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Finding Aid for the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee Records, 1942-1945
107  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee (formerly the Citizen's Committee for the Defense of Mexican American Youth) formed in 1942 in reaction to the indictment of 22 young men for murder. 12 defendants were convicted of first degree murder. The Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee raised funds to appeal the case and roused public opinion through education and publicity programs. In 1944 the original judgment was overturned. The collection contains correspondence, publications, publicity materials, radio scripts, office records, a transcript of the Sleepy Lagoon trial, and research materials including articles about Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Los Angeles. Portions of the collection are in Spanish.
Background
The Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee (first known as the Citizens' Committee for the Defense of Mexican American Youth) was organized in October 1942 in response to the indictment of 22 young men for murder; all defendants but one were Mexican American; 12 defendants were convicted of first degree murder by Superior Court of Los Angeles County; Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee raised funds for the appeal of the case and roused public opinion through education and publicity programs; judgments and decisions of the lower court were reversed by the District Court of Appeal of the state of California, 2nd Appellate District, October 4, 1944.In August 1942, 22 defendants, all Mexican Americans but one, were indicted by the grand jury of Los Angeles county for the murder of José Diaz, whose death occurred at a party on the Williams ranch in the city of Los Angeles near a little pond called the Sleepy Lagoon. 12 were convicted of first degree murder by the Superior Court of Los Angeles County; the case was appealed to the District Court of Appeal of the state of California, 2nd Appellate District, where the judgments and decisions of the lower court were reversed (October 4, 1944).
Extent
11 boxes (5.5 linear ft.) 2 oversize boxes
Restrictions
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
Availability
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.