supportive space for experimentation and free expression.
The Spanish-Gothic Theatre at Ace Hotel, a downtown icon, seats 1,600 and features a three-story grand lob ornate balcony and a vaulted ceiling adorn* with thousands of mi> that illuminate the ca dral-like space. Occui the historic United A building, constructec 1927, the Ace sits in t heart of an area fillec with historic theaters contemporary musei and is the official hor L.A. Dance Project.
The1,800-seat Royce Hall on the UCLA campus remains a key venue home base for CAP UCLA especially for events require a larger stag and a more traditional set-up. For tickets CAP UCLA events, visit:  www.cap.ucla.edu or www.theatre.acehotel.com  

Source: UCLA MAGAZINE, January 2018. pg.8



Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, originally built as the United Artists Building and later known as the Texaco Building, is a 243 ft (74 m), 13-story highrise hotel and theater building located at 937 South Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, California. It was the tallest building in the city for one year after its completion in 1927, and was the tallest privately owned structure in Los Angeles until 1956. Its style is Spanish Gothic, patterned after Segovia Cathedral in Segovia, Spain. 

The building contains the historic United Artists Theater, the flagship theater built for the United Artists motion picture studio. The theater was later used as a church by pastors Gene Scott and his widow Melissa Scott under the name "Los Angeles University Cathedral". In October 2011, Scott's Wescott Christian Center Inc. sold the building to Greenfield Partners, a real estate investment company located in Westport, Connecticut, for $11 million.[5] It was converted to a hotel, and opened in 2014. The hotel is part of the Ace Hotels chain.
Source: Wikipedia 


Millennium Biltmore Hotel

The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, originally named the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel of the Biltmore Hotels group, is a luxury hotel located across the street from Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles, California, US.  
Upon its grand opening in 1923, the Los Angeles Biltmore was the largest hotel west of Chicago, Illinois in the United States.[1] In 1969 the Biltmore Hotel was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument by the City of Los Angeles. Regal Hotels purchased the Biltmore in 1996, and sold it in 1999 to Millennium & Copthorne Hotels.
The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, originally named the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel of the Biltmore Hotels group, is a luxury hotel located across the street from Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles, California. 

Upon its grand opening in 1923, the Los Angeles Biltmore was the largest hotel west of Chicago, Illinois in the United States.[1] In 1969 the Biltmore Hotel was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument by the City of Los Angeles. Regal Hotels purchased the Biltmore in 1996, and sold it in 1999 to Millennium & Copthorne Hotels.

Source:  Wikipedia of information


April 27-29: California LULAC State Convention in Riverside
I made it to 74 by Julio Guerrero
South Colton Oral History Project by Dr. Tom Rivera
Nature Conservancy Acquires Coastal Land
Informative Resources for California Residents


CA LULAC State Convention April 27-29, 2018


Join us at the California LULAC State Convention in Riverside April 27-29.
"Empowering New Leaders and Standing Our Ground"




Julio Guerrero 


I made it to 74 this week and feel fortunate to still have the opportunity to reflect on the past year’s most memorable events. I think we tend to look back as a way to measure if we’re moving on or staying put. To that effect I’m happy to have participated in various projects, was able to reconnect with old friends and made new ones while others moved on to a better life.

My most significant loss was that of Mom who left us in April, two months short of her 92nd birthday.  She was a remarkable person.

I remember a few years ago I got a call from my sister Norma asking me to call mom because she wasn’t feeling well. I got concerned because mom was around ninety by then but Norma told me not to be alarmed about mom’s physical health, only that her fish had died and she was feeling depressed. 

A few months back mom had been gifted a Beta fish from a friend and it had become the center of her attention. She kept him in her room by her bedside and I know she loved him because this one weekend she spent with us she wouldn’t leave him behind and she insisted in bringing him along so she held the small fishbowl on her lap during the four hours drive from Houston to San Antonio. She told me she would talk to him, read and sing for him and even argue with him when she had a bad day. It wasn’t the case that mom was senile because she remained very lucid in her later years and enjoyed excellent memory.

My theory is that she didn’t have the time to give us tender motherly love because she was always preoccupied and busy working sometimes even two jobs as a single mother to feed a bunch of kids, and as a result we would often mostly see the disciplinary side of her, or so it was our perception. She once told me that sometimes sorrow would overcome her and would spend hours crying in her room thinking about all the missed opportunities to have fun with the children. Mom still had lots of love to give in her later days so the Beta fish was getting most of it whether he liked it or not.

I called mom and she confirmed her loss, I understood what it meant to her so I just listened. She told me that when she got home after her job in a preschool program not far from home, she noticed the fish wasn’t moving and after talking to him and trying to feed him to no avail she concluded it had died. I told mom not to worry that we would get her another fish but she said no, that it would be too much trouble. Norma offered to put the fishbowl in the bed next to her so she could sleep with him the last night.

Days later I called her to see how she was feeling and to my surprise she told me everything was fine, that the fish had not died after all. She went on to explain that Norma had taken the fish to the veterinary and was able to revive him. I thought the story was very peculiar. In fact a bit too peculiar, to the point of reminding me of another fish story from a few decades back.

In the early eighties I lived in San Jose, California working on community media development. One of my jobs was in Salinas, a couple of ours drive on south HWY 101 developing a programming format for KUBO, while my weekend job with KOFY was on the opposite side one hour to the north by the San Francisco airport.

The drive was not a challenge for me, I actually enjoyed it. It became difficult when my daughter Laura who was 9 at the time would come to visit from Seattle. Lucky for me she was very tolerant and supportive so she would come along to my work sites and make friends with my coworkers and their families.

Laura’s charm came in handy because sometimes the families would ask her to stay behind with some of the friend she made since I would have to make trips twice a week from one end of the bay to the other. 

This one time Lilly, one of our family friends treated us to a night of fun at the Santa Clara County Fair and after many shows, games and rides Laura ended up with a prize.  It was a gold fish given to her in a small plastic bag which Lilly replaced by a small glass bowl she bought for her. The next Monday morning Laura, the fish and I took off to Salinas.

When it was time to return by week’s end Laura decided to leave behind her new friend since we would have to be back in a couple of days anyway. Well, a whole week went by before Laura made it back to Salinas and when we got to the Radio station, our hostess-friend Margarita gave me the news that the fish had died and proposed that we would need to buy a new fish before Laura made it back to her house. 

I remember we literally walked around the block to a pet store and went straight to the goldfish display. The young man tending the store asked us to pick the one we liked out of the seemingly hundreds of goldfishes leisurely swimming around in a big glass tank. Typically, I shrugged and looked at Margarita who pointed to one that the sales person fetched for us. To my taste it seemed a bit big for a couple of weeks old fish but we needed to get home before Laura got there. 

That week went by uneventfully but the evening we were heading back to San Jose Laura seemed tired. She sat in the backseat holding the small fishbowl on her lap.

Now, I don’t mean to brag but neither of my two daughters Laura and Camila have ever been the bratty type. They are polite, considered, conscientious and well mannered. The only times I’ve seen either of them out of character is when they are tired or sleep deprived. 

That Friday night, driving back to San Jose Laura was not feeling her best so not long after we got on the road she started to launch a series of complaints at me from the backseat. Granted, they were all well founded claims but the ranting was uncharacteristic of her never the less. Among other things I remember her saying “I am tired of you moving around so much, you should just buy a house and stay in one place” All I could do was to agree and listen knowing she’d go back to her normal self once she was rested so I said. “I know, you are right…just get some sleep…:” One of the last things I remember her saying before she succumbed to her sleep was….” And besides this is not my fish, it’s too fat….!!  

Laura obviously realized the switch act Margarita and I played on her unlike the one my sister Norma did on Mom. But whether she knew it or not, mom seemed happy and in the end that’s really what mattered. 

I miss you Mom….. 




Medal of Honor Character Development Program 
Coming to California!

Three free, full day Character Development Program trainings are taking place in California. Educators from all subjects areas are invited to attend.

Attendees will:

  • Receive our resource kit at no cost
  • Participate in model lessons
  • Learn best practices for the classroom
  • Enjoy complimentary breakfast and lunch
  • Be inspired and re-energized about teaching
  • Receive reimbursement for substitute costs (with submission of an invoice)  

    February 1: Covina, CA Training for 6-12th Grade Educators
    February 15: Covina, CA Training for K-6th Grade Educators
    March 6: Riverside, CA Training for 6-12th Grade Educators

For questions, email Erin Billmayer

South Colton Oral History Project

Dr. Tom Rivera  

Presente----and doing our part to prevent the past from disappearing with an oral history project initiated in 2013.

   In exploring the written history of the Chicano "neighborhood" where I grew up in Colton, California, I found almost nothing that described the many elements that made us a self-sustaining, vibrant community.  In fact, I found few references mentioned of its existence as the "Mexican" side of town, or its existence as a city within a city. In a 1.3 sq. mile area, we had churches and schools. We had grocery stores, a bakery, barber shops, gas stations, a furniture store, a shoe store, liquor stores, night clubs, a dance hall, even a bullring. Yet, a 1952 list of businesses in Colton didn't mention a single one of the many businesses in my side of town, "South Colton".  

  Of course, I found no mention of the prejudicial practices that kept all the "Mexicans" in "their" part of town, the rules and curfew they had to abide by when visiting the white part of town, the segregated schools. Almost no mention of the leaders of our community or our first political figures.  

  All this compelled me to fill this gap of knowledge. I partnered with fellow educators Frank Acosta and Henry Vasquez and we decided to initiate an oral history project that would capture the knowledge held by our more senior residents before time and death stole their stories from us.  

We approached Cesar Caballero, Dean of the California State University, San Bernardino Pfau library. With his support and encouragement, we have been interviewing Colton residents since November, 2013, and to date have conducted over 70 interviews---each videotaped and each about 1-1/2 hours long. Among our interviewees have been the “first Chicano” Colton mayor, the first fireman, a couple buying a house in North Colton, and a World War II prisoner of war.  

The project is ongoing. When we finish, the University Library will have the interviews available to the university community and the general public on their website. Transcribed hard copies and DVDs will also be available.  

South Colton Oral History Project was born of a desire to elicit for the public good the unshared knowledge within long-time residents of South Colton, before that knowledge is lost.

Time is the enemy of any study attempting to capture what is “locked up in the minds of the few”, for each passing day, those few become fewer and fewer. Many of the potential interviewees already identified for this project are in their 80’s, a handful are in their 90’s and 11 have passed away. In South Colton’s case, there are few historical records that can offer insight into what life was like for past generations.

We are happy to share what we're doing and what we've learned about how to do it. 
My contact info is: tomrivera1@yahoo.com  
909 213-0515.    

Sent by Rick Leal, President of  Hispanic Medal of Honor Society



Nature Conservancy acquires coastal land



A huge swath of coastal California ranchlands will become a preserve through an acquisition funded by a $165 million gift from an environmentalist couple.

The purchase cover 24,000 acres at Point Conception, the landmarks 150 miles west of Los Angeles where the coastline distinctly turns northward.


Considered sacred by the Native American Chumash and long used for cattle ranching, it is considered important for its biological diversity.

The funds came from Jack and Laura Dangermond, conservationists and co-founders of Esri, a provider of geographic information system software for mapping and spatial analytics.

Iaconservancy.org (213) 623-2489 . . .  Photos: Annie Laskey/LA. Conservancy


Informative Resources for California Residents

Hi Mimi,

There are a wealth of free resources online; however, most people don't have the time or desire to spend hours looking.

I search the internet for those free, online resources and reach out to websites, like yours, whose audience would benefit. I've recently pulled together a portfolio of resources specific to California.
Thanks for your time,

I’ve included a couple of guides for residents of California below. They cover a broad range of topics, from mortgage rates to education. They’re all free and are quality resources that can provide additional guidance for California residents.


Car Insurance


Bob Jones
Outreach Coordinator
The Center for Consumer Financial Education
CCFEducation.org - 316 California Avenue #1302, Reno, NV 89509


Reno's Monument to the Basque Sheepherder Gets a Facelift
Hallan nuevas evidencias del descubrimiento español de Colorado

Reno's Monument to the Basque Sheepherder Gets a Facelift


More Reno's Monument To The Basque Sheepherder Gets A Facelift images

The monument and the new plaques

As most Reno residents know, our beloved Monument to the Basque Sheepherder had its bronze plaques stolen by thieves. This year, friend of the Center and a person instrumental in getting the monument made in the first place, Carmelo Urza, has been working with the park to have the plaques replaced. In 2016 almost all of the stolen plaques have been have reinstated. Urza adds that "the poor translation of the Basque version of the poem [on a plaque] was also corrected, so some good has come from [the vandalism]." Eskerrik asko, Carmelo!

The new plaques, which list sheepherders and their families. 
Source: Center for Basque Studies Newsletter, Winter 2016, No. 84




Hallan nuevas evidencias 
del descubrimiento español de Colorado

Discovery of the Colorado River - Entrevista a David Baley, Director, 
Research Team of Western History, Grand Junction, CO

Restos de armas de resorte y de armadura aparecen en un lugar agreste,    
excavados por personal del Museo del Oeste de Colorado, en Grand Junction.  



Una pequeña pieza de un arma de fuego hallada el mes pasado en el oeste del Estado de Colorado abona la tesis de todo lo que queda por conocer de los exploradores españoles que llegaron a estas tierras, y de los conquistadores que hollaron zonas de Norteamérica siglos antes de lo que se creía. Queda demostrado que tuvieron un «profundo conocimiento» de esas tierras montañosas.

Pequeño lingote que los españoles transportaban

Así lo defiende 
David Baley, director del Equipo de Investigaciones Históricas del Museo del Oeste, en la ciudad de Grand Junction (Colorado), que ha dedicado gran parte de su carrera profesional a investigar las «expediciones desconocidas» españolas de los siglos XVI y XVII a esa zona de las Montañas Rocosas y ha podido excavar restos de colonos españoles, trozos de armaduras y piezas de una pistola de resorte que podría ser del siglo XVI, junto a una estructura de piedras cuyo origen tampoco se conocía.

Hay dos teorías, podría ser una fortificación militar en la que aquellas desconocida colonia española del XVI se defendió de indios hostiles en aquellos agrestes parajes, o también podría ser un lugar de intercambio y las piezas encontradas haber sido objeto de mercadeo entre los exploradores españoles y los pueblos autóctonos. La arqueología trata de desvelar detalles con la reciente excavación de la zona.

«Siempre me fascinó la historia del período colonial español en el suroeste de Estados Unidos. En el oeste de Colorado, no tenemos misiones o restos de ciudades españolas, pero nuestro paisaje está vivo con la historia española», dijo a Efe.

Topografía en español«Las ciudades, las montañas, los ríos y las mesetas tienen nombres en español. Muchos de esos nombres han sido asignados por los primeros exploradores y cartógrafos españoles que recorrieron la región a la que hoy llamamos el oeste de Colorado», agregó.

De hecho, en esa zona las montañas se llaman San Juan, el principalrío es Las Ánimas, hay condados como Conejos o Cuchara y las ciudades tienen nombres como San Luis (la más antigua en Colorado, fundada en 1848), Pueblo, Buena Vista, Dolores, La Junta y otros similares.

Algunas piezas españolas en el museo de Grand Junction, en un reportaje de TV

Sin embargo, a pesar de los casi cinco siglos desde la llegada de los españoles a la zona y que desde entonces la presencia de mexicanos (y luego hispanos o latinos) ha sido ininterrumpida, 
esa historia sigue siendo «fragmentada», según Bailey.

Se sabe, por ejemplo, que don Juan de Oñate encabezó una expedición que en 1598 llegó hasta el sur de Colorado. Y su sobrino, Juan de Zaldívar, cazó búfalos en el Valle de San Luis ese mismo año, dos siglos y medio antes de que allí hubiese una ciudad con ese nombre.

Luego, en 1765, Juan Antonio María de Rivera, nacido en Chihuahua (México), exploró la zona del sur de Colorado y estableció relaciones permanentes con los Ute y otras tribus de la región.

Más tarde, entre julio y noviembre de 1776 y en respuesta a la declaración de independencia de Estados Unidos, los padres Francisco Domínguez y Silvestre Escalante encabezaron una expedición que pasó por Nuevo México, Colorado, Utah y Arizona, en ese orden.

Expediciones no registradas

Pero, según Bailey, «hubo muchas otras expediciones no registradas que viajaron al norte de los límites de los territorios españoles». Sin embargo, encontrar evidencias de esas expediciones es «algo extremadamente raro», aunque no imposible.

Bailey y sus colaboradores hallaron hace años en la zona del Arroyo Kannah, a unos 50 kilómetros al oeste de Gran Junction, una fortificación de piedra hecha por españoles, restos de una armadura, partes de pistolas y partes de una navaja.

En otros lugares de la misma zona descubrieron fragmentos de espadas y de cruces y el mes pasado en el Arroyo Kannah se encontró algo que puede ser parte de una pistola española de casi cinco siglos.

Un pequeño lingote de metal de origen español

Si la antigüedad de la pieza se verifica científicamente, se establecerá que los españoles llegaron al oeste de Colorado cien o doscientos años antes de lo que hasta ahora se creía.

La teoría prevalente afirma que el fracaso de la expedición de Francisco de Coronado realizada entre 1540 y 1542 para encontrar las míticas Ciudades de Cibola (las Siete Ciudades de Oro) llevó a cancelar otras expediciones españolas en las Rocosas. Un mapa de la época de Hernán Cortés ubica las Siete Ciudades en la zona donde hoy está Grand Junction.

Fragmento del mapa de las siete ciudades de oro de Cibola

«Los primeros exploradores españoles escucharon muchas historias. Pero los mitos pronto
 dieron lugar a exploradores y comerciantes serios con profundo conocimiento de esta vasta región habitada por muchos y diferentes grupos culturales», señaló el historiador.

Gracias a esas exploraciones, esa región del continente americano quedó abierta primero al intercambio comercial (entre españoles, mexicanos y nativos) y luego al asentamiento de colonos.

Bailey está seguro de que quedan «archivos, diarios y sitios arqueológicos aún no descubiertos» que darán detalles a esa historia «o podrían cambiarla».

«Quedan muchos misterios por resolver», concluyó este especialista en la conquista española de Colorado.  

Sent by C. Campos y Escalante (campce@gmail.com)

 Source: ​http://www.abc.es/historia/abci-hallan-nuevas-evidencias-descubrimiento-espanol-colorado-


January 13th, 1847 -- Future scalp hunter enlists in army
Los Presidios Espanoles en Norteamerica, Los Dragones de Cuera

January 13th, 1847 -- Future scalp hunter enlists in army

On this day in 1847, John Joel Glanton enlisted in Walter P. Lane's company of rangers for service in the Mexican War. The South Carolina native had arrived in Texas in time to serve in the Texas Revolution, and was a member of John Hay's company of Texas Rangers between the wars. He served with distinction in the invasion of Mexico under Zachary Taylor. Always a controversial figure, Glanton's career turned sinister after the Mexican War when he traveled to Chihuahua and became the leader of a band of scalp hunters. The memoirist Sam Chamberlain met and rode with Glanton during this period. 

Eventually the authorities in Chihuahua accused Glanton and his gang of scalping friendly Indians and Mexicans for bounties, and drove him into Sonora province. There he resumed his activates. He and his gang seized and operated a river ferry controlled by the Yuma Indians. While operating the ferry, they killed Mexican and American passengers alike for their money and goods. Finally, in mid-1850, they schemed to kill a party of Mexican miners who used the ferry, but before they carried out their plot, the Yumas attacked the ferry and killed Glanton and most of his men. Glanton himself was scalped.

Source:  Texas State Historical Assn.





Cuando escuchamos las palabras apaches o comanches r ápidamente nos viene a la mente una película de indios y vaqueros. La industria cinematográfica Norteamericana convirtió en icono universal a su famosa caballería abandonando su fuerte en rescate de una familia de colonos atacados por los nativos.    Pero siglos antes otros soldados realizaban la misma misión en esos territorios americanos, eran los conocidos como dragones de cuera.


España desde el siglo XVI debió defender sus posesiones en América del Norte tanto contra otras potencias europeas como de los ataques de las tribus de “indios barbaros”, denominación española de los indios que no reconocían la soberanía española. Para ello España construyo un doble sistema defensivo, el primero basado en fuertes abaluartados contra los ejércitos europeos que protegieran las fronteras exteriores y otro en el interior gracias a los conocidos como Presidios junto con las misiones fortificadas...

         Los presidios tenían como misión servir de base a unidades de caballería que protegerían los distintos poblamientos de colonos que se encontraban dispersos por los territorios del norte del Virreinato de Nueva España. Un territorio de cientos de miles de kilómetros cuadrados que se extendía desde la costa norte de pacifico (estado de Washington) hasta el oriente de Texas. Para cumplir esta ardua tarea se conto con unos medios escasos ya que para unos 3000 km en 1780 se dispuso de un máximo de 1495 soldados de presidio mientras que la cantidad más habitual rondo los 600.


A finales del siglo XVI por orden del 4º Virrey, Enriquez de Almansa, se comenzó la construcción de la red de presidios. En 1570 se fundaron entre los de Celaya, Jerez, Portezuela, Ojuelas, San Felipe; en 1573 los de Fresnillo, Charcas, Sombrete, Pénjamo y Jamay; Leon, Palmillas y Mezcala en 1576. El siguiente siglo se construyeron una serie de ellos al norte del rio Bravo creándose los de Saltillo, Parras en Coahulia y comenzando en el siglo XVIII los de Texas y california llegando incluso al actual Canadá, en la Isla de Nootka.

        La red de presidios estaba diseñada con el objetivo del mutuo apoyo entre los distintos destacamentos además de servir de apoyo al poblamiento, al dotar de protección a las haciendas y misiones que se encontrasen cerca. Por otra parte al ser abandonados tras el avance de la frontera servía de base para la construcción de un asentamiento civil.

         Estas fortificaciones se caracterizaban por su reducido tamaño construidas en adobe o piedra con forma rectangular de alrededor de 100 metros de lado. Disponían de torres o bastiones para posicionar cañones pero carecían del complejo diseño abaluartado al carecer los atacantes indios de piezas de artillería. Además de la dotación militar convivían con ellos sus familiares, sacerdotes pero en todo caso no solían pasar de dos  centenares de personas en total. Cada presidio protegía a una compañía compuesta por un oficial (Capitán o Teniente), un Alférez , un capellán, sargento, dos cabos y unos cuarenta hombres apoyándose en algunos casos por un centenar de indios exploradores.

           Estas fortificaciones se caracterizaban por su reducido tamaño construidas en adobe o piedra con forma rectangular de alrededor de 100 metros de lado. Disponían de torres o bastiones para posicionar cañones pero carecían del complejo diseño abaluartado al carecer los  atacantes indios de piezas de artillería. Además de la 

dotación atacantes indios de piezas de artillería. Además de la dotación militar convivían con ellos sus familiares, sacerdotes pero en todo caso no solían pasar de dos  centenares de personas en total. Cada presidio protegía a una compañía compuesta por un oficial (Capitán o Teniente), un Alférez , un capellán, sargento, dos cabos y unos cuarenta hombres apoyándose en algunos casos por un centenar de indios exploradores. 


             Reconstrucción de un presidio

         Estas unidades denominadas oficialmente “soldados de presidios” pasaron a la historia como losDragones de Cuera. Al ser una unidad de caballería dotada de armas de fuego se enmarcan dentro de los dragones al poder combatir tanto a caballo como de pie. Y de Cuera proviene del elemento más característico de su impedimenta, un abrigo sin mangas hecho de varias capas de cuero que  daba una gran protección contra la flechas de los nativos.

         Tras años de combate contra los indios el soldado de frontera fue convirtiéndose en una unidad especializada en el combate contra los nativos usando tácticas y armas distintas a las usadas en los campos de batalla europeos. En pleno siglo XVIII cuando en España los ejércitos se habían dotado con armas de fuego ellos seguían utilizando  lanza y escudo ya que las armas de fuego era lentas y precisaban blancos densos. Los indios eran rápidos y se acercaban a los europeos antes de que recargasen por lo necesitan armas y defensas contra las flechas y para la lucha cuerpo a cuerpo.

         En cuanto a las defensas, destaca la cuera que como ya he explicado estaba compuesta de incluso 9 capas de cuero, llegando a pesar 10 kilos con los años se fue recortándose a hasta convertirse en un chaquetón, con el objetivo de reducir el peso para poder perseguir a los apaches andando a través de las montañas. Eran  de color natural o blanco con el escudo de España en cada bolsillo. Además disponían de una adarga, escudo de origen árabe, hecho de cuero con forma de doble circulo traslapado o de unarodela circular aportándole mayor defensa contra los proyectiles.  

         En cuanto a las armas se establecía en el reglamento que debían portar una espada, lanza, escopeta y pistolas pero en algunos casos extraoficialmente se arman con arcos y flechas por ser más rápidas.


Ilustración del libro "Banderas Lejanas"

         Para completar el equipo el reglamento de 1772 cada soldado debía disponer de seis caballos, un potro y una mula, es interesante destacar que cada jinete debía tener una montura preparada en cada momento para salir al combate. Esta misma norma destacaba la importancia de la uniformidad, debiendo vestir “una chupa corta de tripe o paño azul, con una pequeña vuelta y collarín encarnado, calzón de tripe azul, capa de paño del mismo color… bandolera con el nombre del presidio…” debemos destacar el sobrero de alas negro característico de esta unidad frente a otras posteriores como el blanco de lascompañías volantes (unidades ligeras preparadas para luchar en tierra).

         Se debe destacar que los soldados eran voluntarios con un contrato de 10 años prorrogable. Teniendo en cuenta el sistema de castas vigente el alistamiento era una forma de ascensión social por lo que era interesante pertenecer al cuerpo. A finales del XVIII la mayor parte de la tropa eran criollos o europeos, alrededor del 40% eran mestizos, mulatos o coyotes y el resto indios.

         Gracias a la red de presidios, a las incursiones de castigo en territorio “barbaros” a veces de miles de kilómetros y sobre todo al esfuerzo de los Dragones de Cuera durante años los territorios del norte permanecieron en manos de España.  

Los presidios españoles en Norteamérica. Los dragones de Cuera.” Francisco García Campa – Bellumartis Blog Historia Militar.​Presidio o Cuartel de los Dragones de Cuera en Santa Mónica, California, Nueva España​Enviado 

Para Somos Primos ​por Dr. C. Campos y Escalante​  campce@gmail.com
Fuentes: “El sistema presidial en el septentrion novohispano, evolucion y estrategias de poblamiento” de Luis Arnal ,Facultad de Arquitectura, UNAM http://www.ub.edu/geocrit/sn/sn-218-26.htm  
“Banderas lejanas” Fernando Martinez Láinez – Carlos Canales Torres


The City of Laredo Commemorates George Washington's 120th Birthday by J. Gilberto Quezada 
February 22: 120th Anniversary Laredo George Washington Parade by J. Gilberto Quezada
George Washington and Robert E. Lee: A Familial Relationship by J. Gilberto Quezada
March 8-10, 2018: TSHA's 122nd Annual Meeting in San Marcos
Sept 27 – Sept 29, 2018: 39th Annual Texas State Hispanic Genealogical  and Historical Conference
January 3rd, 1850 -- Presidio County established
History of Galveston Island
December 28th, 1859 -- Oldest Jewish house of worship in Texas chartered
Lady Bird Johnson Wielded Power With Delicate Touch by K.A. Brower
Free online ebooks for Texas Researchers, Research by Crispin Rendon 


The City of Laredo Commemorates George Washington's 120th Birthday Celebration
by J. Gilberto Quezada  jgilbertoquezada@yahoo.com 

The Ball

The City of Laredo Commemorates George Washington's 120th Birthday Celebration
by J. Gilberto Quezada  jgilbertoquezada@yahoo.com 

This coming February 22, 2018, the city of Laredo, Texas will be commemorating the 120th celebration of George 
Washington’s birthday. What makes this festive occasion interesting and unique is that: (1) Laredo, a border city with Mexico and separated only by a river, is so far away from Mount Vernon, and (2) it is the nation’s largest and biggest celebration of the first president’s birthday, with over half a million attendees who have participated in the past, and will be soon be partaking of the many festive events and activities already scheduled. 

And, what also makes this annual event singular is that the population for Webb County, of which the city of Laredo is the county seat, has a 95.3% Hispanic population. So, for 120 years, the city of Laredo has been showcasing their patriotism during the month of February with pride and a good time for the whole family.

To help explain this unusual phenomenon for a border city, we need a quick review of Laredo’s history. Since its founding in 1755 by an intrepid Spanish rancher, Don Tomás Sánchez de la Barrera y Garza, and his family, along with three other families, Laredo has had a colorful and interesting history, having been faithful and loyal to seven governments; namely, Spain, France, Mexico, The Republic of the Río Grande, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, and the United States. What makes this governance so unusual is that while Texas has been under six flags, the citizens of Laredo can proudly boast that they have been under one more flag—the Republic of the Río Grande. With a predominantly Mexican American population and having close familial ties with the sister city of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, the friendship between these two border towns, separated only by the Río Grande, is deeply rooted in their historical, social, cultural, and economic fabric. So much so that Laredo celebrates two important Mexican holidays—the Diez y Seis de Septiembre (September 16, Mexican Independence) and the Cinco de Mayo (May 5, a Mexican military victory over the invading French troops in 1862). 

And to further explicate this familial relationship between these two border towns and George Washington’s birthday celebration, we need to briefly review the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), which brought many Anglo American soldiers to Laredo. Among them was Captain Mirabeau B. Lamar, who served with the Laredo Guard of the Texas Volunteers. And, he helped organize the city and county government after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the military conflict in 1848. He named the new county after his friend Judge James Webb, who had served as secretary of the treasury. The treaty made the Río Grande the southern boundary of the United States, and in essence, divided the town of Laredo into two sections. The cultural, social, and economic bonds that united Laredo for over ninety-three years were now broken. Those who wanted to remain on the north side of the river became American citizens, and those who stayed south of the river or who decided not to stay on the opposite side, established the new town of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and became Mexican citizens. Nonetheless, the river did not stop the continuation of the familial friendship that had existed before and families and friends crossed to either side without any legal impediments. In the meantime, many of the Anglo American soldiers stayed in Laredo and married into the leading Mexican families and obtained political positions. For example, Hamilton P. Bee married Andrea Martínes, and soon he became the first county clerk of Webb County in 1849. In this same year, the United States Government established Fort McIntosh to guard the Texas frontier. It was located about four or five miles west of Laredo, along the banks of the Río Grande, and brought many more Anglo American soldiers to the border town, who also stayed and married into the prominent Mexican families.

It was not until 1870 when Samuel M. Jarvis, a native of New York, who was serving as mayor of Laredo, had the idea of honoring the birthday of the first president of the United States. Unfortunately, there are no records to indicate what type of celebrations took place during this period. Eleven years later, two railroad companies reached Laredo, the Texas Mexican from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the International and Great Northern from San Antonio, Texas, and consequently, a tremendous influx of Anglo Americans arrived in Laredo. According to the 1890 US census, the Anglo American population had reached twenty-five percent. And, as in past encounters, many of the newcomers also married the local women of Mexican ancestry.

In 1898, Jarvis’ notion was picked up by the Yaqui Tribe No. 59 of the Improved Order of Red Men, a highly patriotic lodge whose motto was “Freedom, Friendship, and Charity, and was composed of the town’s leading business and civic citizens of American and Mexican ancestry. 

Consequently, the lodge appointed a committee to plan the activities for the birthday celebration of George Washington. The local businesses also got involved in promoting this annual event. The first celebration involved two days of fun and entertaining activities for the people of Laredo as well as for the citizens from across the river.

Mary Devine Collection

The main event was a parade through downtown Laredo, followed by band concerts at the various plazas, fireworks display, and a carnival. And soon, the parade became a spectacular event with colorful decorated horse driven floats and carts. Bicycles were also used to move the smaller floats along.

Laredo Public Library

Editor Mimi:  This photo really caught my attention.  Chapa is my mom's maiden name.  She was born in Sabinas Hidalgo, Nuevo Leon, about 100 miles south of Laredo.  It was through Laredo that the family immigrated to San Antonio, in the 1920s.  These four "Laredo beauties"  probably my mom's cousins. 

The crowds below reflect the wide and enthusiastic support that Laredo has with this annual event.  About 10 years ago I had the fun of riding on the Texas Connection to the American Revolution (TCARA) float.  Both the crowds and the elaborate dresses of the young ladies impressed me greatly.

1930 first prize for best children's entry: Connie Hamilton Slaughter and Lila Sanchez Kahn



February 22, 1941 - note the soldiers on the stand



Later, two children were added to the Abrazo ceremony, chosen to represent the United States and Mexico respectively. The international bridge was decorated with large American and Mexican flags.

Over the decades, the annual George Washington’s birthday celebration continued getting bigger and bigger as more business sponsors got involved and more events were added, thus increasing the number of festive days. It became necessary in 1923, to incorporate the affair by creating the Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association (WBCA), a corporation formed to handle all the details and the planning, and was granted a state charter. As with the previous group, the new organization was composed of the city’s leading Anglo American and Mexican American families. Pamphlets and programs for the annual celebration were printed in English and Spanish. And the businesses located along the parade route decorated the outside of their buildings with large American flags and colorful streamers of red, white, and blue.


Even the Catholic Church got involved in the annual festivities. In 1939-1940, Monsignor Dan A. Lanning, pastor of St. Peter’s Church, located close to downtown Laredo, became the new president of the WBCA. He is credited for being the founder of the Society of Martha Washington. The members of this group present their daughters at the annual Grande Debutante Ball and Presentation. This is followed by the elaborate and colorful Society of Martha Washington Colonial Pageant and Ball, which had its first pageant when Monsignor Lanning was in command. Thirteen young women representing the thirteen original colonies, plus a representative from Nuevo Laredo, were presented. 

There is also a Princess Pocahontas Pageant and Ball, where a young high school student, donned in beautiful and colorful Indian garb, is selected to reign over this spectacular event. She will also lead the parade 
and will follow the tradition of having the mayor of Laredo present her with the key to the city.

Another main social affair is the George and Martha Washington Colonial Ball where two Laredoans from socially prominent families are chosen and they are the main attraction. Both are donned in the dress and fashion of colonial times. They also get to ride in a special, highly patriotic decorated float.

Other civic groups stepped forward to assist the WBCA, like the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council No. 12, which took over the Noche Mexicana. This event lasted the duration of the festivities and was held at historic St. Augustine Plaza where small booths were set up to sell delicious Mexican food. The governors of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas and Texas joined the mayor of Laredo and other guests and dignitaries to officially kick off this event. 

Another social group called the Los Caballeros del Río Grande, composed of former WBCA presidents and other dignitaries, serve as the host and to represent border hospitality. Now, the George Washington birthday celebration is almost a month long. Besides the social pageants and balls and some of the events already mentioned, there are many more traditional activities that have continued over the years, such as a, youth song & dance festival, spectacular air show, jalapeño festival, noche de cabaret, fathers’ 5K run, ride & wellness fair, and the liberty run.

In 1993, my wife’s paternal uncle, Manuel B. Bravo Jr., was president of the WBCA, and in his message to the people of Laredo and Nuevo Laredo that was published in the official association program, he succinctly summarized the meaning of the George Washington’s birthday celebration: “Since its formal beginnings in 1898, the George Washington Celebration extended its arms, not only to the local citizenry but promoted it into an international celebration. It is a time of the year when Laredo and the United States join hands with Mexico to recognize a great hero and patriot. The celebration has a unique flavor of Colonial, Hispanic, American and Mexican traditions mixed into a friendly exchange of goodwill….”


George Washington and Robert E. Lee: A Familial Relationship
J. Gilberto Quezada




As we get ready to join in the nationwide celebration of President George Washington's birthday on February 22, and especially in my hometown of Laredo, Texas, where the city has annually celebrated this special day since 1898, and is the largest celebration in the United States, this year marks the 120th Anniversary.  

I still have very fond and vivid memories of attending the big parade, as part of the many scheduled festive activities, with my older brother Peter and our paternal grandfather Don Cipriano Juárez (Pana), on Saturday, February 21, 1953.  And that was sixty-five years ago!  Since President George Washington's birthday fell on a Sunday, the parade was held the day before.  

I was six years old, Peter was nine, and Pana was fifty-five.  For this special occasion, Pana dressed Peter and I like cowboys.  He bought us boots, a pair of pop guns with a fancy belt and holster, a silk bandana (mine was brown and his was white), a western shirt, chaps, and a vest to match.  I donned a brown western outfit and his was black, the same color as our cowboy hats except for the white embroider.  

On that sunny and warm day, the three of us walked about twenty blocks from our modest brick house at 402 San Pablo Avenue, located in the Barrio El Azteca, to downtown Laredo.  We were not part of the parade, but by the way we were dressed, people thought we were and kept asking us questions.   

In this photograph, which was taken after the parade, Pana is standing between my brother Peter and me, on his right.


Is there a family connection between President George Washington 
and Confederate General Robert E. Lee?  

And, as a corollary query, are there other similarities between these two historic figures?  George Washington was born in Virginia on Friday, February 22, 1732, to Augustine Washington and Mary Ball Washington, a moderately prosperous family.  By the time George Washington was twenty years old, he served as a major in the Virginia militia.  His commanding physique at six-two and weighing about one hundred and seventy-five pounds, and with piercing blue eyes, combined with the qualities of a gifted leader, emanated patience, courage, self-discipline, and a sense of justice.  In 1754, he lead the Virginia Regiment in the French and Indian War.  Besides his tenacity as a military officer and as a true aristocratic gentleman, he loved to romanticized women.  

On a Friday, May 15, 1749, Martha Dandridge, still a young lady at the age of eighteen, married Daniel Parke Custis, twenty years her senior.  She was quite attractive, with dark hair, hazel eyes, and a beautiful set of teeth, uncommon for those hard colonial times.  He was an American planter who exported tobacco, a very lucrative business enterprise, and that made him one of the wealthiest and socially prominent man in Virginia.  The couple had four children.  Regrettably, seven years later, in 1757, Daniel Parke died at the age of forty-six, leaving Martha with over 17,000 acres of land scattered in six different counties, and in excess of 20,000 pounds.  Of their four children, only John Parke Custis, (age five) and Martha Parke Custis, (age three), survived.

About two years later, on Saturday, January 6, 1759, at the age of twenty-seven, George Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis, now twenty-eight year old, a wealthy widow with two small children.  He adopted both of them, becoming their stepfather.  George and Martha had no children of their own.  On Thursday, February 3, 1774, John Parke Custis married Eleanor Calvert and they had seven children, but only four survived.  However, John Parke Custis unexpectedly passed away at the age of twenty-six.  George and Martha adopted his two youngest children--George Washington Parke (6 months old) and Eleanor Parke Custis (3 years old).  They became George Washington's adopted step-grandchildren.  Eleanor Calvert Custis, the mother of the children kept custody of the eldest two.

On Thursday, June 15, 1775, George Washington was appointed Major General and Commander-in-Chef of the American Army at the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.  Fourteen years later, in 1789, the Electoral College unanimously chose General George Washington, at the age of fifty-seven, as the first president of the United States.  After his first term expired in 1793, he was re-elected  for a second term.  After retiring from politics, he and Martha enjoyed living the next two-and-a-half years in his Mount Vernon estate, located on the banks of the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia.  On a Saturday, December 14, 1799, George Washington passed away at the age of sixty-seven after getting sick from being caught in a cold, snowy, and rainy storm.



Martha Dandridge Washington 
1st First Lady of the United States of America

George Washington
Portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, 

Three years later, Martha Dandridge Washington died at the age of seventy-two.  She did not live to see her adopted grandson George Washington Parke Custis marry Mary Lee Fitzhugh, a daughter of William Fitzhugh and Ann Bolling Randolph Fitzhugh.  The marriage took place on Saturday, July 7, 1804, and Mary Lee was President George Washington's step granddaughter-in-law.  Their daughter, Mary Anna Randolph Custis, who was born in 1808, married Robert E. Lee on Thursday, June 30, 1831.  She was twenty-three years old and he was one year older.  The couple moved to Arlington, Virginia, to the Custis mansion across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.  This piece of property would later become the Arlington National Cemetery.  The couple had the following children:  George Washington Custis Lee, William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, and Robert E. Lee Jr.  President George Washington was the step great-grandfather of Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee.   

Robert Edward (E.) Lee was born in Stratford Hall, Virginia on a Monday, January 19, 1807, to Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee III and Anne Hill Carter Lee.   Robert E. Lee served as a Colonel in the United States Army during the Mexican-American War and as a General of the Confederate States Army during the Civil War.  He passed away on Wednesday, October 12, 1870, at the age of sixty-three in Lexington, Virginia.  And, about three years later, his wife, Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee died on a Monday, November 5, 1873, at sixty-six years old.  She is buried next to her husband in Lee Chapel, on the campus of the Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.    



Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee

Confederate General Robert E. Lee