Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Federated Freedom Struggles: Student Created Timeline

Honors Modern Western Civilizations Spring 2021


1917- President Wilson signs the Jones-Shafroth Act, granting US citizenship to Puerto Ricans. This allows Puerto Ricans to join the US Army in World War I.

1932- The Border Patrol extends to the Mexican border, which results in 500,000 Mexican-Americans getting deported. 

1943- The Zoot Suit Riots begin in LA, lasting 10 days. US military targeted Mexican Americans. The riots stemmed from an unjust murder trial

1947-Menedez v. Westminster School District. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals prohibits segregation in California public schools.

1948- Dr. Hector Garcia, a witness to racial injustice, begins holding meetings for Mexican Americans to voice their concerns, and they establish a new Mexican American movement.

1954- Hernandez v. State of Texas. US Supreme Court rules that Latinos have equal protection under the law.

1954- President Eisenhower institutes “Operation Wetback” in which the government blamed illegal immigrants for low wages. 3.8 Mexican and Mexican-Americans were located and deported.

1958- West Side Story premieres on Broadway, which touches on racial tensions of the 1940s and 50s. Later in 1961, Rita Moreno wins the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress becoming the first Latina-American woman to win an Academy Award.

1964- The Civil Rights of 1964 applies to Latino-Americans as well in regard to an ending of segregated facilities. The Equal Opportunity Commission is also established at this time.

1966- Cesar Chavez, leader of the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) leads Latino and Filipino farmworkers on a 25 day march in California to get attention for their demands. This leads to the NFWA merging with Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to form the United Farm Workers Union.

1973- Spanish becomes Miami’s second official language.

1975- President Ford extends the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which provides bilingual ballots.

1986- President Reagan signs the Immigration Reform and Control Act. This grants 2.7 million immigrants permanent legal status. However, it increases border security and makes it illegal for employers to hire unauthorized workers.

2012- Homeland Security announces that certain people who came to the US as children who pay taxes, pass background checks, and have lived in the US for more than 5 years.

2020- The US Supreme Court blocks the Trump administration to end DACA.


1928: Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo is the first Hispanic Senator. 

1973: In Miami, Maurice A. Ferre became mayor. They were the first Hispanic mayor and the first Puerto Rican to lead a United States mainland city.  

1973: Puerto Rican Baseball player Roberto Clemente is the first Hispanic to be placed in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 

1986: The government signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act. This act gave 2.7 million immigrants citizenship. But placed laws that did not allow employers to knowingly hire unauthorized workers. 

1988: Dr. Lauro Cavazos becomes the first Hispanic to be secretary of education. 

1989: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen becomes the first Hispanic woman to be elected in Congress and the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  

1993: Denver's first Hispanic mayor Federico Pena gets appointed to be secretary of transportation.  

1994: The North American Free Trade Agreement between Mexico, Canada, and the United States is signed. This agreement gets rid of tariffs for some products. 

1994: In California, proposition 187 is passed. This requires law enforcement, teachers, and healthcare workers to check and report everyone's immigration status. 

2003: The Census's new statistics show that Hispanics are the largest minority group in the country. The Hispanic population totals 37 million. 

2009: Sonia Sotomayor becomes the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.

2011: The Census' Reported that more than half of the increase in population between 2000 and 2010 was Hispanic. 

2012: The Supreme Cout removes a law in Arizona, that did not allow undocumented people to apply for jobs. The law also allowed police officers to arrest without warrants for unlawful presence.  

2016: The Supreme Court announced that it was divided in a decision to block the Deferred Action of Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents order. This granted deportation relief to 4 million undocumented people, as long as they pay taxes, pass background checks, and live in the country for more than five years.

2020: The Supreme Court blocked the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DREAMers).

The Valencia College libraries do not welcome solicitation of resources to be added to our LibGuides. This includes but is not limited to vendors, search engine optimizers, placement of ads, products, or any other requests. Our LibGuides are carefully curated resources developed in partnership with faculty, staff, and students to support specific assignments, courses, events, and other related purposes at Valencia College. The Valencia libraries reserve the right to ignore LibGuide resource solicitations, and/or block persistent requests from groups or individuals to add or promote links in our LibGuides.