Adversities and Accomplishments

 Historical photo of integrated CCC company

African-Americans in Texas

Three costumed Buffalo Soldier reenactorsAfrican-Americans in Texas endured slavery and racism during the 1800s and 1900s. Slaves worked on cotton plan­ta­tions, on farms and ranches, and as domestic servants.

After the Civil War, new options emerged. Some freed­men joined the military and guarded forts along the Texas frontier. However, second-class status continued well into the 20th century.

During the Great Depression, government jobs programs sep­a­rated workers by race. Af­ri­can-American Civilian Con­ser­va­tion Corps companies built five state parks in Texas, and yet blacks could not enter many public sites in the state until the 1960s.  

Buffalo Soldiers

Joining the U.S. Army offered freed­men the chance to improve their economic standing. Buffalo Soldiers was the moniker of those who enlisted and served in all-black units. In Texas, the Army stationed the Ninth Infantry along the state’s western edge. 

CCC Parks built by African-American companies

CCC workers building the concession building at Palmetto SPAfrican-American CCC men in Texas first served in “mixed” companies of white and black recruits. In 1935, social and political pressure led to segregated groups. Some communities welcomed the all-black units, while others rejected them based on race.

African-American companies built Daingerfield, Fort Parker, Goose Island, Palo Duro Canyon, Abilene, Huntsville, and Palmetto state parks.

Fanthorp Inn State Historic Site

Henry Fanthorp’s inn was a popular stopping point for travelers in 19th century Texas. As many as 32 enslaved men, women and children worked at the inn and on Fanthorp’s land, cultivating vegetables and cotton.

Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site

Stationed at Fort Clark in the late 1800s, the U.S. Army’s Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts gave the canyon its name.  The soldiers repelled Apache and Comanche attacks and guarded a wide area. They were renowned for their bravery and fighting skills.

Barrington Living History Farm

Two reenactors in a slave cabin at Barrington FarmAt Barrington, slaves planted cotton, vegetables and fruit trees. They completed household tasks and cared for the family’s children. Today the Barrington Farm includes two re­con­structed slave cabins.

Recovering From the Great Depression

Financial collapse, un­em­ploy­ment, and dust storms affected millions of American families in the 1930s.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt promised to get the nation back on its feet. He created a series of work programs to pump money into the economy, create jobs, and protect natural resources. These programs built state and national parks and improved American infrastructure. 

CCC Parks

Monument at Monument HillTexas State Parks owe much to the Civilian Con­ser­vation Corps. The CCC provided jobs and training to unem­ployed young men. CCC workers built parks across the state! Texas’s CCC parks continue to delight visitors with their scenic beauty and distinctive architecture.

Monument Hill State Historic Site

Texans celebrated the 100th anniversary of the state’s in­de­pen­dence in the 1930s. A new memorial was built on Mon­u­ment Hill’s tomb to honor the Texans buried there. Award-winning artists designed the 48-foot-tall memorial.

San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site

The San Jacinto Monument is a soaring memorial to Texas’ 1836 victory against Mexico. Two New Deal work programs, the PWA and WPA, helped with its construction.

Combat and Courage

Battleship TexasEarly in the 20th cen­tury, con­flict brought Texas to the world stage. Battle­ship Texas, a dread­nought built in 1914, helped lead the Allies to victory in both World War I and World War II.

Battleship Texas State Historic Site

Tour the only surviving battleship that fought in both world wars and learn how tech­no­logical ad­vance­ments changed the nature of naval war­fare. The Texas was the first U.S. Navy battle­ship to launch an aircraft and the first to have commercial radar!


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