Today Tuesday, September 15 was the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, and Google celebrated it with a doodle of Orange County civil rights icon Felicitas Mendez.
Back in 1946, Mendez successfully sued the Westminster School District for failing to enroll her Hispanic children in an all white school. The school district alleged that non-white children were kept out of the school due to “language issues,” but testimony from one of the children in the case debunked that claim. The lawsuit led to the desegregation of all public schools and public spaces in the state of California and paved the way for the landmark case Brown vs. The Board of Education.
In the doodle, Mendez is pictured in the foreground looking proud as children with a variety of skin tones run into a school building as her husband, Gonzalo, walks with them. The illustrator said she wanted to convey that Hispanic heritage is American heritage.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 through October 15 to honor the contributions that Hispanic and Latino Americans have made to U.S. art, culture, and society.