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Chicano Moratorium exhibit on view at L.A.'s Olvera Street [Updated]

July 1, 2010 |  6:00 am
An exhibit celebrating the upcoming 40th anniversary of a historic Mexican American rally against the Vietnam War is open to the public at Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. Rosalio Muñoz

The exhibit includes photographs, documents, paintings and videos documenting the social, economic and political conditions that led to the National Chicano Moratorium Against the Vietnam War march and rally in East Los Angeles.

The Aug. 29, 1970, event was attended by about 30,000 people in what was the high point of a movement that had been building for several years. The rally, at an East L.A. park, exploded into violence after sheriff's deputies and Chicano activists clashed along Whittier Boulevard.

Three people were killed, including Los Angeles Times columnist and KMEX-TV News Director Ruben Salazar. The newsman, 42, was killed when deputies fired a tear gas missile into the Silver Dollar Bar, where Salazar and a KMEX reporter were taking a break.

"We want to develop a perspective on the historical development of the Mexican American," said Rosalio Muñoz, one of the moratorium's organizers and exhibit producers. "This is to inform ourselves and bring up parallels that can be applied to the struggles we are facing now."

The free exhibit is at the Mexican Cultural Institute, just off the main plaza, and is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 12 to 6 p.m. until July 25. The event is sponsored by the 40th Anniversary Commemoration Committee of the Chicano Moratoriums.

[For the record, July 7: A previous version said the exhibit would run at least until August 29.]

-- Robert J. Lopez

Photo: Rosalio Muñoz in 2002 with a silkscreen depicting him during the Chicano Moratorium. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times