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The Joelma Building Fire Killed 189, Injured 293 in Sao Paulo in 1974

Today in Latin American history, a fire in the 25-story Joelma Building in Sao Paulo, Brazil killed 189 and injured 293 in 1974. At 8:50am on 1 February 1974, an air conditioning unit on the twelfth floor overheated, starting a fire. continue reading »

President Clinton Authorized $20 Billion Loan to Mexico in 1995

Today in Latin American history, President Bill Clinton authorized a $20 billion loan to Mexico to stabilize its economy in 1995. continue reading »

A Fire Destroyed Two-thirds of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico in 1841

Today in Latin American history, a fire destroyed two-thirds of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico in 1841. The fire burned 300 out of the 500 existing housing units in town. continue reading »

Brazilian Martial Artist Hélio Gracie Died in 2009

Today in Latin American history, Brazilian martial artist Hélio Gracie who was the 1st sports hero in Brazil died in 2009. continue reading »

Honduran Constitutional Crisis Ended in 2010

Today in Latin American history, the 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis ended when Porfirio Lobo Sosa becomes the new President of Honduras in 2010. continue reading »

First European Stepped Foot on Brazil in 1500

Today in Latin American history, Vicente Yáñez Pinzón became the first European to set foot on Brazil in 1500. The Spanish explorer, who had commanded the Nina during Christopher Columbus' first expedition to the New World, reached the northeastern coast of Brazil during a voyage under his command. continue reading »

Pope John Paul II Demands Release of Cuban Political Prisoners in 1998

Today in Latin American history, during a historic visit to Cuba, Pope John Paul II demanded the release of political prisoners and political reforms while condemning US attempts to isolate the country in 1998. continue reading »

An 8.3 Earthquake Struck Chile Killing 28,000 in 1939

Today in Latin American history, the deadliest earthquake in Chilean history struck Chillán in 1939. The 8.3 earthquake killed an estimated 28,000 people, more than half of the city of Chillán was destroyed. continue reading »

Puerto Rican Actress and Dancer Chita Rivera was Born in 1933

Today in Latin American history, Puerto Rican actress and dancer Chita Rivera was born in 1933. Rivera is the first Hispanic woman and the only Latino American to receive a Kennedy Center Honors award. She also was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. continue reading »

Bolivia’s First Indigenous President Evo Morales Takes Office in 2006

Today in Latin American history, Evo Morales was inaugurated as President of Bolivia, becoming the country's first indigenous president in 2006. continue reading »

Ecuadorians Launched a Coup d’Etat in 2000

Today in Latin American history, a coup d'etat in Ecuador deposed President Jamil Mahuad in 2000. After the Ecuadorian Congress is seized by indigenous organizations, Col. Lucio Gutierrez, Carlos Solorzano and Antonio Vargas depose President Jamil Mahuad. continue reading »

LatAm Troops Crossed the Andes to Liberate Chile, Peru in 1817

Today in Latin American history, an army of 5,423 soldiers, led by General José de San Martín, crossed the Andes from Argentina to liberate Chile and then Peru in 1817. continue reading »

Spanish Conquistador Founded Lima, Peru in 1535

Today in Latin American history, Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded Lima, the capital of Peru in 1535. continue reading »

Spanish Troops Defeat the Mexicans at the Battle of Calderón Bridge in 1811

Today in Latin American history, a heavily outnumbered Spanish force of 6,000 troops defeats nearly 100,000 Mexican revolutionaries at the Battle of Calderón Bridge in 1811. continue reading »

22 Were Killed After Trying to Raise the Panamanian Flag on the U.S.-controlled Panama in 1964

Today in Latin American history, 22 Panamanians were killed in a fight that broke out between Panamanians in Panama City and U.S. citizens living in the Canal Zone in 1964. continue reading »

Venezuelan Fashion Designer Carolina Herrera was Born in 1939

Today in Latin American history, Venezuelan fashion designer Carolina Herrera was born in 1939. Herrera started her fashion line in 1981 after uprooting her family and moving to New York City. continue reading »

First Democratically Elected Governor of Puerto Rico Took Office in 1949

Today in Latin American history, Luis Muñoz Marín became the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico in 1949. continue reading »

Fidel Castro Overthrew Cuban Dictator Batista in 1959

Today in Latin American history, Fulgencio Batista, dictator of Cuba, was overthrown by Fidel Castro's forces during the Cuban Revolution in 1959. continue reading »

The U.S. Hands Control of the Panama Canal to Panama in 1999

Today in Latin American history, the United States Government hands control of the Panama Canal to Panama in 1999. continue reading »

Madrid Barajas International Airport was Bombed in 2006

Today in Latin American history, Madrid Barajas International Airport was bombed in 2006. The explosion took place in the carpark building next to the new terminal. An anonymous caller stated that Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) claimed responsibility for the bombing. continue reading »