A Hispanic and Latino presence in what is now the United States goes back to Spanish settlement in the sixteenth century in Florida and the progressive U.S. conquest of the Spanish-controlled territory of California and the Southwest by 1853 and the Gadsden Purchase. Mexicans in this newly American territory had to struggle to hold on to their land. The overlooked history and the debates over new immigration from Mexico and Central America are illuminated by this first state-by-state history of people termed Latinos or Hispanics. Much of this information is hard to find and has never been researched before. Students and other readers will be able to trace the Latino presence through time per state through a chronology and historical overview and read about noteworthy Latinos in the state and the cultural contributions Latinos have made to communities in that state. Taken together, a more complete picture of Latinos emerges. The information allows understanding of the current status-where the Latino presence is now, what types of work they are doing, and how they are faring in places with only a small Latino presence.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia are covered in individual chapters. A chronology starts the chapter, giving the main dates of Latino presence and important events and population figures. The historical overview is the core of the chapter. The cast of Latino presence and how they have made their livelihood along with relations with non-Latinos are discussed. A Notable Latinos section then provides a number of short biographical profiles. Cultural contributions are showcased in the final section, followed by a bibliography. A selected bibliography and photos complement the chapters.