Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections

To Mr. Coke Stevenson, Governor, From Ricardo Ogas, September 18, 1943.



Dublin Core


To Mr. Coke Stevenson, Governor, From Ricardo Ogas, September 18, 1943.


RACE discrimination - public establishments
MILITARY Personnel
STEVENSON, Coke R. (Coke Robert), 1888-1975
PERALES, Alonso S., 1898-1960
MEXICAN American Soldiers


Letter to Governor Coke Stevenson from Ricardo Ogas a U.S. Naval Reservist regarding an incident of racial discrimination that took place in a local pool hall in Alpine Texas. Frank Young, manager of the Pool Hall refused to allow Mr. Ogas to play because he was a “Mexican boy”. In the letter, Mr. Ogas is requesting an apology.


Ogas, Ricardo





Content compilation of The Latino/Hispanic American Experience Leaders, Writers and Thinkers copyright 2012 by Arte Publico Historical Collections. All rights reserved.














Alpine, Texas [From]
September 18, 1943

Hon. Mr. Coke Stevenson, Governor [To]
Austin, Texas

Honorable and dear sir:

By the present letter I want to acknowledge you of the following incident which happened to me, the writer of this letter, personally.

Before going any further I want to give you the following facts: my name: RICARDO OGAS Slc; U.S. Naval Reserve; Tag No. 624-42-71; T. 6-42, B.T.A.- U.S.S. Honolulu. My commander is Capt. Hailer.

I was born in Alpine, Texas, on December 4, 1924. I am at present on leave of absence for 25 days.

I will now relate to you what happened to me on Monday afternoon September 13.

I was walking along Alpine’s Main street and while passing by the Pool Hall was invited in by another sailor by the name of Edward Copland Slc. I accepted his invitation, we both walked in and then I started to greet the other boys present. While talking to these boys a civilian boy asked me to play pool with him. I refused on account of not knowing the game very well; but he insisted and I finally agreed to play with him. While I was getting ready to play, Frank Young, Manager of the Pool Hall, approaved and told me that I was not allowed to play. I asked why. He answered me by saying that I was a Mexican boy and, therefore, I could not play in there, because if I played the Negroes would also like to come and play there. I asked him if he had any appreciation for the part the Latin Americans are playing to win this war. He said he did, but still could not help it on account of me being a Spanish-American boy. So he again told me that because of that fact I could not play. I thanked him and walked out.

I have been in the Navy for eighteen months and have taken part in four major engagements with the enemy. The love of my country and the desire to help save it prompted me to enter the service as a volunteer. I had not been home since I entered, and now that I am here the aforesaid incident happened to me.

Incidents like this are helping to break the morale of our Latin American people and fighting men. I, therefore, thought it best to communicate t you the discrimination to which our people are subjected here in this town, though they are born Americans but of Latin extraction.

I, myself, and the Latin Americans of this city of Alpine, therefore, demand an APOLOGY from the manager of the Pool Hall for the affront put upon me, my country, and the people of Latin American extraction.

Thanking you for your consideration on this particular and for the good will you have shown to the Latin Americans of this State, resting assured that you will do all that is in your power to help settle and correct that difficulty, and hoping to hear from you soon, I remain

Respectfully yours,
Ricardo Ogas, Slc. (Handwritten - Signature)

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Ogas, Ricardo, “To Mr. Coke Stevenson, Governor, From Ricardo Ogas, September 18, 1943.,” Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections, accessed June 15, 2024,