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The 1966 Starr County Farm Workers' Strike

During World War II, Mexico and the United Stated developed the Bracero Program, a labor migration program that filled labor shortages in the United States' agricultural industry and alleviated mass unemployment in Mexico following the Great Depression. By the 1960s, the availability of practically free Bracero labor caused wages of Texan citizens who worked in the agricultural sector to plummet. In 1966, the Trevino family and other Starr County residents collaborated with United Farm Workers leadership to stage strikes in Starr County and develop a march on the Texas capitol to protest falling wages and inhumane working conditions in the fields around Rio Grande City. The march involved over 100 workers who marched 400 miles from Rio Grande City, to Corpus Christi, ultimately to Austin. Texas governor, John Connally, met the protesters in New Braunfels, stating he would not meet the workers in Austin and that no reform would be made to Texas minimum wage law in the workers’ favor. The workers pushed on to Austin and staged a protest at the Texas Capitol building for 9 months, demanding Texas legislators raise agricultural workers’ minimum wage from $0.25 an hour to $1.25 and to legislate improvements to working conditions.

This film was produced for inclusion in the Texas Historical Commission's Texas Time Travel Tours mobile app in the Hispanic Texans: Journey from Empire to Democracy tour and for use on the THC's social media channels.

  • Texas Historical Commission Heritage Tourism Program, April Garner, State Coordinator
  • Benito Trevino
    Key Cast
  • Daria Vera
    Key Cast
  • Graciela Garcia
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Web / New Media
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 4 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 31, 2015
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) is the state agency for historic preservation. The Heritage Tourism Program operates within the THC's Community Heritage Development Division, and develops and promotes tourism to heritage sites across the state as a means of protection and economic development.

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Director Statement

As part of our statewide heritage tourism promotional efforts, the THC’s Heritage Tourism Program developed Texas Time Travel Tours: a mobile app that contains 7 statewide tours, guiding heritage travelers to historic sites and locations and enriching those sites with digital interpretive content. When possible, each historically themed mobile tour includes a series of documentary style, short videos that feature heritage stake holders who lived through significant historic events related to sites and locations included in the tour. As owners of Texas history, heritage stake holders provide travelers first person accounts of events that shaped the heritage and culture of the Lone Star State.

The THC Heritage Tourism Program also shares these videos online via the THC’s social media channels. Communities statewide receive these videos with enthusiasm and pride, and the videos count among the THC’s most widely re-shared online content. It is in response to this success that the THC’s Heritage Tourism Program aims to share our videos with broader audiences at film festivals state and nationwide.

To learn more about the app, view a web version, or to download the app to your mobile device, please visit: http://texastimetravel.com/get-guides