Texas and the Post-War World Transcript

Texas and the Post-War World

The churches were ringing their bells. And, oh, listen, it was pandemonium. And the two divisions out at the camp came out in full force and marched all the way from Camp MacArthur out to the Cotton Palace. And they had a big rally out there and... It was quite a day.
               – Mary Sendon, Waco, Texas

On November 11, 1918, the guns fell silent in Europe. Celebrations erupted in cities and towns throughout Texas. In Fort Worth, an estimated 225,000 people attended a victory parade.

The war had vaulted the world into the modern age. And Texas transformed into something almost unimaginable before the war: an economic power.

The Lone Star State had become one of the epicenters of American military aviation and infantry training. Texas produced food, raw materials like cotton, and was now a major producer of oil, which began to displace farming as the main engine of the Texas economy.

Texas, once an independent republic, was now inextricably linked – culturally and economically – with the rest of the United States.

And the United States – after the Great War – was a tale of two countries. On the one hand, it was now an undeniable world power. The advances in technology and transportation were evident everywhere; the Texas landscape was one of paved roads and motorized vehicles. 

And while women still faced a long road toward equality, their wartime efforts aided the women’s suffrage movement; culminating in the passage of the 19th Amendment.

At the same time, issues of justice, race and equality still burned for African-Americans and Hispanics, who had served their country in wartime - yet continued to suffer under racist Jim Crow laws of the South.

The celebrations of Armistice Day in November 1918 were followed by the “Red Summer” of 1919 - dozens of race riots exploded across the country, leaving hundreds dead.

One thing that united all Americans is that they were tired of war. Warren Harding was elected president in 1920, promising a “return to normalcy.” But there was no going back: the old world had crumbled… and a new, modern world was born.