Couple after their wedding
Helen and William after their wedding reception in Boulder City, Nevada. The couple couldn't get a marriage license in Los Angeles because Helen was Filipina, and they went to Boulder City to marry.

Helen Agcaoili Summers Brown (1915 – 2011) was born in Manila, Philippines. Her mother was Filipina and her father an American who had emigrated to The Philippines to teach English. In 1933 the family relocated to Arcadia, California. Helen attended Pasadena City College followed by UCLA where she earned a BA in 1937 and an MA in 1939, and began working as a teacher. She met William Brown in graduate school, but when the pair married in 1941 they had to do so in Boulder City, Nevada, to work around California’s anti-miscegenation laws. She and her husband both worked in shipyards during WWII. Helen began working as a child welfare and attendance worker for the school district and continued to work in the education system for 34 years. In the late 1960s she joined a group known as Asians Coming Together (ACT 1). She also founded the Pilipino American Reading Room and Library (PARRAL) in 1985.

00003848 – Helen and William after their wedding reception in Boulder City, Nevada. The couple couldn’t get a marriage license in Los Angeles because Helen was Filipina, and they went to Boulder City to marry.

Helen's Oral History Interview