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.
Grand Junction-area partners plan to invite Tim Hernandez to Mesa County in October 16-18, 2019.