Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

John J. Herrera Papers MSS.0160



Descriptive Summary

Creator Herrera, John J., 1910-1986
Title: John J. Herrera Papers
Dates: 1940-1980
Identification: MSS.0160
Quantity: 8.0 Linear feet
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Biographical Note

John James Herrera was born on April 12, 1910, in Cravens, Louisiana. He died on October 12, 1986, in Houston, Texas, at the age of 76.

John Herrera practiced law in Houston from 1943 to 1986 and was a leading civil rights advocate for Mexican Americans in Texas. In 1948, he was a member of the legal team in the case of Minerva Delgado vs. Bastrop Independent School District, which ultimately led Texas courts to rule that separate schools for Mexican American children were illegal. In 1954, Herrera authored briefs against the State of Texas in the Pete Hernandez case that resulted in a United States Supreme Court ruling that declared that the systematic exclusion of Spanish-speaking citizens from service on juries was unconstitutional. During World War II, Herrera was involved in protesting employment discrimination against Mexican Americans in Houston shipyards.

John Herrera was especially prominent in the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in which he served as national president from 1952-1953. He joined LULAC in 1933 and became convinced of the organization's potential for helping in the advancement of Hispanics. In the late 1970s, he was appointed national legal counsel for LULAC and served in that capacity into the early 1980s. He achieved the status of "lifetime distinguished member" in LULAC.

Herrera was a lifelong Democrat and politically active throughout his life. In the 1950s, he ran unsuccessfully for the Texas Legislature. In the early 1960s, he was an active supporter of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Herrera relates that one of the most memorable nights of his life was on November 21, 1963, when he introduced President John F. Kennedy to a group of LULAC members gathered at the Rice Hotel for a reception. (Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on the following day.)


Scope and Contents

This collection contains the private and public papers of John J. Herrera. The emphasis is on his civic, business, and political activities with very little information on family and personal matters. The time-frame is 1940s-1970s. From his law practice and civic interests there are correspondence, documents and speeches. Much of the correspondence is with leaders in the Mexican American community and also major political figures in Texas and the United States. Two benchmark cases concerning school desegregation and the rights of Spanish-speaking people to serve on juries should be of special interest to researchers. The largest portion of this collection is concerned with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC.) About half of the LULAC material is from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. The remainder is from the 1970s with an especially large concentration on 1977 and impeachment proceedings against LULAC officers. Herrera's role as national legal advisor for LULAC is prominently represented in the materials from the late 1970s.


 

Arrangement

This collection is separated into two areas. The first area covers a broad range of subjects beginning with biographic information then focusing on specific civil rights cases, continuing with information about John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and ending with legal and general correspondence. The second area is almost exclusively focused on LULAC. This half contains correspondence, documents, speeches and LULAC publications. The last section of this LULAC material concerns Herrera's role as national legal advisor for LULAC.

Restrictions

Use Restrictions

None


Index Terms

Aguayo, G. R.
Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans (Houston, Tex.)
Azios, A. D.
Benitez, Joseph
Bonilla, Ruben
Bonilla, William
Cadena, Carlos
Casas, J. B.
Casey, Bob
Connally, John Bowden, 1917-
Daniel, Price
De Anda, James
De la Garza, E.
Dies, Martin
Foreman, Percy
Garcia, Gus
Garcia, Hector P.
Garcia, Macario
Gonzales, Henry B.
Hernandez, Alfred J., 1917-
Hofheinz, Roy M.
Holcombe, Oscar, 1888-1968
House, J. H. B.
Kazen, Abraham
Kern, C. V.
Kilgore, Joe
League of United Latin American Citizens. Council #60 (Houston, Tex.)
League of United Latin American Citizens
Mann, Frank E.
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
Montalbo, Phil
Morales, Felix H.
Moreno, Carlos
Ornelas, Roberto
PASO
Perales, Alonso S.
Pinedo, Frank
Rodriguez, Cleto
Sanchez, George I.
Shivers, Allan
Thomas, Albert, 1898-1966
Tijerina, Felix, 1905-1965
Velez, Joe
Viva Johnson Clubs
Yarborough, Ralph
American G.I. Forum
Delgado, Minerva--Trials, litigation, etc.
Fiestas Patrias (Houston, Tex.)
Hernandez, Pete--Trials, litigation, etc.
KLVL (Radio station: Houston, Tex.)
League of United Latin American Citizens--Trials, litigation, etc.
Mexican American lawyers
Mexican American leadership
Mexican Americans--Societies, etc.
Mexican Americans--Texas--Houston
Political campaigns
Politicians--Texas
Presidents--United States--Election
Rios, Ben--Trials, litigation, etc.
San Jacinto Day Celebration (San Jacinto Battleground, Tex.)
Segregation--Texas--Trials, litigation, etc.
Sons of the Republic of Texas. San Jacinto Chapter, No. 1 (Houston, Tex.)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

John J. Herrera Papers. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

Donated by John J. Herrera on August 14, 1984

Processing Information

Processed by Thomas Kreneck

Processing completed by Victor Borgeson in 1992

Digitized Materials

A portion of this collection has been digitized and is available through the Houston Area Digital Archives. Please view the digitized material at: http://digital.houstonlibrary.org/cdm/search/searchterm/MSS0160/order/nosort


 General note 

MICROFILM CONTENT LOCATION


  1. Roll 1: Box 1, folder 1, to Box 3, folder 11
  2. Roll 2: Box 3, folder 12, to Box 6, folder 9
  3. Roll 3: Box 6, folder 10, to Box 9, folder 3
  4. Roll 4: Box 9, folder 4, to Box 9, folder 21

Detailed Description of the Collection

 

John J. Herrera Material

Box Folder
1 1 Membership Cards and Licenses of John J. Herrera
2 Biographical article on John J. Herrera, 1940s
3 Resume of John J. Herrera
4 Biographical article on John J. Herrera, 1970s
5 Speeches on Legal Matters and on being a Lawyer by John J. Herrera
6 Speeches and Tributes to John J. Herrera
7 Ruiz-Herrera Family History
8 "Letters to the Editor" by John J. Herrera, 1940s-1970s
9 Testimonial dinner for John J. Herrera, 1980
10 Family & Personal Correspondence & Documents, 1950s-1970s
11 John J. Herrera Family and Personal Business Documents, 1940s-1970s
12 Poll Tax Receipts of John J. Herrera, 1930s-1960s
13 Correspondence with & documents Relating to Ernest Herrera
14 Letters of Recommendation and Documents Related to John J. Herrera becoming an Attorney, 1940s
15 Correspondence of and Documents Relating to John Michael Herrera, 1960s-1970s
16 Correspondence with Douglas MacArthur Herrera, 1960s-1970s
17 Greeting Cards to John J. Hererra and Family
18 Correspondence and Programs Relating to San Jacinto Day and Sons of the Republic of Texas
19 Speeches made by John J. Herrera at San Jacinto, 1940s-1960s
20 Clippings re John J. Herrera's Participation in San Jacinto Day Celebrations, 1940s-50s
21 Autographed San Jacinto Speech by Martin Dies, 1969
22 Political speeches by John J. Herrera on Behalf of Candidates, 1940s-1970s
23 Documents Relating to John J. Herrera's Candidacy for Political Office, 1950s
24 Misc. Speeches by John J. Herrera on Civic and Ethnic Issues, 1960s-1970s
25 Article for Chronicle, Nov. 1983
26 John J. Herrera: Death of, Benefit Honoring: 1986
Box Folder
2 1 Clippings re Discrimination in Texas, 1940s-1950s
2 John J. Herrera Correspondence re Oscar Holcombe, Frank Mann, Latin American Club of Harris County, & Commissioner J.H.B. House, 1930s-1941
3 Minutes of a State Convention of Latin American Leaders Creating a Texas Pro-Human Relations Fund, Corpus Christi, 1951
4 Political Associations of Spanish-speaking Organizations (PASO), Publications, Houston, & Civic Action Committee, 1960s
5 Vida Latina, Chicago, Illinois publication, Vol. 3, No. 3, March 1954
6 Letter to John J. Herrera from Percy Foreman re Discrimination, 1944
7 John J. Herrera--Carlos Castaneda Correspondence, 1947 & 1949
8 John J. Herrera--Carlos Castaneda: Correspondence & Documents re President's Committee on Fair Employment Practice, 1943-1945
9 George I. Sanchez: Misc. Correspondence
10 A. L. Wirin & George I. Sanchez Correspondence re Discrimination, 1954-1955
11 Dr. Hector P. Garcia & G.I. Forum, 1950s-1970s
12 The Hispanic-American Corporation, Houston, Texas
13 Correspondence & Clippings re Misc. Houston Chicano Leaders, 1970s
14 Programa Official de Las Fiestas Patrias, Houston, Tejas (2 copies), Sept. 1969
15 Correspondence, Clippings & Documents re James De Anda, A.D. Azios, Phil Montalbo, & Carlos Cadena
16 J.B. Casas & G.R. Aquayo Correspondence, 1959-1970s
17 Correspondence & Documents re Frank Pinedo, 1950s-1970s
18 Correspondence re Alonso S. Perales, Alfred J. Hernandez & Abraham Kazen
19 Clippings, Correspondence, & Documents re Delgado Case and Segregation of Mexican-Americans in Texas Schools, 1948-1980
20 Correspondence Relative to and by Gus C. Garcia, 1940s-1963
21 Articles on Gus C. Garcia
22 Speeches and Editorial Letters by Gus C. Garcia, 1940s-1950s
23 Eulogy and Documents re Burial and Tribute to Gus C. Garcia
24 Correspondence & Documents re Pete Hernandez Case, 1950s-1970s
25 Pete Hernandez vs the State of Texas, 1950s
26 "Mexican Americans and the Desegregation of Schools in the Southwest"
27 Gus C. Garcia Scholarship Fund, 1964
28 Harry B. Gonzalez
29 Macario Garcia: Documents and Eulogy
30 Cleto Rodrigues: Citation
31 Congressional Medal of Honor Society, 1969
32 IMAGE of Houston, 1977
33 AAMA, MALDEF, Mex-Am Bar Association (Misc. News letters) 1970s-1980s
34 Clippings & Articles re Mexican-American Laborers, immigrants, and illegal aliens, 1960s-1970s
Box Folder
3 1 Misc. Correspondence from Houston Notables & Misc. Documents re Houston Campaigns
2 Fred Hofheinz: Correspondence & Documents re campaign and Mayor's Tenure
3 Misc. Correspondence with State Political Figures
4 Misc. Correspondence with Misc. National Political Figures
5 Correspondence of John J. Herrera with Albert Thomas & Joe Kilgore
6 Supporter Lists, Mailouts, News Release, and Minutes of Meeting of "Viva Johnson" Clubs, 1964
7 Clippings, Articles, & Flyers re "Viva Johnson" Clubs and Campaign, 1964
8 Correspondence to & from, and Documents re Jim Wright, 1960s
9 Political Campaign Material 1968, 1972
10 Correspondence with & Documents re C. V. 'Buster' Kern
11 Correspondence, Flyers re Kennedy-Johnson, 1960
12 Correspondence, Flyers & Stickers re Democratic Primary, 1962
13 Clippings, and Correspondence with Lyndon Johnson, 1940s-1960s
14 "Viva Johnson" Campaign Memorabilia, 1964
15 Misc. Correspondence with Price Daniel
16 Carlos McCormick, Nov. 29, 1963; Herrera's notes re JFK photos at the Rice Hotel, Nov. 22, 1963
17 Correspondence, clippings, and flyers re Kennedy & Johnson, 1962-63
18 John J. Herrera to President John F. Kennedy, inviting him to his appearance at the Rice Hotel Oct. 24, 1963
19 Telegram & Correspondence re "Viva Johnson" Clubs & Campaign, 1964
20 Allan Shivors: Telegrams to and Speech on Behalf of, by John J. Herrera
21 John Connally: Correspondence from and to John J. Herrera, 1960s
22 John Connally Campaigns: Correspondence, Clippings, Flyers, 1960s
23 Ralph Yarborough, 1950s-60s
24 El Democrata (Carr for Senate, Campaign) 1966
25 Jimmy Carter
26 T.W. 'Buckshot' Lane, Sheriff of Wharton County, 1940s-50s
27 Dr. Hector Garcia, Speech & Radio Announcement for Yarborough Candidacy, 1950s
28 Correspondence with Congressman Bob Casey
29 Correspondence with Kika De La Garza
30 Documents re Roy Hofheinz, 1950s
Box Folder
4 1 Joe Morales
2 Rios, Ben et. al. vs O.B. Ellis, et. al, Prison Farm Segregation Case, 1955
3 Private Abel Cisneros Army Discharge Case, 1952-1954
4 Immigration Cases Legal Papers, 1960s-1970s
5 Kenneth L. Ballard Case, 1971
6 Legal and General Correspondence of John J. Herrera, 1940s
7 Legal Documents and General Correspondence of John J. Herrera, 1950s
8 Legal and General Correspondence & Documents of John J. Herrera, 1960-1965
9 Legal and General Correspondence & Documents of John J. Herrera, 1966-1969
10 Legal and General Correspondence and Documents of John J. Herrera, 1970-1975
11 Legal and General Correspondence of John J. Herrera, 1977
12 Legal and General Correspondence & Documents of John J. Herrera, 1976-1980



 

League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Materials

Box Folder
5 1 Banquet in Houston Program, 1942
2 John J. Herrera Correspondence and documents, 1942-1946
3 The Pan American (San Antonio, Texas Publication), Vol. 1 No. 4; Article re Council No. 60 January 1945,
4 LULAC News, October 1945
5 LULAC News, Nov. 1946
6 LULAC News, May 1947
7 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, 1947
8 John J. Herrera Correspondence and Documents, 1948
9 John J. Herrera Correspondence and Documents, 1949
10 John J. Herrera Correspondence and Documents re Texas Regional Convention in Houston, 1949
11 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, June-August, 1950
12 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, Jan.-May, 1950
13 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, Sept.-Dec., 1950
14 John J. Herrera Correspondence, Documents, and Clippings, January-July, 1951
15 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, Aug.-Dec., 1951
16 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, January-May, 1952
17 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, As National President, June-December, 1952
18 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, As National President, Jan.-March, 1953
19 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, As National President, April-May, 1953
20 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, June-Dec., 1953
21 Membership Information Sheets, 1953
22 John J. Herrera for National President, 1953
23 John J. Herrera As National President, Official Reports, Financial & Council Meetings, 1952-1953
Box Folder
6 1 Frank Pinedo for National President, 1954
2 LULAC NEWS, June, 1954
3 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, 1954
4 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, Jan.-May, 1955
5 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, June-Dec., 1955
6 LULAC News, June, 1955
7 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, Tijerina-Herrera Exchange, 1956
8 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, re Felix Tijerina Administration, 1957
9 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, 1958
10 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, 1959
11 Speeches by John J. Herrera, 1940s-50s
12 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, 1960
13 Speeches by John J. Herrera, 1960s
14 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, 1961
15 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, 1962-1963
16 LULAC News, JFK Memorial Issue, Nov.-Dec. 1963
17 "William Bonilla For President" 1964
18 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents and as National Legal Advisor, 1964
19 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, 1965
20 Council 402 Anniversary Program, 1964-1978
21 Herrera Eulogy to Felix Tijerina, 1965
22 Texas LULAC State Convention Program, May 1966
23 LULAC News, Feb. 1965
24 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents re National LULAC Week
25 John J. Herrera Documents re LULAC Gallery of Honor and Prosperity, 1966
26 Michael Herrera Correspondence & Documents re "LULAC Registration Fiesta," 1966
27 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, 1966
28 Larado LULAC Installation Banquet Program, June 9, 1967
29 "In Honor of Roberto Ornelas, National President, League of United Latin American Citizens, Oct. 1, 1967" Program
30 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, 1967-1968
Box Folder
7 1 Speeches by John J. Herrera, 1970s
2 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents re Council of Bovina, Texas, 1972
3 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents re National LULAC Convention, Beaumont, Texas, 1972
4 43rd Annual National Convention Program, June 29-July 2, 1972, Beaumont, Texas
5 Histories of LULAC Anniversary Publications, 1972 & 1977
6 LULAC News (Misc. Issues) 1972-1975
7 Clippings re LULAC & Watergate, 1973
8 Documents, 1973
9 John J. Herrera Description of Past National Presidents, 1929-1974
10 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, 1974-1975
11 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, Jan.-Aug. 1976
12 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, Sept.-Dec., 1976
13 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents as National Legal Advisor, Jan.-March, 1977
14 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents as National Legal Advisor, April, 1977
15 John J. Herrera Correspondence, Reports, & Documents, as National Legal Advisor, May-June, 1977
16 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents as National Legal Advisor, July, 1977
17 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents as National Legal Advisor, August, 1977
18 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents as National Legal Advisor, Sept.-Dec. 1977
Box Folder
8 1 Supreme Council Meetings, 1976
2 Special Funds, 1976-1977
3 Colorado LULAC Newsletter, April 1977; Newsletter, Washington, D.C., 1977
4 June 23, 1977 & Anniversary Banquet Program of El Sol, 1977
5 LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc., Newsletter, Misc. Issues, 1976-1977
6 Impeachment of Joseph Benites, 1975-1977
7 Impeachment Proceedings of Joe Benites, 1977
8 Impeachment of Joseph Benites
9 Articles of Impeachment
10 Impeachment of Joe Velez & Joseph Benites, 1977
11 Impeachment Proceedings, Joe Velez, Confidential Protocol, 1977
12 Impeachment of Joe Velez, 1977
13 Impeachment of Joe Velez, 1977
Box Folder
9 1 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, 1978
2 John J. Herrera Correspondence & Documents, Jan.-June, 1979
3 Correspondence & Documents re Presidency of Ruben Bonilla, July-August, 1979
4 Correspondence & Documents re Presidency of Ruben Bonilla, Sept.-Dec. 1979 & 1980
5 LULAC News Two issues, 1979 & 1980
6 Original Charter & Subsequent Charter Revisions, Amendments, Forfeiture, & Reinstatement, 1931-1950s
7 Banco International vs LULAC, 1976
8 J.R. Autolease Inc. vs LULAC, 1977
9 Banco International De Arizona vs LULAC, 1977
10 American Express vs LULAC
11 American Express vs LULAC, 1976-1978
12 American Express vs LULAC
13 E & J Travel Bureau vs LULAC, 1977
14 Arizona Bank Travel Service vs LULAC, 1975-1977
15 Arizona Bank Travel Service vs LULAC
16 Edward O'Neill & Betty O'Neill vs LULAC 1976-1977
17 Cogswell Polytechnical College vs LULAC, 1976
18 Internal Revenue Service, 1977
19 Clippings & Documents re Coors Beer Company Controversy, 1977
20 Manuel Vriarte vs LULAC, 1977
21 Misc. Local Clippings re LULAC, Political Figures, & Joe Campos Torres Affair, 1977