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."