Latin America Encounters Nelson Rockefeller: Imagining the Gringo Patrón in 1969 | Wilson Center
4th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Latin America Encounters Nelson Rockefeller: Imagining the Gringo Patrón in 1969

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Nelson Rockefeller addresses a meeting of the Commission on Critical Choices for Americans, February 28, 1975. (Ricardo Thomas, White House Photographer)


ROOM CHANGE: Monday's seminar will now take place in the 4th Floor Conference room

Washington History Seminar
Historical Perspectives on International and National Affairs

 "Latin America Encounters Nelson Rockefeller:
Imagining the Gringo Patrón in 1969"

Ernesto Capello

In 1969, Nelson Rockefeller embarked on four ill-fated diplomatic tours of Latin America that inspired violent clashes between the state and the street. Contemporary observers and subsequent scholars have dismissed Gov. Rockefeller's goodwill effort as an unmitigated failure. In this talk, Ernesto Capello explores recently released documents, including selections from the thousands of solicitations sent to Rockefeller by ordinary citizens, which demonstrate the need to reevaluate Rockefeller's Presidential Mission as a critical moment in the way Cold War Latin America imagined its neighbors to the north.

Ernesto Capello received his doctorate in Latin American history from the University of Texas at Austin in 2005 and is Associate Professor of History at Macalester College. He is the author of City at the Center of the World:  Space, History, and Modernity in Quito as well as numerous articles regarding transnational frameworks of citizenship. Currently an NEH fellow at the Library of Congress, he is developing two book projects, one concerning the idea of the equator in French and Ecuadorian geographical science, and one concerning hemispheric identities that crystallized during Nelson Rockefeller’s 1969 Presidential Mission to Latin America.

Report from the Field: Jason Steinhauer, John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress

Monday September 30, 2013
4:00 p.m.
Woodrow Wilson Center, 4th Floor Conference Room
Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop

Reservations requested because of limited seating: or 512-769-2858
Photo ID required for admittance to the building.

October 7: John McNeill (Georgetown), on mosquitoes and independence struggles, 1776-1825

Co-sponsored by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center, the seminar meets weekly during the academic year. See for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as webcasts and podcasts. The seminar is grateful for the support of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.