(CNN Spanish) — Hispanic Heritage Month begins this September 15 and during this month we will celebrate and recognize the contributions made by Hispanic people to the culture of the United States.
When we speak of Hispanics or Latinos, we are referring to the approximately 60 million people in the United States who identify as such, whose roots are “Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or of other Spanish cultural origins, regardless of race.” ,
In 1968 it was known as Hispanic Heritage Week, but with President Ronald Reagan in 1988, it became a month of celebration to highlight the history, language, future, and past of Latinos in the United States.
These are some of the most prominent Latinos or Hispanics who have helped shape the history of the United States.
Luis Walter Alvarez
This American physicist, inventor and professor (San Francisco, 1911) won the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his decisive contributions to the physics of elementary particles, especially the discovery of a large number of resonant states, made possible thanks to his given. Development of techniques using hydrogen bubble chambers and data analysis”.
Although Alvarez was born in the United States, his grandfather was an immigrant doctor who lived in Spain and Cuba and later moved to the United States, according to the Hispanic Heritage Month page.
During World War II, Alvarez created, among others, a system that prevented enemy submarines from detecting that they were detected by microwave radar in the air. In addition, in the 1940s, he developed an instrument with which he measured the impact of the detonation of the Little Boy bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.
Alvarez died on September 1, 1988, due to complications from cancer.
Baruj Benseraf was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1920 and after moving to Paris in 1925, he arrived in the United States in 1940.
Benaseraf was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1980 for “discovery of genetically determined structures on the cell surface that control immune responses”.
He studied science at Columbia University and later studied medicine at the University of Virginia. Venezuela was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1971, won the Raus-Whipple Award from the American Association of Pathologists in 1985, the Gold-headed Kane Award from the National Medal of Science in 1990, the Association Award for Pathologists, and the American Academy of Pathologists. Research in 1996, and Charles A. for pioneering achievement in health and education in 1996. Dana Award.
He died of pneumonia in Massachusetts in August 2011.
Sonia Sotomayor (New York, 1954) was the first Hispanic judge of the United States Supreme Court (2009), the first Hispanic person to be appointed to the judicial branch of New York, and the third woman in all history to be appointed. of the Supreme Court of that country.
She is the daughter of Puerto Rican parents who emigrated to the United States in the 1940s.
Between 1992 and 1998, he was nominated by President George H.W. Bush to the New York Southern District Court as an associate justice, and by 1995 he issued an injunction ending Major League Baseball’s eight-month strike.
Judge has been an assistant professor at the New York University School of Law and a professor of law at Columbia University.
Franklin Ramon Chang Diazu
Chang Diaz (San Jose, Costa Rica; 1950) began his career at NASA in 1980 when he was selected as an astronaut. The Costa Rican made its first voyage on the Space Shuttle in 1986 and participated in six more missions between 1989 and 2002.
According to NASA, when Chang Diaz arrived in the United States in 1968 without knowing English and with $50,000 in his pocket. Upon arriving in the United States, he attended Hartford Public High School, and although he failed the first two positions, the third and fourth went so well that he received a scholarship to the University of Connecticut, says NASA, where he completed mechanical engineering in 1973. Graduated with Bachelor of Science in. He later earned his doctorate in Applied Plasma Physics and Fusion Technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1977.
Upon entering NASA, where he became an astronaut in 1981, Chang-Díaz began research on the design and control of nuclear reactors and was a specialist on the STS-91 mission.
He retired from NASA in 2005.
Emilio and Gloria Estefan
Under Barack Obama’s presidency, Emilio and Gloria Estefan were awarded the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor awarded “to individuals who have contributed to the security or interests of the United States, the world.” has made an admirable contribution to peace, or cultural effort,” according to the White House.
Emilio Estefan was respected for his long career as a producer and composer, helping to train countless artists and popularize Latin music in the world with his decades-long work.
Gloria Estefan was honored for her part in introducing Latin music “to a global audience”. The White House highlighted his work, with which, as of 2015, he had won seven Grammy Awards and being one of the artists who have sold the most records in music history, with 100 million albums sold worldwide .
Other Outstanding Hispanics
The Hispanic Heritage Month Organization highlights, among others, many Latinos who have contributed to the culture and politics of the United States.
These include Venezuelan professional baseball player Jose Carlos Altuve and Cuban-born singer Camila Cabello.