On July 3, 2013 The Lone Ranger will stampede into theaters nationwide. Millions of people will venture to their local cinema to check out the newest collaboration of Johnny Depp and mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer. And as usual, given the short life cycle of American popular culture, many of these moviegoers will not realize that The Lone Ranger is a pop icon that has existed for 80 years.
And furthermore, few will know the connection of The Lone Ranger to the real Texas Rangers. And by Texas Rangers I’m not referring to the baseball team. I’m referring to the Texas Rangers, founded by Stephen Austin in 1823. They were a group formed originally as a citizen militia to ‘range’ the Texas frontier. Their purpose was to defend settlers against incursions by American Indians and bandits,
The Texas Rangers have become one of the most preeminent law enforcement agencies in the world. It is a nearly two hundred year history full of brave men and women who have faced down desperados, survived and triumphed against overwhelming odds. They have been celebrated in movies, books and television shows for their heroic exploits.
Many of these fascinating stories are detailed in my picture book, The Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen, illustrated by the ever brilliant artist Roxie Munro. The book explores the history of the Rangers, some of their famous captains and stories of chasing desperados, delivering justice and encouraging criminals to ‘ply their trade elsewhere.’
Over the next few weeks, leading up to the release of The Lone Ranger, I’ll be blogging here about the history of the Texas Rangers, The Lone Ranger and his connection to Texas Ranger history. I also giving some details and insight into one of the great stories of the American west.
Then when the movie hits theaters in May, you can be the one to say ‘did you know…?’
Next up…The birth of two legends.