Texas Rangers Celebrate Bicentennial

Texas Rangers Bicentennial Logo | Image by Texas Rangers Website

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the Texas Rangers, and the city of Midland rang it in with a three-day event last week.

Midland was abuzz with excitement from March 22-24, as it hosted a series of talks by historians, meet-and-greets with Texas Rangers, a blood drive, a fundraiser, and an appreciation gala.

The bicentennial celebration showcased the history of the Texas Rangers and their contributions to the state’s law enforcement. The event highlighted the legacy of the Rangers, their evolution over the years, and their current status as an essential law enforcement agency.

The Texas Rangers came into being in 1823 when early settlers were struggling to survive, per the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Organized and sponsored by Stephen F. Austin, a group of men was tasked with protecting the settlers from raiding parties and “ranging” the border.

Following the Texas Revolution three years later, the first sanctioned group of Rangers was established to officially provide protection to Texas. They quickly demonstrated their prowess as an effective and skilled force in the vast and dangerous terrain of Texas.

Today, there are 234 full-time Texas Rangers who continue to serve the state by investigating major violent crimes and leading tactical operations on the border.

The Texas Rangers have a well-earned reputation for their bravery, which the bicentennial celebration in Midland aimed to honor.

The Legends of the Texas Rangers, a living history group, wore Texas Rangers’ uniforms from different eras.

“This is just our way to support the Texas Rangers because they’re out there working,” Bill Patterson, the captain of the group, told CBS 7. “You know these gentlemen don’t have time to go and do this kind of stuff so we support the Rangers by doing this. Showing their history.”

Historians displayed and discussed the various types of weapons, utensils, and investigative tools used by the Texas Rangers over the years.

DPS Officer Steven Blanco told CBS 7 how glad he was that law enforcement tech has improved over the years.

“The tools we have, the stuff that’s on our belt, stuff that’s on our units, our patrol units, rangers vehicles, crime scene, investigative equipment, it’s leaps and bounds ahead of where it was at one time,” Blanco explained.

The Midland bicentennial featured some of this state-of-the-art tech during a recruitment event for DPS and the Texas Rangers, including Cyclone HSR rifles, drones, and helicopters.

Indeed, the bicentennial celebration was an opportunity to raise awareness about law enforcement and inspire people to pursue a career in this field.

It was also an important fundraising opportunity for initiatives endeavoring to support Rangers and DPS troopers, as well as their families. For instance, the Texas Ranger Association Foundation has awarded over 1,600 scholarships to the children of active Rangers since it was established in 1988.

One goal of the bicentennial is to raise $1.5 million for a traveling museum and history exhibit that will educate Texans across the state on the rich history of the Texas Rangers and DPS.

Other events in cities across Texas will be held in honor of the Texas Rangers this year.

Dallas-Fort Worth will hold its own three-day bicentennial event in September.

Check out the calendar here.

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    • R Reason

      Just ask Larry Driskill.


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