I taught Spanish at the LTM from Sept 1963 to Aug. 1966. When I started, only
Spanish and Portugese were taught. I was told the following story of how the
MLI and LTM came to be. In late 1961 Mexico bound missionaries were
given a new type of visa and it took the Mexican government several months to
issue them, so the problem was, what to do with these missionaries while
awaiting their visas. After discussing and rejecting several options the junior
member of the Twelve came up with the idea of setting up language instruction at
BYU. Everyone said "what a wonderful idea Elder Hinckley." This was
told to me decades before he became our Prophet. For some time only
Mexico bound missionaries were sent there, then they started having visa
problems in Brazil, so Portugese was added. When the positive effects of
language training were observed, in late 1963, all missionaries called to
Spanish speaking missions were sent there. German was the third language and
was added about 1965 and I don't think it had anything to do with visa problems.
None of us ever dreamed it would become what now is.