A useful chronology of United States Latinos
Dr. Guillermo Comes-Penis, PPHD
Have you ever felt ignorant of, or threatened by US Latino culture? Pocha Nostra has put together a comprehensive user-friendly chronology of US Latinos to help you understand who they are, why they are here, and how come they are so pinche dammed complicated. If you find it useful please forward it to your colleagues.
Published on LatinoLA: March 7, 2002
Humans populate the Americas from Alaska to Patagonia, including East LA and
Olmec people create the first great Meso American civilization. At the same time, their hairy European contemporaries are still roaming around naked with stone axes.
Jesus Christ Superstar is born. Chicano abuelitas revere him ever since.
Puerto Rico settled, probably via Florida, by the Igneri people, militant swingers and makers of delicate pottery and cave porn iconography.
Mayan civilization at its height in present-day Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. They practice astronomy, licantropy and performance art. Actors are killed during the actual performances. Centuries later Mayan performance will inspire the Vienna action group and assorted US cults.
Aztecs found great city of Tesmogtitlan; they trade precious metals, macaw feathers, wrist watches and other goods with tribes to the North. Present-day US Southwest inhabited by the Chichimecas or norte?os who were the pre-Columbian Chicanos.
Vigorous trade links the independent countries within Chumash territory more closely together as a language for commoners and nobles emerges.
Height of Inca civilization in Peru. According to the Aztec census bureau, the indigenous population of the Americas reaches 90 million.
Europeans begin voyages of exploration in the Atlantic Ocean. They get systematically lost and misname everything they come across according to what little they know. They mistake dolphins for mermaids, Chihuahua dogs for midget jackals and the inhabitants of the "New World" for cannibals.
Ciboney, Arawak, and Carib peoples inhabit all Caribbean Islands. They are great guaguanco dancers. Same sex couples are allowed.
Columbus visits present-day Haiti, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. He uses trained dogs to pacify "the Indians." The genocide of Indigenous Americans begins. Gringo historians believe that Columbus actually landed in Ohio.
Cortez lands in Veracruz and marches west. In the midst of bloodly battles, four Tlaxcalan emperors are baptized and join in the conquest of the Aztec empire. Cortez conquers Montezuma and Tenochtitlan with the help of other indigenous peoples, disease, horses and guns.
Cortez and la Malinche become "the Mexican couple of the year," and la Malinche "the first bilingual secretary of the Americas."
First Africans brought to Cuba as slaves. Buena Vista Social Club is founded clandestinely
Cabeza de Vaca shipwrecked on Texas coast; begins his lunatic journey across
the Southwest. After 8 years he goes mad and becomes "the first hippie of the
Americas." He tries out several ritual drugs and changes his name to "Cabeza de Pollo".
Pizarro betrays Atahualpa and conquers the Incas.
Viceroyalty of the New Spain establishes Spanish Empire throughout the Americas; system of forced labor for Native Americans codified.
Hernando de Soto explores area between Florida and Louisiana. He kidnaps Indian empress Lady Cofitalchicue (misspelled) along the way, making her his sex slave.
Coronado searches Oklahoma and Kansas for cities of gold described by Cabeza de Vaca; finds only poor villages and lunatic proto-militiamen. His Indian scouts give him bad directions.
The first Spanish city in present day-US, San Augustine founded in Florida, an hour from Daytona Beach, capital of Biker America.
A poor frontier colony, New Mexico becomes a haven for Jews, Arabs, genisaros, gypsies, Gnostics, transvestites, performance artists and other infidels unwelcome in New Spain. New Spaniards refer to this bohemian milieu as "la olla podrida."
Missions are being established way before the first Anglo Texans were even imaginary sperms.
First play in Spanish performed in San Francisco. (We are currenlty looking for funders to re-stage it. Any clues?)
California mission system well on its way to complition. The goal: 21 missions, each a days walk apart. The legend of El Zorro is born.
Mexico wins its independence from Spain - kind of.
Tejanos (Texas Mexicans) lose control of their region to Anglo settlers, in spite of the fact that some of them fought at the Alamo for an independent Texas Republic. Texas becomes an independent republic, and has remained one since.
War with Mexico initiates the first US military campaign throughout the Southwest. The excesses of the gringos are well documented by Chicano historians like Rudy Acu?a. Californios wage a guerrilla war against the gringos; after seven months they sign a treaty allowing the United States to occupy the territory.
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo cedes half of Mexico's territory to the US; former Mexican citizens in the area suffer from sweeping loss of human rights. They suddenly wake up one day in a new country. They/we haven't been able to sleep properly since.
Anglos pouring into California during the Gold Rush displace Mexican and Indigenous residents (see 1997)
The Texas Rangers raid Mexican villages, lynching Mexicans and putting them in cages. It's like an "extreme sport." The History Channel forgets to document it.
Mart? organizes Cuban independence movement from New York.
Spanish American War turns Cuba and Puerto Rico into US possessions. Guerrilla war lasts four additional years in the Philippines before the US claims victory
Cuba granted independence by the US.
Panama Canal Treaty increases US contacts with Central America. US engineers go crazy with the local "se?oritas".
Turmoil of revolution in Mexico and growth of labor-intensive agriculture in US increase Mexican immigration to Southwest. Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata kick some serious ass.
First US Marine incursion in Nicaragua; dozens of others will follow; Cuban mulatto baseball great Adolfo Luque begins 23 year career in US big leagues.
Puerto Rican residents acquire US citizenship and begin first wave of immigration into Nuyo Rico; deportation of Mexican Americans begins with striking massacre of striking copper miners.
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) formed in US.
Collapse of sugar boom combined with the population explosion sends massive wave of Puerto Rican immigration to the US; depression-era deportation of Mexicans continues, including US-born Chicanos, and a few Southern Italian immigrants along with them. First pizzerias in Tijuana and Juarez are established.
New Mexico elects Dennis Chavez the first Latino in the US senate. Orale!
Machito forms the Afro-Cubans in New York. Young ultra-lounge Latino hipster Juan Garcia Esquivel arrives in Las Vegas; his orchestra will influence all of US popular music.
WW2 brings thousands of naive Mexicans into US armed forces with the promise
"Zoot Suit riots" begun by US military personnel in Los Angeles; the Navy on leave from Europe comes back ready to kick some "meskin" ass.
American GI Forum founded to protect rights of Mexican American veterans.
Operation Wetback begins "forced removal of 1 million brown people from US to Mexico" (including US Latino citizens), even as "bracero" program continues.
Cuban revolution begins. "El Mexterminator" born in Mexico City; his jaina Carolina "La Leona" born in Bogota, on the same week.
Mambo king Perez Prado reigns in Mexico City. Gabachos will discover him 48 years later as part of a retro-lounge trend.
Castro takes power in Cuba; first wave of what is known as "the great gusano evasion" to the US begins.
Pressured by the US, Castro embraces Russian communism; US military and
Miami Cuban exiles join up to stage Bay of Pigs invasion. Les sale mal.
Number of Cuban refugees to US reaches 1/4 million.
The Immigration Act of 65 grants equal immigration status to Latinos, Asians
and Europeans; the third-world-ization of the US begins. Cesar Chavez founds
UFW in California and begins grape boycott
Puerto Rico votes to maintain Commonwealth relationship with US, rejecting
independence; Don Juan is getting young Casta?eda high every day.
MALDEF and "La Raza" party founded as Chicano movement formally begins. Cheech and Chong become known for their "mota" humor. The Mexican army massacres students at La Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Mexico City
Family Unification Program brings 330,000 more Cubans to US. Santana rocks
the US; while Javier Batiz and Los Dug Dugs rock Mexico. Oscar "Brown Buffalo" Zeta Acosta dissapears mysteriously.
Chicano mural art movement in full swing. Rock & Roll goes "mainstream."
Roberto Clemente elected to Baseball Hall of Fame. ?Y qu?!?
Cesar Chavez and UFW achieve passage of California Agricultural Labor Relation Act; first "Nuyorican Poets" anthology published in New York.
Economic crisis in Mexico causes new wave of immigration to US.
Political turmoil in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador increases US population from those countries. Chicano barrios are flooded with Central American refugees, redefining Chicanismo for good.
Castro scores big time, allowing 120,000 "marielitos" to flee to US. Amongst them are ex-prisoners, locos, chavos y chavas del tal?n, and dissidents. Little Havana loses its provincial tranquility.
Earthquake in Mexico City. 200,000 dead. Immigration to US increases; rock en
espa?ol movement begins.
Frida Kahlo canonized by Galeria de La Raza, San Francisco. 2000 Gringa cult followers gather in Dolores Park to pay homage to the ethno-feminist saint.
Social wrestler Superbarrio fights for expanded housing programs in DF.
Manuel Lujan named Secretary of the Interior. Eddie Olmos finally makes it in Hollywood; the Berlin Wall collapses; the US/Mexico metallic border wall project begins.
Horny Tejano Henry Cisneros named Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Nafta comes into effect. The Zapatista uprising erupts in Chiapas.
New (anti) Immigration Act criminalizes Latinos and multiplies obstacles for Latin Americans to migrate to the US.
Selena murdered at the hands of deranged fan club president, becoming an "instant saint." Anglos pouring in during the 2nd California Gold Rush displace Mexican and Indigenous residents (see 1849). President Clinton looks to the right
Hurricane Mitch destroys Honduras and Nicaragua; immigration to US increases;
Taco Bell Chihuahua becomes "the most popular Mexican in US history;" Clinton
busted lying to the Grand Jury about a coitus interruptus with ugly intern named Monica Le(n)winski - a daughter of Salvadoran immigrant father and Gringa mother. American dignity hits rock bottom. All Latinos applaud.
Prototype cyborg Ricky Martin becomes Numero Uno Latino entertainer in the US
pop music industry. Intelligent Latinos smell conspiracy.
The PRI, Mexico's ruling party, finally collapses; replaced by coalition government sponsored by Fox Entertainment Inc. After wining infamous Florida Demolition Derby, George W. Bush becomes president of the US, despite his minute IQ and bad Spanglish.
The much touted "New Economy" collapses, as? nom?s. A fringe fundamentalist
Muslim "cell" stages unthinkable attack on the World Trade Center and the
Pentagon. Bush declares war on Afghanistan. Hundreds of Arab-looking Latinos
are rounded up in US airports.
Latinos make up 25% of US population. "Gran Vato" becomes 1st Chicano
president of US. Spanglish becomes Official Language.
Latino population of the US reaches 120 million, o sea 1/4 of the US and 1/5
of Latin America. Anglos become nomadic minorities and are forced to learn Spanish to obtain menial jobs in the food, construction, and porn industries.
---To Be Continued --
Dr. Guillermo Comes-Penis, PPHD:
Originally published as e.mail. Nota: Investigacion de Guillermo G?mez-Pe?a AKA Dr. Guillermo Comes-Penis, PPHD con la ayuda de Beth Hass, Carolina Ponce de Le?n, Elaine Katzenberger, and Roberto Sifuentes.