Nixon and Senator Montoya from New Mexico were part of it. Nixon saw Hispanics as a counterweight to the black vote and Montoya, a Democrat, coined the word “Hispanic.” The label Hispanic was chosen in part because in New Mexico people of Spanish descent such as Montoya referred to themselves as Hispanos, which was anglicized to “Hispanic.
“Hispano” is popular with several of the groups. Cubans tend to dislike it: there used to be a bumper sticker popular in Miami which read, “No soy hispano, soy cubano.”
Everybody needs to feel unique, I suppose.