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Historian Conducts Peña Research

September 10, 2009

Max Krochmal is a Ph.D. candidate in American social and political history at Duke University, focusing on labor and civil rights in the twentieth-century South and West. He is also a Center for Documentary Studies Graduate Fellow, serving as research associate for the CDS project Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South.

Max Krochmal

Krochmal recently concluded a week-long research visit to the UTSA Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections. The topic of his research concerned labor and civil rights in the twentieth century, particularly the Mexican civil rights movements in Texas through the papers of Judge Albert A. Peña.

Born in San Antonio in 1917, Peña attended St. Mary’s University and graduated from the South Texas School of Law in Houston. He passed the Texas State bar in 1950 and in 1956 became the first Mexican-American to be elected to the Bexar County Commission, a position he served in until 1972. Then in 1977, the San Antonio City Council appointed him Municipal Court Judge and then as Presiding Judge over the Municipal Court from 1982-1992. A self-proclaimed “Chicano Activist,” Judge Peña was actively involved in a wide range of liberal social causes, particularly in defending and advancing the rights of Mexican-Americans, throughout his legal and political career.

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