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America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Transportation in America before 1876 Community Dreams: Santa Cruz, California, 1876 Delivering the Goods: Watsonville, California, 1895 A Streetcar City: Washington, D.C., 1900 The Connected City: New York, New York, 1920s Crossing the Country: Somewhere in Wyoming, 1903 Americans Adopt the Auto Lives on the Railroad: Salisbury, North Carolina, 1927 The People's Highway: Route 66, 1930s-1940s Roadside Communities: Ring's Rest, Muirkirk, Maryland, 1930s Family Camping: York Beach, Maine, 1930s On the School Bus: Martinsburg, Indiana, 1939 Suburban Strip: Sandy Boulevard, Portland, Oregon, 1949 City and Suburb: Chicago and Park Forest, Illinois, 1950s On the Interstate: I-10, 1956-1990 Transforming the Waterfront: San Francisco and Oakland, California, 1960-1970 Going Global: Los Angeles Introduction H. Nelson Jackson: Immigrant, Migrant, Adventurer, Traveler Harry Bridges: Immigrant, Adventurer, Traveler Mary Johnson Sprow: Migrant, Commuter Fred and Maryann Knoche: Commuters, Errand Runners, Vacationers Juana Gallegos Valadez: Immigrant, Traveler
5: People on the Move

Juana Gallegos Valadez: Immigrant, Traveler

During the 1910s and 1920s in Mexico, the spread of the railroads, the breakup of the hacienda system (akin to feudal farming), and the upheaval of the Mexican Revolution provided means and motivation for many people to move to the cities.

Around 1918, Juana Gallegos moved with her parents from the hacienda her father managed to Mexico City, where the family had political connections.

After President Venustiano Carranza was deposed, Juana and her mother returned to Matehuala and in 1923 emigrated to the United States to escape the ongoing turmoil of the revolution. For more on the experiences of Mexican immigrants, see the Going Global and The People’s Highway: Route 66 sections of this exhibition.

Getting Married
Getting Married

In 1928 Juana Gallegos married Adolfo Valadez, a fellow immigrant from Matehuala. To attend the wedding, Adolfo’s father and siblings braved cold and rain as they drove 14 hours in an open-sided car for 200 miles from Houston to San Antonio.

(left) Wedding portrait of Juana Gallegos and Adolfo Valadez, 1928

Leaving and Returning: “Nací Mexicana y Me Voy a Morir Mexicana.”

Juana Gallegos joined the exodus of Mexicans to the United States, where jobs beckoned and relief from the upheaval of the revolution made expatriate life seem attractive. But many of the people moving north continued to consider themselves Mexican, returning often to their homeland for extended stays to see relatives and friends. Asked in 1979 whether she intended to become a U.S. citizen, Juana Gallegos Valadez replied: “I was born Mexican and I am going to die Mexican.”

Mexican identification card, about 1923
Mexican identification card, about 1923
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