There are many reasons why Dennis Chavez is memorialized and honored today;
1) Due to financial hardship, he dropped out of school and worked as a grocer to support his family. However, he studied engineering and surveying at night and eventually worked for the city of Albuquerque.
2) Eventually, he served as a translator for Senator Andrieus A. Jones. Chavez helped encourage many Spanish-speakers to become active in politics.
3) He graduated from Georgetown in 1920 and began practicing law in New Mexico. This is very impressive considering his rather humble beginnings.
4) Chavez was elected to the House or Reps, which was impressive since New Mexico only got one representative when he was elected.
5) He served as the chairman of the committee on Indian Affairs.
6) He was the first Latino to serve a full-term in the Senate by winning election in 1940.
7) He served his state until 1962, a very impressive run for any politician.
8) He died while in office and was honored with a moment of silence on the floor of the house. He is the longest serving Hispanic senator in U.S. history.
9) His granddaughter, Gloria Tristani, followed his example and entered politics.
10) He is one of two statues in the National Statuary Hall from New Mexico.