Felix Longoria never knew the part he played in the civil rights movement. When his widow was denied access to the funeral home in Three Rivers because "the whites wouldn't like it," Dr. Hector P. Garcia intervened and recruited the help of LBJ. As a result, Longoria was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. But his story doesn't end there. Bitter racial tensions continue to divide the town and the battle over Longoria's legacy persists to this day.
Listen as I interview Jennifer Gonzalez, history teacher and Three Rivers native, about the monumental civil rights movement this launched and the bitter divide that remains in the wake of the diginified burial of a fallen soldier.
Jennifer Gonzalez was also kind enough to share a list of reliable resources on this topic. The following is her list of recommended reading and viewing.
Felix Longoria's Wake: Bereavement, Racism, and the Rise of Mexican American Activism (History, Culture, and Society Series) by Patrick Carrollhttps://bookshop.org/a/7164/9780292712492
Making of Chicano Militant by Jose Angel Gutierrezhttps://bookshop.org/a/7164/9780299159849
Article: Three Rivers eager to whitewash civil rights watershed
news/news_columnists/elaine_ ayala/article/Three-Rivers- still-not-eager-to-talk-about- a-6576742.php
NPR 10 minute Lesson on Tell Me More
Longoria Affair PBS
Hi. I “collect” historical markers. I contribute to both Waymarking.com as well as hmdb.org. Your account of the Felix Longoria marker, to which I just listened, got me checking those sites. The THC says the marker was moved from the funeral home to City Hall in 2015. Waymarking shows it in 2018: https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMZ8ZQReplyDelete
In an even more fun coincidence, someone else posted the marker to HMDB on August 28, 2020! https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=155384
I haven’t been there personally but now I want to go check on it.