El Diario Kicks Off 100th Anniversary

El Diario/La Prensa, America’s oldest daily newspaper in Spanish, will turn 100 on October 12. To celebrate this milestone, the Brooklyn-based newspaper issued a commemorative supplement and announced a series of community events through the year, including a web page for readers to share their stories.

In an introduction entitled “A Long-Awaited Birthday,” CEO Rossana Rosado recounted her first experiences  as a reporter for El Diario in 1983, and announced some of the special features the newspaper will issue to commemorate its birthday.

(Click on image to see special supplement.)

We pulled from our archives to find stories about our community’s struggles and triumphs, and how we have built bonds for survival. For example, during the Vietnam War, families of soldiers would purchase El Diario subscriptions as gifts for them. It’s how they stayed informed in their language and connected to home. The idea that this newspaper was a lifeline to hundreds of soldiers and that it provided comfort to young sons facing uncertainty and death is deeply moving.

Also, Rosado announced an online page where readers can upload and share their own El Diario-related stories: eldiariony.com/100.

Our celebration of 100 years of service and journalistic tradition is not simply a look back at where we came from, but also a chance to chart the course for the next 10 decades. Who we are as a people, what we bring to this city, how we are an inextricable part of its energy — and its future— is exactly the conversation we want to have with you, your parents, abuelos and children.

The special supplement also features a personal account from Pulitzer-winning author Oscar Hijuelos. In it, he recalls how, growing up in West Harlem in the 1950s, his father always arrived home with a copy of El Diario in hand.

Like a ray of sunlight, this newspaper surely made my father’s hard working days more enjoyable and, I think, less culturally lonely. For in those times, long before the event of television stations like Univision and Telemundo– when Spanish language publications were not so easily available as they are now, the newspaper he read faithfully in the evenings after work, surely helped ease the pangs of homesickness that he—and my mother—and so many others of their generation—felt for su patria.

Hijuelos’ article goes on to say that El Diario was “a symbol of shared Latin-ness and pride” for Hispanics of different countries, as important as music or food: “A beacon of Latin familiarity in a world that could be sometimes resistant to the newly arrived.”

Riding the subways, when I see someone who seems new to this country reading a copy of El Diario, I am both taken back to my parents’ experiences and transported into a future wherein even newer generations, facing the same challenges as they did, can take solace in the knowledge that there exists a newspaper, now one hundred years old, that cares deeply about Latino culture and will always be there for them.

“Stabs Woman and Turn Himself in at La Prensa” reads a cover from Feb. 3, 1961.

The supplement also includes a article by El Diario’s researcher Carlos Rodriguez Martorell about the Latino presence in New York in 1913, including a sizable, now-forgotten Little Spain on West 14th Street, and a story on how in the 1960s many defendants turned themselves in at El Diario instead of going to the police.

In 1968, at least 12 deserters from the U.S. Army who didn’t want to fight in the Vietnam War turned themselves in. Once they were at the paper, journalists would interview them and then call the FBI so they would turn them in to the army. Sometimes, the deserters would request legal advice, while other times, it was simply the only way they would turn themselves in.

Carolina Pinto wrote a recap of El Diario’s presence in pop culture, including mentions in lyrics by musicians Héctor Lavoe and The Beastie Boys; movies like Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing,” and books like Hijuelos’s novel “The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love” and Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s memoir “My Beloved World.”

Another story, by M. González-Fuentes, summarizes the newspaper’s contribution in the development of Latinos in the New York area. The list includes:

1.- Supporter of parades, pageants and civic initiatives. New York’s leading Hispanic newspaper has served as a platform, and in many cases, a sponsor for all kinds of civic and cultural activities. In the 1920s and ’30s, La Prensa played an important role in the consolidation of Spanish charities and Puerto Rican societies—initiatives that sought to provide social services to Hispanics. In the ’50s, the “Queen of La Prensa” contest was a big success. Today, the newspaper supports many competitions throughout the city. El Diario has also tirelessly supported cultural initiatives, from the National Puerto Rican Parade and the Dominican Parade to celebrations hosted by newer groups. (…)

3.- Leader  of social causes. There are many examples of how this newspaper has helped resolve situations of clear injustice. Among the emblematic cases was the exclusive report in 1961 of the mistreatment of 32 Puerto Rican construction workers  in Tasley, Virginia. The intense coverage forced Gov. Nelson Rockefeller to open an investigation. Soon after, La Prensa reported the case of Salvador Agrón, known as “The Capeman,” a young Puerto Rican gang member sentenced to death for a 1959 murder. Columnist Luisa A. Quintero led a campaign against the sentence, convincing Rockefeller to commute Agrón’s sentence to life in prison. In the 1980s, the coverage of drug trafficking in the city had a great impact and unfortunately led to the murder of Manuel de Dios Unanue, the legendary ex editor of El Diario. (…)

7.-Advocate of bilingual education. Very few media could express the history and relevance of bilingual education programs in the city’s schools better than this newspaper. For years, El Diario supported a campaign to highlight the benefits that bilingual programs provide to Hispanic students and in turn, to their schools and the city overall. In 1972, EDLP supported “ASPIRA v. Board of Education,” a historic lawsuit calling for bilingual education programs for Latino children in New York. ASPIRA won the case in 1974.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: – Columbia University Opens El Diario’s Photo Archives to the Public

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

https://www.bachelortreats.com/about-us/ https://www.sexxxotoy.com/about-us/