Today marks the anniversary of a seminal moment in the Latino civil rights movement. On August 29, 1970, Latinos marched in East Los Angeles to protest the number of Hispanic casualties in Vietnam. An estimated 25,000 people turned out for the National Chicano Moratorium, the largest political assembly of Mexican-Americans to date. It was a peaceful gathering until the Los Angeles Police Department showed up to investigate reports of looting. Then the protest turned violent, and when the smoke cleared three people were dead, including journalist Ruben Salazar.
Forty-three years later, it is important to remember Salazar because he was a pioneering Hispanic reporter who was killed under mysterious circumstances. It is important to remember him because his death made him a hero of the Latino civil rights struggle. And it is important to remember him because the issues that he cared about continue to resonate with Latinos today.