The Leonard Fierro Papers (1927-1995) document Fierro's work as an educator, activist and advocate for bilingual education. The majority of the material
dates from the early 1960's through 1970's, with very sparse documentation of the 1950's. These files illustrate Fierro's
development of bilingual education teaching materials for San Diego County. His papers include reports, correspondence, teaching
supplements, newspaper clippings, and audio cassettes. Highlights include materials relating to the efforts of the National
Origin Desegregation Assistance Center (NODAC or Lau Center) in the Institute for Cultural Pluralism and personal correspondence
during his military service through WWII. The collection consists of four series: Professional Files (1964-1992), Personal Files (1935-1995), News Clippings (1950's-1995), and Book Project Files (1927-1995).
Leonard Fierro was born in El Paso, Texas in 1918 but spent 72 years of his life as an educator and activist in San Diego,
California. He attended San Diego High School and in 1941 graduated from San Diego State College with a bachelor's degree
in history. During his college years he was a founding member of the Tolteca Athletic Association, also known as Tolteca Fraternity,
"a Hispanic social organization that would become a powerful force in city athletics and politics." After graduating, Fierro
served in the Army during World War II and was awarded a Purple Heart in January of 1945 for wounds received in Germany. However
he, as well as many returning soldiers with varying cultural backgrounds, was surprised when he arrived back home. "We'd just
fought a war for liberty and justice, and when we came home we found that we didn't have it in our own city," Fierro said.
After the war, Fierro returned to San Diego State earning his master's degree in history in 1956. He began his teaching career
at Kearny High School and transferred to Clairemont High in 1959 where he taught history and government.
The copyright interests in some of these materials have been transferred to or belong to San Diego State University. The nature
of historical archival and manuscript collections means that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.
Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. Requests for permission to publish
must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. Permissions
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of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available
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but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
This collection is open for research.