First Liberation

So here we are in the El Cortez Hotel ballroom in San Diego! It looks like an evening of fun and excitement, the time is 5:30 in the afternoon. The date is July 18, 1953.  “Maestro music please..” Here come the Marine color guards to post the flags. The band plays the National Anthem. The Pledge of Allegiance is recited by all. Father Sheeply, of St. Rita’s Church, says the invocation:

Our president, Joe Flores welcomes the guests, makes his speech and introduces the guest speaker for the evening. Now comes a delicious dinner of filet mignon with all the trimmings prepared by one of our own Guamanians, head chef of the El Cortez, Carlos Cruz. The bugle sounds attention …”Ladies and gentlemen, the Sons and Daughters of Guam Club proudly presents to you Nora Herrero Peterson crowned as our first queen for the reigning year July, 1953 to July,1954.” The queen parades around the room with her court, you are there. Applause …The Second Year … 1954 …the original officers remain as advisers the membership in the club continued to grow.

The Sons and Daughters of Guam Club held its second annual Liberation celebration at the U.S. Grant Hotel in July, 1954. The event sponsored a dinner dance with the crowning of the new queen, Florentina Cruz Crisostomo. Among the guest speakers was Ramon Sablan, M.D. whose name ranked high on the notorious Japanese “black list”, ADM. George A Alexander, retired governor of Guam and Vice ADM. Charles Pownell, last military governor of Guam. The Sons and Daughters of Guam Club was founded in San Diego by Guamericans due to the rising need for social and economic responsibility.

The sole purpose of the club was “to promote better citizenship in our democracy” as stated by Gil Taitano. In commenting about the organization, Taitano stated, “With God’s help, we’ll all prosper in better living through the main objective of our club.”