John Daniel “Danny” Olivas became the first U.S.-born man of Mexican descent to travel to space. (Rodolfo Neri Vela, who was part of a NASA Space Shuttle mission in 1985, had been born in Mexico; Ellen Ochoa, whose first spaceflight took place in 1993, was the first U.S.-born person of Mexican descent to make it... Continue Reading →

Federico Peña made history when President Bill Clinton appointed him U.S. secretary of transportation. This appointment made Peña the first Hispanic-American to serve in that role. Peña was born in Laredo, Texas, in 1947. He eventually settled in Colorado, serving in the state’s House of Representatives from 1979 to 1983 and as mayor of Denver... Continue Reading →

In 1928, former U.S. Naval Academy midshipman Henry Garcia received a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) commission. In doing so, Puerto Rican-born Garcia made history by becoming that military branch’s first officially recognized minority officer. A decade later, he achieved another milestone when he was made the captain of the patrol boat USCG Morris. This assignment... Continue Reading →

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