Latinx on NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis 1985

As the NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis launched into the night sky from the Kennedy Space Center on November 26, 1985, Latinx Rodolfo Neri Vela was among the crew.  Neri is a Mexican scientist and astronaut who served as Payload Specialist for the mission.  (A Payload Specialist is the technical expert on the carrying capacity of an aircraft or space ship, including cargo and scientific instruments or experiments.) Neri earned a BA in mechanical and electrical engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), an MA in telecommunications systems from the University of Essex (England) and a Ph D in electromagnetic radiation from the University of Birmingham (England).  Neri and the crew returned safely on December 3.

Xavier Louis Suarez, Mayor of Miami 1985

After persevering through a number of campaigns, Xavier Louis Suarez was finally elected as Mayor of the city of Miami.  He was sworn in on November 13, 1985, and was the first Cuban born citizen to win this office.  Suarez was born in Las Villas, Cuba, and immigrated to the US in 1962.  He graduated from Villanova University and from Harvard University Law School.  Suarez won with 57% of the vote.  The New York Times reported that in his first words, the Mayor chose to emphasize his roots and an identification with the humble. “A great, great man once said: ‘Con los pobres de la tierra quiero yo mi suerte echar – With the poor people of this earth I want to share my fate.'” The quote is from the Cuban patriot and poet Jose Marti.