As the political rule-of-thumb goes, most people don’t pay attention to upcoming national elections until after Labor Day. Here’s a look back at an era gone by – or is it? As another saying goes, “some things never change”.
Today we are accustomed to the color-coded political classification system of “red states” vs. “blue states”. The concept, however, is not a new one. Following the Civil War, political parties in South Texas used a system to help illiterate or Spanish-speaking voters utilize ballots which were printed in English. This practice started in the 1870s and continued until the 1920s.
The system revolved around what was called “boss rule”. In that era, elections were a big deal (they still should be, but that’s another story) with each side attempting to outdo the other with parades, bands and dances. Democrats Stephen Powers and James G. Browne organized the Democrats of Cameron County into a Blue Club, with about one hundred members, both Anglo and Hispanic.
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