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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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The Federal Government And Civil Rights: 1848 And 1948
Program #
Identity, Identity

Richard Goodman
Richard Goodman
Jan 14, 1977

The Federal Government and Civil Rights: 1848 and 1948

Host Richard Goodman first discusses the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and how it affected Chicanos in the Southwest. The 1848 treaty officially ended the Mexican American War and ceded to the U.S. over half of Mexico’s territory. From the beginning the treaty was clouded in suspicions and questions over its legality. Moreover, some Americans wanted still more land and Mexicans were concerned for the security of their citizens in the Southwest. Their fears proved to be well-founded as the treaty ushered in decades of land seizures, squatting and violence against Mexicans by Anglo settlers who felt their victory in the war entitled them to Mexican-owned land. Despite treaty guarantees, many Mexicans were forced off their land by laws and courts prejudiced against them. Within decades Mexican Americans went from holding a clear majority of the land in the region to owning almost none at all.

Goodman then looks at Chicano participation in World War II and its effects on their community. Chicanos were the most decorated ethnic group of World War II and Goodman describes the heroism of several men who won awards for their bravery and skill. The all-Chicano, Company “E” from El Paso was one of the most significant infantry companies in the Mediterranean during the war. In 1944, they were ordered to cross the Rapido River and attack a German defensive position. While on patrol the company saw one of the strongest German fortifications they had ever seen, and tried to warn their superiors. They were ordered to cross anyway, and the entire company was killed in action. The army subsequently hushed up the incident. Once back in the states, Chicano veterans found that the war had given them a newfound pride in their citizenship and identity, and they resented the continued discrimination they faced. In response, Chicano veterans formed Anti-Discrimination Committees, some of which still exist to this day.


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