Tidbits about Texas and the Texas Rangers

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love the Texas Rangers and have written about them in several books.  I thought it’d be fun to share some of the little known facts about the texas-ranger-logo.jpglegendary Rangers.  One tidbit that I’m still excited about is that our 2010 anthology “Give Me a Texas Ranger” with Linda Broday, Jodi Thomas, DeWanna Pace and myself was placed in the Texas Ranger Museum and Hall of Fame Pop Culture Section.

Since 1823, the Texas Rangers have represented the highest ideals of Texas and America to admirers around the world. Individually, they are some of the most colorful, toughest heroes in American history.

Together, they brought peace to an untamed frontier, and in the process became one of the most famous and respected crime-fighting forces anywhere.

Texas Ranger Uniform. Before the 1950’s there was no official uniform, although some companies tried to administer the coordination of outfits that proved unpopular.

texas-ranger-of-today.jpgTraditionally, Texas Ranger clothing is conservative western attire, specifically with white or tan hats, cowboy boots, white western cut shirt, tie, pants, and belt. But there is one requirement. A Ranger must wear an “appropriate” Texas Ranger hat, which is light-colored and shaped in a businessman’s style, commonly called the Rancher or Cattleman. Brims must not exceed 4 inches or be flat with edges rolled up. Hats excessively crushed, rolled, or dipped are not acceptable. The elite lawmen own both a quality straw and a felt hat to be worn as determined by the weather or assignment.

the-alamo.jpgThe Texas Rangers and the Alamo. In answer to Col. Travis’ request for assistance in defending the Alamo, a party of Texas Rangers responded. The Gonzales Ranging Company of Mounted Volunteers answered the call, fought, and died alongside the other valiant defenders of the Alamo.

Santa Ann escaped death because he was a Mason. This myth isn’t about the Texas Rangers, but I thought it fit with today’s discussion of little known facts. Although not all historians agree, this statement can be dispelled by truths. In April of 1836, Santa Anna was captured after the defeat of the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto. Legend has it that he saved himself from execution by giving secret “Masonic signs” when he was seized, and later when he was brought before General texas-ranger-badge-and-gun.jpgSam Houston. Some historians believe that he simply filled the air with Masonic signs and gave a distress signal grip to Houston because he feared for his life. However, they were under no obligation to save him for several reasons. First, Santa Anna had disowned the Masonic fraternity and outlawed its practice in Mexico, thus placing him outside the protection of any Masonic obligations. Secondly, Santa Anna was worth more to Texas alive than dead. Incidentally, President Andrew Jackson and General Houston were members of the same Masonic lodge, the Cumberland Lodge No. 8 in Nashville, Tennessee. Jackson wrote to Houston and asked him to spare Santa Anna’s life, reminding Houston that “while he is in your power, the difficulties of your enemy, in raising another army, will be great…. Let not his blood be shed unless imperious necessity demands it….” Could it be that President Jackson intended to seek humanity and wisdom to halt an enemy?

Hitler and the Texas Rangers. The name “Rangers” is synonymous with the Texas Rangers, and never was it more clear than during WWII. On August 19, 1942, us-army-rangers-during-wwii.jpgthree Commando units of the British 2nd Canadian Division landed in France. The purpose was to create an illusion of a major invasion and force Hitler to halt troops bound for the Russian front. However, somewhere along the line the British Commandos became the Texas Rangers. Apparently the confusion came with leaks that a special American combat unit, the legendary U.S. Army Rangers, who were modeled after the main5bottom_r3_c7.jpgsuccessful British Commandos, had invaded. Hitler was rumored to have watched Amerikanische westliche Filme (American westerns,) and only knew of the Texas Rangers who were depicted in American movies that played in European theaters during the 20’s and 30’s. As a result, the only American “Rangers” known to Hitler were heroic men in white hats, who single-handedly cleaned up entire towns with blazing guns. Ironically, the Texas Rangers did volunteer to go to Europe but were not allowed to do so by our military. For a short period of time, thanks to rumor, the legend of the Texas Rangers offered hope to the residents of occupied France, two years before the Allies successfully landed on the beaches of Normandy.

books.jpgIn western historical romances, Texas Rangers make a terrific hero because of the qualities they are known for. I have to admit, I love ‘um too, although my favorites to write are crusty ol’ retired Ranger sidekicks.

Whether it’s television, movies, or books, who is your favorite Texas Ranger?

We’ve had a great holiday so far with our Christmas anthologies!  Kensington re-released “A Texas Christmas” at all Walmarts and Sam’s Clubs.  I joined several Fillies in the debut anthology “Wishing for a Cowboy” for Prairie Rose Publications.  With the bad weather across the country, if you want a book or two, whether it’s an eBook or printed book, to curl up and read in front of the fireplace, I can promise you’ll enjoy both anthologies.  They will really get you in the holiday mood.

ATexasChristmas3Wishing for a Cowboy-sm

Phyliss
A native Texan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Phyliss Miranda still believes in the Code of the Old West and loves to share her love for antiques, the lost art of quilting, and the Wild West.

Visit her at phylissmiranda.com
Updated: November 25, 2013 — 9:02 pm

14 Comments

  1. I love the Rangers, too, Phyliss! Thanks for all the yummy “tidbits.”

  2. Phyliss, What an interesting post about Texas Rangers. I had no idea about the roles they had at the Alamo or with Hitler. Or even the hat requirements.
    The only Texas Ranger I can think of on tv is Walker Texas Ranger Chuck Norris.
    Thank you for giveaway

  3. I have always admired the Texas Rangers….for what they stood for, for the jobs they did. In fact, a close friend of ours years ago decided as a highway patrolman, he wanted to further his career and his duty to Texas, so he became a Texas Ranger. Howard Dunham is retired now but he served our great state well.

  4. I love it phylliss. I think I haven’t done enough with Texas Rangers. I need to go there!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Great blog, Phyliss! Always love the Texas Rangers and stories about them. They just represent so much. It was a thrill when they put our Give Me a Texas Ranger in the showcase at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame. You were so instrumental in making that happen! Thank you! I loved writing those anthologies with you and Jodi and DeWanna. What fun we had.

    Some memorable Texas Ranger movies: True Grit, Lonesome Dove, and The Comancheros. Excellent portrayals of the famed lawmen.

    Wishing you a wonderful and very happy Thanksgiving with all your family!!! Love you, lady.

  6. Hi Phyliss – I love stories and movies about the Texas Rangers. Wonderful blog, tipping my white hat to you! Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Awesome info about the Rangers, Phyliss. There’s a small TR museum in San Antonio near the Buckhorn Saloon and I had a great day there! Bought a badge for my brother in law and a tee-shirt for my grandbaby. Best of luck with the Christmas antho’s. xox

  8. I love the Texas rangers in books! I wish they still had them and their main transportation was a horse. there is nothing better when your reading, than a strong sexy ranger who willing to protect!!!

  9. Hi Phyliss, I love the Texas Rangers and have written a bit about them and need to write more! I never heard about the Rangers and Hitler. What a great story. I don’t have any favorite rangers but I recently read about Frank H. Hamer who helped bring down Bonnie and Clyde.

    Good luck with Christmas stories and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. I am glad they rereleased A TEXAS CHRISTMAS. It is an enjoyable anthology and more people should get the chance to read it. I’ll be pulling mine out for a reread.
    We were in San Antonio and went to the Alamo, but didn’t realize there was a Texas Ranger Museum. We will just have to go back for another visit.

    I don’t know t.hat I have a favorite Ranger. King of like the Beatles – “LOVE THE ONE YOU ARE WITH

  11. Hello Phyliss. Great article. Always learning something new. Now, if I could only remember it all. I didn’t know about the connection with Hitler. I love book, movies or anything about the Texas. I loved the Tv show starring Chuck Norris, Texas Ranger. Watched them all and would do it again. I would love to have this book. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  12. I love the Texas Rangers and thank you for sharing these tidbits. I always look forward to the time I spend here at P&P! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  13. Another illuminating article. Loved those Texas Rangers, & now I know a lot more about them! Both books look like great reads & I hope to do just that. 🙂 Whahoo!! Good books with great heroes, AND holiday celebrations..it couldn’t be better (unless I’d win them!) LOL 🙂 My best to You all!

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