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"Workers Beat" Looks at History
Revolution in Texas, a book by Ben Johnson of Southern Methodist University, was the main topic of the "Workers' Beat" program on KNON on December 22. Johnson explained how South Texas rancheros lost their land and were forced into the role of low-wage agricultural workers during the period of Texas history 1915-1920.
When the railroad arrived in 1905, modern agriculture followed right behind. Not all of the people in The Valley reconciled themselves easily to being dispossessed of their family lands. Inspired by the Mexican revolution, some of them took up arms during a short period from July, 1915, to the middle of 1916, Johnson said. The rebellious acts gave powerful forces, acting through vigilantes and the Texas Rangers, a good excuse to get rid of just about everybody standing in their way. Estimates of those illegally murdered run to the thousands!
The Texas Legislature, starting in 1919, investigated the many crimes committed by the Texas Rangers, but they effectively hid the results of their investigation for more than 50 years. Historians like Johnson are now using that material to give us all a chance to re-evaluate important Texas history and the role of the Rangers. The book is reviewed here on this site. Some of the books will be available for the next KNON fund drive, in Feburary.
While we were doing the show, Jenny Coneff listened in. Jenny leaves the United States January 5 to live in Haiti while helping with radio work there. She will be working with an important humanitarian organization named "Save the Children."
Everybody that wants to can listen to Workers Beat each Wednesday morning at 8 AM EST on www.knon.org. In North Texas, they can tune to 89.3 FM.