Monday, June 28, 2010

World War II Medals - Emeterio Jiménez

Emeterio Jiménes served in Europe during the second world war. (He even came across his brother, Manuel Jiménez, while both were serving in the Army through Europe. He was not able to meet up with his other brother, Roberto Jiménez, who was also in the Army at the time) Here are photographs of Emeterio Jiménez's medals awarded for service in a combat zone.

1. European/African/Middle Eastern Campaign Medal:
Awarded for Service during a time span of 07Dec1941 to 08Nov1945.
It has a Tiny Bronze Star which denotes participation in military campaigns in either of the following:
Rhineland 15 Sep 44 - 21 Mar 45;
Ardennes-Alsace 16 Dec 44 - 25 Jan 45;
Central Europe 22 Mar 45 - 11 May 45.
He served in all these sites while stationed in Europe.
The medal shows an LST landing craft and troops landing under fire with an airplane in the background. Green, white, and red are the Italian colors. The white and black colors represent Germany. The United States colors are in the center of the ribbon. The brown and green areas of the ribbon represent the terrain of the area of conflict, which ranged from beaches and sand, to grass and woodlands, to mountains.

2. Army of Occupation Medal:
Awarded for serving at least thirty consecutive days while assigned in Germany during the time span of 09May1945 and 05May1955. His has a campaign clasp for 'Germany'.
The bridge on the medal was the Ludendorff railroad bridge at Remagen, Germany and was situated 22 miles northwest of Koblenz. On March 7, 1945, the Allies established their first bridgehead across the Rhine by seizing the Ludendorff railroad bridge at Remagen before the Germans could destroy it. Since this bridge was "point of entry" of ground forced into Germany, it was selected to represent the occupation of Germany.
The red and white represent Japan and the black and white represent Germany, the primary opponents of the United States during the Second World War.

3. WWII Victory Medal:
Awarded for service during the time span of 07Dec1941 and 31Dec1946.
The medal has a figure of Liberation standing full length with head turned to dexter looking to the dawn of a new day, right foot resting on a war god’s helmet with the hilt of a broken sword in the right hand and the broken blade in the left hand. The rainbow on each side of the ribbon is a miniature of the pattern used in the WWI Victory Medal. The rainbows were selected to represent a "new era" and the calm after a storm.

4. National Defense Service Medal:
All soldiers who served honorably in active service as a member of the Armed Forces even now receive the National Defense Service Medal. Emeterio was awarded this medal as well.
The medal shows an eagle with inverted wings standing on a sword and palm branch which signify strength and preparedness.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

María Martínez - Union Member

International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
María Martínez was a sister of Cecilio Martínez (father of Eleodora Martínez). María raised Eleodora. María worked as a seamstress in Laredo. At the age of 42, she was a member of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) Local 350 in Laredo, Texas. (She lived at 404 Washington Street in Laredo with Eleodora Martínez.)

Here is a little history on the Union Local 350 activities in Laredo:

The ILGWU began recruiting in Laredo in 1936, building on successful efforts by La Union de Costureras, an independent local, to organize home-based garment workers for higher wages and a local factory.

From a low of twenty-eight members in 1937, Local 350 grew to 340 members by 1940. Most worked on subcontracts for New York firms accustomed to hiring unionized labor. In an unusual arrangement, the manufacturers' Laredo subcontractor was Sara Ligarde, who also headed the ILGWU local.

ILGWU activity waned in San Antonio in the 1940s; membership dropped to 600 by 1950. By 1963 the San Antonio union folded, following a final strike at Tex-Son over the company's practice of sending work out of state to nonunion firms.

In Houston tough negotiations with the Ka-Bro firm in 1961 had won the ILGWU's representatives a contract guaranteeing wages twenty-five cents higher than the minimum and improved working conditions. By 1966, however, three local ILGWU-represented plants, including Ka-Bro, had shut down.

In 1949 Andrea Martínez revived the Laredo ILGWU Local 350 to call for an investigation of underpaid local workers. The NLRB required their employers to deliver the back pay. In 1978 the East Coast firms, which had contracted with Laredo operations to make children's wear, discontinued orders and switched to contractors outside the United States. Laredo Local 350 expired.

This information was taken from Handbook of Texas Online, (accessed June 27, 2010).

Dual Citizenship - Eliodora Jiménez

It was not uncommon for our Mexican ancestors born in the US to carry documentation that proved a dual citizenship. Here is a good example - Dual Citizenship of Dora Martínez.

Mexican Citizenship (Nov 28, 1952)

This reads:
El infrascripto, counsul de México en Laredo Texas, certifica que HELIODORA MARTINEZ JIMENEZ es ciudadana Mexicana - Nov 28, 1952.

Mexican citizenship

Back side reads:
Edad - 31;
Estado Civil - Casada;
Lugar de nacimiento - Laredo, Texas.
Comprobó la nacionalidad Mexicana de sus padres.


US Citizenship (May 10, 1937)

US Citizenship

This reads:
US Citizen's Identification Card
US Department of Labor
Immigration and Naturalization Services
This card entitles the person named to admission to the US.
Resides at 404 Washington, Laredo Texas - May 10, 1937

US Citizenship

Back side reads:
"Pin mole rt neck"