The largest European group to immigrate to Texas in the 18oos were Germans. Germans first came to Texas in the 1830s seeking religious freedom and economic opportunity. During the Republic, the numbers of Germans immigrating to Texas grew dramatically. Soon after some wealthy Germans formed the German Emigration Company and by 1847 it had sent more than 7,000 immigrants to Texas. Many of those immigrants first landed in Indianola, Texas. Some decided to stay in more established towns such as Houston and San Antonio while others moved into the Hill Country establishing New Braunfels, Boerne, Comfort and Fredericksburg.
Between the years of 1947 and 1964, over 46,000 “war brides” emigrated to the United States from Japan after marriage to U.S. servicemen. The G.I. Fiancees Act passed by Congress in 1946 allowed servicemen to bring their Japanese wives home and provided an important exception to the overall ban on Japanese immigration imposed by the Johnson-Reed Act from 1924 until 1952. This film serves as a fascinating artifact from this period. Shot by the U.S. Army, the footage features a Japanese wife speaking directly to the camera about her experiences in her new country. Shot at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, the film clearly was intended to be sent back to Japan.
Author Victor Villaseñor tells the harrowing story of his father’s escape from the violence of the Mexican Revolution, part of a massive migration in the early 1900s. He, his mother and two sisters make the dangerous journey to the “Mexican Ellis Island” – the border between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez – only to find another set of challenges. Told by Juan’s son, acclaimed author, Victor Villaseñor.
In this lesson plan drawing on material from Latino Americans, students will trace the varied stories of becoming Latino in the United States—and dispel common generalizations.