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Monday, August 29, 2016

This Day in History August 29: National Chicano Moratorium

Willie Herron and Gronk, Moratorium—The Black and White Mural, 1973
Courtesy of Nancy Tovar Murals of East Los Angeles Slide Collection
Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA, University of California, Los Angeles

Forty-six years ago today, a rally to protest the Vietnam War turned deadly. Sponsored by the National Chicano Moratorium Committee, an antiwar activist group, the Chicano Moratorium march in Los Angeles drew up to 30,000 people eager to give their voice to the war’s injustices. Community members, families, artists, and students marched through East Los Angeles from Belvedere Park to what was then called Laguna Park.

During the rally, stores burned, over 100 people were arrested, many were injured, and four people were killed, including the prominent Chicano Los Angeles Times columnist Ruben Salazar.

The moratorium has been considered the largest anti-Vietnam War demonstration by a minority group and the largest demonstration of the Chicano Movement of the late 1960s and 1970s. And while the moratorium resulted in loss of life, it also gave birth to continued expression of Latino political power, including a murals movement that still resonates today.

Below we look at images of the Chicano Moratorium and examples of Chicano murals that were created in its wake.

Sal Castro (Photographer), Chicano Moratorium March, 1970
Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library, Security Pacific National Bank Collection

Sal Castro (Photographer), National Chicano Moratorium, 1970
Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library, Security Pacific National Bank Collection

Rioting Following Chicano Moratorium Committee Antiwar Protest, 1970
Courtesy of Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive, Department of Special Collections,
Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA

Guy Goodenow (Photographer), Harbor College Mural, 1973
Courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library, Herald-Examiner Collection

 David Botello’s Dreams of Flight at Estrada Courts, East Los Angeles, 1973–78

Courtesy of UCLA Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana/o Studies

El Congresso de Artists Cosmicos de las Americas de San Diego’s We Are Not a Minority at Estrada Courts, East Los Angeles, 1978
Courtesy of Los Angeles Conservancy; photo by Adrian Scott Fine

Shelly Kale
Publications and Strategic Initiatives Manager
Together with LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles, the California Historical Society is developing an exhibition and related publication about contested Chicano Murals, part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA project sponsored by the Getty and Bank of America.

September 4, 2017 - January 29, 2018
¡Murales Rebeldes!: Contested Chicana/o Public Art
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
501 North Main Street
Los Angeles, California

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