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Bracero Memorial highway

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“Bracero Memorial Highway”
Whereas, The United States was attacked on December 7, 1941 a day which will live in Infamy and the beginning of World War II. Mexico joined The Allied Forces against tyranny and oppression around the world; and
Whereas, The United States and Mexico initiated The Bracero Program in 1942 to 1964, and for 22 years, 4.5 million skilled laborers worked on America’s dams, railways, roadways, assembly plants, mines and help to developed America’s agricultural lands, many joined the U.S. military; and
Whereas, Braceros helped to feed and nourish The Allied Forces during the War and the Reconstruction that followed, lifting many nations from rubble and raising the standard of living for millions around the world; and
Whereas, the following two tragic and preventable accidents illustrate the callous negligence and disregard for safe working conditions; and
Whereas, June 17, 1958, the Holocaust in Soledad Ca. when in an illegally converted vehicle being used to transport 50 Braceros, a worker lit a cigarette igniting two gas cans placed beneath benches in the passenger’s compartment; and
Whereas, 14 Braceros died as they fought desperately to escape the flames and 17 other Braceros were hospitalized in very critical condition; and
Whereas, The driver failed to remove the danger and neglected to inform any of the passengers of the hazard. The National Safety Council considered this fire the worst non-collision vehicle tragedy in the nation; and
Whereas, Sept.17, 1963 the Catastrophe at Chualar Ca. the north bound Southern Pacific train at the Thomas Ranch Road & Highway 101 railroad crossing collated with the unregistered vehicle transporting 58 farm workers. The wreckage was everywhere 56 men lay dead or dying. The train stopped 3,050 feet from the point of impact. 32 Braceros were killed and 24 others were seriously injured; and
Whereas, Our two nations were in shock. National and State leaders passed Safety laws citing both these two preventable tragedies. National Safety Council called it the biggest fatal vehicle accident in our nation’s history, and
Whereas, Braceros helped to feed many nation’s around the world. They sacrificed so much, for so long, for so many, for so little, yet, were segregated from those they helped to feed, while often times they had little for their own table; and
Whereas, for 22 years, Braceros strong arms and backs contributed to helping make... The United States of America the Most Powerful Nation in the World. We acknowledge the many forgotten Braceros as proud members of America’s Greatest Generation; and
Whereas, it is a long overdue tribute and honor to designate a 16 mile portion of the historic Juan Bautista De Anza National Trail, the famous El Camino Real and the California’s Golden State Highway 101, in the Heart of Steinbeck Country, in the center of the Salad Bowl of the World, between Soledad and Chualar as,
“Bracero Memorial Highway”
Juan D. Martinez Jr. 3-10-10


Juan D. Martinez



Bibliographic Citation

Juan D. Martinez, "Bracero Memorial highway," in Bracero History Archive, Item #3220, http://braceroarchive.org/es/items/show/3220 (accessed April 23, 2019).