All Press Releases for September 22, 2016

History Associates to Preserve and Initiate Digital Access to the Papers of Legendary Mexican-American Civil Rights Advocate

Papers of Dr. Hector P. Garcia to be made available to the world through online platform

A fundamental piece of civil rights history, Mexican-American history, and Texas history will no longer be hidden away"

    ROCKVILLE, MD, September 22, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ -- In 1949, the widow of an American serviceman killed in action was denied use of a chapel for his funeral. The reason? Her husband, Felix Z. Longoria, was Hispanic. The outcry that followed, and Mr. Longoria's eventual burial at Arlington National Cemetery, are all documented within the papers of Dr. Hector P. Garcia - prominent champion of civil rights for veterans and Mexican-Americans in the late 20th century.

Up until recently, the only way to access the Garcia Collection was to visit the archives in person at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, or to correspond with the Special Collections and Archives staff. That is about to change.

History Associates is now working with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Foundation to make it easier for students, members of the community, and researchers worldwide to use the Garcia Collection. Catherine Rudowsky, Library Director, Mary and Jeff Bell Library, emphasized the importance of this endeavor. "A fundamental piece of civil rights history, Mexican-American history, and Texas history will no longer be hidden away and will be much more easily discoverable by researchers and historians worldwide, allowing for this important story to proliferate."

Before his death, Dr. Garcia donated a large portion of his papers and memorabilia to the Special Collections and Archives Department of the Mary and Jeff Bell Library at the University. The substantial collection includes 600 feet of records, including photos, audio and video recordings, plaques, awards, and political memorabilia. This collection provides important resources to researchers and community members interested in the American G.I. Forum, the Felix Longoria incident, the struggles over the Texas poll tax, and other major issues and events faced by Mexican-Americans during Dr. Garcia's remarkable lifetime.

History Associates archivists are beginning an ongoing project to digitize a large portion of this rich collection to make it available to the online community. History Associates is working in close collaboration with the University to select the most compelling, historically important, and representative parts of the collection to exhibit online by December 2016. The archivists have also started to organize, preserve, and catalog the material so it can be more readily accessed and used - this processing project will be completed by the end of 2017.

Dr. Hector P. Garcia was a life-long advocate for civil rights. Despite cultural bias against Mexican-Americans, he became a physician in 1940 and served with distinction in World War II. Returning home, he led the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and went on to establish the American GI Forum in 1948, which brought his passion for equal rights to a national scale. Among his countless accolades, he served as Ambassador to the United Nations, was appointed to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and in 1984, President Ronald Regan awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, to Dr. Garcia.

History Associates has extensive experience in making the personal papers of prominent individuals available to the public, having processed the manuscript collections of prominent physicians and scientists for the NIH's Profiles in Science website since 1997. For more than fifteen years, the company has also helped Members of Congress prepare their personal papers for donation to archival repositories so they can be available to future historians and policymakers. We also frequently curate archival content for web portals such as the Farm Credit History Archive.

About Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Offering more than 80 of the most popular degree programs in the state, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi has proudly provided a solid academic reputation, renowned faculty, and highly rated degree programs since 1947. The Island University has earned its spot as the premier, urban doctoral-granting institution in South Texas, supporting a UAS test site, two institutes and more than 20 research centers and labs. Discover your island at

About History Associates
For over thirty years the historians and archivists at History Associates have demonstrated that history is valuable in the market as well as the marketplace of ideas. They provide professional corporate histories, exhibit content, interpretive planning, historical research, archival services, and collections management to clients throughout the United States and around the world. History Associates strives to be The Best Company in History, serving corporate, government, legal, and nonprofit clients from its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, call (301) 279-9697 or visit

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