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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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50th Anniversary Of LULAC
Program #

Armando Gutiérrez
Cynthia Orozco
Jan 25, 1979

50th Anniversary of LULAC

Cynthia Orozco, a history student at UT-Austin, discusses some of her research on the League of United Latin American Citizens and the context in which it formed. Orozco argues that in order to understand LULAC we need to place the organization in its historical context and the ideas and issues prevalent at the time, including the debates about Americanization and immigration, and the activity and racism of the Texas Rangers. Although Mexican Americans officially founded LULAC in 1929, several other Mexican American organizations had formed in the aftermath of World War One as Mexican-American veterans returned to continued discrimination and the widespread perception that they were not citizens. Almost simultaneously, ideas of Americanization and nativism were gaining ground and the government passed increasingly restrictive immigration and labor laws. Orozco explains that Mexican Americans were typically against immigration because they feared the job competition. At the same time, Mexican Americans continued to face widespread discrimination, segregation, persecution and poverty. In response to these issues, the small Mexican American Middle Class formed organizations, such as Orden de Hijos de America, designed to help organize the community’s vote and prepare them for citizenship. Several of these organizations met in 1927 to form one united organization, but these talks fell apart after a delegate proposed membership be denied to Mexicans who were not citizens. Two years later, the organizations formally merged into LULAC, and the organization began to tackle issues of segregation, language barriers and citizenship.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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