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tv   History of the Texas Rangers  CSPAN  December 7, 2014 11:41pm-11:57pm EST

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leap out of the digital world into the physical realm. that was the first thing that made stuxnet unique. it was really sophisticated. it was designed to increase and slow the speed of centrifuges. it also did a remarkable trick, which was to make the operators of the plant inc. that the operations were perfectly normal. onrecorded normal activity the computer's first and then played back that normal activity to the monitoring machines when it was actually doing the sabotage. >> monday night at eight eastern on the communicators, on c-span2 . >> all weekend long, american history tv is joining our time warner cable partners to showcase the history of waco texas. to learn more about the cities's owner 2014 tour, visit content.g/local
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we continue now with our look at the history of waco. this is american history tv on c-span3. >> the institute of texan culture down in the -- in san antonio says the second-most well-known thing in texas is the texas rangers, the first being the alamo. they have had a long legacy. were talking about 200 years of that history and heritage of upholding values of law, order, and justice. it's something a lot of foreigners have taken to. we hear about major reaction belgium, and france. you name it. the popularity is widespread. it all began with this innocent beginnings of just protecting their friends and family members from indians.
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it grown, adapted and developed into the law enforcement agency that we now compare to the fbi of texas. 1823 the texas rangers were established. stephen f austin was given permission by the republic of mexico to ring the first 300. when they got here they quickly realized there was a need to protect the settlers. from the comanche indian raids, specifically. he asked for a group of 10 volunteers. if you didn't earn it, you didn't have it. basically there was a need to protect from the indian raids and that is how they got their start over the years. the evolution took place over the course of about 200 years. they celebrated their 200th anniversary in 2023.
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that evolution was slow and took lace over time. eventually most of the native americans were relocated, so the need and the threat was no longer there. texas developed during the civil war and after and became a more modern date. daschle more modern state. as this development came about, the rangers changed. in the early 1900s you had the discovery of oil and texas was a place where you could get rich fast. a lot of people started coming to texas and they started working security in the oil fields. there was a lot of chaos and turmoil at that time. there were things during the 1900s like prohibition. unfortunately, texas borders mexico, so the rangers started asking the border security --
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something that they do today, it is not alcohol or narcotics, but other things they're working to protect texans from. their evolution really took place in the time and the era that they were living in changed. in 1935 they were formalized under the department of public safety. they created the first crime lab that year. they have kind of evolved with the changes. >> the museum has a marvelous collection of material that goes back to the family of the rangers in 1823, trying to select not only shirley is material, but the ends that the rangers currently using their service today. the collection has somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 15,000
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individual pieces. it dates over 200 years in time. the museum is really a complex, one of the big portions, but the other is the texas ranger hall of fame set up in 1976 for 175th anniversary of the rangers. at this .30 rangers that made major contributions to the service forgave allies under our circumstances, we have portraits hanging of all the rangers. they begin with stephen austin. he was very successful with his rangers, fighting and not only managing to make the area reasonably safe, but when the texas war for independence broke out, the rangers played a major role in independence long enough to allow the economists to develop a strategy.
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they became the republic of texas for about 10 years. being regarded as the founder of the rangers, we have interesting collections being tied not only to specific rangers and what they do. also interesting is the collection of u.s. paper currency. going back to the republic of texas, when they were their own nation they issued their own currency. it is really interesting to collectors to note that the state of texas was at one point printing its own money. another thing that we have is a collection of engraved firearms. firearm engraving is really an art form that is fading out today. but back in the time of the
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1850's and 1950's, it was a goal of anyone that carried firearms on a regular basis to probably have one pistol or one rifle that was very well decorated. there were persons that did this to an unbelievable level. a lot of them had failing eyesight, they worked microscopically for hours and hours. some rangers today still have their sidearms, their pistols, engraved. the slang term for that is barbecue guns. rangers go to clubs, things like that, often carrying a firearm, something finally decorated. as the cost of that climbs, it is a tradition that seems to be
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fading out of that today. one of the legendary rangers that spanned the time on the -- spanned the time. gonzales.uel gonzales was born of canadian and portuguese parents, he emigrated to mexico and decided to emigrate to the united states and texas, winding up joining the rangers and becoming a legend in the east texas oil filled of the 1930's. he later went on to set up the first crime lab that the texas rangers ever had. after retirement becoming a consultant to the movie and television industry. we have a lot of his personal,
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he was one of the few old-time rangers to live to see the museum founded. it is pretty amazing. one of the interesting stories is that when he was in the oilfields he was being followed by a bunch of criminals that wanted him out of the way. he rigged his car with a thompson submachine gun in the trunk and afford to buy the drivers seat. he popped the wire that raise the trunk and exposed the machine gun in the back. people were pointing at then from the front seat and they did not have many problems. there were photographs in the car that showed how it was rigged up, but he was a legendary ranger all the way to modern forensic criminology.
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we are fortunate in having a large collection of materials related to bonnie and clyde. the real story is often different from what you see in movies and television. clyde barrow was a minor criminal who started out in the 1930's with exotic crimes like chicken theft and things like that, rather than being sent to huntsville he managed to upgrade his criminal skills, hooking up with a waitress from west dallas and they started a criminal spree centering around 1934 that carried them through about half of a dozen or a dozen states in the u.s.. their career took a downward
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spiral for they decided to break into the state prison and break out one of their gang members and shoot to death one of the prison guards in the process. the prison system went to a retired ranger, they pulled him out of retirement and gave him a special commission with the prison system. he tracked them for over 100 days, found out who they were, where their relatives were, and announced that they would be accessories and found out through an informant where they were going to be. they set up an ambush in western louisiana that ended the career of bonnie and clyde. this is a pocket watch that belonged to clyde. when he was incarcerated one
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time the pocket watch was taken away from them, bonnie parker went in to visit him in the jail and broke them out, leaving the pocket watch behind. this is one of the more interesting by and clyde artifacts that we have. one of the things that we do is deal not only with real texas rangers, but the texas rangers of american pop culture. looking at motion pictures there are over 200 that have been made since 1910 with a major character being a texas ranger from the movie. it shows no sign of abating. the rangers, of course, first appeared in literature. some of them were novels that started in the 1840's to the 1890's all over the world. we have examples printed in languages like touch, japanese,
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italian, that sort of thing. in the 1930's and 1940's one of the things that exist alongside comic books were pulled from magazines, monthly novels such things as the texas ranger. today you see things like the italian version of the comic book down here, which has been in production in italy since 1940's. then we have the belgian children's book of texas rangers we cannot even keep up with them. these are connected to clayton moore, the famous television lone ranger for so many years. each time that they start a new season's production they would have a number of mass and pick out the most comfortable to wear.
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only a handful still survived to this day. thanks to dr. taylor and montana we have a huge collection of this material, including one of the masks. he had his own gun belts made and presented to her, these identical to the ones that were used in the television productions and movie productions. the gun belt is original, and then we have one of the hat that was produced for him to wear in the tv series. but this material, these things are actually tied to the production and we are delighted to have them.
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the texas rangers really seem to affect people's imaginations. since the 1840's i have been a part of american culture, pop culture and the real thing. the reason the museum exists is to perpetuate a heritage that the rangers bring to us. it is sort of like high noon, they are regarded as the people taking on overwhelming odds, because of what is right, what is just, what should be done. people come here to immerse themselves on here so that they can make a real-life texas ranger. >> throughout the week in american history tv is featuring waco texas. our cities tour staff recently traveled there to learn about its rich history. learn more about waco and other stops on c-span -- cities tour.


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