A Snapshot of San Antonio During World War II.
Ties with Mexico

During the war, solidifying alliances with Mexico and other Pan-American nations became integral to improving national defense and reducing the fear of attack by Axis powers at home. Germany's interest in acquiring Mexican oil in 1939 fueled a new sense of urgency in cementing Pan-American solidarity.19 San Antonio Mayor Maury Maverick captured this sentiment when he said, "the federal government had better wake up and get busy in Latin-American [military] cooperation."20

Mayor Maverick made several trips to Mexico between 1939 and 1941 in an attempt to reinforce positive ties, as did his successor, Mayor C.K. Quin and acting mayor P.L. Anderson. These visits often coincided with inaugural celebrations for government officials on both sides of the border, including the election of Mexican President Avila Camacho, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Mayor Constancio Villarreal of Monterrey, Mexico.

About this Image:
1) Signed photograph of Maury Maverick, Mayor of San Antonio (1939-1941). Autograph reads: "To my friend the engineer Hans Helland from Maury Maverick, Mayor of San Antonio 1940." Photographer: Bob Hansen

Images 2- 6 document the various Pan-American events attended by San Antonio officials.
2) In an exchange visit to bolster friendly ties, officials from Monterrey spoke to the San Antonio City Council. The next day, local officials, including Mayor Mauermann, P.L. Anderson, Tax Commissioner Alfred Callaghan, City Airport Director W.M. Steinhardt, and local Mexican Tourist Director Francisco de la Garza, returned to persuade Mexican aviation authorities to make San Antonio an aviation port of entry in 1942. P.L. Anderson speaks in Monterrey, Mexico in this 1943 photo.

3-4) Both photos take place at the Inauguration of Arturo de la Garza as Governor of Nueva Leon, Mexico. In 3, Anderson embraces de la Garza. In 4, standing around the table are, left to right: two unidentified men, Don Antonio Garza, Bonifacio Salinas Leal (previous governor of Nueva Leon), Antonio Villalobos. Standing immediately behind them are, left to right: an unidentified man, Constancio Villarreal (Mayor of Monterrey) and P.L. Anderson.

5) Dignitaries from Latin countries became a common sight in San Antonio. P.L. Anderson (in white hat) escorts a stylishly dressed woman and a man in military uniform. A Western Auto Stores building can be seen in the background behind the parked cars.

6) No visit to San Antonio is complete without a visit to the Alamo. President Higinio Morinigo of Paraguay stands to the left of P.L. Anderson in the center of the doorway into the church, while two military policemen look on.

To Learn More:
Courtesy of San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation.
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