EDINBURG — The Museum of South Texas History (“MOSTHistory”), a museum chronicling the heritage of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico, welcomes authors Charles H. Harris III, Ph.D. and Louis R. Sadler, Ph.D. as they present their latest work, “The Plan de San Diego: Tejano Rebellion, Mexican Intrigue” (University of Nebraska Press, 2013) at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 15, 2013. Drs. Harris and Sadler’s book about a rebellion proposed in 1915 to overthrow the U.S. government in the Southwest and establish a Hispanic republic was researched in part using newly available archival documents, known as the Agustín S. Garza Collection, recently acquired by MOSTHistory with assistance from the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation and The Summerlee Foundation. During this Sunday Speaker Series program, audience members will be able to view original Plan de San Diego documents, participate in a question and answer session and meet the authors during a book signing where copies of “The Plan de San Diego” will be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
Having worked together for more than four decades, Drs. Harris and Sadler first met as new members of the history faculty at New Mexico State University. Their research has taken them into numerous archives in the United States, Mexico, Central America and Great Britain. Drs. Harris and Sadler have experienced many exciting discoveries through the years and the Agustín S. Garza Collection ranks right at the top. They knew more than 35 years ago that one day they would write about the Plan de San Diego. Drs. Harris and Sadler actually wrote out their premise on a cocktail napkin in 1977 but it took access to the Agustín S. Garza Collection to allow them to document that premise. The authors credit the Agustín S. Garza Collection as the impetus for writing the book and have stated “this archive lays to rest much of the conjecture and speculation that characterize what has been written about the Plan de San Diego.”
Agustín S. Garza was a leader of the 1915 Plan de San Diego, which called for an uprising to redress grievances of the Hispanic population and to reclaim territories lost to the U.S. in the Mexican War. The Plan proclaimed a genocidal war without quarter against Anglos. The most striking feature was a call to kill all Anglo males over the age of 16. As a result, a race war seemed imminent in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas during 1915-1916. The origin of the Plan has long been a controversial subject. The authors have maintained for years that the insurrection was supported by Mexican President Venustiano Carranza when it suited his regime. The Agustín S. Garza Collection has enabled them to convincingly argue their point. This Sunday Speaker Series presentation by Drs. Harris and Sadler is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of the museum are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship.
About Dr. Charles H. Harris III and Dr. Louis R. Sadler Dr. Charles H. Harris III and Dr. Louis R. Sadler are award-winning writers and professors emeriti at New Mexico State University who have also starred in a History (TV channel) documentary. Now residents of Las Cruces, N.M., Dr. Harris grew up in Fort Worth, Texas and received his bachelor of arts degree, master of arts degree and doctorate from The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Sadler grew up in Union, Miss. and received his bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees from Mississippi State University and his doctorate from the University of South Carolina. They joke that their lives seemed destined from the beginning to move on parallel paths. They were born one day apart in 1937 — Dr. Sadler on Feb. 5 in Newton, Miss. and Dr. Harris on Feb. 6 in Chihuahua, Chih., Mexico. They were married one week apart in 1961 to women who shared the same first name. Dr. Harris and his wife Betty were wed on June 17 and Dr. Sadler and his wife Betty on June 24. After exploring other fields (the law and the military for Dr. Harris and forestry and newspaper reporting for Dr. Sadler) they both settled on Latin American history. They joined the history faculty at New Mexico State University in 1969, three months apart. Drs. Harris and Sadler’s published works include “The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution: The Bloodiest Decade, 1910—1920,” winner of the T.R. Fehrenbach Award from the Texas Historical Commission in recognition of being one of the best books on Texas history and a Spur Award from the Western Writers of America for distinguished writing about the American West, and “The Secret War in El Paso: Mexican Revolutionary Intrigue, 1906-1920,” winner of another Spur Award.
About Museum of South Texas History The Museum of South Texas History is located in downtown Edinburg at 200 North Closner Boulevard on the Hidalgo County Courthouse square. Hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Founded in 1967 as the Hidalgo County Historical Museum in the 1910 Hidalgo County Jail, the museum has grown over the decades through a series of expansions to occupy a full city block. In 2003 following the completion of a 22,500 square foot expansion, the museum was renamed the Museum of South Texas History to better reflect its regional scope. Today, the museum preserves and presents the borderland heritage of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico through its permanent collection and the Margaret H. McAllen Memorial Archives and exhibits spanning prehistory through the 20th century. More information about the museum, including becoming a FRIEND, is available at www.mosthistory.org or by calling +1-956-383-6911.