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Tag: Mexico

Facial Hair Friday: Hang ten, Pat Nixon!

First Lady Pat Nixon talking with surfers near Border Field, CA, on August 18, 1971. (Nixon Presidential Library)

Some time ago, a Facebook fan expressed thanks that we would never combine our First Ladies Friday with our Facial Hair Friday. To which we replied, never say never! Of course, the facial hair in this photograph is not on First Lady Pat Nixon, but that scraggly surfer goatee is in very close proximity to Pat, so we are going to count it as a two-for-one.

The First Lady had just finished a land-grant ceremony at Border Field, CA, to create a new park area at the U.S.-Mexico border for the Legacy of the Parks Program. Border Field State Park is 15 miles south of San Diego, CA. When the U.S.-Mexico War ended in 1848, delegations from both countries began surveying the boundary at this location in 1850. Border Monument number 258 can be seen from inside the park, but it no longer can be reached because there are border fences on both sides. When the First Lady was there, there was only barbed wire, and she was able to reach out and greet the Mexican citizens who had gathered on the other side.

The park is in the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. Threatened and endangered birds like the Western Snowy Plover and the Light-footed Clapper Rail now live … [ Read all ]

The silver screen, the stylish paperwork

Declaration of intent of Errol Flynn (021-05-011)

Declaration of intent of Errol Flynn (021-05-011)

Errol Flynn may not have changed his name to become a famous movie actor, but his declaration of intention (a form that starts the process to being naturalized as a U.S. citizen) is surprisingly complex. In 1938, he listed four countries and two nationalities on one form.

Flynn was born in Australia, but on his form he gives his race as Irish and his nationality as British. His wife Liliane was born in France, and he crossed the border from Mexico into the United States on foot (a common method of emigration for Hollywood stars who had previously lived in the U.S. under a foreign visa, and who did not want to return to their home countries after the visa expired).

Many other Hollywood declarations of intention are equally complicated: Peter Lorre gives his race as Magyar, his nationality as “Hungary,” and his birthplace as Czechoslavakia. He married his Austrian wife in England and took a ship from France to the United States.

Errol Flynn did become a U.S. citizen in 1942, four years after filling out his declaration of intention. He attempted to join the U.S. military to serve in World War II, but health problems rendered him ineligible.

The National Archives at Riverside holds the naturalization paperwork for many Hollywood stars. Usually these files contain a … [ Read all ]