Texas UFW digital archive project seeking stories and photos

The Texas UFW digital archive project is seeking stories and photos documenting the 1966 UFW Rio Grande City strike and march to Austin, Texas.

Each contribution will be added to our digital archive, which is free and publicly accessible to families and students alike.  This project is Spanish, English, and Tex-Mex friendly.

We invite the public to contribute oral and photographic memories of this important historical event.

TO SHARE YOUR STORY BY PHONE: 210-209-9539

Leave a voicemail message after the automated response.  Please be sure to answer the following questions:

  1. Name?  Age?  Where you’re from?
  2. What is your experience with the Texas farmworkers strike and march of 1966?
  3. Why is this event important for the community to remember?

TO SUBMIT WRITTEN/AUDIO/VIDEO STORIES BY EMAIL: rebeccaoflores@gmail.com

Contributions can be sent as text, attachments, or links.

Please share this call for contributions!  Thank you!

1966 Austin, Texas arrival of UFW march

Austin 1966 UFW

The arrival of the UFW march in Austin, Texas, 1966.

By Shel Hershorn, from the Alan Pogue archives.

To submit photos, stories, and multimedia memories of the 1966 Texas UFW march, please email: rebeccaoflores@gmail.com

To view the full UFW photo album, see:  http://farmworkers2016.org/2016/01/12/photos-fotos/

 

Texas UFW History: Tx Governor Connally intercepts marching farm workers (1966)

This photo captures one of the most talked about events, a flashbulb memory, of the 1966 March, where Gov Connally, Attorney General Carr, and Speaker Ben Barnes meet up with them near New Braunfels and tell them to go back, that Connally would not be at the Capitol on their arrival, and that he wouldn't call for a special session for establishing a Texas Minimum Wage Law of $1.25. At that time there was no law at all about a minimum wage. Date of the photo was August 31, 1966. Wayne State University Labor Archives has given us permission to use these photos which they archive for the UFW. In this photo: Gov Connally, Speaker Barnes, Catholic priest Antonio Gonzalez holding the cross.

This photo captures one of the  most talked about events, a flashbulb memory, of the 1966 March, where Gov Connally, Attorney General Carr, and Speaker Ben Barnes meet up with the UFW marchers near New Braunfels and tell them to go back.  Connally stated he would not be at the Capitol on their arrival and that he wouldn’t call for a special session for establishing a Texas Minimum Wage Law of $1.25.  At that time, there was no law at all about a minimum wage.

Date of the photo was August 31, 1966.   Wayne State University Labor Archives has given us permission to  use these photos which they archive for the UFW.

In this photo:  Gov Connally, Speaker Barnes, Catholic priest Antonio Gonzalez holding the cross.

To view more photos of this historic event, visit: http://farmworkers2016.org/2016/01/12/photos-fotos/

To submit photos, please email: rebeccaoflores@gmail.com

Save the date in Austin

The Austin Committee has set a tentative a date for the Commemoration:  Sunday, September 11, 2016.

Where:  St. Edwards University Campus
When:  Sunday, Sep 11th, 2016 @ 10:30 am.

Link to FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/856896331089108/

The celebration will begin with a mass, followed with a program that begins at 12 noon at the Quad.  There will be discussions about the movement and fantastic entertainment of all sorts.

Please save this date.

Photo taken on June 9, 1967, after an anti-Connally rally and banquet held by LULAC #12. From left to right Roy L. Reuther, UAW, Ignacio A. Perez, Cesar Chavez, Erasmo Andrade, Peggy Milner, and Pancho Medrano, UAW. Relaxing at Mexico Tipico, in Nuevo Laredo, Tamps., Mexico.
Photo taken on June 9, 1967, after an anti-Connally rally and banquet held by LULAC #12. From left to right Roy L. Reuther, UAW, Ignacio A. Perez, Cesar Chavez, Erasmo Andrade, Peggy Milner, and Pancho Medrano, UAW. Relaxing at Mexico Tipico, in Nuevo Laredo, Tamps., Mexico.

Starr County Officials recognize farm laborers struggles of 1966

From the Star County Texas Facebook page

Starr County Judge Eloy Vera and Commissioners will honor the labor of the Starr County Farm workers who lobbied at the State Capitol in 1966 for better pay.

The Commissioners and Judge Vera want to acknowledge the struggles and sacrifices that these men and women made to gain fair living wages for their hard work. A maker will be erected to commemorate the historical event.
Starr County and Texas prospered in part due to the farming industry and the workers who worked from dawn to dusk to bring food to the table. The marker will be a testament of the history of the farm workers in Starr County.
In 1966 a group of about 400 farm workers from Starr County began a strike to raise wages from 40 cents an hour to $1.25 an hour. They encountered many difficulties and road blocks, but their perseverance paid off. In July 4, 1966, a group of 30 strikers began a peaceful 400 mile march through South Texas towns gaining support for their cause. On Labor Day, 1966 the marchers arrived at the Texas State Capitol and demanded to be heard. This feat by the state’s lowest paid workers eventually lead to many civil right advancements in Texas.
Starr County Judge Eloy Vera and Starr County Commissioners would like to thank the members of the United Farm Workers Organization and their Coordinator Ms. Rebecca Flores for spearheading this project.
Ms. Rebecca Flores and the members of the United Farm Workers, the Cesar Chavez Foundation and La Union Del Pueblo Entero Organizations are seeking the names and phone numbers of Starr County community members that took part in this march. Please forward information to Ms. Rebecca Flores to rebeccaoflores@gmail.com or by calling 210-842-9502 or you may contact Mrs. Daria Vera who was the 1966 Treasurer of the United Farm Workers local organizer at 956-263-8046.

Songs / Canciones

LOS RINCHES DE TEXAS

Voy a cantarles, señores,
De los pobres infortunios
De algo que sucedió
El día primero de junio.En el condado de estrella
En el merito Rio Grande
Junio de ’67
Sucedió un hecho de sangre.

Es una triste verdad
De unos pobres campesinos
Que brutalmente golpearon
Esos rinches asesinos.

Decía Magdaleno Dimas,
“Yo no opusé resistencia
Rendido y bien asustado
Me golpearon sin conciencia.”

Decía Benjamín Rodríguez
Sin hacer ningún extremo,
“Ya no me peguen’ cobardes,
“Ya no me peguen’ cobardes,
En el nombre del Ser Supremo.”

Esos rinches maldecidos
Los mandó el gobernador
A proteger los melones
De un rico conservador.

Mr. Canalis, señores,
Es el mal gobernador
Que aborrece al mexicano
Y se burla del dolor.

Me despido, mis hermanos
Con dolor de corazón
Como buenos mexicanos
Pertenezcan a la unión

I’m going to sing
Of the sad misfortune
That occurred
On the first of June.In the year of ‘Sixty-seven
In Star County
There was blood spilled
Right by the Rio Grande.

It is sad but true
About the poor farm workers
Who were brutally assaulted
By those murdering Rangers

Magdaleno Dimas said
“I did not resist them.”
Frightened and helpless
They beat me without conscience.”

Benjamín Rodríguez said,
“Don’t hit me any more, you cowards.
Our people will win
In the name of the Supreme Being.”

Those hated Rangers
Were sent by the governor
To protect the melons
Of a conservative rancher.

Mr. Connally, señores,
Is an evil ruler
Who hates the Mexican
And scorns human pain.

Farewell, my brothers,
With a heartache
I bid you be good Mexicans
And join the Union!

Analysis

The corrido “Los Rinches de Texas” is a typical example of inter-racial tension and “rinche” violence that occurred on the Lower Rio Grande border. Rinche violence was experienced by many Texas-Mexicans in this area, and the corrido draws attention to this violence. In stanza two, the third line, “there was blood spilled” already indicates the type of violence the Rangers inflicted on the people. In this corrido, the farmworkers are the victims of sever brutality. We have two examples of innocent victims according to the corrido, Magdaleno Dímas and Benjamín Rodríguez. The two main speech events of these characters show that the violence was inflicted on them. Dímas says in stanza five, “I did not resist them. Frightened and helpless, they beat me without conscience.” In the speech event by Rodríguez we see the typical insult of the rinches that occurs in corridos dealing with racial tension, the term “coward” when referring to the Anglo Rangers. Another issue, which I feel is important, is the negative attitude towards the governor. The corridista is strongly says that the governor is an evil ruler, who is prejudice against Mexicans. He also states in the third to last stanza that the governor wants to protect the melons of the rich ranchers, rather than the people. I think that the corrido is trying to show the attitude of the community towards the violence, which shows the outrage of the events, which are still protected by the governor. It uses this outrage to propose joining the union. The importance of this corrido is to show the injustice that is occurring along the border, but to also get the Mexicans to stand up for their rights because it is apparent that the governor is not going to stand up for them.


LA CARCEL DE RIO GRANDE (tune of La Carcel de Cananea)

LA CARCEL DE RIO GRANDE (tune of La Carcel de Cananea)

La carcel de Rio Grande Es carcel muy afamada.

Encierran a los huelguistas Por causa de sus ideales

Nos trajeron arrastrando Pa cumplir con su deber

Y nosotros protestando el derecho de comer

Al otro lado del rio Siempre viven mas barato

Y pore so los rancheros les estan dando sus trabajos

Ya con esta me despido Cantando tras de las rejas

Yo les digo a mis amigos que no quiebren esta union

LA MARCHA (tune of El Quelite)

Que bonito esta la marcha Bien haiga quien la fondo

Que por todos lados tiene Valientes al por mayor

En cada pueblo que pasan Renovado se quedo

Que la gente de Rio Grande Van cumpliendo su mission.

Al salir de New Braunfels Nos sale el gobernador

Detras de unos chaparrales a quitarnos la intencion

El lunes vamos a Austin a ver al governador

si en Austin no se consigue nos vamos a Washington

Ya con esta me despido Lo digo de Corazon

Si en Austin no se consigue nos vamos a Washington

Aqui me siento a cantar este caso que paso

Un 24 de Octubre en Roma Texas paso.

Le gritabamos justicia A todos los campesinos

Que vienen del otro lado A trabajar con los gringos

No hemos podido ganar Y la ley nos hace dano

De que nos quiebran La huelga el pobre del Mexicano

Cantando triste me quedo Cantando de Corazon

Y les digo a mis amigos que no quiebren esta union.

Written by those 12 men who were arrested: Reynaldo De La Cruz, Domingo Arredondo;

Guillermo De La Cruz, Bill Chandler, Antonio Orendain, Eugene Nelson, Mario Vera, Librado de la

Cruz, Baldemar Diaz, Ismael Diaz, Rodrigo Garcia, Pedro Rios.