CuriShorts
CuriPow on 08/18/2022

The 99th Pursuit Squadron

On January 16, 1941, the War Department announced the formation of the 99th Pursuit Squadron, an African-American unit, and of the Tuskegee Institute training program. On March 7, 1942, the first graduating class of the Air Corps Advanced Flying School at Tuskegee Field included Col. (later Gen.) Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., who became the commanding officer of the 99th Fighter Squadron and later the 332d Fighter Group.

CuriPow on 08/17/2022

Dancer, Actor, Trailblazer

Sono Osato, the Japanese-American ballet dancer who created the role of Ivy Smith in the 1944 Broadway premiere of On the Town was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1919 to a French-Canadian mother and Japanese father, Osato began her professional career at the age of 14, when she auditioned for and was hired to join the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1934. She made history not only as the company’s youngest dancer, but also as the first American, and the first dancer of Japanese descent to join the internationally renowned troupe.

CuriPow on 08/16/2022

Into The Stars

Ellen Ochoa made history in 1993 when she boarded the space shuttle Discovery, thus becoming the first Latina astronaut to go to space. A pioneer in the field of spacecraft technology, she would later become the first Latina (and second female) director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. She has spent a total of 978 hours in outer space and has at least three different inventions patented today.

CuriPow on 08/15/2022

The Emergency Quota Act of 1921

The most important legislation from the early twentieth century came in 1921. Referred to as the 1921 Quota Act, this legislation utilized immigration statistics to determine a maximum number of immigrants allowed to enter the United States from each nation or region. The numbers were skewed to favor immigration from western European nations while severely curbing immigration from areas perceived to be undesirable.

CuriPow on 08/14/2022

The First Afghans

Although early records are vague or nonexistent, the first Afghans to reach U.S. shores probably arrived in the 1920s or 1930s. It is known that a group of 200 Pushtuns came to the United States in 1920.

CuriPow on 08/13/2022

Impacting The Harlem Renaissance And Beyond

Born to a Danish seamstress and a black West Indian cook, Nella Larsen’s first story was published in 1926. Her first novel, Quicksand (1928), concerns a young, headstrong biracial woman who seeks love, acceptance, and a sense of purpose, only to be mired in an emotional morass of her own creation. Her second novel, Passing (1929), centers on two light-skinned women, one of whom, Irene, marries a black man and lives in Harlem, while the other, Clare, marries a white man but cannot reject her black cultural ties.

CuriPow on 08/12/2022

The Chicano Art Movement

During the 1960's an important component of El Movimiento Chicano was the involvement of artists in this socio-political movement. As artists began to actively participate in the efforts to redress the plight of Mexicans in the United States, there emerged a new iconography and symbolic language which not only articulated the movement but became the core of a Chicano cultural renaissance.

CuriPow on 08/11/2022

Black Gold

Although the discovery of oil in the United States is credited to Edwin L. Drake, who drilled an oil well in Pennsylvania in 1859, Native Americans were known to have sunk pits into the ground more than 400 years earlier in the Oil Creek Flats of Pennsylvania. These pits, which are 15 to 20 feet deep, were walled with vertical timbers that had been cut with stone axes.

CuriPow on 08/10/2022

Mexican-American Folklore

Born in 1904 on her grandparents' ranch in Roma, Texas, pioneering folklorist and educator Jovita González felt a deep commitment to the people and culture of South Texas.

CuriPow on 08/09/2022

The Brown Condor

John Charles Robinson, nicknamed the Brown Condor, was an African American aviator who fought with the Imperial Ethiopian Air Force against Benito Mussolini and Italy during the Second Italian-Ethiopian War, 1935–1936. He is also known as the Father of the Tuskegee Airmen for his contributions to the aviation programs he began at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in the early 1940s.

CuriPow on 08/08/2022

Pioneering Physicist

Dr. Enrique A. Marcatili, an Argentinian-American was not only a brilliant physicist but he was also a pioneer in optical fiber research. In 1975 he became a member of the National Academy of Engineering and was the recipient of the IEEE's Bakers Prize.

CuriPow on 08/07/2022

Founded From Humble Teachings

In 1942 George Houser, James Farmer, Bayard Rustin, and Bernice Fisher established the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE). Members of CORE had been deeply influenced by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and the nonviolent civil disobedience campaign that he used successfully against British rule in India. The students became convinced that the same methods could be employed by African Americans to obtain civil rights in America.

CuriPow on 08/06/2022

The Cherokee Phoenix

The Cherokee Phoenix, the first Native American newspaper in the United States, was first printed in 1828 in New Echota, Georgia, the capital of the Cherokee Nation.

CuriPow on 08/05/2022

The Tide of the Turbans

South Asian Indian immigrants initially entered the United States as laborers, following the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Recruited initially by Canadian-Pacific railroad companies, a few thousand Sikh immigrants from the Punjabi region immigrated to Canada which, like India, was part of the British empire.

CuriPow on 08/04/2022

Metacom

Metacom was an influential Pokanoket-Wampanoag leader of the seventeenth century who played a critical role in mobilizing and maintaining a regional indigenous uprising against the New England colonies.

CuriPow on 08/03/2022

"Si Se Puede"

While teaching grammar school, Dolores Huerta noticed that many of her students showed up to class ill or malnourished. Her students’ strife inspired her to begin her lifelong crusade of correcting economic injustice.

CuriPow on 08/02/2022

The First Korean American

Dr. Philip Jaisohn (a.k.a. SOH, Jae-Pil) arrived in the U.S. in 1885 as a political exile and became the first Korean to be naturalized as a U.S. citizen. He also became the first Korean American medical doctor as well as an influential political reformer in Korea when he returned home in 1896.

CuriPow on 08/01/2022

Abenaki

Abenaki is a Native American tribe whose Algonquian language can be translated as "those living at the sunrise", "people of the dawn land," or "easterners." The people classified under this name occupied ancestral territory in what now is the state of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

CuriPow on 07/31/2022

Longest Serving Tenure

The first Hispanic American to be elected to the United States Senate, Democrat Dennis Chavez had a long and distinguished career in government service, first as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and then as a senator from the state of New Mexico. Chavez was a strong supporter of education and civil rights.

CuriPow on 07/30/2022

World Traveler

Mirza Mohammad Ali was better known as Hajj Sayyah (Persian) (meaning "the traveler") (1836–1925), was a famous Iranian American world traveler and political activist.

CuriPow on 07/29/2022

First Business Mogul

During the 1840s, prior to the gold rush, William Leidesdorff engaged in trade and real estate. He built San Francisco’s first hotel and was the city’s first treasurer.

CuriPow on 07/28/2022

Nuyorican Movement

The Nuyorican movement was a group of poets, writers, artists, and musicians whose work spoke to the social, political, and economic issues Puerto Ricans faced in New York City in the 1960s and 1970s.

CuriPow on 07/27/2022

From Calcutta to Colonel

Pashupati Joseph Sarma was born on September 29, 1893, in Calcutta, British India. He arrived in the New York City on June 28, 1912, at age of 20 from Liverpool, England on the ship Mauretania. Sarma settled down in Chicago, Illinois where he becomes a general medical surgeon in the city.

CuriPow on 07/26/2022

Inventor Of The World's Favorite Snack Food

Born by the name of George Speck in 1822 in Saratoga Lake, New York, Crum was the son of an African American father and Native American mother, a member of the Huron tribe. He professionally adopted the name "Crum," as it was the name his father used in his career as a jockey. As a young man, Crum worked as a guide in the Adirondack Mountains and as an Indian trader. Eventually, he came to realize that he possessed exceptional talent in the culinary arts.