Document A (Modified)
Near-martial law in L.A. riot zones
Los Angeles Daily News
June 9, 1943
Harold Tabor, 32, Long Beach sailor, was severely beaten by a gang of zooters at
103rd and Graham St. He suffered a broken nose and serious facial cuts.
"I was passing a poolhall on the way to a grocery store when the gang hopped (jumped)
me, " he said.
Two soldiers and a Negro zoot suiter were taken into custody after a riot at the corner of
Second and Spring streets. Police continued to search for others. Police ordered
groups of more than three to "break it up" everywhere in the downtown area. Police
officers were stationed on every corner and the city resembled martial law rule. Squads
of riot breakers roamed the city, trying to solve the zoot suit problem.
Navy shore patrol officers walked in and out of bars, dancehalls, drugstores, bus
One of the most serious outbreaks of terrorism occurred in Watts. There, three trains
were stoned by pachucos. One person was cut seriously. A few minutes later, nearly
every window of an outbound Long Beach two-car train was smashed when it was
caught in a crossfire of pachuco stoning.
Gangsterism in Watts continued into the early hours of today. Twelve Negroes
ambushed a 17-year-old white high school student, asked him if he was a "zoot suiter"
and when he said "no" the fight started. The victim, Joe M. Steddum of 8834 Banders
St., Watts, received a five-inch cut on his left forehead.
A Navy commander of the 11th Naval district in San Diego stated the following:
"Until further notice, except for special occasions approved by the commanding officer,
the city of Los Angeles will be out of bounds for all enlisted personnel of the naval
services not attached to the stations within this city, or in travel status.
Zoot suiters are being arrested in all parts of L.A. County. Many have been caught with
weapons such as knives hidden in their pants. Many sailors and servicemen have
victims of violence and casualties from the pachuco hoodlums.
pachuco: Mexican-American zoot suiter
Document B (Modified)
The Battle Between Marines and Pachucos
La Opinión
June 9, 1943
The Coordinator of Latin-American Youths . . . informed us . . . that during a meeting in
which the situation created by the riots between the "pachucos" and the marines was
discussed, a decision was reached to send the following telegram to the Head of the
Office of War Information in Washington and to the Head of the Division of Foreign
Languages, of the same office, and to President Roosevelt at the White House. Here is
the message:
Since last Thursday evening various groups of marines and soldiers have attacked
Mexican zoot suiters throughout the city of Los Angeles. Although the youth did nothing
to provoke the attack or for that matter to resist the attack, many were severely
wounded, including women and children. Supposedly the attack has been motivated by
past conflicts between the two groups and has been amplified by the press claiming that
Mexican youths have been disrespectful toward the servicemen, a claim without any
Despite precautions taken on the part of the military police and local authorities to
control the situation, the servicemen continue to walk the streets of Los Angeles armed
with clubs and appear to be tacitly supported by many city and local officials in charge
of keeping the peace; their attacks have now expanded to include blacks. This situation,
which is prompting racial antagonism between the Mexican, Anglo-Saxon and Black
communities will undoubtedly have grave international repercussions which will
inevitably damage the war effort and thwart the gains made by the Good Neighbor
policy. We urge immediate intervention by the Office of War Information so that it
moderates the local press which has openly approved of these mutinies and which is
treating this situation in a manner that is decidedly inflammatory.
Good Neighbor Policy: Foreign policy adopted by the U.S. under President Franklin
Roosevelt in which the U.S. said it would not intervene in Latin American countries’
mutiny: rebellion by soldiers against the orders of their officers
What Caused the Zoot Suit Riots?
LA Daily News
La Opinión
Source it!
Who wrote it?
What do you predict
they will say about
the Zoot Suit Riots?
According to this
document, what
caused the Zoot Suit
Who is to blame for
the violence?
What evidence do
they use to support
this reason? Provide
a quote from the
Using evidence from both of these documents, write a paragraph on the back of this
sheet that explains what caused the Zoot Suit Riots.