Rita Moreno, Star Civil Rights Activist

On August 9, 1963, civil rights leaders marched through downtown Los Angeles, California to protest the city’s failure to integrate its schools.  Among them was superstar Rita Moreno, a Puerto Rican actress, singer, dancer and political activist.  This was not Moreno’s first contribution to the civil rights movement; she also supported campaigns led by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and in 1964 briefly worked for King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  She is the only woman in the entertainment industry to win all four top awards: Oscar, Grammy, Tony, and Emmy.  (Photo by The Heart Truth)

Happy Birthday to Republican Governor Brian Edward Sandoval

Happy Birthday to Republican Governor Brian Edward Sandoval, born on August 5, 1963, in Redding, California.  When he took office in 2011, Sandoval was the first Hispanic elected to this post in Nevada.  Sandoval was also the first Latino in Nevada elected as Attorney General and appointed as a US district judge. Sandoval earned a BA and a law degree at Ohio State University. Sandoval has received numerous awards for his public service, including the Anti-Defamation League’s 2003 “Torch of Liberty Award” and the Latino Coalition’s 2004 “Most Influential Hispanic in the US Award”.

Happy Birthday to Demián Bichir Nájera

Happy Birthday to movie star Demián Bichir Nájera, born on August 1, 1963 in Mexico City, Mexico.   His family is in the entertainment business, and Nájera first traveled to the US with an acting troop at age 14.  While he has been a celebrity in Mexico, his first big splash in el Norte was the 2011 movie, “A Better Life”.  He received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of a struggling Mexican immigrant and devoted father trying to raise his son and create a better life for them in California. In an interview with NPR, Nájera spoke of his role as, “It was like ‘Hamlet’ in many ways … one of those bigger-than-life roles, and I fell in love with it immediately….” (Photo by David Shankbone)