CuriShorts
CuriPow on 10/28/2020

Sacheen Littlefeather

In 1973, Native American actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather (also known as Marie Louise Cruz) refused Marlon Brando's Oscar in front of millions of viewers. On Brando's behalf, she used the opportunity to make a political statement decrying the stereotyping of Native Americans in movies and TV, and to support American Indian Movement activists at Wounded Knee, S.D. Some in the audience booed, but others found it inspiring even years after the event.

CuriPow on 10/26/2020

Unknown Hero

Dr. Feng Shan Ho single-handedly saved thousands of Austrian Jews during the Holocaust. When Dr. Ho arrived in Vienna in 1937 as a Chinese diplomat, Austria had the third largest Jewish community in Europe. Just one year later, however, the Nazis took over Austria and began persecuting Jews. Although they tried to flee, Austrian Jews had nowhere to go because most of the world's nations would not accept Jewish refugees. Against all odds, many would survive thanks to Dr. Ho. As Chinese General Consul in Vienna, he went against his boss' orders and began issuing Jews visas to Shanghai, China. These lifesaving documents allowed thousands of Jews to leave Austria and escape death. After 40 years of diplomatic service that included ambassadorships to Egypt, Mexico, Bolivia, and Colombia, Dr. Ho retired to San Francisco, California. At age 89, he published his memoirs, "Forty Years of My Diplomatic Life." Dr. Ho died in 1997, an unknown hero of World War II.

CuriPow on 10/25/2020

The Borinqueneers

The 65th Infantry originated as a Puerto Rican outfit in the form of the Battalion of Porto Rican Volunteers (May 20, 1899) in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War of 1898. They were regarded as colonial troops, part of the first “American Colonial Army.” In 1908, and by then a regiment, the unit officially became part of the U.S. Army. It came to be known as the Porto Rican Regiment. During WWI the regiment was sent to the Canal Zone in Panama- far from the European battlefields. In 1920, the unit’s name changed from the Porto Rican Regiment to the 65th Infantry Regiment, United States Army.

CuriPow on 10/24/2020

The First In The Nation

Edward Alexander Bouchet graduated valedictorian from Hopkins Grammar School in 1870. That same year, he began his studies at Yale University. He completed his bachelor's degree in 1874. Bouchet made history two years later, becoming the first African American to earn a doctorate degree in the United States. After earning his doctorate in physics, he taught at the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia for more than 25 years.

CuriPow on 10/23/2020

Four Stars

Horacio Rivera, Jr., was the first Puerto Rican four-star admiral and second Hispanic to rise to full admiral, was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where Rivero received his primary and secondary education in the public schools of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

CuriPow on 10/22/2020

Fighting For The Revolution

In October 1779, a force of more than 500 Haitian free blacks joined American colonist and French troops in an unsuccessful push to drive the British from Savannah in coastal Georgia.

CuriPow on 10/21/2020

Overacheiver

Testtdi Antonia Novella overcame childhood poverty and illness to become one of the leading doctors in the United States. She was trained as a pediatrician and served in the public health sector. After spending several years at the National Insitute of Health (NIH), Novello was appointed United States Surgeon General by President George Bush. She was the first woman and Latina to hold this position. Novello used this role to bring national attention to important health issues, such as alcohol abuse, smoking, violence, and AIDS, as well as issues that especially affected women and Hispanics.

CuriPow on 10/20/2020

Pea Island

The U.S. Life-Saving Service was formed in 1871 to assure the safe passage of Americans and International shipping and to save lives and salvage cargo. Station 17 located on the desolate beaches of Pea Island, North Carolina and manned by a crew of seven, bore the brunt of this dangerous but vital duty.

CuriPow on 10/19/2020

Fighting For The Rights Of A Community

Clarence Takeya Arai was a founding member and the first president of the Japanese American Citizens Leauge (JACL), an organization that has advocated since 1930 for the inclusion of Japanese in American society, the restoration of Asian American civil rights, and the Japanese American redress claims of 1948 and 1988.

CuriPow on 10/18/2020

Before Tucker There Was Patterson

In 1915 Frederick D Patterson was the first black to build cars between 1915-1919 and produced 150 cars in Ohio. According to advertisements, there were two models: a two-door touring car and a four-door roadster. The cars were run by a 30-horsepower, 4-cylinder engine and included a full floating rear axle, a suspension that sat on cantilever springs, electric starting and lighting and a split windshield for ventilation. The cost was around $850.

CuriPow on 10/17/2020

Before Brown v. Board of Education

In 1946, eight years before the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, Mexican Americans in Orange County, California won a class action lawsuit to dismantle the segregated school system that existed there.

CuriPow on 10/16/2020

Juan Crow

"Juan Crow" is a term used for laws or policies related to the enforcement of immigration statues against Latin-Americans in the United States. The term is patterned after Jim Crow laws that enforced racial segregation and kept African Americans as an underclass.

CuriPow on 10/15/2020

Adelfa Botello Callejo

Adelfa Botello Callejo was the first Hispanic woman to graduate in law from Southern Methodist University (SMU) after taking night classes while working full time during the day. When she opened her law office, she was the first Mexican American woman to practice law in Dallas Texas. After her husband completed a law degree, they established the law firm of Callejo and Callejo.

CuriPow on 10/14/2020

Fighting For Latina and Caribbean Writers

Rosario Ferré is considered to be one of the most important women writers Puerto Rico and the Caribbean and a principal feminist voice in Latin America. She is the author of short-story collections, novels, children' books, poetry, literary criticism, and essays.

CuriPow on 10/13/2020

Therapy Engagement

Major Aida Nancy Sanchez, Army Medical Specialist Corps, served at the 95th Evacuation Hospital near Da Nang, from December 1970 to December 1971. As the first physical therapist assigned to the hospital, she had to set up a clinic in a quonset hut that had previously served as the Post Exchange. In the meantime, Sanchez treated as many as 70 patients a day, using a ward storage area as an office. This was the first sort of clinic ever established to aid wounded soldiers with physical therapy and recovery.

CuriPow on 10/12/2020

A Legacy To Remember

María Irene Fornés is one of the most influential Latina playwrights in the United States. Her career spans over forty years of excellence as a playwright, director, and teacher from the 1960's to the early twenty-first century. She has written over forty plays and has received numerous awards.

CuriPow on 10/11/2020

Activist For Rights Around The World

Jeanne Gauna was a politician and environmental-justice activist. Guana was also the co-founder of the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP), a prominent environmental and economic justice organization in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

CuriPow on 10/10/2020

Ignored For Twenty Years

Carlos Juan Finlay, a Cuban-American epidemiologist who discovered that yellow fever is transmitted from infected to healthy humans by a mosquito. Although he published experimental evidence of this discovery in 1886, his ideas were ignored for 20 years.

CuriPow on 10/09/2020

On To The Outer Limits

Franklin Chang-Díaz is a Costa Rican-born American physicist and the first Hispanic astronaut of Chinese descent.

CuriPow on 10/08/2020

Ahead Of Her Time

Madeline Marcotte was born in February 1780 at Mackinac Island, the daughter of a French-Canadian fur trader Jean Baptiste Marcotte and Marie Nekesh, an Ottawa Indian. Madeline was only 3 months old when her father died. She was raised among her mother’s people in an Ottawa village at the mouth of the Grand River near Grand Haven Michigan. She must have been a person of some status there, as her grandfather was Chief Kewinoquot.

CuriPow on 10/07/2020

Before The Colonization Of The New World

A water feature found in the Maya city of Palenque, Mexico, is the earliest known example of engineered water pressure in the new world, according to a collaboration between two Penn State researchers, an archaeologist and a hydrologist.

CuriPow on 10/06/2020

By Any Means

Cathay Williams was born to an enslaved mother and a free father in Independence, Missouri in 1844. During her adolescence, she worked as a house slave on the Johnson plantation on the outskirts of Jefferson City, Missouri. In 1861, Union forces occupied Jefferson City during the early stages of the Civil War. At this time, captured slaves were officially designated as contraband and were forced to serve in military support roles such as cooks, laundresses, or nurses. Before her voluntary enlistment, at just 17 years old, Williams served as an Army cook and a washerwoman. In this role, she accompanied the infantry all over the country. Williams served under the service of General Philip Sheridan and witnessed the Red River Campaign and the Battle of Pea Ridge.

CuriPow on 10/05/2020

From A Slave To A Philanthropist

Bridget "Biddy" Mason became one of the first prominent citizens and landowners in Los Angeles in the 1850s and 1860s.