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Category Archives: hispanic heritage

Ramiro Gonzalez Gonzalez

Ramiro Gonzalez Gonzalez was an actor in films for many years. He usually played comedic and dramatic roles of a certain type and would be considered a character actor. His name was Gonzalez Gonzalez because both his parents had the same surname. He also was a comedian and made personal appearances as such.

Gonzalez Gonzalez was born in Aguilares in far South Texas in 1925 to a family of entertainers, including his Spanish mother, a dancer, and his Mexican American father, a trumpet player. He left school at age 7 to perform with his family in a traveling group and was involved in some aspect of entertainment for almost his entire life. He is said to have gotten his break in films after appearing in 1953 on a segment of Groucho Marx’s television quiz show “You Bet Your Life.” Gonzalez Gonzalez’s witty and quick responses caught the eye of actor John Wayne, who then signed him to a seven year contract leading to Gonzalez Gonzalez’s appearance in many movies including “The High and the Mighty,” “Rio Bravo,” “McLintock!,” “Hellfighters” and “Chisum.”

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José Antonio Menchaca

For many years, there was a road in south Austin called Manchaca Road. After some legal issues, in 2019 the name was finally changed to Menchaca Road. Some of the objections were voiced by local residents and businesses from a group known as Leave Manchaca Alone, and possibly others. The objections included arguments that Manchaca Road was perhaps not named for the individual who fought in the Texas Revolution, rather that instead it was derived from a Chocktaw word or had some other origin, that the name change would disrupt business, that property owners did not receive the proper notice of the proposed change, etc. An opposing group named Justice for Menchaca was in favor of the name change. Ultimately the judge’s decision favored renaming the street Menchaca rather than Manchaca in honor of José Antonio Menchaca.

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Posted by on December 24, 2020 in biography, hispanic heritage, texas revolution

 

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Marcelino Serna

The headline in the El Paso Herald-Post on Veterans Day, November 11, 1970 read “Hero of World War I Rides in Parade” and went on to tell the amazing story of Marcelino Serna.  Private Serna was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart and Victory Medal (United States decorations) along with the French Medaille Militaire and two Croix de Guerre and the Italian Merito de Guerra.  The article added that Private Serna spent his first Armistice Day in a hospital recovering from his wounds that he received about a week earlier on November 7, 1918 while participating in the Meuse-Argonne offensive.

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Freddy Fender

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(Image credit: FreddyFender.com)

Freddy Fender was born Baldemar Garcia Huerta in San Benito, Cameron County, Texas on June 4, 1937.  His parents were Serapio and Margarita Garcia Huerta, who were migrant farm workers.  Huerta was the oldest of four children and was raised around music, including lively “conjunto,” a traditional style of music that includes a blend of Tejano and references to German polka, including the use of an accordion.  He performed as early as the age of ten on a Harlingen, Texas radio station.  He dropped out of high school and lied about his age to join the United States Marine Corps.  He served from 1954 to 1956.  Huerta married in 1957 as he began to perform as “El Be-Bop Kid” and other stage names, doing covers of popular American hits of artists like Elvis Presley but singing them in Spanish.  He and his wife Evangelina had five children.  They divorced and remarried at one point, but otherwise were married for about forty-five years.

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Posted by on July 11, 2019 in biography, entertainers, hispanic heritage, music

 

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Juan Seguin

Juan Nepomucema Seguin was born in Spanish San Antonio on October 27, 1808 to Juan José Erasmo and María Josefa Becerra Seguin.  Erasmo was descended from one of sixteen families who came to the San Antonio area from the Canary Islands in the early 1700s.  The Seguin cattle ranch covered portions of three current Texas counties: Bexar, Guadalupe and Wilson.  Erasmo served as postmaster of San Antonio from 1807 to 1835, mayor (alcalde) of San Antonio from 1820-1821 and quartermaster of Presidio de San Antonio de Béxar from 1825 to 1835.  Erasmo was acquainted with Moses Austin who was succeeded by his son, Stephen F. Austin.  Along with Don Martin de Veramendi, Erasmo assisted them in obtaining their Austin Colony grant.

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(Image credit: pbs.org)

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