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Dr. Hector P. Garcia and the American GI Form

Upon returning to the United States after World War II, Dr. Hector P. Garcia noticed Mexican Americans in the community were barred from restaurants, swimming pools and hospitals and faced restrictions on voting, holding office, and seeking employment. In response, he founded the American G.I. Forum in 1948, which quickly achieved equal rights for Mexican Americans. In 1949, Dr. Garcia arranged for a highly publicized burial at Arlington National Cemetery for Felix Longoria, an American soldier killed during WWII, who was denied burial in his hometown of Three Rivers. Dr. Garcia's humanitarian concerns made him a national figure, and he became the first Mexican American to serve on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

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Dr. Hector P. Garcia
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