Seventy years ago this week, a federal judge ruled that segregating Mexican students in school districts in Orange, Santa Ana, Garden Grove and Westminster was unconstitutional. The lawsuit was brought forth by five Mexican-American fathers, Gonzalo Mendez, Lorenzo Ramirez, Thomas Estrada, Frank Palomino, and William Guzman, and went on to influence the much more famous Brown v. Board of Education. But Mendez, et al is still mostly unheralded in Orange County, with just one school named for the Mendez family, and a library at Santiago Canyon College in Orange named after Lorenzo Ramirez. Will the case ever get its historical due?
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