Photograph of LULAC Delegates at Corpus Christi

Mexican Americans form civil rights organization in 1929

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On May 19, 1929, twenty-five delegates representing four South Texas Mexican American organizations met in Corpus Christi to found the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). Almost 90 years later, LULAC remains the oldest continuous and most prominent civil rights organization for Mexican Americans.

Tejanos drew on a long history of sociedades mutualistas (mutual-aid societies) when the groups merged to form LULAC. Organized to advance the interests of Mexicans, the new organization was the first national Mexican American civil rights organization. Originally, members were male skilled laborers and small‑business owners. Women were not encouraged to join until the mid‑1930s. LULAC devoted itself to combating political disfranchisement and racial discrimination. It also dealt with the segregation of public schools, housing, and public accommodations. It attempted to solve the problems of poverty among Mexican Americans and sought to build a substantial Mexican American middle class. However, it drew a line at participating in movements deemed “radical and violent demonstrations which ... create conflicts and disturb the peace and tranquility of our country.”

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Photograph of LULAC Delegates at Corpus Christi Artifact from Corpus Christi
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