Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Zoot Suit Riots
The Zoot Suit Riots began on June 3, 1943, when several White sailors in Los Angeles alleged that they had been jumped by a group of young Mexican American men in “zoot suits.” For the next 4 days and nights, Mexican American “zoot suiters,” commonly referred to as Pachucos and known for wearing wide-brimmed hats, long coats with wide lapels and padded shoulders, and baggy pants tapered narrowly at the ankles, were attacked by White servicemen across the city. Soldiers and marines joined sailors to form posses and search city streets, restaurants, movie theaters, and other places of business in attempts to find and assault zoot suiters. While Mexican American young men were the primary targets, African American, Filipino, and even some White youth who wore zoot suits were pursued by the unruly mobs. Scores of zoot suiters were beaten, stripped naked, and left humiliated in the streets by The ...