In 1949, a virtually unknown Mexican-American named Richard “Pancho” Gonzalez startled the all-white country club tennis world by winning the United States National championship, which two decades later became the U.S. Open.
It was the first known major achievement by a Latino in American sports – celebrated by Hispanics in Gonzalez’ hometown in Los Angeles and throughout the Southwest that September during Mexican Independence festivities in the U.S.
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