Bancroft Library Roundtable: Cold War Confessions: How Mexican American Labor Activists and Their Allies Fought to End the Bracero Program
Lecture | May 18 | 12-1 p.m. | Faculty Club, Lewis-Latimer Room
Maggie Elmore, Bancroft Library Study Award recipient and doctoral candidate in history, UC Berkeley
On a hot, humid day in June 1958, in Washington, DC, a small gathering of Catholic priests and Mexican American labor leaders prepared a last-ditch effort to stave off what some had come to call "a substitute for slavery," at the fourth day of congressional hearings on the Mexican farm labor program. While these religious leaders and labor activists failed that day to end the Bracero Program, the largest imported farm labor program in modern US history, their joint efforts marked the emergence of a Cold War labor-liberal coalition and revealed the vibrancy of an economic civil rights activism aimed largely at assisting Mexican American farm workers.