Throughout 2014, the NJCHS sponsored an exhibit about the landmark desegregation case, Mendez et al v. Westminster School District et al. In the 1940s, five Mexican-American families brought suit against four Orange County, California school districts for segregating their children from other students. The Exhibit traces the impact of their suit, including the Ninth Circuit's order affirming the lower court’s decision in favor of the plaintiffs. The Mendez case later served as a major precedent in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision.
The award-winning traveling exhibit, entitled “A Class Action: The Grassroots Struggle for School Desegregation in California,” was seen by more than 500 school children in San Diego and Portland. The exhibit also traveled to San Francisco, where it was the subject of a program featuring Ninth Circuit Judge Mary Schroeder, as well as Gonzalo Mendez, Jr., and Beverly Gallegos, who related how their parents brought the original lawsuit in 1946. Ninth Circuit Judge Mary Murguia, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, also spoke about the significance of Mendez v. Westminster to her personally and to the nation.
The ‘Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America’ exhibit was created to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of America’s greatest president by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The exhibit covered Lincoln’s childhood, his self-education, his careers as a surveyor and lawyer, his family life, the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, the 1860 Presidential election, the Civil War, the 13th Amendment, the Emancipation Proclamation, his assassination, and other important periods and events in his life. The reproduction artifacts on display, all modeled from originals in the Presidential Library and Museum, included: Lincoln’s favorite books; his son Tad’s toy cannon; the nameplate from his Springfield home; his stovepipe hat, which he used like a briefcase to hold important papers; a Presidential campaign banner; an axe that Lincoln used to chop wood; the bloody gloves found in Lincoln’s pocket the night of his assassination; and many other unique and interesting items.
EXHIBITED AT THE EDWARD R. ROYBAL U.S. FEDERAL BUILDING AND COURTHOUSE, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA