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February 2-8, 2021: Chicano History Week

WHEREAS, Chicano History Week commences on February 2, 2021, the 173rd anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848; and,


WHEREAS, Michigan made history during the 1960s as the first state in the U.S. to officially recognize Chicano History Week; and,


WHEREAS, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, a document significant to the United States and Mexico, ended the two-year MexicanAmerican War in 1948; and,


WHEREAS, Mexico recognized the annexation of most of its lands in the U. S. Southwest and gave up about half of its territory, including  all of or parts of present-day 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 most 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 as 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 formed in the 1960s and 1970s, and members of the Chicano Movement joined the struggle for Mexican American social justice, composed mostly of younger Chicanas and Chicanos; the movement focused attention on the failed promises contained in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and, at the same time, prioritized Mexican traditions and culture, and also gave impetus to the inclusion of 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 and 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, 2021 as Chicano History Week in Michigan 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.