In 1944, when Gonzalo Mendez attempted to enroll his children in Westminster’s Main Street School, he was turned away and sent to Hoover Elementary, the “Mexican” elementary school. Mendez and four other fathers challenged this discrimination in the class-action lawsuit, Mendez v. Westminster School District and won. On June 14, 1947, Governor Earl Warren signed the bill that ended school segregation in California. This historical event also helped pave the way to the landmark court case Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka which resulted in the Supreme Court ruling, again by Earl Warren, then the Chief Justice of the United States, that ended the school segregation of African-Americans.
In conjunction with Cuyamaca College’s Mexican Cultural Heritage Celebration on Thursday, May 6, 2010, the library display will include items relating to the Mendez v. Westminster case. Come visit the LTRC throughout the month of May and see news articles, academic journal articles, documentary films, and court documents that give attention to both Mendez v. Westminster and Brown v. the Board of Education. Additionally, the book entitled Mendez v. Westminster; School Desegregation and Mexican-American Rights which chronicles the entire history of this case, the commemorative 2007 stamp as well as other books from our collection that address equality in education will be on display.
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