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ERIC Number: EJ1003168
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Mexican Americans in the Era of World War II: Studying the Sleepy Lagoon Case and Zoot Suit Riots
Ramirez, Axel Donizetti
Social Education, v76 n3 p151-156 May-Jun 2012
When the author was growing up in East Los Angeles his mother told him about the "classy" gangsters of East L.A. who wore Zoot Suits. Through research, he learned that the Zoot Suiters were much more than well-dressed Latinos: they had a sense of honor and pride and exhibited class under adverse circumstances. In August of 1942, Jose Diaz, a 22-year-old Mexican American, was murdered near a popular swimming hole known as Sleepy Lagoon. The ensuing investigation and press hysteria fueled racial tensions and ultimately led to the Zoot Suit Riots in June of 1943. In this lesson, the "choose your own ending" format provides a chance for students to experience a historical situation and then delve into the specifics of history. As the students make choices, teachers may want to have them write down and reflect on their choices. All of the endings lead the student to an overview of the Sleepy Lagoon Case and Zoot Suit Riots. (Contains 7 notes.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A