NEW MEXICO CELEBRATES ITS CENTENNIAL AND GETS A RARE LOOK AT HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS AND ITS 1910 CONSTITUTION

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

In honor of the State’s Centennial year, the State Records Center and Archives will host an Open House on May 2, 2012, to commemorate the drafting and adoption of the 1910 New Mexico Constitution. The public will be able to view the Constitution and other important documents of statehood. Concurrent with the Open House, the Office of the State Historian will host an exhibit, New Mexico’s Cultural Landscapes, by photographer Sharon Stewart.

You could find automobiles on the streets in many a New Mexico town back in 1912, and yet it was just as likely you’d see a cowboy ride his horse up to a restaurant to get a bite to eat. The railroad, the telegraph and the telephone brought progress, news and visitors. “We were rural and poor, but New Mexico wasn’t disconnected from the nation,” Rick Hendricks, state historian, said Wednesday. New Mexico cemented its connection in 1912 by attaining statehood and effectively creating a state government based on its own constitution, a goal that was a good 60 years in the making.

“Morley’s Map of New Mexico” Compiled from the Latest Government surveys and other reliable surveys. Ent. Acc. of Congress in the Year 1873 by Harry Whigham and G.A. Bushnell in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, Washington, D.C.

“A fair public school education is due every child and is of the utmost importance not only to the individual but to the welfare of the state.” photo source: NM History

Delayed and foiled over the years by, among other measures, bad timing, racism, anti-Catholic bias, Manifest Destiny, the untimely death of a statehood-supporting president (Zachary Taylor) and opposition by a neighboring territory, the 24-article constitution was finally adopted by a Constitutional Convention in November 1910, ratified by the people a year later and made law in January 1912.

Dedication: To the men of New Mexico who have fought the hard fight for statehood and to those who formed the constitution of the Great New State of New Mexico this book is dedicated.                               photo source: NM History

The original state constitution, normally locked up in a climate-controlled vault, went on display alongside a number of other historical documents on Wednesday — for one afternoon only — at the State Records Center and Archives on Camino Carlos Rey near Cerrillos Road.

“People should have the opportunity to see historical documents we have in the archives,” Hendricks said Wednesday at the records center, noting that usually only historians can request access to the original constitutional document.

Hendricks and New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Charles Daniels both gave short presentations regarding the creation and importance of the state constitution during a noon opening ceremony. Among the visitors were David and Mary Darling of Albuquerque. Her grandfather, Sen. William Dennis Murray, was one of 69 state lawmakers who signed the constitution. Her husband’s grandfather, who ran a newspaper in Deming, was good friends with Murray.

New Mexico State Constitutional Convention, Santa Fe, NM 1910 photo source: NM History

“He ran a general store in Central New Mexico and opened the Murray Hotel in Silver City,” Mary Darling said of her grandfather. “I was such a child when he died; he didn’t speak about the constitution. Later, I read about him and realized he did a lot more important things for this state than I was aware of.”

General Stephen Kearny photo source: Son of the South

The history of the constitution, as far as this exhibit is concerned, dates back to 1846, after Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny declared New Mexico an American Territory at the outset of the Mexican-American War. The exhibit includes Kearny’s proclamation, which asks the Spanish-speaking residents of the city of Santa Fe not to take up arms against the American military, as well as Juan Bautista Vigil y Alarid’s Spanish translation of that proclamation. Vigil y Alarid was the last Mexican governor of the territory of New Mexico.

photo source: NM HIstory

Jerry Vigil of Albuquerque, who said he is a descendent of Vigil y Alarid, was reading over that document at the state records building Wednesday. “These documents are wonderful,” he said. “This [proclamation] makes me very honored.” He said he was aware of his ancestor’s role in state history, but said he was not aware of this specific document. The state constitution — which in some ways mirrors the Constitution of the United States while also including provisions preserving the ethnic and cultural diversity within the state — “still speaks to who we are today,” Vigil said, though he acknowledged there always has been an undercurrent of racial divide within the territory.

The Reunion of the Constitutional Convention of 1910 photo source: NM HIstory

The exhibit showcases the many abortive attempts by state leaders to draw up and ratify a state constitution in 1850, 1866, 1872 and 1889. In 1906, the state came closing to having both a constitution and statehood when its residents were given the chance to vote to become part of the United States as the state of Arizona (which would have enveloped New Mexico in that case).

“That was then, this is now!”

“New Mexicans voted 2-to-1 for it, and Arizona voted 5-to-1 against it … primarily because of our ethnic diversity,” Daniels said in his remarks to the crowd. “Our Hispanic population concerned the people of Arizona. … There was a fear we wouldn’t quite be Americans.”

He praised the original constitution as a document that tried to preserve the culture, language and civil rights of New Mexicans, noting that one of the early provisions included ensuring the teaching of both Spanish and English in the public-school system.He noted that amendments to the constitution must be approved by three-quarters of both of the state’s legislative bodies — as well as state voters. Still, in the past 100 years, there have been more than 160 amendments.

photo source: NM State University

“It’s a surprising number considering how difficult it is to do,” Hendricks noted. “Yes, it’s been changed. But it hasn’t been thrown out.”

Read More: Chicago Tribune Learn More: New Mexico History

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OBAMA SAYS “NO” IS NOT AN OPTION FOR THE DREAM ACT: THE DREAM OF OPPORTUNITY IS STILL ALIVE IN OUR TIME

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

(AFP OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama greets guests during a Cinco de Mayo reception in the Rose Garden at the White House on May 3, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Battle of Puebla between Mexico and France in 1862.
(May 2, 2012 – Source: Pool/Getty Images North America)

THE DREAM OF OPPORTUNITY IS STILL ALIVE IN OUR TIME – LOOKING BACK AT MAY 4, 2009

“While geography has made us neighbors, tradition has made us friends, economics has made us partners and necessity has made us allies, two great and independent nations united by hope instead of fear. Visiting Mexico, I was greeted by children on both our nations waving flags. A powerful reminder that everything we do is to secure a better future for our children and for our grandchildren. And while I was there, I found it impossible not to be touched by the warmth and vigor and the forceful vitality of the Mexican people. The love of life I’ve seen in Mexican American communities throughout this nation, and that’s what we’ll celebrate tomorrow, that’s what we’ll celebrate tonight, and that’s what we’ll celebrate in the future. Feliz Cinco de Mayo.” -President Obama

President Obama told a largely Hispanic audience today that he is ready to sign the DREAM Act and blamed Republicans for the failure of the legislation that would grant illegal immigrant students a path to citizenship.

photo source: AP

“We’re going to keep fighting for this common-sense reform — not just because hundreds of thousands of talented young students depend on it, but because ultimately America depends on it,” the president said at the annual Cinco de Mayo reception at the White House. “‘No’ is not an option. I want to sign the DREAM Act into law. I’ve got the pens all ready. I’m willing to work with anybody who is serious to get this done, and to achieve bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform that solves this challenge once and for all.”

Dancers from Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Georgetown perform at a Cinco de Mayo reception at the White House in Washington, May 3, 2012. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Read more: IB Times

Today’s election-year celebration comes as the president courts Latino voters in the run-up to November.

(AFP OUT) Guests take pictures during a Cinco de Mayo reception in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 3, 2012.. Photo by Olivier Douliery/ABACAUSA.com
(May 2, 2012 – Source: Pool/Getty Images North America)

“We know that securing our future depends on making sure that all Americans have the opportunity to reach their potential. And that’s why we’ve worked hard over the last three and a half years to create jobs; to make sure you get the care you need when you get sick; to make college affordable for everybody; to ensure that no matter where you are, where you come from, what you look like, what your last name is — even if it’s Obama– you can make it if you try,” the president said to applause.

(AFP OUT) The Ballet Folklorico Mexicano performs during a Cinco de Mayo reception in the Rose Garden at the White House on May 3, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Battle of Puebla between Mexico and France in 1862.
(May 2, 2012 – Source: Pool/Getty Images North America)

In his brief remarks, Obama welcomed everyone to celebrate the “tres de Mayo” at this year’s party. The president will spend the real Cinco de Mayo this Saturday campaigning in Ohio and Virginia. “We just like to get the fiesta started early around here,” he joked. This year’s “fiesta” included dance performances by Georgetown University’s Ballet Folklórico and traditional Mexican music. Guests mingled in the Rose Garden, sipping champagne and, of course, margaritas.

Read More: ABC News

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UNITED AIRLINES RENEWS PARTNERSHIP WITH NAT’L ASSOCIATION OF HISPANIC JOURNALISTS

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

United Airlines announced that it has renewed its partnership with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). United will be the official airline of special events for the organization in 2012.

“United is proud to continue its support of the NAHJ,” said John Slater, United’s vice president of sales – Americas. “We applaud the NAHJ’s dedication to the recognition and professional advancement of Hispanics in the news industry and are pleased to facilitate the organization’s events around the country.”

The United-NAHJ partnership includes support for seven events: the 2012 NAHJ Hall of Fame Gala during the UNITY Convention, August 1-4, in Las Vegas – the nation’s largest gathering of minority journalists; the NAHJ 23rd Annual Scholarship Benefit in the fall; and five NAHJ regional events to take place in Albuquerque, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Postcard from event that happened September 2011

“We are grateful to United for its generous support of NAHJ at a time when news coverage of the growing Latino community has never been more crucial,” said Michele Salcedo, NAHJ president. “Although many companies are rethinking their commitment to diversity, United has chosen to continue our longstanding relationship that began with Continental Airlines. We not only thank them, we applaud them.”

Continental began its support of the NAHJ in 2005.

SOURCE United Continental Holdings, Inc.

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