Nebraska chronology

Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado travels across the present-day southwestern United States into Kansas. Though there is no evidence he crossed into Nebraska, Coronado claimed the entire territory for Spain.

Pedro de Villasur, a Frenchman working under Spanish authority, embarks on a mission to investigate rumors of the French trading with the Pawnees along the Platte River.

The governor of New Mexico sends order to intercept explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, but the mission is unsuccessful. Spanish authorities in Santa Fe, New Mexico, send military forces to the Nebraska Territory. Spanish officials had received information that the United States was sending an expeditionary force led by Zebulon Pike into the Southwest. One hundred dragoons and 500 militia attempt to intercept Zebulon Pike as far as Webster County, Nebraska.

Nebraska enters the Union as the 37th state on March 1.

During the Mexican Revolution, Mexican laborers displaced because of economic, political, and social problems enter the United States to work in the Nebraska sugar beet industry.

Economic decline in the years after World War II severely impedes technological advances in the agricultural sector of the Midwest and directly affects Latino laborers.

1980s The rebound in the U.S. economy and growth results in increased productivity and technology, providing new opportunities for Latino migrants.

1999 Ray Aguilar is appointed to the state legislature. This is the first time a Latino serves in this capacity.

2000 Nebraska ranks 33rd in the nation in Latino population growth.

2003 The University of Nebraska at Omaha establishes the Office of Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLA) of the Great Plains to provide academic initiatives, research, and service to the community. The publication of the Journal of Latino/Latin American Studies (JOLLAS) begins. 2007 There are five Spanish-language newspapers in circulation within the state.

Latin Americans represent 53.8 percent of the foreign born in Nebraska. Of those individuals, 75 percent claim Mexico as their birthplace.

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