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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Three Rivers in Live Oak County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Felix Longoria

 
 
Felix Longoria Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry D. Moore, August 28, 2020
1. Felix Longoria Marker
Inscription.  

The funeral rites of Three Rivers native Felix Longoria advanced public debate on the status and rights of Mexican-Americans and military veterans. Private First Class Longoria enlisted in the U.S. Army in Nov. 1944 and was killed during the Battle of Luzon in the Philippines. His parents received his posthumous medals, while his wife and daughter moved to Corpus Christi after the war. Longoria's remains were repatriated in 1948, and his widow Beatrice received a telegram requesting a burial site. In Jan. 1949, she met with the owner and undertaker of Three Rivers' only funeral home (at this site) to discuss arrangements. The men refused to host a wake in the funeral home chapel, suggesting Longoria's family home would be more suitable. The decisions was widely interpreted to be racially based; at the time, separation between Anglo and Mexican-American citizens was commonplace and codified by state and federal laws.

Beatrice and her family turned to Dr. Hector Garcia, who had formed the American G.I. Forum in Corpus Christi the previous year to promote rights for returning veterans. Garcia contacted state and federal officials
Felix Longoria Marker Area image. Click for full size.
By Larry D. Moore, August 28, 2020
2. Felix Longoria Marker Area
and members of national radio and news media for assistance. U.S. Senator Lyndon Johnson arranged to bury Longoria in Arlington National Cemetery; family members and government officials from the U.S. and Mexico attended his funeral there on Feb. 16, 1949. The "Longoria Affair" received widespread coverage in the U.S. and international press and brought an official investigation by the Texas Legislature. The American G.I. Forum and Sen. Johnson gained national recognition and remained at the center of civil rights causes and politics in the ensuing decades. Ultimately, this local and private event affected the national conversation on civil rights, politics and patriotism.
 
Erected 2009 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 16279.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Hispanic AmericansWar, World II.
 
Location. 28° 27.677′ N, 98° 10.966′ W. Marker is in Three Rivers, Texas, in Live Oak County. Marker is on North Harborth Avenue (U.S. 281) south of East Alexander Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 105 N Harborth Avenue, Three Rivers TX 78071, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Jessy Franklin Gray (here, next to this marker); Rialto Theater (within shouting
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distance of this marker); Birthplace of J. Frank Dobie (approx. 9.7 miles away); City of George West (approx. 9.7 miles away); Thelma Laura Pugh-Lindholm (approx. 9.7 miles away); VFW and American Legion War Memorial (approx. 9.7 miles away); Calliham (approx. 10.2 miles away); First Producing Gas Well in McMullen County and First Gas Pipeline to San Antonio (approx. 10.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Three Rivers.
 
More about this marker. The marker was originally located at 205 Thornton Street in front of the funeral home (now demolished) noted in the marker text. The marker was relocated to the City Hall grounds in 2015.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 29, 2020, by Larry D. Moore of Del Valle, Texas. This page has been viewed 34 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 29, 2020, by Larry D. Moore of Del Valle, Texas.
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Mar. 2, 2021