The Latino Legacy in the United States

I DISTINCTLY REMEMBER SITTING IN my second-grade classroom and learning about the “discovery” of America, chorusing with my classmates, “In fourteen hundred and ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” Next we learned that, in 1607, the first British colony was established at Jamestown, Virginia. None of us thought to ask, “What happened in the intervening 115 years? Did the earth stand still?”

In fact, the Spanish conquistadores were trudging the North and South American continents from the tip of Alaska to Argentina and from the Florida Keys to the Hudson River. Saint Augustine, Florida, was founded in 1565, forty-two years before the English colonized Jamestown and fifty-five years before ...

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