This Day in History

Sept. 14, 1911: El Primer Congreso Mexicanista Convenes in Laredo

Time Periods: World War I: 1910 - 1919
Themes: Latinx, Media, Women's History

Teacher, journalist, and political activist Jovita Idár.

On Sept. 14, 1911, el Primer Congreso Mexicanista (First Mexicanist Congress) met in Laredo, Texas in order to discuss social, labor, educational, and economic issues facing Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the United States. At the meeting, Jovita Idár was elected president of El Congreso’s Women’s League.

As its president, Idár organized the Women’s League to provide education for poor children. Idár also worked as a journalist for her family’s paper, La Crónica, criticizing discrimination against Mexican Americans and advocating for women’s rights, including the right to vote.

In 1913, after traveling to Mexico to work as a nurse for the revolutionary forces, Idár returned to Laredo and joined the staff of another paper, El Progreso. When Texas Rangers first tried to destroy the paper’s headquarters after an editorial protesting President Woodrow Wilson’s dispatch of U.S. troops to the U.S.–Mexico border, Idár physically blocked them from entering the building.

Read more about Jovita Idár at the Texas State Historical Association’s website. 

This #tdih post was prepared by Abby Saul.