The Zoot Suit Riots

Overview

Omnigraphics' Defining Moments series was created for the express purpose of meeting the growing appetite for authoritative, useful resources on the nation's history. This series, which focuses on pivotal events that transformed the United States' political, cultural, and social landscape, will be of enduring value to anyone interested in learning more about America's past-and in understanding how these events continue to reverberate today.

The Zoot Suit Riots-like all volumes ...

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Overview

Omnigraphics' Defining Moments series was created for the express purpose of meeting the growing appetite for authoritative, useful resources on the nation's history. This series, which focuses on pivotal events that transformed the United States' political, cultural, and social landscape, will be of enduring value to anyone interested in learning more about America's past-and in understanding how these events continue to reverberate today.

The Zoot Suit Riots-like all volumes in the Defining Moments series-is arranged in three distinct sections. The Narrative Overview section provides a detailed, factual account of this "defining moment" in American history, from its earliest inception to its legacy today. The Biographies section includes valuable biographical background on leading figures involved in the era, concluding with a list of sources for further information on the individual. The Primary Sources section collects a broad range of essential and enlightening documents on the topic, from official documents to letters, memoirs, and more.

Other valuable features include a glossary of important people, places, and terms; a chronology of events; a complete bibliography; an annotated list of selected sources for future study; and a subject index.

Students using Defining Moments: The Zoot Suit Riots will find information on a wide range of topics suitable for historical research and writing reports:

Show how economic trends and events in the United States have historically influenced American attitudes toward migrant workers from Mexico and other countries.

Detail reasons why zoot suits emerged as such a popular fashion style in minority and working-class neighborhoods across America in the 1930s.

Explore the history of mass trials such as the Sleepy Lagoon trial, and the reasons why such trials have fallen out of favor since the 1940s.

Explain the historical development of-and current debates about-terms such as Chicano, Hispanic, and Latino that are used to denote people with ancestral ties to Mexico and other parts of Latin America.

Identify one major challenge facing Hispanic-American families and communities today and summarize proposed solutions to that problem.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Morgan Brickey
This American history series is aimed at high school students in need of academic sources. Each book covers very specific, perhaps overlooked, moments in United States history. The books start with background information and a summary of the subject, with pictures and info graphics. The info graphics are especially useful and from trustworthy sources, most notably the Pew Research Center. Information on the subject is brief and takes up roughly half of the book. All books also have biographies on key people and primary sources. The biographies are on figures who were discussed in the first half of the book. The primary sources are exemplary and they are what makes the series stand out from its peers. Background information is given about each specific document and then the text is provided. Readers will also find in each book an important terms section, a chronology, recommended sources for further study and an index. The books in this series are a good place for students to start, but their research will need to be supplemented with other more comprehensive sources. The first section of the books should have been longer so pertinent details could be included. Also, some of the sources should have been of higher quality. Though the biographies and primary sources are very informative, they are not exhaustive. This series is a marginal purchase for most libraries. Though, it may benefit libraries lacking a core nonfiction base in this subject area. (Defining Moments) Reviewer: Morgan Brickey
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780780812857
  • Publisher: Omnigraphics, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2012
  • Series: Defining Moments Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 809,506
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface vii

How to Use This Book xi

Research Topics for Defining Moments: The Zoot Suit Riots xiii

Narrative Overview

Prologue 3

Chapter 1 Caught in the Currents of Empire and Conquest 7

Chapter 2 Rising Tensions in California 25

Chapter 3 A City on Edge 43

Chapter 4 The Trial of the 38th Street Boys 59

Chapter 5 The Zoot Suit Riots 75

Chapter 6 Release from Prison 91

Chapter 7 Legacy of the Zoot Suit Riots 107

Biographies

Fletcher Bowron (1887-1968): Mayor of Los Angeles during the Sleepy Lagoon Trial and Zoot Suit Riots 125

José Díaz (1919-1942): Mexican Farm Worker Whose Murder Resulted in the Sleepy Lagoon Trial 128

Charles William Fricke (1882-1958): Judge Who Presided over the 1943 Sleepy Lagoon Murder Trial 131

Alice Greenfield (1917-2009): Civil Rights Activist and Member of the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee 134

Henry "Hank" Leyvas (1923-1971): Mexican-American Defendant in the Sleepy Lagoon Murder Trial 137

Carey McWilliams (1905-1980): American Journalist and Attorney Who Headed the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee 141

Edward Roybal (1916-2005): First Hispanic-American Member of the Los Angeles City Council and Longtime U.S. Representative 145

George Shibley (1910-1989): Defense Attorney in the Sleepy Lagoon Murder Trial 148

Primary Sources

Anglo Squatters Swarm Mexican-Owned Haciendas in California 153

Examples of Anti-Mexican Discrimination in 1930s America 156

Depression-Era Los Angeles Targets Mexicans for Repatriation 161

A Los Angeles Police Officer Issues a Racist Report on the Mexican "Element" 164

Courtroom Clashes between Fricke and Shibley 168

Trying to Survive the Zoot Suit Riots 173

Mexican-American Activists Assess the Causes of the Zoot Suit Riots 174

The Los Angeles Times Attacks Eleanor Roosevelt's Stance on the Riots 177

New Hispanic Hopes and Dreams in the Post-World War II Era 180

From the Barrio to a German POW Camp-and Back 185

A Landmark Legal Decision for Mexican Americans 188

Honoring the Heritage and Contributions of Hispanic Americans 193

Important People, Places, and Terms 195

Chronology 199

Sources for Further Study 203

Bibliography 205

Photo and Illustration Credits 207

Index 209

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