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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.



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Fiesta Mexicana crown

Fiesta Mexicana crown
Creator: Gomez, Hazel Gonzales
Date: 1943
Homemade crown from the 1943 Fiesta Mexicana. The crown is made of stiffened fabric and is decorated with sequins, pearls, and rhinestones. Fiesta Mexicana has been an annual event in Topeka, Kansas, since 1933. It serves as a celebration of Mexican culture and a fundraiser for Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Hazel Gonzales Gomez wore this crown when she was elected Fiesta Queen in 1943. The crown was made by Josephine Corona. Hazel was born and raised in Topeka and was very active in the Hispanic community, volunteering with organizations like the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Kansas Silver Haired Legislature, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. She credited winning the title to one of her volunteer acts. During World War II, Hazel helped found the Y-Senoritas club (YWCA) to help provide social activities for soldiers. As a result, the soldiers helped sell tickets or votes promoting her queen candidacy.

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