Friday, July 27, 2018

Santos Rodriguez Trail connecting places from history now in Uptown

A Santos Rodriguez Trail through Little Mexico would connect the history of the Little Mexico/ State-Thomas area, now called Uptown, just as Santos himself unified the people living there on 7-24-1973 with his tragic murder, at the age of 12, by a Dallas police officer.  His 3AM murder was a unifying event for Little Mexico and the entire Dallas minority community. Abuse by authority figures was too common for all minorities in Dallas.  This was a unifying tragedy. 

Eventually Dallas would look back at it as a painfully positive event awakening civil rights progress:

Imagine a Santos Rodriquez Trail unifying the historic places in Uptown just as Santos unified the community by his tragic murder 45 years ago. Imagine a trail going through Klyde Warren Park, now on land that was part of "Little Mexico" according to this 1944 map:

Here is an initial suggestion of 6 places the trail could unite.  There are many many more. Using the above 1944 map see potential markers.  Many dozens of additional markers are needed for a trail from those who know the history.  This is just an initial 6 suggestions with numbers on the map below: 1) Pikes Park, 2) Goat Hill, 3) 2921 North Pearl, the grandfather's home from which Santos Rodriguez and his brother were pulled out of bed by police about 2:30 the morning of 7-24-73, 4)  NW corner of Bookout & Cedar Springs, the location of the Fina Station near where 12 yr. old Santos was handcuffed and shot in the head by Officer Cain in parked DPD Car, 5) Klyde Warren Park location with major Historic Markers for both Little Mexico & Freedman's Town Histories, 6) St. Ann’s School and Church.  (If you leave out Goat Hill, this walk is 2.3 miles.)

Imagine a Historical Marker drawing the thousands who visit Klyde Warren Park every day into the local history going back 150 years.  Imagine all the potential locations, in addition to the few above, along the trail. They can all be linked into one historic walk, past many historic markers with the history of the places now called Uptown.  An online GPS-driven application guiding such walks, narrated by those who lived much of this history, could be developed to tell this Dallas History.

The Santos Rodriguez name for a trail connecting historic places now in Uptown would reflect the unifying role this 12-year old boy's death played in the Dallas Civil Rights struggle. The struggle continues.

This idea will require a lot of work and funding.  We have a long way to go. The Dallas Mexican American Historical League, DMAHL, voted on 7-28-18 to support the planned idea.

This July 1926 photo is recorded as taken in Pike Park.  Does anyone know if it is facing East/Southeast with the St. Ann's School still under construction in the distance to the right?  

Work is also needed on a history trail through Black History in the State-Thomas and former Freedman's Town area.

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