Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections

Letter from Lay Council for the Spanish Speaking, Archdiocese of San Antonio, February 28, 1947.



Dublin Core


Letter from Lay Council for the Spanish Speaking, Archdiocese of San Antonio, February 28, 1947.


RACE discrimination - public establishments
RACE discrimination
OUR Lady of the Lake College
PROTESTS and social movements


Letter written in response to the discrimination of Henrietta Castillo, Anita Gomez, and Lucy Elizondo. the Lay Council for the Spanish Speaking sent a letter to various organizations and newspapers, denouncing this event. Several community leaders and educators signed the letter.


Gonzalez, Henry B.
Daunoy, Mary Estelle
McMahon, John I.
Gamez, Luis E.



Lay Council for the Spanish Speaking, Archdiocese of San Antonio




Smith, Frances
Rivera, Andrew
Ehlinger, Paul J.
Perales, Alonso S.
Des Marais, Alice
Pina, Mary
Bartlett, Terrell
Carvajal, Christine
Hayes, John M.
Hidalgo, Juan L.
O'Connor, Richard S.
Solis, Emma
App, Austin J.
Castillo, Henrietta
Cross, Jasper
Christensen, Alice M.
Brenner, Theodore J.
Birch, John J.


Gauthereau, Lorena. "Are We Good Neighbors?: Mapping Discrimination Against Mexican Americans in 1940s Texas."










SAN Antonio (Tex.)
NEW Braunfels (Tex.)



Archdiocese of San Antonio
Room 218, Bedell Bldg.
San Antonio, 5, Texas

Mr. Henry B. Gonzalez, Pres.
Miss Mary Estelle Daunoy, Secy.
Dr. John l. McMahon, VIce-Pres. Mr. Luis E. Gamez, Treas.

February 28, 1947

To whom it may concern:

In view of the facts presented in the accompanying affidavit, we the members of the Lay Council for the Spanish Speaking of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, hereby vigorously protest the act of discrimination of the manager of the P.K. Cafe at 165 W. San Antonio Street in New Braunfels. We declare that this action is not only un-American but it is un-Christian. We heartily agree that a business firm may refuse service to people on the grounds that they are unclean or disorderly but when American citizens of whatever descent who are neat and clean and conduct themselves in a manner that is above reproach are refused service because their parents or grant-parents were born in another country, we feel that it is high time to cry out against it.

The persons involved in this case happen to be outstanding representative of the group of people known as Latin Americans. One of them, for example, is a senior student at Our Lady of the Lake College. Another, possessed two Master's Degrees, one granted by the University of Texas and the other by St. Mary's University of San Antonio. The third is president of a women's church group in San Antonio. The brother of Miss Castillo died in the service of his country. He was a member for the Army Air Forces during the last war. Mrs. Gomez's son is still in the U.S. Navy, having served in combat during the war. The brother and seventeen close relatives of Miss Elizondo served int he armed forces of this country during World War II. All three women have records of unquestioned calibre [caliber] of patriotism to the country to the country of their birth in the United States of America. They were deeply hurt by this discrimination and we feel that they deserve at least an apology.

The action of this person discriminating against these three women is contrary to the principles on which our country was founded. Such acts of discrimination cause all good Americans to hang their heads in shame. As loyal Americans we feel it our bounden duty to see that discrimination such as this is given all possible attention to the end that this disgraceful blight on our way of life be eliminated once and for all.


Mr. Henry B. Gonzalez, Executive Secretary
Junior Deputy Organization

Dr. John. L. McMahon, President
Our Lady of the Lake College

Miss Frances Smith, Dean of Girls
Thomas Jefferson High School

Mr. Andrew Rivera, Vice President
National Bank of Commerce

Reverend Paul J. Ehlinger, Director
Catholic Welfare Bureau

Mr. Alonso S. Perales, Attorney

Miss Alice Des Marais, Director
Social Service Department , Santa Rosa Hospital

Miss Mary Piña, School Teacher
Bowie School

Mrs. Terrell Bartlett, President
Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women

Miss Christine Carvajal, School teacher
Ruiz School

Reverend John M. Hayes, Professor of Religion
Incarnate Word College

Mr. Juan L. Hidalgo, Men's Field Worker
Bishops' Committee for the Spanish Speaking

Mr. Richard S. O'Connor, Director
Graduate School of Social Science
Our Lady of the Lake College

cc: The Texas Good Neighbor Commission, Austin, Texas

cc: Dr. George I. Sanchez, University of Texas Austin, Texas

cc: Dr. Carlos E. Castañeda, University of Texas, Austin, Texas

cc: New Braunfels Herald

cc: Alamo Register

cc: La Prensa

cc: La Voz

cc: Southern Messenger

cc: San Antonio Ministerial Alliance

cc: San Antonio Chamber of Commerce

cc: Mexican Chamber of Commerce

cc: New Braunfels Business and Professional Women's Club

Text Item Type Metadata

Original Format



Gonzalez, Henry B. et al., “Letter from Lay Council for the Spanish Speaking, Archdiocese of San Antonio, February 28, 1947.,” Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections, accessed July 19, 2024,