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Latino Daily News

Wednesday October 19, 2011

Interior Sec. Ken Salazar: U.S. Needs More National American Latino Historical Landmarks

Interior Sec. Ken Salazar: U.S. Needs More National American Latino Historical Landmarks

Photo: Interior Sec. Ken Salazar Says U.S. Needs More National American Latino Historical Landmarks

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The Obama administration’s top Hispanic official, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is pushing for increased attention to American Latino history, saying more National Historic landmarks should showcase said history.

Salazar, who is responsible for overseeing the National Park Service, has announced four new Latino-themed National Historic landmark nominations he believes deserve to be included in the National Register of Historic Places or being included as national parks or historic landmarks.

Last week, Secretary Salazar told reporters, “Less than 3 percent of all the national landmarks that we have — the highest designation you can receive as a historic landmark — are designated for women, Latinos, African Americans or other members of minority groups. That tells you that the score is not even.”

He was sure to add that while topics of specific interest to Hispanics/Latinos may be hot topics in the on-going presidential debates, it has nothing to do with increasing the number of National Historic landmarks specific to the country’s Latino history.

At a meeting hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, Salazar said, “I think when you look at the way Americans most understand the history of Latinos in this country, a lot of it is being told now through the lens of what’s happening with the immigration debate. While that’s an important debate that has security and moral implications, in my view, there’s also a huge history of Latinos in the United States that’s never been told.”