Palomino family papers
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of sixteen folders with original and reproduction materials from the 1920s to 2012. This collection contains photographs, documents and newspaper clippings related to Arthur Palomino's family; photographs, newspaper clippings and correspondence of Guadalupe Perez, Arthur's uncle who was killed in World War II; and ephemera, correspondence, news clippings, documents, and articles mainly regarding the Mendez v. Westminster case, during which Arthur's father Frank Palomino testified as a witness.
Also included are photocopies and scan printouts of photographs from the family's photo albums.
Highlights of the collection include Arthur's school photographs and a photocopied transcript of Frank Palomino's testimony in Mendez v. Westminster.
- Creation: 1920s-2012
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions. For further copyright information, please contact the archivist.
Biographical / Historical
Arturo, also known as Arthur, Palomino was born to Irene and Frank Palomino on August 21, 1933 in Westminster, CA. Arthur's father, Frank, was one of the plaintiffs in the 1946 Mendez v. Westminster case. At the time, the Palomino family lived in Santa Ana and resided in the Garden Grove School District. Arthur was eleven years old during the trial. His father testified that he went to one of the Garden Grove schools to ask the superintendent if he could enroll his children, Arthur and Sally. The superintendent told Frank that his children were of Mexican descent and were not allowed there. The superintendent told him he had to enroll them at the Hoover School, which was for children of Mexican descent. Frank decided to instead enroll them at integrated schools elsewhere. Arthur was enrolled into Fremont School, where his cousins attended. On October 6, 1962 Arthur married Beatrice Palomino and together they had three children. Arthur passed away on March 30, 2012.
The 1946 Mendez v. Westminster class action lawsuit is also known as Gonzalo Mendez, et al., Petitioners. vs Westminister [sic] School District of Orange County, et al., Respondents. The petitioners and their attorney, David Marcus, won their case against Mexican American school segregation in Orange County, CA in 1947.
The case’s petitioners were fathers and children from five Latin American families. They were Gonzalo Mendez and his children Sylvia, Gonzalo, and Geronimo; William Guzman and his son Billy; Frank Palomino and his children Arthur and Sally; Thomas Estrada and his children Clara, Roberto, Francisco, Syria, Daniel and Evelina; and Lorenzo Ramirez and his children Ignacio, Silverio and Jose.
The case’s respondents were four Orange County school districts and their administrators. They included Westminster School District of Orange County’s Trustees J. A. Houlihan, Lewis Conrady, and Ray Schmitt, as well as Superintendent J. Harris. For Garden Grove Elementary School District of Orange County, they included Trustees William C. Noble, Robert B. Smith and Paul Applebury, as well as Superintendent James L. Kent. For Santa Ana City Schools, they included Board of Education members George R. Wells, Hiram M. Currey, James K. Givens, Daniel W. Stover and George J. Busdieker, as well as Superintendent Frank A. Henderson and Secretary Harold Yost. For El Modeno [sic] School District, they included Trustees Henry Campbell, Theodore Hower, Clarence Johnson, and Superintendent Harold Hammarsten.
0.5 Linear Feet (1 legal-sized document box)
Language of Materials
This collection contains original and reproduction materials spanning the 1920s to 2012. These include photographs, newspaper clippings, correspondence, ephemera, and other documents related to Arthur Palomino, his family, and the 1946 Mendez v. Westminster class action lawsuit.
This collection is arranged into two series by material type:
- Series 1: Photographs, circa 1920s-2012, bulk: 1920s-1980s
- Series 2: Papers, 1940-2012, bulk: 2002-2012
Leatherby Libraries, Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Arthur Palomino
Appeal Bond, March 30, 1946; Gonzalo Mendez et al v. Westminster School District of Orange County et al; Civil Case Files, 1938–2004; Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685–2009, Record Group 21; National Archives Building, Riverside, CA. National Archives and Record Administration. Accessed September 19, 2023. https://catalog.archives.gov/id/6277748.
Library of Congress. A Latinx Resource Guide: Civil Rights Cases and Events in the United States. Accessed September 19, 2023. https://guides.loc.gov/latinx-civil-rights/mendez-v-westminster#s-lib-ctab-24709371-2.
The following refers to processing decisions that were conducted during the work of this collection.
Processed by Lauren Abel in 2012 and by Lisette Ocampo. Subsequently processed by Special Collections and Archives staff, including but not limited to: Annie Tang. Reprocessed by Victoria Perez in September 2023.
The papers were previously titled the "Mendez v. Westminster collection: Palomino family papers." Collection title was renamed for clarity and DACS-compliance.
This collection was originally arranged into the two series of "Family records" and "Mendez v. Westminster records." These materials have been reprocessed by archival staff into the series of "Photographs" and "Papers" as of September 2023. Archival staff also updated physical and intellectual descriptions for DACS-compliance.
This resource abbreviates the case name either as Mendez et al. v. Westminster School District of Orange County et al. or Mendez v. Westminster. See biographical/historical note for a full list of the case's petitioners and respondents.
Many reproductions exist in this collection. Physical folder dates in parentheses refer to creation dates of the original materials and not their reproduction dates. Reproductions were likely made during Sandra Robbie's documentary research process.
- Finding Aid for the Palomino family papers
- Part of the Mendez et al. v. Westminster School District of Orange County et al. archives
- Lauren Abel, Lisette Ocampo, Annie Tang, Victoria Perez
- 2/27/2012. Last updated: 10/6/2023.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description