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Why Crystal City, Texas came to signify growing Mexican American political strength?
By the late 1960s, Crystal City would become the location of continued activism in the civil rights movement among its Mexican-American majority population, [ and the birthplace of the third party political movement known as La Raza Unida Party founded by three Chicanos, including José Ángel Gutiérrez over a conflict about the ethnicity of cheerleaders at Crystal City High School. 200 Mexican-American students went out on strike with their parents' support. La Raza Unida, and related organizations, then won election to most offices in Crystal City and Zavala County in the periods between
1969 and 1980, when the party declined at the local level. See the Handbook of Texas History Entry In the 1970s, following protests of charges (essentially non-payment of services) on the part of La Raza Unida, Crystal City's natural gas supply was shut off by its only supplier. Crystal City residents were forced to resort to mostly wood burning stoves and individual propane gas tanks for cooking. To this day, there is no natural gas supplier in the Crystal City area, although most residents purchase propane from the city. Early in its history, the area known as the "Winter Garden District" was deemed the "Spinach Capital of the World." The first Spinach Festival was held in 1936. It was put on hold during World War II and later years. The Festival was resumed in 1982. The Spinach Festival is traditionally held on the second weekend in November, and draws former residents (many of them former migrant farm workers) from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California, Washington State, and beyond. ]
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