Felix Longoria's Wake
Bereavement, Racism, and the Rise of Mexican American Activism
Publication Year: 2003
Published by: University of Texas Press
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AT THIS WRITING THE United States is making preparations for a military intervention in the Middle East intended to defend our post-9/11 country against "weapons of mass destruction." History-and these days "history" happens quickly-will ultimately judge the moral and material merits of the impending assault on Iraq. But when it does happen, for better or worse, we can be very sure that the Mexican ...
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THIS TELLING OF THE CONTROVERSY surrounding Felix Longoria's wake was a group effort. Others have contributed significantly along the way. I am merely the person to complete the project. Dr. Frederick A. Cervantes, one of the best friends I have ever had, agreed to write this account in 1984, in return for Dr. Héctor P. García's donation of his personal papers to Corpus Christi State University, now Texas A&M ...
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AS A GENERAL RULE death brings oblivion, an end to the joy and pain of living, a cessation of facing tedium and danger intermixed with contemplation and pleasure. Not so with the story that follows. Felix Longoria was killed by a Japanese sniper on the Philippine island of Luzon, and if his body had never been brought home to Three Rivers, Texas, in the southern part of the state, he would have been an object of grief for a generation or two, and then generally forgotten.1 And Dr. Héctor García of nearby Corpus Christi, who never knew Longoria ...
Chapter One: Only in South Texas: Working and Educational Condditions in the Nueces Strip
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THE LONGORIA INCIDENT did not occur in a vacuum. It was the product of a particular setting in time and place. The controversy centered at two levels, the broader of which was the "Nueces Strip and South Texas." The Strip was the historically disputed land between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande that precipitated ...
Chapter Two: The Incident
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BY THE SUMMER OF 1945, the fourth year of the war in the Pacific, most Americans believed in inevitable victory over the Japanese. As American confidence peaked, military leaders cautiously predicted a more prolonged conflict. Still, American victories on Okinawa and Iwo Jima ...
Chapter Three: The Principal Actors in the Drama
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IN ORDER TO BETTER UNDERSTAND what set the Longoria affair apart from so many other examples of discrimination in postwar South Texas, we must start with the individuals involved. This drama began with three actors-Felix Longoria, Beatrice Moreno Longoria, and Thomas W. Kennedy, Jr. By all accounts, their circles ...
Chapter Four: Mobilization of Nueces Basin Mexican and Anglo Towns
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ORDER TO BETTER UNDERSTAND what set the Longoria affair apart from so many other examples of discrimination in postwar South Texas, we must start with the individuals involved. This drama began with three actors-Felix Longoria, Beatrice Moreno Longoria, and Thomas W. Kennedy, Jr. By all accounts, their circles ...
Chapter Five: State, National, and International Politics
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THE LONGORIA DISPUTE came at a propitious time for Mexican American civil rights activists. The Anglo political culture which had so effectively disempowered Tejanos within the Nueces Strip over the previous century had fallen into disarray due to the development of sharp ...
Chapter Six: The Burial
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IN THE END there was no wake for Felix Longoria. The decision to lay the young soldier to rest in Arlington National Cemetery made the ceremony impractical. Beatrice and Dr. García would have had to arrange it in Washington, D.C., and that was just not possible. Few of Felix's relatives and friends ...
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WHY DID THE LONGORIA INCIDENT attract so much national and international attention? There seemed no end to the number of egregious inequalities in the climate of relations between Anglos and Tejanos in South Texas after World War II. Dr. García's inspection of labor camps and school conditions in the spring of 1948 certainly demonstrated this ...
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Page Count: 288
Illustrations: 25 b&w illus., 2 tables
Publication Year: 2003
Series Title: CMAS History, Culture, and Society Series