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The Restless Peninsula: The Proud and Colorful History of Iberia

The Restless Peninsula: The Proud and Colorful History of Iberia



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Over the ages, the Iberian Peninsula was a melting pot of diverse cultures and civilizations, a piece of Europe that saw numerous migrations and many nations that rose and fell on its soil. Being the second largest peninsula in Europe, Iberia is geographically varied and vast, and as such it saw the spread of many isolated and very different cultures . And some parts of it endured with their uniqueness for a long, long time.

Today we will travel step by step from the early, proto history of the Iberian Peninsula, understanding the detailed and gradual emergence and disappearance of its peoples, as we seek to uncover the truth behind its modern identity. From the earliest dawn of its history, to the Bronze Age , the migrations and the Roman rule – we will touch upon the biggest points in the lengthy history of Iberia country.

The Old Europeans: The Earliest History of Iberia

Los Millares was the name of one of the earliest attested cultures of the Iberian Peninsula , and it is a fitting start to the story of this region as it poses as one of the aspects of the Iberian identity and history.
This sprawling culture arose in the very south of the peninsula, in the modern day region of Andalucía.

Los Millares is the name given to the major town and the center of that culture, which flourished in the Chalcolithic – aka the Copper Age . This spanned from the late 4th millennium BC to the very end of the 2nd millennium BC.

A model of the prehistoric town of Los Millares, Iberia, with its walls. (Tuor123 / CC BY-SA 4.0 )

The town that is associated with Los Millares is an unprecedented archaeological find, and a clear insight into the early cultures of the pre-Indo-European peoples of the area, as well as an interesting glimpse into the Copper Age in Iberia.

Located on a prominent hillside, Los Millares was a single and fairly large walled city with three fortified walls, each one protecting the houses contained inside. It was the home to perhaps a thousand citizens, and as such, it is one of the earliest civilizations on the peninsula.

After a lengthy timeframe, Los Millares was gradually replaced with the onset of the Bronze Age . In 1800 BC, the El Argar civilization of bronze metallurgists arose and eventually replaced the Los Millares, ushering the Iberian Peninsula into the new epoch of bronze.

Both Los Millares and the succeeding El Argar cultures stand as an important insight into the proto history of the Iberian Peninsula, as they are the part of the so-called Old Europeans. The theory of Old Europe is a concept mainly proposed by Maria Gimbutas – and it is centered around the peoples and cultures of Europe that were present before the Proto-Indo-European migrations.

Bowl with ocular motifs from Los Millares, Iberia . (Locutus Borg / CC BY-SA 2.5 )

And that is where the next era begins – the entrance of the Urnfield cultures into the Iberian Peninsula. With the El Argar diminishing and slowly disappearing, the migratory Indo European, Proto Celtic peoples of the Urnfield culture slowly entered into the country Iberia in the 1st millennium BC. This ushered a new way of bronze metallurgy and culture related to it. For many, the Urnfield peoples signify the earliest form of the Celtic culture , and as such they are the first step towards the identity which would emerge much later – the Celtiberians.

Indo Europeans and the Iron Age in Iberia

The gradual transition to the earliest period of the Iron Age also saw the first contact of the ancient Phoenicians with the Iberian Peninsula. Around 1104 BC they sailed from the distant Phoenician city of Tyro and founded a walled settlement on the coast of the very southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It was called Gadir and it still stands today as the Spanish city of Cadiz. It is the most ancient city in Western Europe that is still standing.

This small settlement of the Phoenicians was the biggest turning point in Iberia’s history – they introduced the use of iron, writing systems, and the potter’s wheel. These influences soon spread all over the peninsula.

But the actual iron smelting was brought in around 800 BC, when the Celts of the Hallstatt culture migrated into the area and mixed with the Urnfield peoples – by all accounts they spoke similar or the same languages and had the same heritage. Their cultural influence was quite strong and today it is strongly reflected in the archaeology of the Iberian Peninsula and the emergence of the Celtiberian peoples.

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Sword hilt from the Hallstatt culture of Iberia, 7th century. (Carmen Löw / CC BY-SA 3.0 )

The Hallstatt Celtic influence spread over the next 100 years, and by 7th century BC, the Iberian Peninsula was filled with diverse tribes and cultures, some fully Celtic – like the tribes of Celtici, Gallaeci, Lusitani, or Celtiberi – and others that managed to retain a pre-Celtic culture.

But the Celtic culture in Iberia was never fully 100% – they simply immersed themselves with the local peoples, slowly assimilating them and creating a unique blend that resulted in the emergence of a new and unique Celtic identity which earned a collective name - the Celtiberians.

The Celtiberians of Iberia

Both Appian and Diodorus Siculus distinctly mention the Celtiberi – and refer to them as the peoples that emerged from the ‘marriage’ between the migrating Celts and the native Iberians, once the early warfare between them subsided. Some, on the other hand, name the Celtiberi as a tribe or a branch of the Celts proper. Whatever the theory, we can all agree that the Celtiberians rose as a distinctive culture with an identity that was both unique and highly influential in the entire Iberian Peninsula.

The Celts brought with them iron working, the creation of oppidums - characteristic Celtic forts – as well as all the artistic and military elements that are associated with the wider Hallstatt culture of the Celts. When these elements got fused with the native Iberian peoples, a new identity was formed and it was formidable.

One example is the Iberian falcata – a formidable weapon iconic to the pre-Roman Iberia, a fusion of Celtic sickle-blade designs and the indigenous weapons. This weapon is today a common trademark sign of the Celtiberians.

Iberian falcata. (Tm / CC BY-SA 2.0 )

Bolstered by the influence of the advanced Celts, the Celtiberians quickly rose as the dominant force on the peninsula. The oppidums became the regional centers of power, which were ruled by a warrior elite, much like in the contemporary Celtic societies of Central Europe.

Over the centuries these people managed to evolve into a culture different from the Celts. The Ebro river posed as a geographical boundary, and when they became surrounded by the pre-Celtic people, the Celtiberians lost their contact with Celts proper – the late La Tene Celtic culture didn’t reach them, which contributed to their unique development in both language and culture.

The Celtiberian language was part of the Celtic family of languages and it belonged to the Q-Celtic group. If it survived today it would be closely related to the Celtic Goidelic languages of the British Isles. Eventually, those few centuries of the establishment of Celtiberian identity would come under major threat – with the appearance of the Romans. And their arrival would be the turning point in the history of independent Iberia.

The Spreading Shadows of Rome

The first Mediterranean power to set foot into Iberia was Carthage. At first it was met with hostility from the local Celtiberian tribes as it tried to expand, the Carthaginian forces managed to establish a prosperous region after roughly eight years of warfare.

But the Carthaginian presence on the Iberian Peninsula would be finished with the end of the Second Punic War when the Romans defeated them and terminated their presence in the area. In 209 BC, the legendary general Scipio Africanus landed with his troops in Iberia, which marked the official Roman presence on the peninsula.

The first conquest related only to the Carthaginian territories, but in the next 200 years they waged constant war with the natives and Celtiberians, and they gradually expanded their influence to the entirety of the peninsula. The annexation was often met with hostility but with each decade the Roman influence grew stronger.

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Bronze Celtiberian fibula representing a warrior from the 3rd–2nd century BC. (Zaqarbal / CC BY-SA 3.0 )

One of the best examples of the inspiring Celtiberian resistance to Roman rule was the final siege of Numantia in 133 BC. The oppidum of Numantia was perhaps the major Celtiberian town in the entire peninsula, and as such it presented a big thorn in the side of the conquering Romans. Scipio Africanus the Younger, also known as Scipio Aemilianus, was tasked with conquering this powerful fortified town.

With a force of 60,000 men, Scipio the Younger laid an extensive siege on the town, completely cutting off Numantia from the rest of the world. Trapped, the men and women of the Celtiberian Arevaci tribe had nowhere to go – they were starving to death. When things got desperate for them they sent envoys to make a treaty with Scipio.

Stating that they resist only for the safety of their children and families, and the love of their country, the Arevaci asked the Romans to make a treaty. But Scipio had orders for complete subjugation – he demanded only the deditio – complete submission.

Proud as they were, the Arevaci declined this. The siege continued, as did the starvation, and in the end the trapped Celtiberians of Numantia, frail and gaunt, reverted to cannibalism. In the end they were forced to surrender, but not before many chose suicide over surrender and burned the town. Those that survived were sold as slaves but only after they were paraded in Scipio’s victory triumph.

Engraving of the Siege of Numantia, Iberia. (Metilsteiner / )

This noble and proud defiance of the Celtiberian peoples echoed through time, and even today stands as an inspiration for the peoples of the Iberian Peninsula. But in the end, the fall of Numantia served as a steppingstone for a more rapid spread of Roman influence over the peninsula. The whole of Iberia was finally annexed during the reign of the first Roman emperor Augustus in 19 BC, some 190 years after Scipio Africanus first landed on its shores.

Even from the earliest days, the Roman presence had enormous influence on the cultural development of Iberia. The assimilation was a gradual process and was reflected in every sphere of life. In time, the Celtiberian, or Hispano-Celtic language gradually fell out of use, being replaced by Latin. Roman culture spread to every corner of society and would shape the new epoch in the colorful identity of the Iberians.

And in the decades after 19 BC, the Celtiberian identity slowly disappeared. By the 5th century AD, the Hispano-Celtic language was completely gone, and with it, the final remnants of the once powerful and unique Celtiberian people.

Thoughts About the Development of the Iberian Culture

There is no doubt that in the long centuries before the arrival of the Carthaginians and the Romans, the Iberian Peninsula exuded a unique and astonishing culture. Its proto peoples left countless traces that speak of the unique view of the world they had, all attested in their tombs, the remnants of their stone houses, and the many megaliths and stone carvings.

Model of one of the characteristic tombs of the prehistoric town of Los Millares, Iberia. (Tuor123 / CC BY-SA 3.0 )

The unique climate of the Iberian Peninsula, a large part of which has a distinct Mediterranean atmosphere, was always a fertile territory rich in many natural resources. This saw the arrival and rise of the numerous civilizations which were trying to carve out a piece of that peninsula for themselves.

And it is this very abundance of civilizations that was connected together into the Celtiberian nation, that fierce and proud strain of peoples that stood out with their warrior culture and unique art form. In the end, these identities formed a large part of the inspiring, unique history of the Iberian Peninsula.


The Restless Peninsula: The Proud and Colorful History of Iberia - History

Two weeks ago, we posted a few shots from Euro Truck Simulator 2 about an upcoming truck that was covered in a camouflage wrap. We hope that you have had as much fun guessing (granted, it was quite obvious) as we did creating the special livery.

Today, we are proud and excited to bring to you, just a day after DAF's official reveal of the New-Generation DAF trucks, the brand-new

The New-Generation DAF represents a new era in trucking. As DAF says, Start the Future. The new line of trucks focuses on efficiency, driver comfort, and safety. The new XG and XG+ cab is yet another revolution since DAF's previous cab was introduced in its earliest form on the DAF 95 back in 1987. DAF is literally reinventing the game with the XG/XG+, by being the first-to-market with its new super-sized cabs made possible by the reformed EU Weights & Dimensions law, which allows for truck cabs to be increased in length by up to 80cm.

A rounder and longer front overhang not only improves fuel economy, but improves driver safety in the event of a frontal collision. The increased cab space also allows for a much wider bunk and a more spacious driving position.

New to Euro Truck Simulator 2 is the introduction of optional digital mirrors replacing the conventional side, wide-angle and front mirrors. These mirrors improve side visibility as the conventional mirrors which normally create a blind-spot at roundabouts/junctions are replaced with displays that sit cleanly on the interior A-pillar. The mirrors also feature exposure correction for better night-time visibility.

Another first for Euro Truck Simulator 2 with the new DAF is its fully-digital dashboard display, or Driver Information Panel (DIP), as DAF calls it. The DIP features modern graphics and a unique design which is bound to make the truck stand out from its competitors, and make your driving experience more interesting and informative.

The New-Generation DAF is initially available in Euro Truck Simulator 2 with the XG and XG+ cab options, with the XF coming at a later date. Only the 4x2 chassis option will be available for now, as is the same with the trucks initially offered to customers.

Last but not least, we have also added a special launch paint job for the new trucks, to go with the Tuscan Yellow launch colour that you should definitely use!

We would like to thank DAF Trucks N.V., especially their marketing and design teams, for this amazing opportunity of a next-day launch of the truck for ETS2, for trusting us with all the confidential data (they even provided us with material swatches!) involved, and for assisting us along the way during the creation of the in-game truck. We hope this collaboration opens up even more opportunities with the PACCAR group and the wider trucking industry as a whole!

And finally, thank you, our #BestCommunityEver, for continuing to believe in us, for supporting us, and for being the awesome community that you are! We promise that there is more where this came from, so keep sticking around and playing our games, especially with Convoy mode around the corner!

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History & Culture

The Bayou Teche takes you on a journey into the geographical heart of Acadiana. Once described as the “most richly storied of the interior waters, and the most opulent,” this body of water was the center of a booming cypress industry in the early 1900s. The Teche winds its way through four parishes and ends in the Atchafalaya Basin, an essential source of food, timber and fur, a refuge for escaped slaves and a natural resource for enterprising Cajuns and Creoles.

The meandering of the streams within this channel, as well as the floodplain around it, have resulted in areas with fertile soil. However, humans’ attempts to control flooding have all but eliminated the natural replenishing of fertile soil in the floodplains. These engineering practices have naturally impacted the landscape and its inhabitants, but without them, property damage and loss of human life would certainly be greater.

Early economic development of the Atchafalaya Basin hinged on the Bayou Teche. Before roads, the little Teche, not the Atchafalaya, was the highway from the Gulf of Mexico into the heart of Louisiana. The Teche was navigable over 100 miles, yet just wide enough, deep enough and swift enough to maneuver. Several Bayou Teche settlements materialized because of the timber and waterborne economy.

Native American Influence

Two major Native American tribes lived along the banks of the Teche for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. They were the Chitimacha, who settled along the lower sections of the bayou and still have tribal lands around what is now Charenton, and the Attakapas tribe, which settled along the upper sections of the Bayou from its headwaters around what is now Port Barre to the area now known as St. Martinville.

Legend of Bayou Teche

As told by the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana

Many, many years ago, there was a huge and venomous snake. It was so large and so long that its size was not measured in feet, but in miles. Its head was at what is now known as Morgan City and its body stretched beyond St. Martinville and Breaux Bridge to its tail, which rested in Port Barré. This enormous snake had been an enemy of the Chitimacha for many years, doing a lot of destruction to their ways of life. One day the Chitimacha Chief called together his warriors and had them prepare themselves for battle with their enemy, the snake. In those days, there were no guns that they could use to destroy the snake. All they had were their clubs and bows and arrows, the arrowheads being made not from flint, but from a large bone from the local garfish. Of course, a snake over 124 miles long could not be instantly killed. The warriors fought courageously to kill the enemy, but it fought just as hard to try to survive. As the snake turned, coiled and twisted in the last few days of a slow but sure death, it broadened, curved and deepened the place wherein his huge body lay. As his body decomposed, the place began to deepen more. The Bayou Teche (”Teche” meaning “snake”) is today proof of the exact position into which this enemy placed himself when overcome by the Chitimachas in the days of their strength.

Before European immigrants came to the area, Chitimacha roamed the Teche, fished it and made their home there. Chitimacha used the Teche as one of their major trade networks, and built several Chitimacha mounds along its banks.

At one time the Chitimacha were in danger of extinction. During this time many of them hid in the Atchafalaya Basin between the Bayou Teche and the Atchafalaya River. These small villages helped to assure their existence in a time of peril and danger of extinction.

The Chitimacha Indian reservation sits on a bend in the Bayou Teche. The city of Charenton, near the reservation, was once known as “Indian Bend.” Near the Chitimacha Indian reservation and Charenton, the Bayou Teche comes closest to the Atchafalaya Basin, one of the largest swamp and wild areas in the nation. Today, the Chitimacha Indians have a casino on their reservation.

Attakapas – Ishak

Attakapas is a name given to this tribe of Indians by other Indians in the area and literally means “man-eaters.” They were known for their alleged custom of cannibalizing their enemies. They called themselves Ishak (ee-SHAK). The Attakapas were wiped out as a people by the early 1800s as a result of defeats by other tribes and diseases contracted from early European settlers for which they had no immunity. The Attakapas were friendly with the Chitimacha and traded with them.

Acadians and European Peoples

During the years 1519-1687, many explorers came to Louisiana, including Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, sponsored by France. The French explorers befriended the Native Americans but the Spanish and the British, for the most part, were not very well received by the Native Americans. These European countries were all trying to expand their empires into the New World, thus began a colorful history of Louisiana switching hands several times before becoming a state.

European colonists came to Louisiana under the promise of a land of milk and honey. Many settlers perished shortly after their arrival, and others either went back to Europe. Of those who remained, life was difficult. Some received land grants and became wealthy through the establishment of plantations and use of slave labor. Settlers from France, Spain, Britain and Germany settled along the Mississippi River, but westward expansion into the Atchafalaya and Teche basins shortly followed.

One of the more celebrated groups of South Louisiana’s many colonial immigrants came from Acadie, which is now Nova Scotia, Canada. These peasant people of French descent were exiled from their homes in Canada when they refused to abandon their Roman Catholic beliefs to worship as members of the Church of England. Dispersed along the Atlantic coast, some found their way to south-central Louisiana and settled along the banks of the Bayou Teche.

Many customs in south-central Louisiana have their roots in the traditions of the Acadian settlers. Descendants of this group are still in the area and are proud of their “Cajun” heritage. The Acadians arrived during Spanish Colonial rule, and many settlements along the lower Bayou Teche, including New Iberia, still thrive today.

Check out Historian and Archivist Shane Bernard’s blog logging his research for his book about the Teche: http://bayoutechedispatches.blogspot.com.


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Monitoring Southern Gulf for Tropical Development this Week

An area of storminess associated with a broad area of low pressure continues to spin around the southern Gulf of Mexico in the Bay of Campeche.

The National Hurricane Center is monitoring this area for tropical development. As of Wednesday morning, the NHC has a 90% chance that this develops into at least a tropical depression by Thursday or Friday.

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Spain’s 10 Best Islamic Monuments


The Islamic civilization left in Spain a huge artistic and architectonic heritage. For eight centuries, a significant part of Spain was under Muslim rule. That period not only introduced in Spain important scientific, agricultural, cultural advances (as it also did in Europe), but also left impressive examples of architecture, which nowadays still decorate the Spanish cities. This heritage reminds us the shared history and the cultural proximity that we have with that Islamic civilization. The Spanish newspaper, La Opinión de Tenerife, shows us some of these magnificent architectonic jewels.

The Muslim rule left in Spain a huge architectonic and monumental heritage, which in plenty of occasions preserves the splendor of a civilization that reached an extraordinary level of development and artistic sophistication. Palaces, mosques and fortresses continue to be proud witnesses of an essential era of our history, and are still today some of the European most visited monuments.

The Alhambra

Granada’s Alhambra complex is without doubts the architectonic and artistic Muslim landmark in Spain. It is the best Arab palace in the world and one of the world’s most spectacular monuments that exudes beauty in each of its halls and yards. The residence of the Nasrid Kingdom created a space for the pleasure of the senses, in which harmony and the refinement of the design and the decoration of Muslim civilization reached almost unparalleled levels of perfection.

The Generalife

Placed next to the Alhambra, the Generalife is the villa that the Muslim kings used as a place for rest and leisure. As in the Alhambra, the systems of water canalization that were used, stand out. However, the sublime beauty of the enclosure lies in the harmony and fineness of the space distribution and the design and care of gardens, yards and water tanks.

Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba

If the Alhambra and the Generalife are two examples of civil architecture in Spain, Córdoba’s Mosque-Cathedral is its equivalent in the religious field. Initially it was a Visigothic basilica, but the Arabs built over it a worship area, whose startling column forest, is its most characteristic sign of identity. But the temple (which today also houses the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption) also exudes beauty in its doors and mainly in its scrumptious mihrab.

Medina Azahara

Unfortunately, the Arab complex of Medina Azahara in Córdoba, has not been able to be preserved to the present day in all its splendor. Conceived as a palace and city of Cordoba’s Caliph Abderrahman III, we can still admire its ancient strength in the remains of the Palace of Zahra and its two big halls. Its marble pavements and its geometrical and flowery decoration still stand out.

The Aljafería Palace

Aljafería’s Palace is the proof that the legacy of the Muslim civilization is not reduced only to the south of the Iberian Peninsula. This fortress, which has suffered various modifications through its history and that today’s appears like a Cristian castle, houses in its interior, the design and the ornamentation of the ancient Muslim alcazar fortress. It was the symbol of the power of the Taifa Kingdoms, represented in the the lobed arches, the mosque and the courtyard. Today it houses the Parliament of Aragon.

The Giralda

The Giralda, which is Seville’s symbol, stands nowadays as the imposing bell tower of the cathedral. Nevertheless, in its origins it was the mosque’s minaret. The two inferior thirds of the current tower are exactly thoseof the Muslim edification. They are recognizable due to their Arab ornamentation. A spiral ramp allows to reach to the top.

Torre del Oro

This tower, of Arabs origins, has been rebuild in several occasions. In its origins it had a defensive role because it was part of the walls with which the Alcazar protected the city. After Seville was reconquered, it housed a chapel and became even a prison. It is called Torre del Oro due to the reflection of his color over the Guadalquivir river, next to which it is built.

Alcazaba of Málaga

This stronghold and palace which was designed like an enclosure of concentric walls, is another of the great examples of the Arabic architecture in Spain. Attached to the feet of the Mount Gibralfaro, the Alcazaba doesn’t preserve even half of its extension, but the importance of the place can be deduced from the currently visible elements. The areas of its urban design can still been seen, with doors, arches and the ancient neighborhood of houses.

Mosque of Cristo de la Luz

The hermitage of Cristo de la Luz, which was previously Bab al-Mardum Mosque or the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz, is the best Muslim temple preserved in Toledo and an example of Córdoba’s Caliphate splendor. Later on, when the small area converted into Christianity, a new carcass of Mudejar art, which gives shape to the hermitage’s apse, would be added.

Gormaz Castle

Another example of the Muslim architecture in the north of the peninsula is the Gormaz fortress, located in Soria, close to Burgo de Osma. Its imposing wall raises at a promontory in the Castilian field. A part of its importance as military site, this construction was Europe’s biggest medieval fortress. Its caliphal door carries the stamp of Muslim art.


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The Restless Peninsula: The Proud and Colorful History of Iberia - History

In the past few days the internet, and especially the automotive side, has received some very interesting and cool news bringing together Euro Truck Simulator 2 and Renault Trucks. Those with sharp eyes and attentive ears probably already heard and read about what the CEO of Renault Trucks, Bruno Blin, has announced at a very special press conference.

Today we can also confirm that this is not just a dream, but it's really happening. The latest, and as of now still officially unrevealed Renault Trucks T and T-High facelifted models, will arrive in the Euro Truck Simulator 2 universe on the 6th of April, 2021 in a free update.

This is going to be the very first time in the automotive industry that a new truck model is revealed exclusively through a videogame before any real-life event. We are honoured and proud that thanks to our excellent relationship with Renault Trucks and their recognition of the importance of our #BestCommunityEver, this amazing milestone will actually be achieved!

But before we put this evolution into ETS2, let's first play a small game with you, shall we? You may have noticed that ETS2 has just received a very small update on Steam what was in it? Well, hop into your current Renault Trucks vehicle, drive to the closest major Renault Trucks dealership and find out! The new T-High is parked there!

Yes, it's currently hidden under a red cover, but that will change very soon. Let's show our friends over at Renault Trucks how excited we all are. Just take a screenshot of the new vehicle under the red cover and post it on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with the hashtag #RenaultTrucksEvolutionIsComing . Plus don't forget to tag both SCS' (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) and Renault Trucks' (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) profiles so we won't miss it. Later on, we will randomly pick 5 lucky winners who'll receive a special gift selected from the Renault Trucks merchandise range!


Making history

After defeating her Republican rival Anthony Pappas in the Nov. 6, 2018 midterm elections, the left-wing star, who turned 29 the month prior, became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. According to the Washington Examiner, that record was previously held by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who was elected to the House in 2014 at 30 years old.

Reflecting on her historic win and the stunning amount of votes she received (NBC News reports that she received more than 78 percent of votes while Pappas earned 13 percent), Ocasio-Cortez issued a speech about the power of getting to the polls to create change. "This is what is possible when every day people come together in the collective realization that all our actions — no matter how small or how large — are powerful, worthwhile and capable of lasting change. Words cannot express my gratitude." Not too bad of an ending for someone who had been a bartender just a year before.


Individual and Group Contributions

Although most of the Portuguese who arrived on American shores lacked education and skills, and therefore had limited ability to make significant contributions to their new land's popular culture or to its arts and sciences, there have been exceptions. Descendants of Portuguese immigrants, having had greater educational opportunity in America, have gone on to make their mark on American society. In considering their contributions, it must be remembered that Portuguese Americans constitute only a fraction of one percent of the population of the United States, and that they have achieved success in areas besides those listed below, such as business and dairy farming.

ACADEMIA

Dr. Joaquim de Siqueira Coutinho (b. 1885) was a professor at George Washington University and at the Catholic University of America. From 1910 to 1920 he was in charge of the Brazilian section of the Pan-American Union. Francis Mile Rogers (1914– ) was professor of Portuguese at Harvard University where he chaired the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. He also served as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and authored a number of books.

ART AND ARCHITECTURE

William L. Pereira (1909–1985) is an internationally known architect and city planner. He designed or planned such complexes as Cape Canaveral, CBS Television City, the Los Angeles Museum of Art, the Crocker Citizens Bank in Los Angeles, the Central Library at the University of California (San Diego), and the Union Oil Center. Henrique Medina and Palmira Pimental were painters in the 1930s.

FILM, TELEVISION, AND THEATER

Harold José Pereira de Faria (Hal Peary) (1908-1985) achieved fame in the title role of the series "The Great Gildersleeve," which he played for 16 years on radio and television. He also appeared in motion pictures. John Mendes (1919-1955) performed as a magician under the name of "Prince Mendes." He was also a stage, screen, and television actor. Other Portuguese American motion picture actors include Rod de Medicis and Nestor Pavie. Carmen Miranda (1914-1955), although known as "the Brazilian bombshell," actually was born in Portugal. She was a popular film star of the 1940s known for her humor, her singing, and her extravagant hats piled high with fruit. She popularized Latin American dance music in the United States. Henry da Sylva established a ballet school in Hollywood, acted in films and directed them as well.

GOVERNMENT

Joseph F. Francis and Mary L. Fonseca were senators in the Massachusetts State Legislature. João G. Mattos served in the state legislature of California. Helen L. C. Lawrence became chair of the City Council of San Leandro, California, in 1941. In that position she exercised the power of mayor. Clarence Azevedo was mayor of Sacramento, California. In 1979, Peter "Tony" Coelho of California was elected to the United States House of Representatives he is probably the first Portuguese American to serve in the national congress. Ernest Ladeira served as President Richard M. Nixon's advisor on social welfare. He was also an assistant to John Volpe, Secretary of Transportation. John M. Arruda was mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts, for six years.

LITERATURE

Some Portuguese immigrants recorded their experiences in their adopted country: Laurinda C. Andrade (1899– ) gives a young girl's impressions in her autobiography, The Open Door Lawrence Oliver (1887-1977) wrote an autobiography titled Never Backward and Alfred Lewis (1902-1977) wrote an autobiographical novel, Home Is an Island, as well as poetry. Onésimo Almeida, who completed his university training in Portugal and then earned a Ph.D. at Brown University where he later served as professor, wrote Da Vida Quotidiana na LUSAlândia (1975), Ah! Mònim dum Corisco (1978), and (Sapa)teia Americana (1983). Immigrants who tell of their experiences in poetry include Artur Ávila in his Rimas de Um Imigrante and José Brites in his Poemas sem Poesia and Imigramante (1984). John Roderigo Dos Passos (1896-1970) is the only American novelist of Portuguese descent who has an international reputation. His works include Manhattan Transfer (1925) and the trilogy U.S.A. (1937), for which he is best known. It comprises the novels The 42nd Parallel (1930), 1919 (1932), and The Big Money (1936). He published a second trilogy titled District of Columbia in 1952. Jorge de Sena (1919-1978) came to the United States from Portugal via Brazil. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. At the University of California, Santa Barbara, he was chair of the comparative literature program. He was a well-known literary critic, poet, playwright, novelist and short-story writer. His works include the novels O Físico Prodigioso (translated into English as The Wondrous Physician ) and Sinais de fogo as well as the short story collections Génesis and Os grao-capitaes. English readers can obtain his work By the Rivers of Babylon and Other Stories. The novelist and short-story writer José Rodrigues Miguéis (1901-1980) wrote fiction such as Saudades para Dena Genciana and Gente da Terceira Classe.

MUSIC

John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) was director of the U.S. Marine Band from 1880 to 1892. He then founded his own Sousa Band in 1892 which, in its over 40-year existence, became the world's most famous concert band. At the outbreak of World War I, Sousa, at the age of 62, joined the navy to train bands at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. He is famous as the composer of such marches as "Stars and Stripes Forever," "Semper Fidelis," "The Washington Post March," and "Hands Across the Sea." He also composed several operettas including The Captain, The Charlatan, and The Queen of Hearts, as well as several suites for piano. Ilda Stichini and Maria Silveira were opera divas in the 1930s. Raul da Silva Pereira was a composer and conductor. Elmar de Oliveira (1950– ) is a violinist who, in 1978, was the first American to win the gold medal in Moscow's Tchaikovsky competition he is now on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music. In the field of popular music, the vocalist Tony Martin (1912– ) produced many hit records between 1941 and 1957. He had his own radio show and also appeared in films. His best role was probably in Casbah (1948). He appeared in nightclubs in the 1970s. A general contribution the Portuguese people have made to American music is the ukulele, which originated in Madeira and is now popular in Hawaii.

RELIGION

The charismatic religious leader Marcelino Manoel de Graça (1882-1960), also known as "Sweet Daddy Grace," founded the United House of Prayer for All People in the Harlem area of New York. His congregation, made up mainly of African Americans, included over three million people. Humberto Sousa Medeiros (1915-1983), who had been bishop of Brownsville, Texas, was named to succeed Cardinal Cushing as Archbishop of Boston in 1970. He was the first non-Irish American to fill that position in 124 years. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 1973.

SCIENCE AND MEDICINE

José de Sousa Bettencourt (1851-1931) earned degrees in both law and medicine. He practiced medicine and taught at the San Francisco Medical School. João Sérgio Alvares Cabral (d. 1909) practiced medicine in Oakland, California. He gave free consultations to the poor and ones at reduced rate to Portuguese. He also served as editor in chief of A Pátria, a Portuguese newspaper published in Oakland. Mathias Figueira (1853-1930) founded the American College of Surgeons. M. M. Enos (1875- ) was head of the Portuguese Association of the Portuguese Hospital of Saint Anthony in Oakland, California. He was also director of the Portuguese American Bank and taught at the National Medical School of Chicago. Carlos Fernandes (d. 1977) was director of St. John's Hospital in San Francisco.

SPORTS

Bernie de Viveiros played baseball with the Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Oaks. Manuel Gomes also was a baseball player as was Lew Fonseca (1899-1989) who played for the Cincinnati Reds, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Cleveland Indians, and coached the Chicago White Sox he was a pioneer in the use of film to analyze players' performance during a game. In boxing, Al Melo participated as a welterweight in the Olympics in 1924. George Araujo, Johnny Gonsalves, and Babe Herman were contenders for the world boxing championships. Justiano Silva was a professional wrestler. Henrique Santos won the United States fencing championship in 1942. Tony Lema (1934-1966), also known as "Champagne Tony," was the winner of numerous professional golf tournaments. At the time of his death he ranked tenth in all-time earnings in the PGA. Tennis star Vic (E. Victor) Seixas, Jr. (1923– ), won the U.S. Open Championship in 1954.

TECHNOLOGY

Abilio de Silva Greaves invented a fire-alarm system as well as devices used in aviation. In the field of textiles, Steve Abrantes invented a wool carding device, and José Pacheco Correia invented one for combing cotton. Sebastião Luiz Dias patented an irrigation control system. John C. Lobato developed a new type of army tank.


1 Peter Pan From Scotland

Perhaps one of the most beautiful stories on our list is the one about Peter Pan and his adventures in Neverland. Created by Scottish writer J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan – the boy that never grows up - became a symbol of youth and rebellion. The world of Peter Pan and his Lost Boys is full of pirates, crocodiles, and beauty which is often carried on the wings of Tinker Bell.

The world of fairy tales is magical. But you know, mama, now you’re like Wendy with a kid on your own.

Hey, although we all have to grow up, we still can read books to our little ones.


Watch the video: History of Iberia 409-720 (August 2022).