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by Sister Pierre Cavanaugh . . . . . (item give to us by Rose Marie Mendez, granddaughter of Saturnino Alvarado)
When Mayor Jack Reardon proclaimed June 23 as Alvarado Day, not much really changed. A name was designated for a street, constructed as part of the urban renewal project Villa Argentina, between South 25th and South 27th Streets. There were many happy people on the streets that day and among them were the daughter of the man who was being honored and her own children. The change that really counted had happened years earlier.
Mrs. Lucy Morens remembers very well the driving force her father had where education was concerned. Saturnino Alvarado had the equivalent of a high school education before he left Mexico in 1913, bringing to this country his wife (Concepcion) and two children. She recalls their educational experience.
"Jess, my brother, and I went to Emerson Grade School. For the seventh and eighth grades, we went to Clara Barton School, a school for Mexican children. When it was apparent that we were certainly going to high school, my father went to the superintendent who denied us admission because we were Hispanics. It took him about two years to get the job done. He went first to the lower courts, paying a lawyer so that our rights could be recognized. Eventually the Supreme Court issued the mandate that we could attend the local high school."
"My father was eager to learn. When I took piano lessons I always talked to him about the lesson. He learned to play the piano quite well just from talking to me. He even wrote some