Last month, this newsletter reported that a park once slated to be named after Captain Calvin Valpey, (1806-1880) was instead going to be named for O. H. P Vennum, who was the first Justice of the Peace for Milpitas Township and a prominent farm owner.
However, in an unprecedented move, the city rejected the PRCRC’s suggestion of the Vennum name and made the decision to name the park for Larry Itliong (1913-1977), a Filipino-American labor leader who was important in organizing Filipino farm labor.
Larry Itliong rose to prominence in 1965 when he was among the organizers of what became known as the Delano Grape Strike, which was one of the first times when Mexican and Filipino workers struck together. That strike brought about the creation of the United Farm Workers Union (UFW).
Itliong was one of the main people featured in the recently released film “The Delano Manongs,” about the pivotal role Itliong and other Filipino leaders played in that important event, which was shown last October at the Milpitas Community Center. However, that was the only connection Itliong had with Milpitas.
tmhs May 2016