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LULAC's Milestones

What follows are some of the milestones accomplished by LULAC in its history. These milestones offered many difficult struggles, at times - life threatening, that LULAC and its members endured to get equality in justice, employment, housing, health care, and education for all Hispanics.

Feb. 17, 1929: The League of United Latin American Citizens is formed in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Desegregated hundreds of public places throughout Texas, such as barber shops, beauty shops, swimming pools, restrooms, water drinking fountains, public dining places, and hotels.

Provided the organization and financial base for the Salvatierra vs. Del Rio Independent School District case, the first class action lawsuit against segregated "Mexican Schools" in Texas.

Formed a committee in San Antonio which led to the formation of the Liga Defensa Pro-Escolar, later known as the "School Improvement League" that fought for better schools and better education.

Pressured the U.S. Census Bureau to reclassify persons of Mexican descent from the designation of "Mexican" to "White". The 1940 census count reflected the change.

Played a major role in filing discrimination cases for the Federal Employment Practices Commission, the first federal civil rights agency.

Successfully sued to integrate the Orange County school system, that had been segregated on the grounds that Mexican children were “more poorly clothed and mentally inferior to white children”.

In Santa Ana, California, filed the "Mendez vs. Westminister Lawsuit" which ended 100 years of segregation in California's public schools and becomes a key precedent for Brown vs. Board of Education.

Protested the non-burial of veteran Felix Longoria of Three Rivers, Texas, and assisted in his burial at the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

LULAC Council 1 in Corpus Christi, Texas, and its Veteran's Committee, facilitated the formation of the "American G.I. Forum" organization for Mexican American veterans.

LULAC attorneys filed the "Delgado vs. Bastrop I.S.D. Lawsuit" which ended the segregation of Mexican American children in Texas.

LULAC and the American G.I. Forum filed fifteen school desegregation lawsuits in Texas.

LULAC attorneys took the "Hernandez vs. The State of Texas Lawsuit Case" to the Supreme Court, winning the right for Mexican Americans to serve on juries.

Council 60 in Houston, Texas, piloted the "Little School of the 400" project, a pre-school program dedicated to teaching 400 basic English words to Spanish speaking pre-school children.

LULAC Council 60 in Houston, Texas, worked to transform the Little School of the 400 to "Project Headstart" under the Lyndon B. Johnson administration.

On November 21, John F. Kennedy visited with LULAC at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas the day before he was assassinated. This was the first time that a sitting president had appeared at a LULAC event.

LULAC Council 60 in Houston, Texas, piloted a job placement center which led to the federally funded of SER - Jobs for Progress.

LULAC marched with and financially supported the United Farm Workers in their struggle for minimum wages and dignity.

LULAC and the American G.I. Forum joined forces to organize SER - Jobs for Progress, now the largest and the most successful work power program in the nation.

LULAC created the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). The legal arm of the Latino community.

LULAC reached the 2,000 household unit mark which provides housing to low income persons.

LULAC filed the "Cisneros vs. Corpus School District Lawsuit" which defines Hispanic Americans as a minority for the first time.

LULAC in San Francisco, California, piloted a project known as the LULAC Educational Service Center, in order to advance the educational needs of Hispanic students of that area.

LULAC formed the "LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc," (LNESC) modeled after the successful project in San Francisco, California to provide educational services to Hispanic students. Today LNESC serves more than 20000 students a year through its network of 16 educational centers.

LULAC formed the "LULAC National Scholarship Fund" in order to centralize its scholarships gifts which dated back to 1932.

LULAC filed numerous lawsuits with MALDEF and the Southwest Voter Education Project calling for single member districts.

LULAC fought to get better coverage of Latinos in the media.

LULAC took the lead in defining a Mexican American position in the Immigration and Reform Act of 1986.

LULAC lobbied the Texas Senate subcommittee holding hearings on English Only and was successful in stopping the resolution from coming out of the committee.

LULAC filed the “LULAC vs INS” class action lawsuit to force INS to process eligible amnesty applicants.

LULAC filed the "LULAC vs. Mattox Lawsuit" which challenged the selection of judges throughout urban Texas.

LULAC filed the "LULAC vs. Clements Lawsuit" which challenged the allocation of funds to Texas Universities.

LULAC elected the first woman president, Belen Robles.

LULAC established the “Commitment with America” to better serve Hispanic American communities.

LULAC establishes the LULAC Institute to provide model volunteer programs for Latino communities.

LULAC filed a brief in support of sampling techniques for the 2000 census.

LULAC issues the “LULAC Challenge” to candidates for elective office in order to establish their positions on the top ten issues of concern for Hispanic Americans.

LULAC attorneys settle “LULAC vs. INS” class action lawsuit that provides an avenue for 100,000 immigrants to become permanent legal residents.

LULAC announces the LULAC Leadership Initiative to revitalize Hispanic neighborhoods from within by creating innovative grass roots programs in over 700 Hispanic communities served by LULAC Councils.

LULAC submitted to the Supreme Court the "LULAC vs. Perry" lawsuit challenging the Texas legislature's redistricting plan, on the grounds that it violated the Voting Rights Act of the Latino community in Texas and impacted Hispanic Representation.

LULAC joined forces with its allies from the civil rights community for the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. LULAC mobilized millions around the nation to march for the rights of immigrants and their families.

Three Presidential Candidates speak to LULAC membership at their National Convention (Senator Obama, Senator McCain & Senator Clinton). LULAC registers over 50,000 voters for the general election.

LULAC works with various coalitions to support the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor as the first ever Latina U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

LULAC Historical Chronology by Cynthia E. Orozco Ph.D.

LULAC Milestones Interactive

Contribution: David Contreras, LULAC Texas State Historian