Louis Wilmot - LULAC story page 1

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Louis Wilmot - LULAC story page 1 - are recently the unit if LULAC Founders From...
are recently the unit if LULAC Founders From 'Mexican' to American By NICK JIMENEZ Staff Writer The photograph is dated 1929 and the dark-skinned men, all Mexican-American, are posing in front of a Methodist church. Above them is a banner declaring they are Sons of America. Joe Garza, 77, and Louis Wilmot, 78, look at the photograph and remember what it was to be a Mexican-American in that year. "At that time," Garza said, "I was called a Mexican and I took it because there was nothing else to do. We were not Mexican; we were as American as anyone else." "They (the Anglo population) thought the Mexican people were inferior. They had us doing what they wanted us to do." When he was graduated from Rockport High School in 1917, Garza said, "I was treated as if I had leprosy. Nobody dreamed that a Mexican could graduate from high school." Many other Mexican-American groups calling themselves Sons of America, Knights of America or United Citizens of America gathered in Corpus Christi on Feb. 17,1929, to form the League of United Latin-American Citizens (LULAC). The organization is celebrating its 46th anniversary this week. Garza, 3609 Santa Fe. and Wilmot, 329 Old Rpbstown Road, are the only. remaining founders of the organization still active in LULAC. Those several dozen men met in Obreros Hall at Lipan and Carrizo streets and drew up the platform of LULAC. The meeting had been in the creation for more than a year with a false start coming in 1928 in Harlingen. The earlier organization failed, Garza said, out of "pure jealousy" among the groups. But the late Ben Garza, Garza's brother, was the "peacemaker" and the new group, LULAC, got underway. Ben Garza was the first president and Wilmot the treasurer. "We thought it was time to band together and tell the world that we knew we were American citizens with all the rights and privileges." Wilmot said. Those early members risked their jobs and livelihood by being LULAC members, Garza said. "It was not easy to belong to LULAC those days especially in the smaller towns," Garza said. "Their jobs were jeopardy. They were told not to join. It was h a r d to keep them in organization." In organizing, the two said, they fought a battle against the mental attitude of Mexican-American people themselves. "We had to educate our people that were American citizens. They had been made to believe that they were aliens their own country," Wilmot said. "Many people had been brainwashed into believing that they were not See LULAC, Page 12A

Clipped from
  1. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times,
  2. 21 Feb 1975, Fri,
  3. Page 1

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  • Louis Wilmot - LULAC story page 1

    mcm_tx – 27 Jun 2013

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