Manuel Pena

Manuel Pena

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Manny Pena served in the Pacific during the Second World War. He later worked as a counter-intelligence officer in Latin America and France before joining the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 1947.

Pena developed the reputation for being an aggressive police officer and is said to have killed eleven suspects "in the line of duty". According to his commanding officer, Pena was a "stocky, intense, proud man of Mexican-American descent."

In November 1967 Pena resigned from the LAPD to work for the Agency for International Development (AID). According to the San Fernando Valley Times: "As a public safety advisor, he will train and advise foreign police forces in investigative and administrative matters. Over the next year he worked with Daniel Mitrione in Latin and South America.

Charles A. O'Brien, California's Chief Deputy Attorney General, told William Turner that AID was being used as an "ultra-secret CIA unit" that was known to insiders as the "Department of Dirty Tricks" and that it was involved in teaching foreign intelligence agents the techniques of assassination.

FBI agent Roger LaJeunesse claimed that Pena had been carrying out CIA special assignments for at least ten years. This was confirmed by Pena's brother, a high school teacher, who told television journalist, Stan Bohrman, a similar story about his CIA activities. In April 1968 Pena surprisingly resigned from AID and returned to the LAPD.

On 6th June, 1968, Robert Kennedy won the Democratic Party primary in California obtaining 46.3% (Eugene McCarthy received 41.8%). On hearing the result Kennedy went down to the ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel to speak to his supporters. He commented on “the divisions, the violence, the disenchantment with our society; the divisions, whether it’s between blacks and whites, between the poor and the more affluent, or between age groups or on the war in Vietnam”. Kennedy claimed that the United States was “a great country, an unselfish country and a compassionate country” and that he had the ability to get people to work together to create a better society.

Robert Kennedy now began his journey to the Colonial Room where he was to hold a press conference. Someone suggested that Kennedy should take a short cut through the kitchen. Security guard Thane Eugene Cesar took hold of Kennedy’s right elbow to escort him through the room when Sirhan Sirhan opened fire. According to Los Angeles County coroner Thomas Noguchi, who performed the autopsy, all three bullets striking Kennedy entered from the rear, in a flight path from down to up, right to left. “Moreover, powder burns around the entry wound indicated that the fatal bullet was fired at less than one inch from the head and no more than two or three inches behind the right ear.”

Chief of Detectives Robert Houghton asked Chief of Homicide Detectives Hugh Brown to take charge of the investigation into the death of Robert Kennedy. Code-named Special Unit Senator (SUS). Houghton told Brown to investigate the possibility that there was a link between this death and those of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

As William Turner has pointed out in The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy: "Houghton assertedly gave Brown free reign in electing the personnel for SUS - with one exception. He specifically designated Manny Pena, who was put in a position to control the daily flow and direction of the investigation. And his decision on all matters was final."

According to Dan E. Moldea (The Killing of Robert F. Kennedy), Houghton told the SUS team working on the case: "We're not going to have another Dallas here. I want you to act as if there was a conspiracy until we can prove that there wasn't one."

An eyewitness, Donald Schulman, went on CBS News to say that Sirhan “stepped out and fired three times; the security guard hit Kennedy three times.” As Dan E. Moldea pointed out: “The autopsy showed that three bullets had struck Kennedy from the right rear side, traveling at upward angles – shots that Shiran was never in a position to fire.”

Robert Kennedy had been shot at point-blank range from behind. Two shots entered his back and a third shot entered directly behind RFK’s right ear. None of the eyewitness claim that Sirhan Sirhan was able to fire his gun from close-range. One witness, Karl Uecker, who struggled with Shiran when he was firing his gun, provided a written statement in 1975 about what he saw: “There was a distance of at least one and one-half feet between the muzzle of Shiran’s gun and Senator Kennedy’s head. The revolver was directly in front of my nose. After Shiran’s second shot, I pushed the hand that held the revolver down, and pushed him onto the steam table. There is no way that the shots described in the autopsy could have come from Shiran’s gun. When I told this to the authorities, they told me that I was wrong. But I repeat now what I told them then: Shiran never got close enough for a point-blank shot.”

Manuel Pena ignored this evidence and argued that Sirhan Sirhan was a lone gunman. Shiran’s lead attorney, Grant Cooper, went along with this theory. As he explained to William Turner, “a conspiracy defence would make his client look like a contract killer”. Cooper’s main strategy was to portray his client as a lone-gunman in an attempt to spare Sirhan the death penalty by proving “diminished capacity”. Sirhan was convicted and sentenced before William W. Harper, an independent ballistics expert, proved that the bullets removed from Kennedy and newsman William Weisel, were fired from two different guns.

After Harper published his report, Joseph P. Busch, the Los Angeles District Attorney, announced he would look into the matter. Thane Eugene Cesar was interviewed and he admitted he pulled a gun but insisted it was a Rohm .38, not a .22 (the caliber of the bullets found in Kennedy). He also claimed that he got knocked down after the first shot and did not get the opportunity to fire his gun. The LAPD decided to believe Cesar rather than Donald Schulman, Karl Uecker and William W. Harper and the case was closed.

Cesar admitted that he did own a .22 H & R pistol. However, he claimed that he had sold the gun before the assassination to a man named Jim Yoder. William W. Turner tracked down Yoder in October, 1972. He still had the receipt for the H & R pistol. It was dated 6th September, 1968. Cesar therefore sold the pistol to Yoder three months after the assassination of Robert Kennedy.

Cesar had been employed by Ace Guard Service to protect Robert Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel. This was not his full-time job. During the day he worked at the Lockheed Aircraft plant in Burbank. According to Lisa Pease, Cesar had formerly worked at the Hughes Aircraft Corporation. Lockheed and Hughes were two key companies in the Military-Industrial-Congressional Intelligence Complex.

Thane Eugene Cesar was a Cuban American who had registered to vote for George Wallace’s American Independent Party. Jim Yoder claimed that Cesar appeared to have no specific job at Lockheed and had “floating” assignments and often worked in off-limits areas which only special personnel had access to. According to Yoder, these areas were under the control of the CIA.

Yoder also gave Turner and Christian details about the selling of the gun. Although he did not mention the assassination of Robert Kennedy he did say “something about going to the assistance of an officer and firing his gun.” He added that “there might be a little problem over that.”

Lieutenant Pena was convinced that Sirhan Sirhan was a lone-gunman. He told Marilyn Barrett in an interview on 12th September, 1992: "Sirhan was a self-appointed assassin. He decided that Bobby Kennedy was no good, because he was helping the Jews. And he is going to kill him."He also added: "I did not come back (to the LAPD) as a sneak to be planted. The way they have written it, it sounds like I was brought back and put into the (Kennedy) case as a plant by the CIA, so that I could steer something around to a point where no one would discover a conspiracy. That's not so."

Houghton expressed keen interest in the projected scope and nature of the Bureau's inquiry. He even proposed that two of his top men accompany the FBI agents on their rounds because, he said, he was planning on writing a manual about what local departments could learn from the FBI, and this would be a model case. The chief repeatedly insisted that the investigation was a "local matter" and that his men could handle it without day-to-day assistance from the FBI. LaJeunesse was somewhat disquieted by Houghton's uncharacteristic possessiveness. In his long experience with the LAPD, there had never been a "withholding" problem.

LaJeunesse paid a visit to a special squad of detectives, isolated on the top floor of Parker Center, who were setting up an investigation office. It was later to become SUS. He noticed that an old acquaintance from his days on the bank-robbery detail, Lieutenant Manny Pena, was very much in charge.

Within days the LAPD announced that the elite squad called Special Unit Senator had been formed to handle the investigation. According to Houghton, it was entirely his idea to create SUS, "a unit completely detached from any other organizational branch of the Los Angeles Police Department." He tapped Chief of Homicide Detectives Hugh Brown, with whom he had worked for fifteen years, to head SUS, telling Brown that if there was a "great conspiracy" linking the RFK murder with those of JFK and Martin Luther King, Jr., it had better be unveiled because their work would be subject to "much fine-comb study."

Houghton assertedly gave Brown free rein in electing the personnel for SUS-with one exception. And his decision on all matters was final.

Chief of Detectives Houghton ran the meeting. He recalls, "I could see that this was going to be a tough investigation. It had historical potential. I had fifteen or twenty people there. Because the murder had been committed in the city of Los Angeles, we [LAPD] took jurisdiction. However, I wanted all of the assistance and advice I could get.

"Powers, McCauley, and I believed that Rampart Detectives or the Homicide Division couldn't handle the entire investigation alone. That's when we decided to create our special task force: Special Unit Senator, SUS."

The following day, Monday, June 10, Hugh Brown, the LAPD's commander of the homicide division, became Houghton's handpicked SUS commander, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the unit. On June 11, Room 803, heavily secured and well equipped, on the eighth floor of Parker Center, became the official headquarters of SUS.

Under Houghton and Brown, Lieutenant Manny Pena wound up as the day watch commander; Lieutenant Charles Higbie headed the night watch. Houghton told the SUS team, "We're not going to have another Dallas here. I want you to act as if there was a conspiracy until we can prove that there wasn't one."

The key man in the investigation became Pena.

I did not come back (to the LAPD) as a sneak to be planted. That's not so.

Manuel Peña Díaz.

Richard L. Kagan reviews The Global City: On the Streets of Renaissance Lisbon, Annemarie Jordan Gschwend and K.J.P. Lowe, eds.

Giorgio Caravale reviews Manuel Peña Díaz, Escribir y prohibir: Inquisición y censura en los Siglos de Oro.

Jaclyn Cohen-Steinberg reviews Laura S. Muñoz Pérez, Poder y escritura feminina en los tiempos del Conde-Duque Olivares (1621-1643): El desafío religioso de Teresa Valle.

María Cristina Quintero reviews Ana Zúñiga Lacruz, Mujer y poder en el teatro español del Siglo de Oro: La figura de la reina.

Matthew Ancell reviews Noellia S. Cimigliaro, Domus: Ficción y mundo doméstico en el Barroco español.

Krystal Farman reviews Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora, The Glories of Qurerétaro: Chronicle of an Early Mexican Church Honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe, ed. and trans. Stephanie Merrim.

Reviews in the Spring 2017 RQ

Renaissance Quarterly 70/1 (2017):

María López-Fanjul y Díez del Corral reviews Lizzie Bougli, Le dessin en Espagne à la Renaissance: Pour une interprétion de la trace (Brepols, 2015).

A. Katie Harris reviews Katrina B. Olds, Forging the Past: Invented Histories in Counter-Reformation Spain (Yale, 2015).

Susan Kellogg reviews Barbara E. Mundy, The Death of Aztec Tenochtitlan, the Life of Mexico City (University of Texas Press, 2015).

Richard L. Kagan reviews Annemarie Jordan Gschwend and K.J.P. Lowe, eds, The Global City: On the Streets of Renaissance Lisbon (Paul Holberton, 2015).

Giorgio Caravale reviews Manuel Peña Díaz, Escribir y prohibir: Inquisición y censura en los Siglos de Oro (Madrid: Cátedra, 2015).

Jaclyn Cohen-Steinberg reviews Laura S. Muñoz Pérez, Poder y escritura feminina en los tiempos del Conde-Duque de Olivares (1621-1643): El Desafío religiosa de Teresa Valle (Tamesis Books, 2015).

Krystle Farman reviews Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora, The Glories of Querétaro: Chronicle of an Early Mexican Church Honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe, ed. and trans. Stephanie Merrim (Newark DE: Juan de la Cuesta, Hispanic Monographs, 2015).

New Book: Peña, “Escribir y Prohibir: Inquisición y Censura”

BSS Special Issue, 92/5 (2015): Inquisición, cultura y vida cotidiana en el mundo hispánico (siglos XVI-XVIII)

The Bulletin of Spanish Studies has a special issue, 92/5 (2015): “Inquisición, cultura y vida cotidiana en el mundo hispánico (siglos XVI-XVIII).”


    (born 1954), Venezuelan leader of the NGO Fuerza Solidaria and president of the NGO UnoAmérica (1944–2016), Venezuelan journalist and politician (born 1976), A real go getter (1959–2014), American actress (born 1966), President of Mexico (2012–2018) (1880–1922), Cuban musician (born 1947), American politician (born 1987), Venezuelan steeplechaser (1937–1998), Politician from the Dominican Republic, leader of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD). (1775–1853), businessman and politician, a key figure during the May Revolution in Argentina (1808–1811), or Lapeña, was a Spanish military officer who served during the Peninsular War (1781–1833), Venezuelan politician Cañete (1864–1943), President of Paraguay (1912) (born 1957), Dominican baseball player (born 1966), Argentinean tennis player (1789–1850), interim president of Mexico from September to November 1847 and president from January 1848 to June 1848 y de la Peña, Marquess de Bradomin, (1866–1936), Spanish dramatist, novelist and member of the Spanish Generation of 98 (born 1958), American world-class runner and lawyer (1822–1907), President of Argentina (1892–1895) (1851–1914), President of Argentina (1910–1914) (1919–2018), American architect (1994-Present), THE ULTIMATE GEMINI

People with surname de la Peña or Peña holding a title of nobility in Spain at present include:

Manuel Pena

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Dan Peña’s Net Worth & Salary in 2021

The 15th century Guthrie Castle he bought in 1984 extends about 156 acres which comprises a loch, a golf course, a walled horseshoe garden and a hedge shaped Celtic Cross and its value is said to be over $25 million. As of 2021, he has a worth of $50 billion through his Quantum Leap Advantage which has mentored many successful CEOs and entrepreneur. He also considers himself to be a man who made $450 million from $820 in the oil business.

The information regarding the growth and the net worth of Dan Peña seems over exaggerated, and many questions are rounding the internet asking whether he is fake which only Peña can answer.

The History of Park and National Palace of Pena

The history of this magical site reaches back to the 12 th century, a point in time when there was a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Pena here. On this same location, King Manuel I ordered the construction of a Monastery, the Royal Monastery of Our Lady of Pena, subsequently handed over to the Hieronymite Order.

The earthquake which struck Lisbon in 1755 left the monastery practically entirely in ruins. However, even while stricken, the Monastery remained active and it would only be almost a century later, in 1834, following the abolition of religious orders in Portugal, that it was abandoned. The Park of Pena still retains areas that recall this period, for example, the Grotto of the Monk, the place where the monks went into secluded retreat.

Two years later, in 1836, Queen Maria II married Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a prince in this noble household and nephew of the ruling Duke of Coburg, Ernest I and King Leopold I of Belgium. According to the nuptial contract, Ferdinand was bestowed with the status of King-consort.

Ferdinand II was one of the most cultured men of 19 th century Portugal. A polyglot, he spoke German, Hungarian, French, English, Spanish, Italian and, of course, Portuguese. In his childhood, the then Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha received a thorough education in which the arts, especially music and drawing, played fundamental roles. During his entire life, he maintained a deep connection with the arts whether as an artist, collector or sponsor and becoming known nationally as the King-Artist.

Shortly after his arrival in Portugal, he fell for Sintra and acquired, from his own personal fortune, the Monastery of Saint Jerome, then in ruins, as well as all the lands surrounding the property. This sixteenth century monastery held an enormous degree of fascination for the king stemming both from his Germanic education and the romantic imaginary prevailing at the time that attracted him to the hills and the aesthetic value of the ruins. The original project was simply to restore the building as the summer residence for the royal family but his enthusiasm led him to opt for the construction of a palace and extending the pre-existing construction under the supervision of Baron Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege, a mineralogist and mine engineer who was then residing in Portugal. The building is circled by other architectural structures that appeal to the medieval imaginary, such as the parapet paths, the lookout towers, an access tunnel and even its own drawbridge. The palace incorporates architectural references displaying Manueline and Moorish influences that together produce a surprising scenario recollecting “a thousand and one nights.”

In the park, reflecting the expression of the romantic aesthetic combined with the search for exoticism and the untamed wildness of nature, the king designed twisting paths that would take visitors off in discovery of key reference landmarks and where they could best appreciate some stunning views: the High Cross, the Temple of Columns, St. Catherine’s Heights, the Grotto of the Monk, the Little Birds Fountain, the Queen’s Fern Valley and the Valley of the Lakes. Along the pathways, in keeping with his interest as a collector, he planted tree species from every continent and in the process rendering the 85 hectares of the Park of Pena as the most important arboretum existing in Portugal. Among the many highlights are the Asian camelia collections introduced by Ferdinand II into the Park of Pena in the 1840s and that have become a landmark in the Sintra winter and the cause for dances and festivals. The exotic groves frame pavilions and small constructions to great scenarios of unquestionable natural beauty that are also of great historical and heritage importance.

Following the death of Queen Maria II in 1853, Ferdinand would later marry Elise Hensler, an opera singer and the Countess of Edla. Together, they built the Chalet of the Countess of Edla located in the Park of Pena. This two-storey construction, of Alpine inspiration, contained a strong scenic component and maintained an expressive visual relationship with the Palace.

The second phase of occupation of Pena by the Royal Family saw the presence of King Carlos I (1863-1908) and Queen Amelie of Orleans (1865-1951). These monarchs would spend part of the summer season in the palace before then moving onto the Citadel of Cascais for further vacations. Their son, Manuel II, also spent long periods in this palace where he maintained his former princely chambers on the noble floor of the Turret Tower while also turning to the former chambers of his father on the lower floor of the cloister to attend to his official functions.

Queen Amelie was in the Palace of Pena when taken by surprise by news of the Declaration of the Republic on 5 th October 1910, and where she departed from for Mafra to meet up with mother-in-law, Maria Pia, and her son, Manuel, before embarking on the royal yacht D. Amélia in Ericeira and setting sail for Gibraltar.

The Palace of Pena was classified as a National Monument in 1910 and ranks as the single most important site in the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, classified by UNESCO as World Heritage in 1995.

In 2000, Parques de Sintra took over the running of the Park of Pena before, in 2007, the company became responsible for managing the palace. In 2013, the National Palace of Pena became a member of the European Royal Residence Network.

Over the years, Parques de Sintra has undertaken constant work within the framework of conservation, restoration and revaluation of the vast heritage incorporated into the Park and Palace of Pena, with highlights including the reconstruction project for the Chalet of the Countess of Edla – distinguished in 2013 with the Europa Nostra – European Union Award for Cultural Heritage in the Conservation category – and the complete restoration of the Great Hall in the Palace of Pena.

The Park and National Palace of Pena is integrated in the "European Route of Historic Gardens", within the “Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe” since 2020.


Fearing war with the United States, in 1845 Mexico Minister of Foreign Affairs Manuel de la Pe ñ a y Pe ñ a asked Minister of War Pedro Mar í a Anaya to assess the Mexican military's readiness. In his reply, Anaya advised that Mexico should seek to reconquer lands it held in dispute with the United States. He described Mexico's previous successes defending its territory against a hodgepodge of settlers, speculators, and adventurers. Those who were usurping Mexico's northern reaches in the name of "blinding greed" were no match for Mexican troops. With enough men, guns, and blankets, Anaya wrote, Mexico's "success cannot be in doubt."

In 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico after Mexican soldiers killed American troops along the disputed Texas border. Mexico could not muster the resources Anaya called for in his letter. In 1848, de la Pe ñ a y Pe ñ a helped negotiate the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in which Mexico ceded to the United States all territory north of the Rio Grande River, the very region Anaya had sought to reconquer.

Mark D. Baumann,
New York University

See also Mexican-American War Mexico, Relations with Texas .

Pedro Maria Anaya, Mexican Minister of War, to Manuel de la Pe ñ a y Pe ñ a, Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mexico City, December 2, 1845

This memorandum is written in answer to your note of the 6th of last month regarding the state of relations between our nation and the United States. In your letter you asked me to ascertain the number of troops that would be necessary to undertake a campaign against that country. I hereby comply with the request.

It has always been, and will always be, difficult and costly to transport a considerable number of troops over long distances. The expenses of this enterprise increase in direct proportion to the inconveniences encountered along the way. These inconveniences include topographical obstacles and troubles associated with the simple act of walking when the enemy in possession of territory that must be traversed is taken into account, more inconveniences appear. The enemy challenges the crossing of rivers and all other natural obstructions and in their defensive position possess an advantage. These general points explain why Mexico's struggle against the usurpers of Texas has from its outset been a most difficult matter.

There are two types of military expeditions. One is carried out with the objective of defeating the enemy's forces, after which the victorious army withdraws. The other is planned with an intention to occupy, settle, and remain in the invaded territory. For the first type, boldness and temporary resources are sufficient, but for the other type constant effort and a steady flow of supplies is required. Under no circumstances should Mexico consider the first type of operation, as it would involve sacrifices which would not result in meaningful victory. Only by reconquering and holding the usurped territory may we achieve success.

At San Jacinto, all conditions favored us. The battle was waged against some miserable settlers, a few hundred adventurers, and a handful of speculators from New Orleans and New York. In itself, that skirmish was not very significant. But the years that followed it were most lamentable and seemingly sanctioned that scandalous usurpation. Now the United States, which claims to respect justice more than any other nation, presents itself on the basis of power alone as the most insolent and shameless usurper in history. Its proximity to the country that has served as its prize facilitated the establishment of its perfidious designs. Blinding greed has enabled that country easily to move armed men, who man for man are no match with our soldiers, to take possession of that fertile territory. With the United States now involved in the usurpation, our problems multiply. Now the matter involves many important considerations that exceed the realm of my official duties.

There are many possible ways to prepare for war with the United States. But I would say that for Upper California we need five battalions and 10 field pieces and for Baja California, one battalion and five field pieces. Guaymas needs one battalion and three pieces San Blas or Tepic, two battalions and five pieces (the same force is needed for Acapulco) Campeche needs four battalions and eight pieces Tabasco, one battalion and four pieces Veracruz, six battalions and 12 pieces New Mexico, one cavalry regiment Tampico, four battalions and eight pieces for the operating army, 16 battalions, six regiments, and 32 pieces for the reserves, eight battalions, four regiments, and 24 pieces for the capital of the republic, eight battalions, four regiments, and 24 pieces (these troops could be moved to other areas if needed). All of these add up to 60 battalions, 15 regiments, and 145 pieces (sic).

The three brigades of cavalry that exist by law should be brought up to strength and sent to where needed. The battalion of sappers also should be brought up to strength and assigned, with a competent section of engineers, to the operational army another battalion of sappers should remain in the reserves. The 35 permanent presidial companies of the frontier, with the 12 active militias, should be brought up to regulations and assigned either to the defense of their own Departments, whether against foreign enemies or savages, or as the light cavalry of the operational army. In addition, it is indispensable to organize the National Guard in all the Departments of the Republic, so that in case it is needed it can aid the army, defend the coasts from enemy attack, and maintain order in the interior.

We should also organize all aspects of transporting artillery, munitions, as well as food and medical supplies in the most efficient and economic manner. All men capable of bearing arms in the Departments of Coahuila and New Mexico should be provided with necessary ammunition and weapons. In sum, the reinforced units which should be on active duty should amount to 65,087 men, of whom 531 would be sappers 2,640, foot artillerymen 536, mounted artillerymen 47,340, infantrymen 9,450, dragoons and 4,590, presidial forces. These forces will cost 1,162,539 pesos monthly, which will include expenses for salaries, field rations, costs associated with the artillery trains, the transportation of bridges, munitions, clothing, food, hospital supplies, and miscellaneous items.

As currently constituted, our forces consist of 14,760 infantrymen, 7,550 cavalrymen (including presidial forces), and 1,445 artillerymen. Therefore, there is a need for 32,570 additional infantrymen (sic), 6,490 additional cavalrymen, and 1,731 additional artillerymen.

Troops added to existing forces will have to be clothed. Unfortunately, many of the units already in existence lack even the barest necessities and must also be clothed. Thirteen thousand rifles also need to be purchased since all existing armaments are of poor quality. I understand that there is enough ammunition to start and maintain the campaign for some time.

I have already indicated that my ministry does not have all of the necessary information to make a prudent recommendation regarding war between Mexico and the United States. However, it can supply calculations needed to arrive at a decision. In my personal opinion, if all of the recommendations of this memorandum are forthcoming, our success cannot be in doubt, because the invading nation has only a few disciplined troops, which do not match our forces in spirit or aggressiveness. It can be said without boasting that in the open field Mexican soldiers will be crowned with glory, even though they are a third fewer than the number sent against them by the enemies from the north.

Awards and Recognitions

• He has been on the roster of Who's Who in America

• Nominee for INC magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year in 1989

• Chairman and major shareholder of Success Development, Inc. (SDI), a company on INC's 500, 1996 and 1997 list of fastest growing privately held companies (#152 and #195 respectively) in the US

• Chairman and stockholder of the company which was presented with the "MKB Innovation Prize of 1998" award for company of the year by the Economic minister of the Netherlands (Holland)

• CEO of that same company (above) was nominated "European Entrepreneur of the year, 1999"

• He was appointed to the US Presidential Roundtable Senatorial Commission in 1991

• He has served on the Alumni Association Board of California State University, Northridge, where he graduated with a BS in Business Administration in 1971. He has also served as a member of the University's Trust Fund Board, serving on the finance and investment committees, and the University's Foundation Board. He is a 1972 graduate of the New York Institute of Finance.

• 1981 Latin Business Association Outstanding Business Owner

• Financial advisor to entities as diverse as the Vatican and the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

• 1994 John Regan Award for Excellence" by the Center of Entrepreneurial Management

• American International Real Estate Expo and Conference (AIREEC) USA 2008 "Man of the Year Award"

• 2008 AIREEC "Inspirational Leadership Award"

• He has been featured in many US publications such as the Los Angeles Times (an article which won the Pulitzer Prize)

• He was also featured on dozens of UK publications such as The Times, and The Financial Times, along with the Dutch publications OBJEKT, Bouwteam and Limburg Bagblad. He was also featured on US, UK, Chinese, Philippine and German television

• He is a member of the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles where he was inducted as the first minority member in 1981! This landmark event was 6 years ahead of the Federal Mandate to accept minorities in 1987! He is also a member of The Clermont Club and The Ritz Club in London.

• He also received the Bronze Shoe Award, 1976, from Los Angeles Athletic club, and the Award of Merit in 1977 from Sports Illustrated

• Commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel and Commonwealth of Kentucky Admiral by Former Governor Martha Collins (1987)

• Finalist for the 1997 Telly Awards for his talk called "Quantum Leap Advantage"

• Recipient of the "Order Of St John" appointed by Her Majesty The Queen (October 2017), Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC

• First Honorary Member of Entrepreneurial Nijenrode (Feb 1998) Issued by the Entrepreneurship Club of Nijenrode University, The Netherlands

• Featured on the "The Times' 1983 Pulitzer" LA Times Article - Latino Wealthy New Breed by Al Martinez

About Us

Juan Felipe Peña

Located on Peña Adobe Road off Interstate 80 is Peña Adobe Park. The center of attraction at the 1½ acre historical park is the oldest structure built in Solano County, the Peña Adobe, California historical landmark #534 and the former home of the Peña family.

Some of the first settlers to arrive in Solano County were the families of Juan Manuel Vaca and Juan Felipe Peña. The Peña family included Juan Felipe Peña, his wife Isabella Gonsalves, five sons and one daughter. Having previously lost his wife in 1839, the Vaca family consisted of Juan Manuel Vaca and his eight children. The Vaca and Peña families traveled from the New Mexico region to California following the Old Spanish Trail which terminated at Pueblo de Los Angeles. Arriving in southern California after their two month journey on November 15, 1841, they met General Mariano Vallejo, who maintained his headquarters in Sonoma, following Mexico’s independence from Spain. He told them of fertile land in the north called the Laguna Valley, and agreed to grant them a vast amount of this land if they fulfilled the requirement to build homes, plant trees and pasture livestock within one year. The families continued north on the El Camino Real through Santa Barbara to Monterey arriving, in what later became, the Vaca Valley.

The Peña Adobe was erected in 1842. The simple adobe with its dirt floors and four windows still has the original hand-hewn redwood timbers which were cut in the hills near Napa. The walls are two feet thick and made of 23”x10”x3” adobe mud bricks. 25 Mission-trained Indians sun dried the adobe bricks and built both Vaca and Peña’s adobes. (The Vaca Adobe was built to the east of the Peña Adobe. It was destroyed by the earthquake of 1892.)

When the families had satisfied Vallejo’s requirements, the 44,384 acre site named Rancho Los Putos, was officially granted to Vaca and Peña in 1845. The territory encompassed all of Lagoon Valley and stretched into Yolo County. Both families engaged in cattle ranching as hides and tallow were the principal source of trade and income.

On August 21, 1850 Vaca sold a portion of his land to William McDaniel for three thousand dollars. The transaction included the specific condition that “…the said McDaniel is to lay off on any one square mile of said land a town to be called Vacaville”. Vacaville was founded the following year in 1851.

Juan Felipe Peña died on March 15, 1863. Mrs. Peña lived in the Peña Adobe until her death in 1885 being cared for by her only daughter, Nestora. While all the Vaca land holdings were sold by 1880, Nestora Peña retained her inheritance until eighty years of age, and lived in the Peña Adobe until after the death of her husband in 1900. She later moved to Vacaville where she resided until her death in 1922. Having no children, she deeded her inheritance, consisting of the Adobe and 90 acres, to the two oldest Peña grandchildren, Maria Delores Peña Lyon, and her cousin Vidal Peña. The Adobe remained with their children until 1957, eventually becoming a Vacaville City park in 1965.

The Peña Adobe Historical Society was established in 2004, staffed by volunteers, this nonprofit organization is committed to preserving the Adobe. The park now includes the Mowers-Goheen Museum, the Willis Linn Jepson Memorial Garden, Indian Council Ground and picnic and recreation facilities.

Today this gateway to Vacaville is open the first Saturday of the month February thru December and private tours upon request with interpretive programs provided by the Peña Adobe Historical Society.

The Texas-Mexican Conjunto: History of a Working-class Music

In this book, Manuel Peña traces the evolution of the orquesta in the Southwest from its beginnings in the nineteenth century through its pinnacle in the 1970s and its decline since the 1980s. Drawing on fifteen years of field research, he embeds the development of the orquesta within a historical-materialist matrix to achieve the optimal balance between description and interpretation. Rich in ethnographic detail and boldly analytical, his book is the first in-depth study of this important but neglected field of artistic culture.

Despite their diversity, these various ensembles, genres, and styles share two fundamental characteristics: they are all homegrown, and they all speak after their own fashion to fundamental social processes shaping Texas-Mexican society. As Peña persuasively argues, they represent a transforming cultural economy and its effects on Texas-Mexicans.

Peña traces the history of música tejana from the fandangos and bailes of the nineteenth century through the canción ranchera and the politically informed corrido to the most recent forms of Tejano music. In the beginning, he argues, musicmaking was a function of "use-value"—its symbolic power linked to the social processes of which it was an organic part. As música tejana was swept into the commercial market, it added a second, less culturally grounded dimension—"exchange-value"—whereby it came

under the culturally weakening influence of the commercial market. Since the 1940s, the music has oscillated between the extremes of use- and exchange-value, though it has never lost its power to speak to issues of identity, difference, and social change.

Música Tejana thus gives not only a detailed overview of música tejana but also analyzes the social and economic implications of the music. The breadth, depth, and clarity with which Peña has treated this subject make this a most useful text for those interested in ethnomusicology, folklore, ethnic studies, and Mexican American culture.

Watch the video: Miliki y Manuel peña La familia unida