Google has recently honored Mexican-American civil rights activist Maria Rebecca Latigo de Hernandez her very own Google Doodle.
The July 29, 2018 doodle marked what would’ve been her 122nd birthday.
But just who exactly was Maria Rebecca Latigo de Hernandez? Here’s everything you need to know about her and also what a Google Doodle is.
Maria Rebecca Latigo de Hernandez worked to advance Mexican-American rights for decades
Who was Maria Rebecca Latigo de Hernandez?
Maria Rebecca Latigo de Hernandez was a Mexican-American rights activist notable for speaking out on behalf of the education of Mexican-American children during the Great Depression of the 1930s and for her long career advancing civil rights overall.
She was born on July 29, 1896 in Garza Garcia, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
Hernandez taught in an elementary school as a young adult and later relocated to the United States, ultimately settling in San Antonio, Texas in 1918.
While raising her family and also running a bakery and grocery store in 1929, she helped to establish the Order of the Knights of America, or Orden Caballeros de America, a civil rights organization dedicated to promoting the civil and political rights of Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigrants.
Shortly afterwards in 1932, Hernandez made history by becoming the first Mexican-American female announcer on the radio in the U.S., using her platform to call for an end to the injustices that Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigrants faced in the country, particularly in education. She continued her activism in 1933, helping to organize the Association for the Protection of Mothers, or Asociacion Protectora de Madres, which helped expecting mothers.
She also worked to promote the civil rights association League of United Latin American Citizens starting in 1934 and advocated for the rights of women workers in 1938, working initially with a pecan shellers’ strike that year.
Later in her career, Hernandez continued to forcefully advocate for civil rights on behalf of Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigrants in the U.S., joining the Raza Unida Party, a former political party that promoted Mexican-American nationalism, in 1970.
Hernandez passed away on January 8, 1986 of pneumonia, but the important civil rights work she advanced in her lifetime continues to reverberate throughout the United States today.
What is a Google Doodle?
A Google Doodle is a change to Google’s homepage logo on a temporary basis that’s done to honor an individual, event, achievement, anniversary, holiday and the like.
The first Google Doodle created was done in honor of the 1998 Burning Man festival. Initially created by Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, they were later designed by outside contractors until 2000 when Dennis Hwang, the company’s public relations officer, designed one in recognition of Bastille Day. Since then, they’ve been created on a more regular basis by a special in-house team called Doodlers.
Most Google Doodles nowadays commemorate holidays like St Patrick’s Day and Christmas. They’ve also been used to mark major events like the 2018 World Cup and to honor individuals like chess player Lyudmila Rudenko of Ukraine and graphic artist Ludwig Sutterlin of Germany.