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Finding Aid for the American GI Forum of California Papers 1960-2008
115  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Material
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: American GI Forum of California Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1960-2008
    Collection number: 115
    Creator: American GI Forum of California 1958 -
    Extent: 19 linear feet
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
    Abstract: The American GI Forum of California Collection includes correspondence, ephemera, and organizational papers documenting their activities. These materials offer researchers a lens into the often-difficult reintegration process that veterans undergo following their separation from the armed forces, as well as the overall effects of this process on their families and their communities. Researchers will find these materials useful for critical examinations of the social location of Latino servicemen and servicewomen within the context of a large metropolitan center and how this identity has evolved since 1942. Indeed, a collection of this caliber has wide application for studies on the overall condition of Latinos within the United States as well as on the lives and communities of California Latino veterans. Moreover, according to Kelly Lytle-Hernandez, professor of History at UCLA, this particular collection has much to offer scholars interested in studying local California politics, Latino veteran organizing, and gender dynamics in a traditionally male-centered context. According to her, the stories reflected in these papers act as a precursor to later Chicano organizing. Researchers who would like to indicate errors of fact or omissions in this finding aid can contact the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Library and Archive.
    Physical location: COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Library and Archive for paging information.
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English

    Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Library and Archive for paging information.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Library and Archive. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], American GI Forum of California Papers, 115, Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Acquisition Information

    The materials were donated by Willie and Helen Galvan and Eddie Morin.

    Processing History

    Processed by Linda Vera Rivas, Kyoko Aoki, 2009-2012
    Processed 2009-2012

    Biography

    The American GI Forum was founded in 1948 in Corpus Christi, Texas as a resource for Mexican American veterans returning from service in WWII and their families. The repressive socio-economic and political climate of Texas prior to WWII and the lack of social mobility and limited opportunities afforded to servicemen and women despite their service in the nation's armed forces, functioned as an impetus to create an organization that could represent and fight for veterans' rights. Although this organization was originally created to meet the needs of those veterans living in South Texas, several victories related to veterans' benefits and access to health care, motivated Mexican Americans in other parts of the nation to create their own local American GI Forum chapters. Key to this growth was the denial of funeral services in 1949 to a Mexican American soldier – Private Felix Longoria, whose remains were returned home four years after being killed in combat in the Philippines. After organizing several protests and receiving a great deal of media attention, Senator Lyndon B. Johnson intervened and arranged for PVT Longoria to be buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C.
    Nearly ten years later, the American GI Forum of California was founded in 1958. Much like its parent organization in Corpus Christi, Texas, it has been dedicated to serving the Latino community by centering their efforts on the Latino veteran population residing in California along with their families. Approximately 40 chapters have been chartered in California, and currently there are 27 active chapters throughout the state. The state chapter has been involved in numerous activities including but not limited to: fighting deficiencies within the educational system, biased hiring practices on the part of the U.S. government, demanding apologies from former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone in 1986 for discriminatory remarks against the Mexican and Puerto Rican communities, and advocating for the need for greater mental health services for Latinos, especially those returning from combat.

    Scope and Content

    The American GI Forum of California Collection includes correspondence, ephemera, and organizational papers documenting the activities of this organization.
    The collection is organized into the following series:
    • Series 1. National Forum
    • Series 2. California State Forum
    • Series 3. Local Chapters

    Related Material

    Dr. Hector P. Garcia Papers. Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    American GI Forum
    American GI Forum Auxiliary
    American GI Forum of California
    American GI Forum Women
    Armed Forces
    Ex-military personnel
    Galvan, Helen
    Galvan, Willie
    Hispanic American veterans
    Hispanic American veterans
    Mexican American soldiers
    Military veterans
    Morin, Raul
    Retired military personnel
    Veterans
    Veterans -- benefits
    Veterans -- California
    Veterans -- education
    Veterans -- employment
    Veterans' families
    War veterans
    Women veterans