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Hispanic Heritage Month 2020: Google Doodle honors Felicitas Mendez

Kelly Tyko USA TODAY

Published 4:08 PM EDT Sep 15, 2020

Google’s search website was updated Tuesday for the first day of National Hispanic Heritage Month with a new Doodle to honor Puerto Rican civil rights pioneer Felicitas Mendez.

The Puerto Rican immigrant and her husband Gonzalo took on California school segregation laws after their three children were denied entry at a local elementary school because of their skin color in 1944.

With their lawsuit Mendez v. Westminster, they got the first federal court ruling against public segregation in 1946, paving the way for the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education. 

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 to honor the contributions that Hispanic and Latino Americans have made to U.S. art, culture, and society.

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Mendez was recognized in August as part of USA TODAY’s Women of the Century in Civil Rights, part of a project in commemoration of the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

In 2011, Mendez’s daughter Sylvia was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom because of her and her “parents’ role in the Westminster v. Mendez case and her lifelong dedication to civil rights and education that followed,” according to Google’s blog post. 

Google also said it will spotlight “Latino businesses around the country and encouraging people to support local neighborhood businesses” in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and will provide “free tools and training to help Latino-owned businesses adapt and grow.”

Learn more about what Google is doing for Hispanic Heritage Month at

Contributing: USA TODAY staff

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

Published 4:08 PM EDT Sep 15, 2020

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