Arcadia Publishers, the premiere local history press, has published two titles which are a must for anyone who has an interest in the history of the Rio Grande Valley. Both books are filled with pictures from the archives of several local historical societies and private collections.
Join us at Paragraphs On Padre Boulevard, on Saturday June 12, 2010, for a book signing featuring San Benito and Charro Days in Brownsville, which are both part of the Arcadia Press, Images of America series.
There are two opportunities to meet those involved in publishing these books, first from 1 to 2 PM to have books signed and again, at 6 PM when there will be time for discussing the books, a short reading, and additional time for having books signed.
Refreshments will be provided.
Both sessions are free and open to the public.
No purchase is required to attend.
Book Description for "San Benito":
San Benito was built on the banks of a dry riverbed of the Rio Grande, called a resaca. Long ago, Coahuiltecan Indians made their home here, and Spanish land grant ranches flourished in the 1700s. The arrival of the railroad in 1904 brought a diverse group of pioneers from the Midwest in search of cheap and fertile land. These early settlers, together with descendents of Spanish colonizers, began an agricultural community. During his engineering surveys in 1903 for the proposed railroad connection to the rest of Texas, Sam Robertson realized the potential of the land. He envisioned an irrigation plan that would utilize the resacas to bring water from the Rio Grande and thus make arid ranch land into a garden. It was with this history and this dream that the little town of San Benito was created. San Benito is also home to entertainment--Conjunto Music began here--and it is the hometown of international singing star Freddy Fender and Olympic athlete Bobby Morrow.
The San Benito Historical Society, founded in 1995, compiled this book with images from townspeople and from its own collection. The mission of the historical society is to chronicle, protect, and preserve the history and cultural heritage of San Benito.
Book Description for "Charro Days in Brownsville"
Brownsville, Texas, was established in 1850 on the banks of the Rio Grande. Every February since 1938, this thriving community of nearly 200,000 has joined its Mexican neighbor, Matamoros, to celebrate their shared cultural heritage. Charro Days burst upon the Rio Grande Valley scene in the depths of the Depression, bringing dances, parades, fireworks, boat races, and a rodeo to a dispirited populace. The celebration achieved instant success, followed by national recognition in magazines, radio, and television. Renowned dance bands and celebrities increased the enjoyment of revelers dressed in Charro costumes. As time passed, Charro Days evolved with the addition of events such as the Mr. Amigo presentation, which recognizes an outstanding Mexican, and the Sombrero Fest, which attracts a large number of attendees with its diverse entertainment.
Anthony Knopp is an emeritus professor of history at the University of Texas at Brownsville and a former president of the Brownsville Historical Association. Manuel Medrano is also a professor of history at the University of Texas at Brownsville and a recognized expert on Mexican American history and culture. Priscilla Rodriguez is the executive director of the Brownsville Historical Association. Many of the photographs used in this history are from the archives of the Brownsville Historical Association.