Project Description

Hispanic Heritage Live

All They Will Call You: Finding Woody Guthrie’s Deportees

On Jan 28, 1948, as 28 Mexican citizens were being deported from Oakland, California, to the Mexico border, the government-chartered plane crashed and killed everyone aboard, including the crew and immigration officer.

At the time, popular media mentioned the names of the American crew but omitted the names of the Mexican passengers, who were eventually  buried in an unmarked grave in Fresno, California. Guthrie wrote his now famous song, Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos), to commemorate the Mexican passengers who died that day. The song has since been recorded by numerous artists, including Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen and many others.

Tim Z. Hernandez spent years locating and interviewing family members of the passengers and eyewitnesses. His lively and thought-provoking presentation sheds light on the totality of the incident, and puts names and faces to the human lives directly effected by the historical omission.

Wednesday, October 16
Dual Immersion Academy, Gymnasium
552 West Main Street A
Grand Junction 81501
Free presentation 5 to 6 p.m.
Food trucks and mingling 6 to 7 p.m.

Thursday, October 17
Colorado Mesa University, Ballroom
1100 North Avenue
Grand Junction 81501
7 to 9 p.m.

To plan a program tailored for your community, please contact Program Coordinator Gina Huett at or 303.894.7951 x13.

Award winning author, Tim Z. Hernandez, offers an engaging presentation based on his new book, All They Will Call You, about the lives lost in the 1948 plane crash that inspired the Woody Guthrie song, “Deportees (Plane Crash at Los Gatos).” Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Devil’s Highway, said about the book, “Tim Z. Hernandez is the real thing. This epic, tragic story is finally being told, and it is in the best possible hands.”

Check our calendar for upcoming events near you!


Special thanks to our sponsors

Alpine Bank
Colorado Mesa University
City of Grand Junction Colorado Commission on Arts and Culture
Downtown Hotels
Hispanic Affairs Project
Linda Skinner
Western Colorado Writers’ Forum

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