Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections

To Hon. Alonso Perales, From Eloisa Galan, March 11, 1944.

Item

pera0013.jpg
pera0013_001.jpg

Dublin Core

Title

To Hon. Alonso Perales, From Eloisa Galan, March 11, 1944.

Subject

CIVIL service positions
CIVIL service – minority employment
DISCRIMINATION against Mexican Americans
RACE discrimination
LETTERS
MILITARY
MEXICAN American Soldiers
PERALES, Alonso S., 1898-1960

Description

Letter to Alonso. S. Perales, from Mrs. Eloisa Galan that iterates the Del Rio Ration Board (Civil Service Department) need Spanish speaking clerks to assist those who do not speak English from nearby Spanish speaking communities. She states that there are people in the department who are "prejudice and narrow minded”. She requests Alonso S. Perales to contact Mr. Ben Foster, former United States Attorney at San Antonio to in turn contact C. Fenner Roth, District Administrative Officer of the OPA to provide Spanish speaking clerks. Mrs. Galan also references that Mexican American soldiers, fighting for the United States who are also being discriminated against, and how the Ration Board food clerks are treating the families of these soldiers “shabbily”. She believes that help from Badomer Puig, Commanding Office of the 458th and Mrs. Dignam of the Ration Board can help by employing wives of the Mexican American soldiers in the Telephone Office and the Ration Board.

Creator

Galan, Eloisa

Source

Date

1944-03-11

Rights

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

Format

JPEG

Language

English

Type

Text

Identifier

pera0013

Scripto

Transcription

P.O.Box 549,
Del Rio, Texas.
March 11, 1944.

Hon. Alonso Perales,
714 Gunter Bldg.,
San Antonio, Texas.

Dear Sir:

I hate to bother you and impose on you but ever since the Ration Board was established in Del Rio there has been a great need of Latin American employees (U.S. citizens under Civil Service) in the Ration Board, both in the Gasoline and Food Departments. The majority of our Del Rio inhabitants are Spanish-speaking adults who do not understand one word in English, and the people from Villa Acuna who get ration cards and shoe stamps in this Ration Board do not understand English.

The Chief Clerk of the Ration Board is a Mrs. Kathryn Richmond, and I hate to say it but she is the most prejudiced narrow-minded person I have ever seen. The people are simply afraid of her.

I have written my former employer, Mr. Ben F. Foster, former United States Attorney of San Antonio, under this date, that for God's sake to lease ask Mr. C. Fenner Roth, District Administrative Officer, of the OPA in San Antonio to give us Spanish-speaking clerks. Of the four employees there, three do not speak one word of English, and Mrs. Richmond very little if any at all. She does not understand that under Civil Service, Federal employees are required to be courteous and polite regardless of the race, nationality or station in life of the customers of the Ration Board.

Will you please be so kind as to phone Mr. Foster and assure him that anything that he does in behalf of our Latin American people will be greatly appreciated?

I do not know whether you have heard or not-well, anyway, in spite of "TIME MAGAZINE'S" timely report of February 7th in regard to Texans and our Mexican people, last week a scene [partially handwritten] occurred in Del Rio:

A Mexican soldier, member of the United States Armed forces was passing through Del Rio on a train. He got off the train during a few minutes' stopand started to talk with an M.P. Two Del Rio border patrolmen, one a Mr. F.S. Centilli passed the soldier, and upon noticing that the soldier had medals on his breast asked him: "Say, Mexican how did you get those medals?" stating it with contempt. The boy did not pay attention to him but continued to talk to the M.P. Nevertheless, Centilli

#2

returned and continued to pick on the soldier. Finally, the soldier got angered and said: "This is how I obtained my medals" and he socked Centilli on the jaw. At that moment the other border patrol men started to get out his pistol and was going kill our Mexican soldier of the U.S. armed forces. Then the Anglo-American M.P. made and forced the border patrol man to desist from killing our soldier.

Mexican employees of the round house as well as a Misses De Leon, prominent Del Rio young ladies witnessed it.

Is this what our Mexican boys are fighting for? No, Mr. Perales, it is sad to state and every day more and more married men with children of our nationality are being drawn into the armed forces.

Here on the home front their families are treated shabbily by the Ration Board food clerks.

I really believe that it is about time that some-thing be done.

There is a Lieutenant by the name of Baldomero Puig, commanding officer of the 458th Squadron in Del Rio, and he is from Laredo. I sincerely believe that if his help is obtained in instilling soldiers' wives who are employed in the down town Del Rio both in the telephone office as operat [scratched word] and one in the Ration Board by the name of Mrs. Dignam and make them understand that our Mexican people have stood a lot of abuse in the past, but if they do not desist something is going to happen. Does World War III have to start in this section of the country? It looks like it will be from the attitude of the prejudiced Anglo-American people of this section, not all of them but a good many of them.

Respectfully,
Eloisa Galan [Handwritten - Signature]

P.S. It is sad to pass this information on to you. I being a Federal employee, but I am a citizen, of Mexican nationality, and if we do not all unite now, we never wll.

EG.

Citation

Galan, Eloisa, “To Hon. Alonso Perales, From Eloisa Galan, March 11, 1944.,” Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections, accessed March 4, 2024, http://usldhrecovery.uh.edu/items/show/281.