Independent Lens

The Longoria Affair

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Private Felix Longoria fought and died while fighting the Japanese during World War II. But when his body was sent back his small hometown in Texas, the only funeral parlor there refused to hold a wake for the Mexican American GI because "the whites would not like it." The incident would ripple outward, launching the career of Lyndon B. Johnson, landing the undertaker in a mental institution, engendering hostile recriminations for the next 50 years, and launching the Mexican American civil rights movement.



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