Hispanic Cultural Day Celebrated at State Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY (1 May 2017) – The fourth floor rotunda of the State Capitol was ringed Monday with approximately three dozen exhibits set up in conjunction with the celebration of Hispanic Cultural Day 2017.

“This event is something we felt was important, given the contributions of the Hispanic community across the state, particularly at a time when we’ve been caught up in debates about immigration,” said state Rep. Monroe Nichols, coordinator of the celebration. “This is a rich history in Oklahoma and an important part of our state,” the Tulsa Democrat said.

Long before the Oklahoma Land Run 128 years ago – on 22 April 1889 – Mexican territorial claims to modern-day Oklahoma were established by 16th and 17th century explorers such as Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and Juan de Oñate, and weren’t surrendered until 1848 when the United States-Mexican War ended. Oklahoma’s cowboy culture, vocabulary, riding and ranching practices were influenced by Mexican vaqueros throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.

Nichols was aided in development of the celebration by state Reps. Shane Stone, Forrest Bennett and Mickey Dollens, all of Oklahoma City; Sen. J.J. Dossett of Owasso; and legislative assistant Jacklyn Brink-Rosen.

Among the exhibitors were the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Hispanic Chamber, El Nacional, Telemundo Oklahoma, the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), and many others.

Along with the food, music and other activities at the Capitol associated with Hispanic Cultural Day, the Oklahoma House of Representatives unanimously endorsed House Resolution 1016, which was introduced by Stone. The document commemorated the day as Hispanic Cultural Day in Oklahoma “in recognition of the heritage and culture of Hispanics and the immense contributions of Hispanics” to Oklahoma.

The “maintenance of ethnic identity and promotion of cultural pride” is important to Hispanic Oklahomans, the resolution relates. “[P]eople who trace their ancestry to the Spanish-speaking nations of Central and South America are a rapidly growing segment” of Oklahoma’s population, which now numbers approximately 400,000 Hispanics. State officials established Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as “Hispanic Month” in Oklahoma in 1991. Also, more than 10,000 businesses in Oklahoma are owned by Hispanics, and the buying power of Hispanics has climbed to an estimated $7.8 billion, the resolution states.



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Oklahoma House of Representatives
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