A centerpiece of the department's manuscript holdings are the papers of Dr. Hector Perez Garcia (1914-1996). Corpus Christi physician, founder of the American G.I. Forum, and legendary community leader, Dr. Garcia was active in political and civic affairs for over fifty years; he ranks as one of the most important figures in Mexican American history. His papers comprise one of the most valuable resources in existence on the Mexican-American experience during the last half of the twentieth century. Dr. Garcia's papers contain his voluminous archives dealing with the American G.I. Forum which he began in 1948 and cover the major issues faced by Mexican Americans during his career as a champion of civil rights.
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