On a clear and cold January morning in 1948, a passenger plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon. The engine exploded, the left wing ripped apart from the fuselage, and more than a hundred witnesses watched as the airship spiraled out of control and crashed on the edge of the Diablo mountain range. All aboard were lost to the flames, including the flight crew and at least 28 Mexican nationals, many bracero workers returning home. National media only reported the names of the white pilots, stewardess, and immigration officer. The others were simply listed as “deportees.” Their remains were buried in a mass unmarked grave.
Inspired by Woody Guthrie’s protest song “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportee),” author Tim Z. Hernandez set out to right this wrong. He will talk about his documentary novel All They Will Call You and his journey to weave together testimony, historical records, and eyewitness accounts to reconstruct the incident and the lives behind what would become one of the most important American folk songs of the twentieth century.
Tim Z. Hernandez was born and raised in California’s San Joaquin Valley. An award-winning poet, novelist, and performer, his books and research have been featured in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, CNN, Public Radio International, and National Public Radio.
12:00 Lunch and Keynote
1:30 Book Signing (books available for purchase)