Rose Lueras' fight for Civil Rights

In 1934, the City of Lafayette built a swimming pool.  There wasn't a lot of money. So the city reached out to the whole community and asked that people donate money or cement.  Many families donated.  Many Latino families donated.  Many families went to the pool when it opened.  Latino families and Latino children were turned away.  Within a few days, someone posted a sign that said “whites only”. The City Council had "leased" the pool to the volunteer fire department to make it a "private" pool, even though public money and public support built the pool.  

A woman named Rose Lueras, and 25 other Latinos filed a lawsuit against the city and the fire department citing discrimination.  The pool was closed "to avoid trouble.” Rose and the plaintiffs sued the city and the fire department in Circuit Court in Boulder, citing their 14th Amendment Rights.  

Rose and her family were targeted by the Ku Klux Klan for her actions. To avoid persecution, and waiting for the case to go to the court, Rose took her daughter to Santa Monica.  Sadly, while they were there Rose was killed when she was hit by a car.  Rosabelle witnessed the incident.

Rosebelle returned to Lafayette to bury her mother and live with her father. Several weeks later, the case was heard by the court. Rosabelle, age 13, testified in place of her mother.  They lost the case. They appealed and the case went to the Colorado Supreme Court, where it also lost.

The city filled the pool, and it never reopened. It was a dark time in Lafayette. Rose and the other families were brave, fighting for civil rights in 1934.  

Santiago and Rose Lueras

Santiago and Rose Lueras

Read more about Rose Lueras' story