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A 1930s Photograph Shows CCC’s Role in Building Big Bend National Park

A 1930s Photograph Shows CCC’s Role in Building Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park was little more than a hopeful idea when about 200 young men arrived in the Chisos Mountains in 1934 on deployment with the Civilian Conservation Corps. Hungry for work amid the hardship of the Great Depression, the workers, ages 18 to 25 and mostly Hispanic, toiled in isolated, harsh conditions to construct infrastructure for what was then Big Bend State Park. The CCC established a camp in the shadow of Casa Grande peak—still the location of the Chisos Basin campground—and blasted 10,000 truckloads of rock to build Green Gulch Road from the desert floor into the basin. A second CCC crew stationed in Big Bend from 1940 to 1942 built the popular Lost Mine Trail, a store, and four cottages that have been used for lodging since the national park opened in 1944.

Hail to the Boys of the CCC

Hail to the Boys of the CCC

When I was a child, Texas’ state parks were beloved vacation destinations. I became intimately familiar with the ubiquitous brown-and-yellow signs, the stoic stone buildings, rustic cabins, and cement picnic tables that dotted the state.

At ‘Immersive Frida Kahlo,’ Visitors Can See the Famous Mexican Artist In a New Light

At ‘Immersive Frida Kahlo,’ Visitors Can See the Famous Mexican Artist In a New Light

As you enter the room and sit down on a chair or cube, you feel Frida Kahlo’s iconic portraits gazing down on you.

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