Preserving the History of Dallas' Mexican Americans

~July 2016 Newsletter ~
The Dallas Mexican American Historical League is saddened by the recent tragedies in our great City of Dallas. We offer our condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the fallen Officers, those injured in the line of duty, and those who marched in peace. We thank and congratulate MAYOR RAWLINGS and CHIEF DAVID BROWN for their strong leadership, and for representing Dallas to the world with grace, wisdom and power. May this tragedy strengthen us and reinforce our resolve to heal together and unify to make Dallas stronger.

Thank you to PAT BYWATERS and REBECCA GARZA GREENAN with The Stewpot of the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas Encore Project for hosting our June board meeting and giving us a historical tour of Encore Park.  The Project plans are simply amazing, and DMAHL members were fascinated to learn of the history of the 508 Park building (once the Brunswick Warehouse Recording Studio) where 843 recordings were made between 1935 and 1939, including several Mexican American bands.  We eagerly look forward to the doors of the recording studio opening again soon and future collaborations with Encore Park!  DMAHL also welcomes Pat and Rebecca as some of our newest board members!   Learn more about the Project at:


Felix Lozada, center front, with wife, Maria, surrounded by proud relatives and friends at dedication of Felix H. Lozada, Sr. Gateway in West Dallas
Congratulations to FELIX LOZADA, 94 year-old, well-known community activist from West Dallas who lives in the La Bajada barrio.  A dedication of the Felix H. Lozada, Sr. Gateway in West Dallas was held on 7/3/2016, during the Red, White and Boom July 4 festivities at the Ronald Kirk Bridge.  The Plaza was named after Mr. Lozada in honor of his civic efforts, including fighting to get paved roads and improving health care services. And, thank you to those residents of La Bajada and MAYOR PRO TEM, MONICA ALONZO, who worked for the Plaza to be named after him.  Several board members were in attendance to witness this most meaningful history-making event, including DMAHL board member, PAULINE MARCELEÑO LAWS, who long promoted recognition for Mr. Lozada.

Opportunities for Students Seeking Summer Community Involvement Volunteer Credits
DMAHL has opportunities for students and individuals to assist in scanning and cataloging photos from our collections and re-organizing files. An added benefit - learn about the Mexican American history of Dallas as you work! DMAHL will provide the training and equipment needed.   For more information, please contact Barrio Historian Chair, JO ANN VALENTIN at or 469-323-0955.

L to R, Front Row: Juanita H. Nanez, President,  DMAHL, Debra Polsky, Executive Director and Jane Manaster, member, DJHS; George Keaton, Founder and CEO, RBD. Back Row: DMAHL members, Bill Betzen, Frank Bravo, Alex Martinez, Dorelia Valtierra, and DMAHL Treasurer, Frank Valtierra.
DMAHL is proud to be partnering with the DALLAS JEWISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY and REMEMBERING BLACK DALLAS, INC. to explore the possibilities of a joint multi-cultural historical marker project. Great brainstorming was held at this first meeting hosted by the DJHS. Could it be - a walk of markers in the Uptown area representing all of our groups? Everything is possible when brainstorming! Next steps: a meeting is scheduled in early August with DAVID PREZIOSI, Executive Director of PRESERVATION DALLAS to learn about each other's projects and possible connections! Looking forward to a great journey and significant outcomes!


Gabriel D. Macias, Dallas' First Mexican American Police Officer.
GABRIEL D. MACIAS was born April 17, 1924. He was a native Dallas-site and served in the Army from 1942-1947, first serving as a bugler. Upon returning from Army boot camp in 1943, he married Mary Lou Jimenez and they had a son, Gabriel J., and two daughters, Sylvia and Irma. Mr. Macias fought in the Korean conflict as a Marine, and later joined the Coast Guard Reserve traveling to Houston once a month to inspect ships for more than 20 years. In 1956, he became the first Mexican American Officer of the Dallas Police Department, badge #1374. By 1960, Mr. Macias was one of three Hispanics in the Dallas Police Department. Upon retiring from the police force in 1978, he became a Dallas ISD school counselor. Later, Mr. and Mrs. Macias moved to Gun Barrel City where they were parishioners of St. Jude Catholic Church and he played the harmonica at Spanish Mass. Upon his death on January 6, 2001, the House of Representatives of the 77th Texas Legislature made a Resolution to his family honoring Mr. Macias for his military service and, "a distinguished career in law enforcement as a model officer who dutifully upheld the time-honored oath of protecting and serving the people of Texas." At the time of his death, Mr. and Mrs. Macias had six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Mr. Macias' legacy is part of DMAHL's Los Primeros collections.
July 4, 1926, Celebration at Pike Park. Photo is from DMAHL's Little Mexico collection.)

DMAHL board members, Albert Valtierra, immediate past president; Nellie Tafalla, Founder, Albert Gonzalez, VP, and President, Juanita Nanez attended a meeting on Thursday, July 14, with Jesse Moreno, Park Board Representative, Crystal R. Ross, Assistant Director, Dallas Park and Recreation Department and VAI Architects, Inc. to discuss the forthcoming feasibility study for the restoration of the Pike Park field house.  DMAHL appreciates that the Park Board and Department have continued to collaborate with us to discuss future plans for the use of the over 100-year old field house that was once the center and heart of the Little Mexico barrio community.
For membership information,
please email Membership at: 

Our membership dues are $12.00 annually for individuals or $300 lifetime; students $5.00 annually; and corporate memberships are $500.00 annually.
Date:   Saturday, July 30, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: Regional Hispanic Contractor's Association, 2210 W. Illinois Ave., Dallas, TX 75224
All members and visitors welcome!
Thank you to the RHCA for their on-going sponsorship of our meeting space.
Juanita H. Nañez
Albert González
V ice President
  Sara Quintanilla
F rank Valtierra
T reasurer
Janis Bergman-Carton, Ph.D.
Frank Bravo
G loria Cantú
Conchita Franco
Richard Franco
Trini Garza
Frances González
Rosemary Hinojosa
Bessie Landin
Pauline Marceleno Laws
Robert Martinez
Mike Plattero
Lydia Delagado Simpson
Nellie Tafalla
Delfino Valdez
Jo Ann Valentin
Albert Valtierra
Dorelia Valtierra
Susan P. Vega
Eloy Zamora 

Executive:  Juanita H. Nanez 
Membership:  Frances Gonzalez
Communications:  Susan P Vega
Exhibits & Programs:  Albert Gonzalez
Finance:  Albert Gonzalez
Education:  Frank Bravo
Nominations:  Conchita Franco
2016 Cataloging/Archiving Project: Frank Valtierra
Barrio Historians:  Jo Ann Valentin, Gloria Cantu
Pike Park Preservation:  Albert Valtierra
Eagle Ford Preservation:  Rosemary Hinojosa







Other events of interest.....
Friend us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram
Follow us on Twitter

  Dallas Mexican American Historical League  |