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The University of Texas at Austin


 Center for American History Icon The Center for American History
Ramona Kelly, Associate Director
1 University Station D1100
Austin, Texas  78712-0335
Phone: (512) 495 4696

Henry B. Gonzalez honored as first Mexican American elected to the Texas Senate

Henry B. Gonzalez at the 1966 Labor Day rally at the Texas State Capitol. (Henry B.) Papers, CAH; E-HBG-0002

Henry B. Gonzalez at the 1966 Labor Day rally at the Texas State Capitol. (Henry B.) Papers, CAH; E-HBG-0002.

AUSTIN, TX – April 30, 2007 – In partnership with the Honorable Leticia Van de Putte, Texas Senator, District 26, the Center for American History will honor the legacy of Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez on May 3, 2007, at the Texas Capitol. A number of Congressman Gonzalez' family, members of the 80th Legislative session, and representatives from The University of Texas at Austin will gather to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Congressman Gonzalez' election as the first Mexican American in the Texas Senate. May 3 also marks the 91st anniversary of his birth.

Among the day's activities will be a private breakfast reception, hosted by Senator Van de Putte, the reading of a special Senate resolution proclaiming May 3, 2007, as Henry B. Gonzalez Day at the Capitol, and an exhibit of items from Gonzalez' political career, which spans more than four decades.

A highly revered Democrat, Gonzalez represented San Antonio in the Texas Senate from 1957 to 1961. He went on to serve in the United States Congress until his retirement in 1999. Gonzalez died on November 8, 2000.

"With his lifelong commitment to public service and a better life for all people, Congressman Gonzalez left a legacy of achievement that shaped the American economy and society in the last half of the twentieth century," said Dr. Don Carleton, director of the Center for American History. "We are honored to participate in this special recognition of one of our country's most beloved public servants."

The Center for American History is the repository of the Henry B. Gonzalez Papers. The public can access the Gonzalez Papers in the Center's Reading Room in Sid Richardson Hall, Unit 2, on the UT campus. Selected items are posted on the Center's Web pages dedicated to Henry B. Gonzalez at

The Center for American History's extensive Congressional and Political History Collection currently holds the papers of more than sixty individuals who were elected to Congress during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These include Sam Houston, Albert Sidney Burleson, Sam Rayburn, John Nance Garner, Maury Maverick, Sr., Lloyd Bentsen, and Ralph Yarborough. San Antonio area congressional papers in the historical collection include Garner, Maverick, Sr., Paul Kilday, Harry M. Wurzbach, and Robert Krueger. For more information, visit

As an Organized Research Unit of The University of Texas at Austin, the Center for American History facilitates, sponsors and supports teaching, research and public education in U. S. history. In support of its mission, the Center acquires, preserves, and makes available for research archival, artifact, and rare book collections and sponsors exhibitions, conferences, film and video documentaries, oral history projects, grant-funded research, and publications. The Center's resources and services support the University's curriculum and University faculty, student and staff research, as well as research by the general public.