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Funded in part by a grant from TexTreasures and by the UT Arlington Library.

Aguinaldo Zamora


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(24 pages)

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Biography:

Aguinaldo 'Nayo' Zamora was born in Peñitas, Texas. He served in the U.S. Air Force and moved to New Braunfels in the early 1950s. He was President of the LULAC Council 155 in 1959 and a member of the Political Association of Spanish-speaking Organizations and the Viva Kennedy Club. He was elected and served for eight years on the board of trustees for the the New Braunfels Independent School District.

Interview Summary:

Aguinaldo 'Nayo' Zamora provides details on his family background, including the family's loss of land, and recalls various incidents of race discrimination in Comal County and New Braunfels, Texas. He tells about San Antonio alderman, Henry B. Gonzalez being thrown out of Camp Warneke in 1955, and local restaurants that would not serve Mexican Americans. Mr. Zamora gives the history of the organization of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in New Braunfels and recounts the time fellow LULAC members were once served at Camp Warneke and then told by state representative Raymond Bartram to leave the premises. He relates his discussion with Bartram on the incident and how Bartram's bid for Texas state senator against Walter Richter was defeated in 1962 because of the Mexican American vote. He describes the battle he fought against school desegregation when his son was the only Mexican American student who was rejected for a transfer to another school in the New Braunfels Independent School District, bringing to bear the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare, and the news media. He tells about the assistance of LULAC, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and a grant through the Ford Foundation in the suit which led to a court defeat in 1972 by Judge Adrian Spears. Mr. Zamora states he ran and lost election to the New Braunfels Independent School District board of trustees for 10 years and reveals he finally won election to the board under single member districts. He also mentions his daughter, Sylvia Zamora Sanchez, and Ismael Garza who were both on the school board, and refers to Ismael's father, Felix Garza. He gives details about the Mexican American community's test of an ordinance which prohibited swimming at Landa Park in the presence of MALDEF attorney Alvaro Garza and members of the news media, including African American newspaper reporter, Melvin Epps, and comments on the fallout of that event. He laments the death of a family of five by a drunken driver and the injustice of the court's ruling. He assails the beer distributors, including San Antonio's Lone Star Brewing Company for failing to hire Mexican American truck drivers and describes the boycott that ensued. He describes his business ventures and comments on his resolve to see justice done in New Braunfels.

Locations of residence or activity:

New Braunfels

Interview Date:

1/16/1998