Hispanic Texan earns Medal of Honor
On this day in 1944, Macario García distinguished himself on the battlefield near Grosshau, Germany, while serving with the Fourth Infantry Division. Though wounded in the shoulder and foot, he singlehandedly assaulted two German machine-gun emplacements and destroyed them, killing six enemy soldiers and capturing four. Only then did he allow himself to be evacuated. For his heroic action he was awarded the Medal of Honor. García was a Mexican native who moved to Texas in 1923 and joined the U.S. Army in 1942. After his wartime service he returned to his home in Sugar Land. In September 1945 he was denied service in a Richmond restaurant because he was Hispanic. Outraged, he fought with the owner until police were called in. García was arrested and charged in the incident. His case immediately became a cause célèbre, symbolizing not only the plight of Hispanic soldiers who returned from the war, but the plight of Mexican Americans. Numerous groups, including the League of United Latin American Citizens, rallied to his aid, and he was acquitted. Garcia died in 1972.