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Indian Eddie: Man fought for Native right to vote

"In 1948 a 44-year-old former Marine sergeant and World War II veteran was the principal at Laguna Pueblo Day School and taught classes there. Taking advantage of the GI Bill, he also took courses at the University of New Mexico.

On June 14 of that year he went to register to vote at the Valencia County Courthouse in Los Lunas. Even though he was a U.S. citizen, a local resident and a war veteran, clerks refused to register Miguel H. Trujillo because he was an American Indian.

Outraged that he could fight for the United States in war, but couldn't vote in his home state, Trujillo of Isleta Pueblo, sued New Mexico in federal court and won. On Aug. 3, 1948, a three-judge panel in Santa Fe ruled that New Mexico's provision banning Indians was "discrimination on the grounds of race" and violated the U.S. Constitution."

Get the Story:
Eddie Chuculate: His courage guaranteed N.M. Indians' freedom to vote (The Albuquerque Journal 10/13)

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