February 2 - 8, 2019: Chicano History Week


WHEREAS, Chicano History Week commences on February 2, 2019, the 171st anniversary of the signing of The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848; and,


WHEREAS, during the 1960’s, Michigan was historically the first state in the U.S. to officially recognize Chicano History Week; and,


WHEREAS, a crucial document in the annals of both the United States and Mexico in 1848, The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ended two years of war between those two nations; Mexico recognized the annexation of most of its lands in the U. S. Southwest and gave up about half of its territory, including the lands containing what today are all of or parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Texas, in exchange for $15 million; and,


WHEREAS,  approximately 80,000 Mexicans lived in the ceded areas at the time, and a vast majority chose to become United States citizens; although the treaty granted protection of their property and civil rights, and although subsequent adjudication in Texas, California, and New Mexico confirmed most of their rightful claims, citizens of Mexican descent in those ceded areas faced mounting pressure and discrimination as the years passed, and more Anglos moved into the region; as such, within decades, persons of Mexican descent owned almost no land at all; and,


WHEREAS,  organized efforts to combat discrimination against Chicanos in the Southwest in the early 1900’s (in the 1960’s and 1970’s), members of the Chicano Movement joined the long struggle to win social justice for Mexican Americans; composed mostly of younger Chicanas and Chicanos, the movement focused attention on the failed promises contained in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; at the same time, this movement also insisted on the values of Mexican culture and traditions, and gave impetus to the inclusion of the Mexican American experiences in the teaching of U.S. history and culture; and,


WHEREAS, the contributions of Mexican Americans are an integral part of the story of our nation and by gaining a better understanding of Chicana & Chicano Studies, we deepen our appreciation of the rich heritage that is shared by all Americans;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim February 2-8, 2019, as Chicano History Week and encourage all persons in Michigan to learn more about the important role that persons of Mexican descent have played in the history of our state and of our nation.