Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Jan. 27, 1954: Part of 3,000 Mexican workers at Mexicali, who, after waiting several days for work in the United States, rioted for more than an hour before dispersed by Mexican police and immigration officials. This photo was published in the Jan. 28, 1954 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Jan. 25, 1954: Identification cards issued to farm laborers in Bracero program at Calexico.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Jan. 27, 1954: Mexican workers receive health check before entering the United States, Mexicali (Mexico), during the Bracero program.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Jan. 27, 1954: Line of Mexican nationals at Mexicali border crossing hoping to obtain work under the Bracero program.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Jan. 25, 1954: Mexican nationals processed and waiting for work at Calexico during Bracero program.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Jan. 29, 1954: Vehicles have a hard going making their way through throng of migrant workmen at Mexicali where the braceros were gathered seeking entry into the United States. This photo was published in the Jan. 30, 1954 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Feb. 1, 1954: Mexican laborer sags from exertion and lack of air during crush of mob seeking legal entry into the United States for jobs during Bracero program. This photo was published in the Feb. 2, 1954 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Feb. 1, 1954: Border patrolmen restrain Mexican nationals after about 8,000 showed up at Mexicali border crossing hoping to obtain work. This photo was published in the Feb. 2, 1954 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Feb. 1, 1954: Border patrolmen restrain Mexican nationals, but Ramiro Gomez, 31, is allowed to enter during Bracero program. This photo was published in the Feb. 8, 1954 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Feb. 1, 1954: Border patrolmen restrain Mexican nationals, some only half-conscious, after about 8,000 showed up at Mexicali border crossing hoping to obtain work. This photo was published in the Feb. 2, 1954 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Feb. 1, 1954: Border patrolmen restrain Mexican nationals, some only half-conscious, after about 8,000 showed up at Mexicali border crossing hoping to obtain work. Only about 700 were allowed to enter the United States under the Bracero program. This photo was published in the Feb. 8, 1954 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Feb. 1, 1954: Border patrolmen restrain Mexican nationals, some only half-conscious, after about 8,000 showed up at Mexicali border crossing hoping to obtain work. Only about 700 were allowed to enter the United States under the Bracero program. Some feinted in the crush. This photo was published in the Feb. 7, 1954 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Feb. 2, 1954: Part of a mob of 9,000 Mexican nationals which rushed across border at Mexicali in effort to gain entrance for work in the United States. Border patrolmen turned back the crowd. Rocks were thrown. This photo was published in the Feb. 3, 1954 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Feb. 4, 1954: Looking across to the United States from the border at Mexicali. This photo was published in the Feb. 7, 1954 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Feb. 4, 1954: Pile of clothing was left behind by group of Mexican nationals who scrambled across the border for jobs. Several were injured by crushing throng at Mexicali border crossing. This photo was published in the Feb. 8, 1954 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Feb. 4, 1954: Mexican nationals load cotton onto truck after picking the crop at Southern California farm.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Feb. 5, 1954: Mexican nationals in Bracero program glean what they can from an Imperial Valley cotton field after mechanical picking machines stripped bulk of the crop. These pickers say they earn from $4 to $10 a day, from dawn to dusk. They are paid by the pound.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Jan. 29, 1954: Mexican nationals return to Mexico at Mexicali border crossing after their legal work contracts in Bracero program are over. This photo was published in the Feb. 8, 1954 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

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1954 look at Bracero program

World War II labor shortages spurred the establishment of the Mexican Farm Labor Agreement between Mexico and the United States. The program became known as the Bracero program. (Bracero is a Spanish term meaning “manual laborer.”)

In early 1954, Los Angeles Times staff representative Bill Dredge and photographer Frank Q. Brown covered the Bracero program. During their visit to the Mexicali, Mexico, border crossing, thousands gathered looking for work – 10 workers for each opening in the program.

Rioting broke out. On one of his caption sheets, Brown reported he was hit by a rock, but was uninjured.

Frank Q. Brown’s photos in the above gallery were taken between Jan. 25 and Feb. 5, 1954.

During the 1954 Bracero program, over 300,000 Mexican nationals entered the United States. The guest worker program ended in 1964.

For more, check out this National Museum of American History website: The Bracero Program.

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