In 1936, as Texans were nearing the 100th anniversary of the winning of its independence from Mexico, the anniversary of a much older event was also approaching, namely the 400th anniversary of the expedition of Coronado. The Texas Centennial took place in 1936 and this so called quad-centennial or quatro-centennial concerns the events that occurred three hundred years before the Texas Revolution and a full eighty years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock.Continue reading Coronado (Francisco Vázquez de Coronado)
Ramiro Gonzalez Gonzalez was an actor in films for many years. He usually played comedic and dramatic roles of a certain type and would be considered a character actor. His name was Gonzalez Gonzalez because both his parents had the same surname. He also was a comedian and made personal appearances as such.
Gonzalez Gonzalez was born in Aguilares in far South Texas in 1925 to a family of entertainers, including his Spanish mother, a dancer, and his Mexican American father, a trumpet player. He left school at age 7 to perform with his family in a traveling group and was involved in some aspect of entertainment for almost his entire life. He is said to have gotten his break in films after appearing in 1953 on a segment of Groucho Marx’s television quiz show “You Bet Your Life.” Gonzalez Gonzalez’s witty and quick responses caught the eye of actor John Wayne, who then signed him to a seven year contract leading to Gonzalez Gonzalez’s appearance in many movies including “The High and the Mighty,” “Rio Bravo,” “McLintock!,” “Hellfighters” and “Chisum.”Continue reading Ramiro Gonzalez Gonzalez
For many years, there was a road in south Austin called Manchaca Road. After some legal issues, in 2019 the name was finally changed to Menchaca Road. Some of the objections were voiced by local residents and businesses from a group known as Leave Manchaca Alone, and possibly others. The objections included arguments that Manchaca Road was perhaps not named for the individual who fought in the Texas Revolution, rather that instead it was derived from a Chocktaw word or had some other origin, that the name change would disrupt business, that property owners did not receive the proper notice of the proposed change, etc. An opposing group named Justice for Menchaca was in favor of the name change. Ultimately the judge’s decision favored renaming the street Menchaca rather than Manchaca in honor of José Antonio Menchaca.Continue reading José Antonio Menchaca
The headline in the El Paso Herald-Post on Veterans Day, November 11, 1970 read “Hero of World War I Rides in Parade” and went on to tell the amazing story of Marcelino Serna. Private Serna was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart and Victory Medal (United States decorations) along with the French Medaille Militaire and two Croix de Guerre and the Italian Merito de Guerra. The article added that Private Serna spent his first Armistice Day in a hospital recovering from his wounds that he received about a week earlier on November 7, 1918 while participating in the Meuse-Argonne offensive.
(Image credit: FreddyFender.com)
Freddy Fender was born Baldemar Garcia Huerta in San Benito, Cameron County, Texas on June 4, 1937. His parents were Serapio and Margarita Garcia Huerta, who were migrant farm workers. Huerta was the oldest of four children and was raised around music, including lively “conjunto,” a traditional style of music that includes a blend of Tejano and references to German polka, including the use of an accordion. He performed as early as the age of ten on a Harlingen, Texas radio station. He dropped out of high school and lied about his age to join the United States Marine Corps. He served from 1954 to 1956. Huerta married in 1957 as he began to perform as “El Be-Bop Kid” and other stage names, doing covers of popular American hits of artists like Elvis Presley but singing them in Spanish. He and his wife Evangelina had five children. They divorced and remarried at one point, but otherwise were married for about forty-five years.