Corpus Christi, TX 75 years ago, three pioneering Latino civil rights organization met at Obreros Hall in Corpus Christi, Texas and agreed to merge together to form the league of United Latin American Citizens. Now the oldest, largest and most successful Hispanic organization in the country, the League of United Latin American Citizens is celebrating its many accomplishments this year and launching new initiatives to advance the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of the Hispanic population of the United States.
Since its inception on February 17, 1929, LULAC has championed the cause of Latinos in the United States and Puerto Rico. When LULAC was formed, Hispanics attended segregated schools, restaurants and public facilities; could not serve on juries; were often denied the right to vote; had their lands routinely taken from them; and were the objects of racially motivated lynchings throughout the southwest.
“When LULAC was created in 1929,” stated Hector M. Flores, LULAC National President “it was a very difficult time for Latinos in the United States. Our first priority was to insist on equal treatment for our people under the law and to help our community to excel in school and in their careers. Seventy-five years later, we can look back and say we have made tremendous progress, but we know there is still much work to be done.”
LULAC members are celebrating the organization’s accomplishments this year with events and activities held by many of the 700 LULAC councils located throughout the United States. Festivities began with a wreath laying ceremony at the grave of LULAC’s first president, Ben Garza, in Corpus Christi this past Saturday. On March 9, the organization will honor its legislative victories at the LULAC National Legislative Awards Gala in Washington, DC. Other national observances are planned for July 6th through 11th when leaders of the 150,000-member group convene in San Antonio, Texas for the 75th Annual LULAC National Convention and exposition.
“As LULAC members, we have much to be proud of,” stated Flores. “This year is a time for LULAC to celebrate our tremendous successes, but it is also time for us to focus on the future. Our work will not be done until the Latino community has the same opportunities and responsibilities as the majority community. We will not rest until all Hispanics become full participants in the American Dream.”