Photo: Cesar Chavez
As part of the National Park Service’s mission to tell the full story of America’s history, the Service is releasing the “American Latinos and the Making of the United States: A Theme Study,” which focuses on the contributions of Latinos to our national heritage and culture.
The theme study is a publication of the National Park System Advisory Board and features 17 essays written by nationally recognized scholars addressing the contributions and experiences of American Latinos.
It will provide a framework as the Service works with partners and communities around the nation to identify, preserve, and interpret buildings, landscapes, and other sites that tell the story of Latinos in America.
The theme study is organized under four major sub-headings: Making the Nation, Making a Life, Making a Living and Making a Democracy. The essays address many areas of Latino contributions and history representing the full spectrum of society, from labor, law and education to religion, sports, food and medicine.
In 2011, the National Park System Advisory Board formed the American Latino Scholars Panel, a group of prominent scholars to advise both the board and the National Park Service on engaging with communities on how to better tell the story of the American Latino through the National Historic Landmarks and National Register of Historic Places programs.
The Latino scholars’ panel, in collaboration with the Organization of American Historians, guided the theme study. Funding was made available in part by the American Latino Heritage Fund of the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks.
“American Latinos and the Making of the United States” is the latest in a series of more than 65 National Park Service theme studies. Taken together, they provide a comparative analysis of properties associated with a wide variety of American history eras and subjects, such as the fur trade, earliest Americans, women’s history, Greek Revival architecture, Man in Space, or labor history.