In his quest to honor Private Longoria, Dr. Garcia reached out to Senator Lyndon B. Johnson (D-TX) to explain the situation and urge action.
Senator Johnson responded to Dr. Garcia’s appeals with this telegram. He arranged for Private Longoria to be buried with full military honors.
This flyer implores people to protest the bigotry of the funeral home that refused to host a service for Private Longoria. The massive 1949 protest brought national attention to the AGIF.
Dr. Garcia organized a fundraiser to pay for the Longoria family’s travel expenses, ensuring they could attend the funeral at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
This article explores the legacy of the Private Longoria controversy. The incident is considered a milestone in the Mexican American civil rights struggle.
In 1989, Dr. Garcia visited Private Longoria’s gravesite to honor the man who spurred him to start a movement.
In 1949 the director of a funeral home in Three Rivers, Texas, refused to host a service for Private Felix Longoria because of his ethnicity. Longoria’s widow, Beatrice, turned to Dr. Garcia for help. The AGIF launched a massive protest that resulted in a formal burial service for Private Longoria at Arlington National Cemetery. The experience transformed the AGIF into powerful voice for Mexican American civil rights.