The 1935 election of James V. Allred as governor of Texas marked a turning point for the Texas Rangers as a law enforcement organization. For several decades, the force had not kept up with the growth of crime in the Lone Star State. There were a few bright spots, however, such as former Texas Ranger Frank Hamer’s 1934 stakeout and ambush of outlaws Bonnie and Clyde. Although it had the effect of boosting the image of the Rangers that had deteriorated under earlier governors, the crime problems in the state still existed.
Monthly Archives: June 2017
(Image credit: IMDB.com)
This summer will mark the 50th anniversary of the release of the feature film Bonnie and Clyde. It was directed by Arthur Penn (1922-2010), who also directed around two dozen other films including The Missouri Breaks, Night Moves, Little Big Man, Alice’s Restaurant and The Miracle Worker. Penn had received his start in the early days of television, having been involved with productions in series including The Gulf Playhouse, Goodyear Playhouse, Playhouse 90 and others.
The Cortina Wars is a name given to armed conflicts precipitated by a Mexican rancher named Juan Cortina. Juan Nepomuceno Cortina was born in 1824 in Tamaulipas, Mexico into a cattle ranching family. His mother, Trinidad Cortina inherited some property in the late 1820s that was in the general area of what we know as Brownsville and Matamoros, located on both sides of the Rio Grande. At this time, the Rio Grande geographically divided the two areas, but it was all part of Mexico until after the Mexican-American War, which essentially moved the Mexican border from the Nueces River to the Rio Grande.
(Image credit: U. S. Air Force. Cole is on the front row, to Doolittle’s right.)
Just a little more than one month after the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942, details were released to the media about the military action. The occasion was an award ceremony honoring pilots and crew of the historic attack. In an Associated Press report out of Washington on May 22, the identity of the leader was revealed to be Brig. Gen. James H. Doolittle. Coming only a few months after the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II, the raid shook the Japanese belief that the U.S. could not reach them on their own soil. In addition, it greatly improved the morale in the United States at a time when it was extremely low.
Before the Texas Revolution, the official religion of the area was Roman Catholicism according to Spanish law. Landowners were required to espouse the Roman Catholic faith and many did so in order to obtain title to their land. However Protestant families moved to the area prior to and following the Texas Revolution. R. E. B. Baylor, a Baptist, came to Texas in late 1839. By then, there were already a number of Baptist families in Texas. After a couple of failed efforts, the Baptist Union Association was formed in the fall of 1840 and included churches from La Grange, Travis and Independence. Baylor was a circuit judge and was an ordained minister. By about 1845, there were hundreds of fellow Baptists in the area. Among other things, the Association had been concerned about education and formed an Education Society of which R. E. B. Baylor was selected to be President.