Pancho Villa

Topics: Mexican Revolution, Francisco I. Madero, Venustiano Carranza Pages: 4 (994 words) Published: December 5, 2013
In the early morning of March 9, 1916, Pancho Villa crossed the U.S. border and into history. On that day, Villa launched the first attack on American soil since the War of 1812, killing 18 Americans and leaving the small New Mexican town of Columbus in flames.

Among the dead was one-time Las Crucen Charles D. Miller, a 1906 graduate of the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts and brother of college registrar J.O. Miller.

"When the unidentified body was removed from the ruins of the hotel, his Masonic ring was recognized by a Mason in the rescue party and was found to be engraved on the inside with Miller's name," the Rio Grande Republican reported.

Much of the town turned out for his funeral at the Masonic cemetery in Las Cruces.

His death and the raid on the fellow border town shocked Las Cruces, though many of its citizens and college students had actively served along the border in the National Guard as civil war raged in Mexico.

It was just one of several connections Las Cruces had with the Mexican Revolution and Pancho Villa, who is the focus of a new exhibit at the Branigan Cultural Center.

James Hester, a professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Colorado, will kick off the photo exhibit this Saturday with a talk about Villa at the cultural center, which will also present a special showing of a Villa documentary on March 9.

Cruces connection

Almost a hundred years after the raid, Villa remains a controversial and complicated figure.

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-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A state nature park near Columbus even bears his name, despite the brutal raid on the town. The raid wasn't the first time Las Cruces felt the impact of the Mexican Revolution that had started up just as New Mexico was finally becoming a state.

In late 1911, the...
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