Alfredo Elias Calles, the Mexican Consul in Los Angeles, sent this telegram to Rear Admiral D.W. Bagley, Commandant of the Eleventh Naval District on June 9, 1943. He was especially concerned with the apparent targeting of Mexican nationals by American “sailors soldiers marines and civilians.” Those clashes are better known as the Zoot Suit Riots.
Here is the text of Bagley’s reply later that day:
I deeply regret that individual incidents of hoodlumism in Los Angeles have been interpreted as acts specifically involving nationals of either Mexico or the United States. For the very explicit reasoning of your telegram, I already have acted to cope with the deplorable situation and will continue to act within my prerogatives until matters are adjusted to our mutual satisfaction. I am deeply appreciative of your telegram because of its sincere intent to deny any individual or group an opportunity to disrupt the amiable relations treasured by our respective peoples. The frankness of your telegram assures me that you and I are sympathetic to each other’s position in a situation which should have been classified as simple rowdyism and handled accordingly at its inception. My already great admiration for Mexico, its people and its officials has been increased through understanding of the sincere motive of your telegram.
Explore the 70th Anniversary of the Zoot Suit Riots through the records of the U.S. Navy. This telegram, and the Commandant’s response can be found in the Commandant’s records at the National Archives at Riverside (RG 181).
The reports of continued chaos continued to come in to the Commanders throughout the Eleventh Naval District. Reports of groups of “servicemen prowling downtown Los Angeles,” in groups of “10 to 150 men…carrying hammock clues, belts, knives and tire irons,” were disturbing to the Navy commanders. The riots were disruptive to the war effort and made maintaining good relations with Angelinos difficult as well.
Though in many press reports, the “zoot suiters” were seen as the instigators of the violence, the Navy’s records show a clear concern with the behavior of Naval personnel towards the Mexican community in Los Angeles.
Explore the 70th Anniversary of the Zoot Suit Riots through the records of the U.S. Navy. This report to the Commandant of the Eleventh Naval District is from records at the National Archives at Riverside (RG 181).
Seventy years ago, this week, the Commandant of the U.S. Navy’s Eleventh Naval District declared that the City of Los Angeles was out-of-bounds for all enlisted personnel. It was a radical move that prompted press attention and pleas from the mayor. But it was for a good reason.
June 3-4, 1943 marks the beginning of a week long series of fights that would continue through the week between U.S. Navy personnel and Mexican “zoot suiters” in Los Angeles.
Explore the 70th Anniversary of the Zoot Suit Riots through the records of the U.S. Navy. This notice is from records at the National Archives at Riverside created by the Commandant of the Eleventh Naval District (RG 181).
In honor of Memorial Day 2013, we would like to share an image of Governor Ronald Reagan observing a moment of silence, at the Naval Training Center in San Diego, California, c. 1975. From our records of the Eleventh Naval District (RG 181).
Today America remembers those who have served and fallen. Who are you remembering?
On this day in history, Warner Brothers’ classic film - the Adventures of Robin Hood - debuted 75 years ago in 1938. It was the most expensive film that Warner Brothers had produced to-date with extravagant sets and costumes, multiple film locations, and the utilization of a new color movie-making process called Technicolor. The Adventures of Robin Hood tells the legendary tale of the Sherwood Forest bandit who fought oppression against a tyrannical government with good-cheer and principled determination. Starring Errol Flynn as Robin Hood and Olivia de Havilland as Maid Marian, it became an instant hit and arguably remains the most definitive cinematic version of Robin Hood ever filmed.
The National Archives at Riverside celebrates the 75th anniversary of the movie’s release by showcasing Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland’s naturalization records from Record Group 21 – Records of the U.S. District Courts. Errol Flynn was born in Hobart, Australia in 1909 while Olivia de Havilland was born in Tokyo, Japan to British parents in 1916. The U.S. District Court of Los Angeles granted Flynn and de Havilland U.S. citizenship in the early 1940s. Aside from the Adventures of Robin Hood, Flynn and de Havilland made eight other movies together, including Captain Blood in 1935 and Santa Fe Trail in 1940.
The National Archives at Riverside maintains thousands of naturalization records for foreign-born residents who attained U.S. citizenship in southern California, Arizona, and Clark County, Nevada through the year 1991. For more information on our holdings, please feel free to contact us!
With the 2013 baseball season underway, take a look at a bit of baseball from our holdings! During World War II, Camp Ross was used by the Army as a cantonment area for U.S. troops at the Los Angeles Port of Embarkation. In 1945, the baseball team was integrated.
This photo, found in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Transportation at the National Archives at Riverside is featured in our latest eBook: “Baseball: The National Pastime in the National Archives.” It is available at http://www.archives.gov/publications/ebooks/index.html#baseball for iPad, iPhone, Android, or eReader.
Did you know that February is National Pet Dental Health Month? Make sure to take Fido to get his teeth checked!
To help you to remember this important designation for the month of February, we give you Rounder the dolphin. Rounder is pictured here with a veterinarian—Rounder needed a partial dental plate! The images were taken between 1965 and 1967.
These pictures are held in a series of Historical Photograph Files of the Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments at the Eleventh Naval District. Pacific Missile Test Center, Point Mugu, CA.
“Surprise aggressive action at any moment is possible.” November 28, 1941 (Lt. General De Witt, Western Defense Command)
From the holdings of the Eleventh Naval District (San Diego, California) at the National Archives at Riverside.