“¡Azúcar!” (“Sugar!”) 

The fabulous and famous Latina singer, Celia Cruz, began to light the world on October 21, 1924, with her birth in Havana, Cuba.  Cruz started her career singing in cabarets in Havana, and got her big break in 1950 as the lead singer for La Sonora Matancera. The group went on tour in 1959, the year of the Cuban Revolution, and Cruz never returned home.  In New York, she lit up the salsa scene.  Cruz was a charismatic presence on stage, wearing glamorous and spectacular dresses, heels and wigs and calling out her signature exclamation, “¡Azúcar!” (“Sugar!”) Cruz produced 23 certified gold albums, and was as beloved by her audiences for her heart of gold. For more on Celia Cruz, please visit the Smithsonian American History Museum online exhibit at

Happy Birthday to José Donoso Yáñez

October 5, 1924 was the birthdate of internationally renowned Chilean writer José Donoso Yáñez, born in Santiago, Chile. Donoso attended an English language day school as a youngster in Chile.  A rebellious youth, he wrote that he hated his school work and compulsory sports, while his wanderlust inspired travels in South America, the US and Europe.  Donoso later won a scholarship to Princeton University, where he earned a BA in 1951. He spent much of his life in self-imposed exile, and was deeply opposed to the brutal military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. The New York Times described Donoso’s work as, “… novels and short stories [that] used dark surrealism and social satire to explore the haunted lives of exiles and writers and a world of aristocratic excesses.”  (Photo by Ulf  Andersen/Getty Images)

Invading Central America, again

On February 28, 1924, US troops invaded Honduras, without proper documents or visas.  A dispute over the country’s presidential elections had finally culminated in the Battle at Le Ceiba between government forces and rebels.  General Tiburcio Carías Andino led the rebels.  Andino had reportedly received the most votes and was supported by the infamous United Fruit Company.  A force of US Marines and sailors was dispatched inland to Tegucigalpa to provide additional “protection” for US citizens.

El 28 de febrero de 1924, tropas estadounidenses invadieron Honduras. Una disputa sobre las elecciones presidenciales del país culminó finalmente en la Batalla de Le Ceiba entre las fuerzas gubernamentales y los rebeldes. General Tiburcio Carías Andino llevó a los rebeldes. Andino habría recibido la mayoría de votos y fue apoyado por la United Fruit infame Unidos. Una fuerza de Marines de EE.UU. y los marineros se envió a Tegucigalpa hacia el interior para proporcionar una protección adicional para los ciudadanos estadounidenses.