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Hart-Celler Act

Signing of the Hart-Celler Act

This temporary display marked the 50th anniversary of the Hart-Celler Act, which had far-reaching effects upon immigration to the United States by opening the possibility of coming to this nation for many people from around the world. Passage of the Act in 1965 was a watershed event in configuring contemporary America—through the significant demographic shifts and cultural changes that resulted from it.

Among the selection of Latino-related artifacts on display were a child’s purse brought from Cuba in the early 1960s by a girl who immigrated with her parents and a child’s shirt worn by a Cuban boy who was part of the Operation Pedro Pan that brought minors to the U.S. after Fidel Castro came to power; a United Farm Workers pin; and a 1960s record album by the first meringue band, “Primitivo y Su Combo” to release a U.S. recording marketed to immigrants from the Dominican Republic.