Reies Tijerina, 88, Dies; Led Chicano Property Rights Movement

Research by history Associate Professor Lorena Oropeza cited in The New York Times

In the year of sixty-seven

June fifth was the day,

There was a revolution

Over there by Tierra Amarilla.

The “revolution” was a bungled plot, with Keystone Kops overtones, in which rebels seized an isolated courthouse in northern New Mexico on June 5, 1967, and it lasted only 90 minutes. But it would be immortalized in ballads (as in “Corrido de Rio Arriba”), elevate a former itinerant evangelist into a quixotic national prophet and propel a radical Chicano property rights movement into America’s consciousness.

Nonetheless, in the view of Lorena Oropeza, a history professor at the University of California, Davis, and author of a coming book about Mr. Tijerina, “Probably no person did more to shift our understanding of the history of the American West from a celebratory tale of ‘manifest destiny’ to the now-prevailing notion of a ‘legacy of conquest’ than did Tijerina.”

Read more at the New York Times.