Monday, September 18, 2006

El Grito

Sept. 17, 1907
Los Angeles

Mexican Independence Day was celebrated in a grand program sponsored by the Club Porfiro Diaz of Los Angeles at Turner Hall, 325 S. Main (demolished 1951), which was decorated with American and Mexican flags.

“The exercises were begun with the singing of the national hymn of Mexico,” The Times said. “A thousand voices took up the music. Hon R.J. Dominguez, the president of the club, offered a prayer for the safety of Mexico and the happiness of its people. A brief history of Mexico’s fight for independence was given by Francisco Estudillo, secretary of the club, and an address by Guillemeo (could that be Guillermo?) Dominguez followed.”

Mayor Harper said: “Under the American flag, there lives a happy people as loving and patriotic as our own, the sons and daughters of our sunny sister republic.”

The speeches were followed by music and dancing. Guitarists played “La Paloma,” as the Bach sisters danced. “Two young girls glided gracefully. Their hair hung in masses about their shoulders, their arms were bare and their skirts, cut to the knee, sparkled like polished steel. Slowly, they moved, keeping time to the music and then as a burst of applause greeted them, they swung lightly into the graceful movements of the Manzanillo. The castanets clashed loudly, the music rose, there was a glimpse of whirling skirts, the swirl of jet-black hair and then with a crash the music stopped.”

After a performance of “La Golondrina,” the evening concluded with the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

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