Hispanic Heritage Month: 26 stories that shaped the Latino-American community

Updated 5:14 AM ET, Tue September 15, 2015
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Could the next president of the United States be of Hispanic heritage? Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, left, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, both of Cuban descent, each hope to win the GOP nomination for the presidency. Click through the gallery to see other news, politics, art, culture and entertainment stories that spoke to the Hispanic community during the last year. Alex Wong/MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump fields a question about immigration from Univision and Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos on August 25 in Dubuque, Iowa, a few minutes after Trump had Ramos removed from the room. The respected anchor had failed to yield when Trump wanted to take a question from a different reporter. Scott Olson/Getty Images
In August, Puerto Rico went into default for the first time in its history after paying $628,000 toward a $58 million debt bill. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
A man in Cuba reads the state newspaper "Granma," but he may soon have access to more news and entertainment from the United States. After 54 years, the United States and Cuba restored diplomatic relations in 2015. In August, Secretary of State John Kerry officially reopened the U.S. Embassy in the Caribbean island nation. YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, puzzled many in July when he tweeted that he is "as Hispanic and Latino" as Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, who is a third-generation Mexican-American. King is of German, Irish and Welsh descent. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Actors Roselyn Sanchez and Cristian de la Fuente pulled out of participating in Donald Trump's Miss USA pageant after the businessman and presidential candidate characterized Mexican immigrants to the United States as people "bringing drugs; they're bringing crime; they're rapists." Rodrigo Varela/Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Singer Joan Sebastian, shown here at the Latin Grammy Awards in 2012, died in July at age 64. Christopher Polk/Getty Images
Television host Kelly Osbourne thought she was defending Latino immigrants to the United States against Donald Trump in August on ABC's "The View," but she ended up causing a controversy of her own when she asked the rhetorical question, "If you kick every Latino out of this country, then who's going to be cleaning your toilet, Donald Trump?" Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
The Library of Congress announced June 10 the appointment of Juan Felipe Herrera as the 21st U.S. poet laureate. He will have the role for 2015 through 2016, beginning in September. Herrera, 66, whose migrant farm worker parents emigrated from Mexico, will be the nation's first Latino poet laureate since the position was created in 1936. The Press-Enterprise/AP
Pope Francis will canonize 18th-century Spanish friar Junipero Serra in September when he visits the U.S. Serra is credited with founding several missions in California that were created to spread the Christian gospel to the native peoples of that part of North America. Some Native Americans oppose Serra's canonization; they say his work contributed to the oppression of their ancestors. Santa Barbara Mission Archive- library
Actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, center, and cast members from the musical "Hamilton," landed on Broadway to raves from audiences and critics alike. The show about founding father Alexander Hamilton (written by Miranda, who is of Puerto Rican descent) was praised for its innovative music and diverse casting. The show's fans include President Barack Obama, who saw it in July. Brent N. Clarke/Getty Images
Presidential hopefuls paid unprecedented attention to the nation's Hispanic population in 2015. Both Democrats and Republicans were outspoken about how to tackle immigration from Mexico and Central America. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, seen here, was among three Democratic hopefuls who spoke at the annual meeting of the National Conference of La Raza, a Latino civil rights group, in July.
Hispanic residents walk by a bilingual sign for a CVS pharmacy in Union City, New Jersey. A July report by the Spain-based nonprofit Instituto Cervantes indicates that the United States is the world's second-largest Spanish-speaking country. Only Mexico has more Spanish speakers. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
When the first issue of the relaunched "Spider-Man" series hits comic book stores this fall, the face behind the mask will be half-Latino, half-African-American character Miles Morales. Morales had been the famed webslinger in the "Ultimate" offshoot of the popular series, but will now replace the iconic Peter Parker in a main "Spider-Man" series. Marvel
"Viva Frida," written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales, was an honor book, or runner-up, for the prestigious Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book for children. Morales's book also won a Pura Belpre Award, which is designated for a Latino writer and illustrator whose children's books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience. Roaring Brook Press
The most diverse place in America? Probably not where you think. It's actually Mountain View, Alaska, which boasts the most diverse census tract (with a significant percentage of Latinos) in the entire United States. Moni Basu/CNN
In March, fans of Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla Perez, who used just her first name as her performing moniker, marked 20 years since her death at the hands of Yolanda Saldivar, who was the president of the singer's fan club. Arlene Richie/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty
While presenting "Birdman" director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu with his prize for best picture at the Oscars, actor Sean Penn quipped, "Who gave this son of a bitch his green card?" His comment was considered insensitive -- and a public airing of a stereotype -- by many due to the contentious U.S. immigration debate. Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Gina Rodriguez, star of the CW show "Jane the Virgin," won a Golden Globe in January for best actress in a comedy series, a win that was considered something of an upset. Greg Gayne/The CW Network
In January, the Walt Disney Co. announced that its newest princess will be Elena of Avalor, a teen inspired by "diverse Latin cultures and folklore." The new princess is expected to debut on the Disney Junior animated show "Sofia the First" in 2016. courtesy Disney
Uruguayan journalist and writer Eduardo Galeano, who had a fanbase that spanned continents and who was considered one of the top voices of the Latin American left, died April 13 at age 74 in Montevideo, Uruguay. AFP/Getty Images
Emmy-winning actress Sonia Manzano, who has played shopkeeper Maria Rodriguez on the childrens television show "Sesame Street" since 1971, announced in July that she is retiring. Photo by George De Sota/Getty Images
The Central Intelligence Agency said in June that it is falling behind in recruiting, retaining and promoting racial and ethnic minorities. CIA Director John Brennan said the agency has had particular trouble attracting Hispanics. David Burnett/Newsmakers
The first national report on Hispanic health had good news and bad news. The good news is that Hispanics generally fare well, healthwise -- better than non-Hispanic whites in some cases. The bad news is that Hispanics are still 50% more likely to die from diabetes and liver disease than non-Hispanics. Bloomberg/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Telenovela actress Lorena Rojas, 44, died in February after suffering with cancer. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
Actress Elizabeth Peña died Oct. 14, 2014, at age 55 of cirrhosis of the liver. Peña was best known for her work on the television show "Modern Family" as well as her work in such films as "La Bamba" and "Rush Hour." Kevin Winter/Getty Images/file