Tejano Association for Historical Preservation

Lorenzo de Zavala Chapter

March Issue 2005

http://www.tejanoahp.org

Post Office Box 231021

Houston, Texas 77223

Selena

By Blanca Hernandez Blanco

Ms. Hernandez-Blanco is the former publisher/editor of VIVA! Magazine which appeared in the Houston Post from 1990-1994.  This article was reprinted in its entirety from the Tejano Association for Historical Preservation Newsletter June 1995 Volume One, Issue Three.

It's been almost two months since the news of the tragic death of 23 year-old Tejano star, Selena Quintanilla Perez, shocked our communities. That Friday, March 31, seemed like any other Friday until 1:00 p.m. when news services across the nation flashed that Selena had been shot in Corpus Christi.

The newscasters related the news in disbelief. By 1:30 p.m., millions of listeners, viewers and fans could not accept the horrible news of the day that the brightest star of the Tejano music industry has been murdered. Indeed, a black Friday for us all. But, who could have committed such a terrible deed? The question in everyone's mind wasn't answered until late that night.

Yolanda Saldivar fired the fatal shot that ended the life of the young, talented and vivacious Selena. Saldivar, a supposed loyal fan, a former president of Selena's fan club, was manager of Selena, Etc., the star's clothing boutiques in San Antonio and Corpus Christi.

Abraham Quintanilla, Selena's father and manager, had accused Saldivar of embezzling money from the boutiques and the fan club. On that fateful day, Selena went alone, to the Days Inn in Corpus to pick up documents that Saldivar had in her possession and to end their relationship. It was presumed that Selena told Saldivar that she was fired from Selena, Etc. An argument ensued and shots were fired. Selena ran to the lobby of the hotel clutching her chest. She had a gunshot wound in her back. A witness asked Selena who shot her. "Yolanda," Selena answered.

Saldivar has since been charged with the murder of Selena and is jailed in Nueces County with a $500,000 bond that she has been unable to post.

In these past two months, the apparent impact that Selena left in our communities will never be forgotten. The emotion that has followed since her death has been overwhelming.  In every festival, concert or school program, "Tributes to Selena," are performed as a testament of their love and honor of the young star.  Selena was the queen of Tejano music. She was a role model to young ladies.  Now more than ever, they emulate Selena, wanting to be like her. Selena was down-to-earth, never stuck-up, or uppity. Selena never knew just how famous she really was. She was always happy and smiling. Selena had a natural God­given talent and good moral standards.

Selena was sometimes called the "Mexican Madonna," although there was no comparison. Selena was sexy but not vulgar, and she dressed in her own sexy but tasteful creations. She was brought up with good, strong family values, and the Quintanillas were a close knit family.  They stuck together through good times and bad. Selena was the youngest of Abraham and Marcela Quintanilla's three children. She was born on April 16, 1971 at the Community Hospital of Brazosport. The Quintanilla family lived in Lake Jackson, just 55 miles south of Houston. Abraham led a band called Los Dinos before he left Corpus in the early 50s and 60s. When the family moved and settled in Lake Jackson, he quit the band and took a job at Dow Chemical to support his growing family. Abraham always wanted to get back into the music scene, but felt time had passed him by. Instead, he taught music to his three children. At six, Selena had already demonstrated to her lather that she had an extraordinary voice. Abraham taught Suzette who was four years older than Selena, the drums and his son A.B. how to play the guitar. Later he quit Dow, and opened a restaurant called Papagallo in Lake Jackson, which included a dance floor and a platform for their young band to perform, and where Selena made her first debut on stage. After the oil drought, Abraham closed the restaurant, moved back to Corpus and the family depended on Selena y Los Dinos Band for income.

Selena made her first recording at the age of 12, Mis Primeras Grabaciones, which was released in 1984 on the Freddie record label. Selena y Los Dinos then moved from the Freddie label to Cara, then from Cara to the Manny label. Selena y Los Dinos experienced some hard times, but A.B. was eight years older than Selena, knew the bass chords, and with Suzette on the drums they were determined. Abraham knew he had a star on his hands and never gave up his quest for success. By 1988, the popular Selena was voted Female Vocalist of the Year at the Tejano Music Awards in San Antonio. She won that award for seven consecutive years. By 1989, Selena y Los Dinos signed on with Capital EMI and had a hit with Alvaro Torres, a duet called Buenos Amigos, in 1991. By then, Selena y Los Dinos were hitting the international market in Mexico with hits of her own, La  Carcacha and Como La Flor. The Mexicans and the international market embraced her. Her brother, A. B.'s talent in writing the tropical and salsa sound was what the international market was looking for.  Selena's versatile, cumbia-style dancing and singing brought it all together. In 1994, the album Amor Prohibido produced four hits including the title track, Bidi Bidi Bom Bom, No me Queda Mas, and Fotos  y Recuerdos.

Before her untimely death, Selena was scheduled to produce her first cross-over English album, which she was very excited about. She had already recorded four of the songs on the track at the time of her death. Selena was destined to become an international superstar, as big or bigger than Whitney Houston or Janet Jackson.

On April 2, 1992 Selena married Christopher Perez, Los Dinos lead guitarist, the couple would have celebrated their third anniversary. They lived in La Molina, a working class neighborhood in Corpus, next door to her mom and dad, with her brother, his wife and child on the other side.

The last big performance of Selena was before a crowd of 60,000 fans at the Astrodome for the Go Tejano Committee of the Houston Livestock & Rodeo in February of 1995 to raise scholarship money for Hispanic students in the Houston area. She gave an unprecedented performance. Her personality and charisma seemed to touch people. Selena wanted to give and give. Her sense of community never faltered. Selena did give. Selena gave her life.

For more information about the roots of Tejano and  conjunto music visit the University of Texas website at

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/benson/border/arhoolie2/raices.html  To visit Austin's Premier  Conjunto go to: http://www.lostexaswranglers.com/


On Wed. Dec. 8, 2004 at Houston Fire Station # 27 6515 Lyons Avenue in Denver Harbor, Houston, Texas a Fire Truck Pumper was dedicated with a plaque to the memory of Elias Martinez' Houston's first Mexican American Fireman.  He was also a member of LULAC # 60.  Congressman Gene Green, Honorable Mayor Bill White, Fire Chief Boriskie, Councilman Adrian Garcia, Councilwoman Carol Alvarado,  Representatives from Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee's office and and Community Leader Roy Zermeno representing Honorable Mario Gallegos were present.  Sgt. Larry Long of Constable Precinct 6 and Mrs. Long,  generously organized the reception which followed.  It was a moving event for Rose Martinez and the Martinez Family.  Attendance was at standing room. Benny Martinez when interviewed by KUHF News stated "He was very modest, he never considered himself a trailblazer, but he really was."  When people break the barrier, they need to be honored.  This is a beautiful fire truck and a beautiful fire station."    The following text is the story written by Estella Zermeno and it was joyfully well read at the ceremony by her eldest son Arthur Zermeno.

Elias was a healthy robust young boy who loved to roam around the ranch where he lived.  At a very young age he learned to swim in the San Antonio River, ride a horse, milk cows, pick cotton, hitch and drive the wagon but his passion was hunting and fishing.  By age six could make a pretty good sling shot which he used to kill birds. He would then build a small fire and roast the birds.  Some of us siblings would sit around the fire and eat the birds, they were good eating. By age eight Elias was a great sharp shooter with our father's 22 caliber rifle and graduated to bigger game.

He started school at six and for four years he walked some distance to school in Goliad with his siblings until 1938 when the family moved to town. Elias missed the ranch but he was busy with school, involved in some sports, he liked boxing and for a while his father thought he would become a boxer.

The San Antonio River and creeks always seemed to be near where he lived and on his spare time he would be fishing, no matter how warm or cold it was. One afternoon as he was fishing in the river he spotted a wild turkey across the river, since he always carried the 22 with him he shot the turkey, and jumped into the freezing water to bring the turkey home to his mother.  She worried he would catch pneumonia, but he didn't.

Elias went to a segregated school up to the 8th grade when he and his classmates were allowed into the Anglo Jr. high school.  They were not welcomed there by many of the Anglo students.  The Anglo boys would harass the Hispanic girls, pull their hair, etc. and they would complain to Elias, since he was over 6 feet tall and with some weight on him. After school the girls would point out the boys to him and he would grab them by the neck and whip them, of course he came home with some bruises and scratches, but after a while the Anglo boys stopped harassing the girls.

He loved nature, the sky, the forest, and the sea; he bought a small boat and would take members of his family fishing. He was always taking his nephews hunting and fishing, for this they loved him and have great memories.

Elias owned a small place in Goliad, and enjoyed going there every time he had a chance.  He kept a canoe and a jeep there. He knew all the country roads in Goliad and went all over them in his jeep.  He loved humorous stories and many times he would invite his sisters and other members of the family to go riding at night.  He would come to an old bridge and he would turn off the lights and just sit there.  Of course it was pitch dark and scary with all the sounds of the night animals.

I will never forget the last time I went out to the country with him. Haley's Comet was making an appearance and he knocked at my door at 4:30 in the morning and he said "come on we are going to the country where we can see Haley’s Comet.” We did and it was an awesome sight.

Elias visited his sisters often.  He would tell us "well I don't know if your husbands will let you go see me so I come to you.  Now my brother, that is a different story, they can come visit me anytime they wish to.  Elias was a big man with a big heart; he loved his wife, son and daughters very much. He was very proud of them. His son Elias Jr. (Sonny) was still in diapers and his daddy would take him in his car all over Houston scouting in the streets for the new locations of the fire department fire hydrants and he memorized the location of each one of  them.  That is how he earned his nickname "Ace."  Later, his  nephew Raul Y. Martinez would also become a firefighter and for a while was stationed at the same Fire Station with his uncle and they fought fires together. Raul, 6 feet 4 inches tall, was called "Little Ace."

Elias taught his son Elias Jr. all about fishing, hunting, and guns. He had a collection of guns including an old musket used by his great grandfather, Juan Elias Lozano, a Confederate soldier in the Civil war.  My grandmother kept the musket behind a door and claimed it didn't work but Elias got it to work.  

Elias also loved music and dancing.  He learned to play the banjo and guitar.  Elias lived a full life and was a happy man.


The 70th Anniversary of LULAC Council 60 was held Sunday Dec. 5, 2004 at the American Legion Hall located at 7599 Ave C, Houston, Texas 77012 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Posting of the Colors was by the VFW Post # 8930.   Judge Ruben Guerrero, Attorney at Law with his wit emceed the event and the hard working Charles Flores honored all Past Presidents and Past District Directors of LULAC # 60.  A moment of silence was held for the late LULAC Council 60 member Felix Salazar, Attorney at Law, who passed away October 27, 2004.  The council was honored with the presence of National President Hector Flores who awarded and recognized the efforts of Rose Ann Blanco, Norma Williams, Abe Saavedra, Ph.D. and Johnny Mata. President Flores also recognized and awarded Benny C. Martinez, Joel Lara, David Williams and Loretta Williams with the Patriot Award for their work in preservation of  history.  Hon. Gov. Rick Perry sent a proclamation which was read by President Charles Flores.  A proclamation from the Hon. Mayor Bill White commemorating this event was read and presented by Leonel Castillo, Educational Advisor to the Mayor.  Hon. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee sent a flag and a proclamation. A proclamation from Hon. Congressman Gene Green was also presented.  Council # 60 members organized the well attended event.   The late Joe Vallejo, who passed away  January 18, 2005 once again took the lead by chairing the sales of ads for the colorful commemorative brochure.  Teresa Saldierna chaired the sales of the raffle items.  Dorothy Olmos chaired the hostess committee and called on the cooking talents of  the female members of Council 60 for the dinner.  Mrs. Phillip Young and Mrs. Bertha Urteaga were in charge of the sale of tickets for the event.   Please note that the anniversary celebration was held in the neighborhood of Magnolia, as Benny Martinez,  District Director 10 of LULAC put it best  " LULAC Council 60 was born in Magnolia, so therefore we are having our anniversary party in Magnolia."  Benny Martinez exhibited a small sample of his extensive collection of photos, convention LULAC magazines, newsletters, etc. which encompasses 75 years of LULAC, the nations oldest and largest Hispanic organization. 

The following is the speech given by Frank Ortiz, National Treasurer for LULAC at the 70th Anniversary Ceremonies.

My wife Cookie and I joined LULAC in 1974, as founders and members of Council 660, located in the NASA area and my working association with Council 60 began soon thereafter when I decided to enter the world of LULAC politics.

When I was a young boy my grandfather used to tell me and my cousin, "el diablo sabe mas por viejo que por diablo," (the devil knows more because he is old and not because he is a devil). Yes, age and experience go hand-in-hand and people willing to listen to advise can go a long way in life. So when I became a LULAC elected officer I quickly looked for experienced members that could give me good and sound advice and I found the majority of my advisors in Council 60.

·        The late Frumencio Rodriguez (Council 60) the first adviser taught me the protocol of LULAC.

·        The late John J. Herrera (past national president), related the early struggles of LULAC and the solutions that had been used to resolve those struggles.

·        Judge Alfred Hernandez (El Indio and past national president) has always offered his views on several issues and on a few occasions encouraged me to run for national president.

·        Mr. David Adame (past national Chaplin) always guided us in the right direction with his outstanding wisdom.

·        The late judge Felix Salazar (past national legal advisor) always made time to listen to the problems when I visited with him in his chamber and always offered good advice.

·        Mr. Joe Orlando, a traveling companion on several occasions, was always around to give good and sound advice.

·        The late constable Roy Martinez was always willing to help with advice, support, and his brother Benny (national historian) is always available to help.

·       Finally, the late Elias Barrera, a dear friend was a traveling companion, an advisor and a campaign manager on several elections. Elias was always worried that I would say the wrong thing and lose votes. I can still feel him pulling me away from a political conversation and asking Cookie to do the same if he was not around.

Yes, Council 60 has produced outstanding LULAC leadership and I am  sad that the younger members of today did not have the opportunity to see these individuals in action as I did.  Today, while some of these individuals are not around, I can still hear their voices and picture their faces, as I silently speak to them whenever I am faced with a political challenge and need advice. These individuals molded me into a LULAC national officer, just as they molded Council 60 into the greatest Council in LULAC.  It is because of the members already mentioned, and many others, that Council 60 has developed several programs that have helped hundreds of thousands in the Latino community.

On behalf of the entire LULAC membership, I congratulate Council 60 for 70 years of outstanding service to the Houston Latino community. Thank you for your wisdom, for your leadership and for your friendship.

Thank you!


 T.A.H.P. sends condolences to the family members and LULAC members for the loss its two recent members.

 Felix Salazar, the distinguished Attorney at Law who worked tirelessly with John J. Herrera, Attorney at Law and Felix Tijerina, a past National President of LULAC,  recently passed away after a long illness on October 27, 2004  Judge Salazar served as a National Legal Advisor for several National LULAC Presidents and was a past president of LULAC Council # 60.  He was an assistant probate judge and a former District Court Judge.  He would also later work in the area of  researching land grant issues.   He possessed wit, wisdom and charm.  He had a never ending drive and push for excellence.    His contributions to LULAC and the law were numerous.   

Joe Vallejo served as a past District 6 Director and was also a member of Council # 60.  He was dedicated to LULAC and always had a kind word for others. He was proud of his heritage, family and proud to be a member of LULAC.  His many adventures, stories of the Alamo and the Tejanos handed down by his grandmother will not be forgotten.  Joe Vallejo passed away unexpectedly January 18, 2005 and was buried in his beloved hometown of San Antonio, Texas.

T.A.H.P. also sends condolences to Dr. Emilio Sarabia, Mrs. Oralia Sarabia and family on their loss of Mrs. Sarabia's mother, Dolores Flores Cantu who passed away March 6, 2005.  She is preceded in death by her husband Federico L. Cantu.  Mr. and Mrs. Cantu were community leaders in the Sociedad Mutulista Benito Juarez, Club Familias Unidas, and Woodmen of the World. The Cantu Family and the Flores family owned and operated La Moderna Grocery Store and Magnolia Variety until their retirement.  Mr. and Mrs. Cantu were always ready to help the community.  

T.A.H.P. expresses sorrow to these esteemed families.


Josefa Chipita Rodriguez

The Legend of Chipita,  by Keith Gutherie

Compiled by Tom Green, Hill Country District Rep. of the Sons of the Republic of Texas, 

Texas Society Staff Secretary of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Color Guard Southern Commander

    On any Friday 13th, but especially on November 13th many people have felt or seen the ghost of Chipita Rodriguez in the San Patricio, Texas area.  This is because Chipita was legally hanged on Friday, November 13, 1863 for a murder she probably did not commit and until this year, as of  Feb. 3, 1998, she was the last woman executed in Texas.  For years, it was thought that Chipita was the ONLY woman ever executed in Texas, but historians have determined that Jane Elkins, a slave convicted of murder, was hanged on May 27, 1853 in Dallas, Texas. Jane Elkins was the first woman ever legally executed in Texas.

    San Patricio de Hibernia was formed on the El Camino Real by  Empresarios James McGloin and his partner John McMullen in 1830, when they brought a group of 200 hardy pioneers to the area.  Many of these first settlers were Irish-Catholic settlers brought directly from Ireland and they got along with the Mexicans at first because of their common Catholic religion.  One of these settlers is believed to have been Samuel Blair who later died at the Alamo.  I am researching this Samuel Blair in an effort to find out if he was directly related to my Blair line.   James McGloin was the executor of his estate after the Battle of the Alamo, but back to Chipita Rodriguez.

    Hundreds of articles and stories have been written about Josefa Rodriguez, the daughter of Pedro Rodriguez who left Mexico because of Santa Anna, but then died defending Texas against his invasion of Texas.  Chipita, as she was called, had been left alone to survive in a one room shack on the west bank of the Aransas River.  In the early days the section of the El Camino Real that ran from Refugio to San Patricio crossed the Aransas River about 1 and 1/2 miles above the home of Rafael Aldrete, and the crossing became known as Aldrete’s Crossing.  This spot is where Highway 77 today crosses the Aransas River.  In 1863 the road was called the Cotton Road, since much of the traffic that passed in front of her home was due to the overland shipment of much of the cotton produced in the Confederacy being exported through Mexico, because of the Yankee Naval Embargo.  Chipita would earn a few dollars from time to time by letting travelers on the “Cotton Road” sleep on a cot on her porch and feed them.  Such was the case on the night of August 23, 1863, when John Savage, a horse trader arrived late in the afternoon from San Antonio where he had received $600 in gold from the Confederate Army for the sale of horses.  John Savage was a large man, who traveled heavily armed, and was known to carry large sums of money, and he had eaten the food Chipita provided and lay down on the cot with his huge six-shooter still strapped to his leg.

    What happened next is not known, but a few day later 5 year old Dora Welder was given permission by her mother to go with 2 black servants to the Aransas River to gather fire wood, and one of the servants, Laura, noticed a gunny sack a few feet from shore, and she hooked it with a long stick and attempted to pull it ashore, but the sack tore and a man’s arm was visible in the sack.  The three girls hurried back to tell John Welder, the father of Dora, who rode to the river and fished the body of John Savage from the river, and then rode the 15 miles to Meansville, to get Sheriff  William B. Means.  A few days later, the sheriff arrested Chipita Rodriguez for murder and Juan Silvera as an accomplice.

    Few records of the matter have survived, but it is thought that Sheriff Means found blood on the porch on Chipita’s Inn, and she was the only person living in the area.  It must be assumed that the missing $600 in gold was considered the motive, but the gold was found a week before the trial started down river from where John Savage’s body was found.  People of the day thought that Chipita was a 90 year old woman at the time, and small in stature.  How would this woman have split the scull of a 200+ man with an ax and stuffed his body into 2 gunny sacks and dragged the body to the river?  This is where Juan Silvera comes into the picture, and it is believed he may have been the son of Chipita.  Juan was convicted of 2nd degree murder and given 5 years as punishment.

    Whatever the facts, a grand jury was formed on October 5, 1863 and Judge Benjamin Neal, who later became mayor of Corpus Christi, appointed Sheriff Means as foreman of the grand jury.  Two other members of Sheriff Means’ family also served on the grand jury.  Chipita was indicted on October 7, 1863, and the trial started on October 9, 1863 with three of the jurors having served on the grand jury.  Several others had charges pending against them, and the judge dismissed these charges before the trial began.  On October 10, 1863 the jury found Chipita guilty of first degree murder of John Savage, but recommended leniency because of the circumstantial evidence.  Chipita never said a word at her trial, except to say “Not Guilty.”  The judge ignored the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Chipita to hang on Friday, November 13, 1863.

    Local historians have researched the record of Judge Neal and they report that no other persons were executed for murder from his court.  It should be remembered that the Civil War was going badly for the Confederates in 1863 and the Yankee blockade troops did actually come ashore at Corpus Christi on at least one occasion.  Due to the fact that cotton from the south was being transported by wagons to Mexico for export, there was fear that the North would come ashore in force any day.

    Murder was not uncommon at the time and there were apparently no other convictions in San Patricio County while Judge Neal served. One of the jury members, John Choate had been indicted for murder in 1852, but the case had been dropped.   Another member of the jury, Pat Hart had been indicted for manslaughter in 1852 and his case was also dismissed.   Another member of the jury, Cornelius McTierman, was found guilty of murder by a jury in 1859, but served on Chipita’s jury.  Two other jurors were involved in a law suit between themselves, and another juror, Thomas Redmond, was involved in a law suit with Thomas O’Callaghan, the defense attorney.  Owen Gaffney, another juror, had been the postmaster in 1856, but was removed due to a shortage of postal funds.  In 1861 he was elected County Judge.  This should give you a picture of justice at that time.

    While Chipita awaited her execution, she was chained to the back of the court house under a lean-to shed.  She still wore the same dress as when she was arrested.  Some of the women and children of the community began to bring food to Chipita.  On Nov. 12, 1863, Kate McCumber, who lived near the courthouse, brought Chipita a clean dress, and fixed her hair.  The next day, the Deputy Sheriff, John Gilpin approached Kate McCumber to borrow her new cart to transport Chipita to her hanging, but Kate exploded and shouted, “not in my wagon!”  She is reported to have picked up a stick from the woodpile and threatened the Deputy.  The Deputy borrowed a 2 wheel cart from Mr. Murphy, and he loaded the hand made coffin from the back of Sullivan’s store.  Chipita sat in her coffin on the way to the large mesquite tree just out of town.  Deputy Gilpin placed the rope around Chipita’s neck, and started to place a blindfold over her eyes, but Chipita swept it away and gazed straight into the Deputy eyes and shook her head.  The Deputy then tied Chipita’s hands behind her back and quickly jumped down from the cart and raised his whip and brought it down on the oxen who lurched forward and the crowd saw the horror of  strangulation, as the weight of her small body was not enough to break her neck.  Chipita was buried beneath the hanging tree, and one of the small boys, Jack McGowan, said that he heard a groan from the coffin as it was being lowered into the shallow grave, and he did not stop running until he reached his home over a mile away!

    People have said that every time a woman is convicted of murder, the ghost of Chipita appears in the area.  In one case during WW-1 she wondered the area for days, until the convicted woman died in her cell, and then Chipita’s ghost disappeared.

    Where was Sheriff Means during the hanging?  Why was an appeal for a new trial withdrawn?  What happened to the $600 in gold that was found just before the trial started?  Why were these people in such a hurry to hang this small, old lady?  Was Juan Silvera her son?  Why were no other persons executed, or even convicted of murder from Judge Neal’s court?

    Many people have pondered these questions, and several have attempted to do something about what happened.  In 1978, the Ladies Auxiliary of the American GI Forum requested a pardon for Chipita from Governor Dolph Briscoe, but the Attorney General held that a pardon could not be issued for a dead person. In the 1980’s Richard Hatch, the County Attorney for San Patricio County asked State Senator, Carlos Truan to introduce a resolution to clear Chipita’s name.  It took over a year, but on June 13, 1985, Governor Mark White signed a resolution which in effect pardoned Chipita Rodriguez.

    But what really happened?  Did Chipita kill John Savage?  If not who did?  Well, in the book “Forgotten Colony” the story is related that 40 years after the hanging of Chipita, Kate McCumber, who had befriended Chipita, told her daughter that Chipita told her that she had gone for a walk just before dark, and as she was returning, she saw her son kill John Savage, take his horse and ride away without seeing his mother.  Chipita made Kate promise she would not tell anyone and Kate kept her promise for over 40 years.  This story was passed down over the years from family members until Rachel Bluntzer Hebert wrote the book, “The Forgotten Colony” which contains a detailed history of the events surrounding the murder of John Savage.  Kate McCumber’s daughter wrote over 30 pages of poetry describing the story her mother told her, and you can read it in the Forgotten Colony.

    Historians have decided that Chipita had a child by a white man who had taken the boy when he was very small.  Chipita only saw him one more time after that, and it was the night he killed John Savage. But out of love for her son whom she had not seen for years, she went to her death to protect him.


The 2005 Battle of San Jacinto Symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, 2005 at the Hilton Conference Center University of Houston campus, 4880 Calhoun Road.  A pre-registration fee of $35 includes event admission, parking and lunch.   (The fee will be $40 at the door.)  Symposium sponsorships and patron packages are available.  The following speakers will be featured:  Jeffrey D. Dunn, attorney and Chairman of the San Jacinto Historical Advisory Board, will speak on “From the Brazos to the Battle:  The Final Days of the San Jacinto Campaign.”  Bill and Marjorie K. Walraven, Texas history journalists and authors will present "Bayonets on the Bayou?  The United States Army and the Battle  of San Jacinto."   UTA archivists Ann Hodges and Brenda McClurkin will present the recently acquired William A. Philpott Collection.   Samples of the collection will be available for viewing including the only known signature of  “The Yellow Rose.”  Other presenters include Edward L. Miller speaking on “The San Jacinto-New Orleans Connection:  The New Orleans Greys, Tampico, and General Cos' Saddle." Dr. Caroline Castillo Crimm who will discuss “Conflicting Loyalties: Tejanos as Rebels and Loyalists."  Texas Parks and Wildlife will update attendees on the Master Plan for the Battleground and archeological news.  Dr. James E. Crisp of North Carolina State University and author of "Sleuthing the Alamo" will moderate the proceedings.

The Symposium is a project of the San Jacinto Battleground Association,  San Jacinto Historical Advisory Board, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, San Jacinto Museum of History Association, Texas State Historical Association, Battleship TEXAS Foundation,  San Jacinto Chapters of DRT and SRT, Friends of San Jacinto Battleground, Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas AF&M, San Jacinto Day Foundation, San Jacinto Descendants, Sam Houston SRT Chapter, Texas Chapter of  Oddfellows, Texas Navy Association,  Harris County Historical Commission, and the Tejano Association for Historical Preservation.  The Symposium is funded in part by Humanities Texas, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Summerlee Foundation.  For more information, call 281-496-1488 or email sjba@usa.net.

On April 21, 2005 at 11:00 a.m. at the San Jacinto Monument a commemorative ceremony will be held for the 169th Anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto.   General Houston's Battle Report will be read by Sam Houston IV.  Master of Ceremonies will be Ron Stone. The DRT and SRT essay winners will be presented.  There will be a musical prelude and the Texas Army will be firing a salute.  A memorial wreath will also be laid in honor of the soldiers.  This is a free event.  For information call 713-468-6771.

On April 23, 2005 the San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Re-enactment will be held. The festival begins at 10:00 a.m. and the re-enactment will begin at 3:00 p.m. presented by the San Jacinto Volunteers and narrated by Ron Stone.   There is also no cost for this event.  For information call 281-479-2431, ext. 221.

The 6th Annual Cesar E. Chavez Hispanic Pride Parade sponsored by the T.A.H.P.  will be  held on Sat., April 9, 2005.   It will begin at 9:00 a.m. on the corner of Cesar Chavez Blvd. and Capitol  in Houston's East End.   Houston Independent School District Abelardo Saavedra, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools will be the Parade Grand Marshal.   T. A.H. P.  will also be  recognizing LULAC Council 60 and their 70 years of advocating for civil rights.  We invite you to come and show your support for the Cesar E. Chavez  Hispanic Pride Parade.  Participants in the parade will be Honorable City Councilman Gordon Quan, Corporal Rafael Moreno III of the U.S. Marine Corp, Mariachi Singer Sonia Ortiz,  Bayou City Players, Taxis Fiesta, Teatro Bilingue de Houston, LCLAA, Amigos Por Vida, LZ Airborne, MECA,  Cesar Chavez High School Cheer Leaders and  ROTC, Jeff Davis ROTC, Houston Fire Department Station #20, Houston Hispanic Fire Fighters and Burnet Elementary.   Speeches, information booths, food booths and entertainment will follow at 7000 Ave. Q, Hidalgo Park.  There is no charge for non-profit organizations to participate.  TAHP will have a parade planning  meeting March 30, 2005 at 5:00 p.m. at the Latino Learning Center, 3522 Polk, Houston, Texas 77003.  Please call 713-540-5449 Linda Alonzo Saenz or Richard G. Perez Co-Chairs at 281-451-0488 if you would like to volunteer or purchase an ad.   TAHP would like to thank Taxis Fiesta for their generous support and we welcome all new members.  Dues are $25.00 yearly per family.  Thank you.  Please view the website of Houston Institute for Culture at www.houstonculture.org to view photos of last year’s parade.