In recognition of Constitution and Citizenship Day, award winning author Tim Z. Hernandez offers an engaging performance based on his research of a popular American song written by Woody Guthrie titled, “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportees)”. On Jan 28, 1948, twenty-eight Mexican citizens were being deported from Oakland California to the Mexican border when the government chartered plane carrying them crashed and killed everyone aboard, including the American crew and immigration officer. At the time, popular media only mentioned the names of the American crew, and omitted the names of the Mexican passengers. Guthrie’s song was an attempt to restore the dignity of those passengers, who were eventually buried in an unmarked grave in Fresno, California. The song was made popular and recorded by Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen, and many others. Hernandez has spent years locating and interviewing the family members of the passengers, including the pilots, immigration guard, and Mexican citizens, as well as eye witnesses. His storytelling presentation sheds light on the lives behind the names and faces of those directly affected by the incident. The program also includes a Q & A with the author and book signing. Hernandez is currently Assistant Professor, University of Texas, El Paso’s Bilingual M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program. The event is free and open to the public. Please join us and, as always, bring a crowd!
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