1929 Newspaper Clipping Reveals Unique Christmas Party In Nogales

By Claire Caulfield
Published: Tuesday, December 25, 2018 - 10:13am
Updated: Tuesday, December 25, 2018 - 10:42am

The U.S.-Mexico border was moved two blocks north for a couple of hours on Christmas Day in 1929 so Mexican children could participate in a celebration.

An 89-year-old newspaper clipping from the Arizona Daily Star said that Nogales, Arizona, invited children from all neighboring towns to a Christmas party.

“At the last moment, it was discovered that about 3,000 children on the Mexican side would be barred by immigration laws,” the unnamed reporter wrote.

Mexican and U.S. officials held “a great many conferences” and decided to move the international border back far enough to include the municipal Christmas tree.

Once each child received a present, the plan was to “gently” herd the “youngsters” back to Mexico, “each hugging a bag of candy, a toy and some new clothing.” Then, the border would be restored to its original location.

“No trouble is expected,” the article said.

Arizona’s official state historian Marshall Trimble said it’s unfortunate that there’s not much information about the event.

“I use it as a potpourri of ‘feel-good’ Christmas stories about Arizona,” Trimble said in an email. “It's one of my favorites and I always tell it during the season.”

Arizona Historical Society clipping
Arizona Historical Society

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