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The Tyrrell Historical Library Collection - Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation (1981)

Tyrrell Historical Library

Sound | 1981

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  •  About Beyond the Sundown, the reservation’s annual outdoor drama about the experience of the Alabama-Coushatta during the Texas Revolution. The reservation staged the production every summer from 1975 to 1982. The Texas Legislature declared Beyond the Sundown one of four official plays of Texas in 1979.  
  •  Actor Machiste Quintana on discrimination against Native American performers 
  •  Hoop dance 
 
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  • PM Magazine PM Magazine
  • Alabama-Coushatta Tribe Alabama-Coushatta Tribe
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In this 1981 segment for PM Magazine, co-host Anna Chavez profiles the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation in East Texas. In addition to touring the reservation and talking with tribal members, Chavez also watches a performance of the play, Beyond the Sundown. PM Magazine was a local news and entertainment television program broadcast on Beaumont’s KFDM-TV in from late 1970s to the mid-1980s. This segment aired on July 16, 1981.
PM Magazine, also known as Evening Magazine, was a local weeknight news and entertainment television series broadcast on multiple stations across the United States from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. The program combined both local and syndicated segments, with common subjects including local people and events, lifestyle and consumer tips, and human-interest pieces. KPIX in San Francisco premiered the first iteration of Evening Magazine on August 9, 1976. Station owner Westinghouse (Group W) Broadcasting subsequently introduced local versions at its other stations, before syndicating the format to other television markets as PM Magazine. 
 
The Tyrrell Historical Library Collection encompasses hundreds of PM Magazine segments broadcast on Beaumont’s KFDM-TV between 1979 and 1985. Leeza Gibbons and John Walls were the program’s original co-hosts. Gibbons went on to become a correspondent and co-host for Entertainment Tonight from 1984 to 2000. She also hosted her own daytime talk show, Leeza, from 1993 to 2000. 
 
At least ten other Texas stations produced versions of PM Magazine, including KFDA in Amarillo, KTBC in Austin, WFAA and KDFW in Dallas-Fort Worth, KVIA in El Paso, KHOU and KHTV in Houston, KCBD in Lubbock, KSAT in San Antonio, and KAUZ in Wichita Falls. Group W canceled the format in 1990, with final episodes airing on August 30, 1991. 
The Alabama-Coushatta tribe of Texas is a federally recognized Native American tribe of Alabama and Koasati peoples located in Polk County. The tribe’s ancestors migrated from what is now Alabama to the Big Thicket region of East Texas in the late eighteenth century due to growing pressures from European-American settlement. Notwithstanding the friendly relations established between the Alabamas and Koasatis with their new neighbors, the tribes once again felt the pressure of increased settlement after the annexation of Texas by the United States in 1845. 
 
In 1853, Alabama Chief Antone, tribal subchiefs, and citizens of Polk County petitioned the Texas Legislature for land to establish a reservation. The state approved, purchasing 1,110.7 acres of land to create the Alabama Indian Reservation the following year. In 1855, the legislature appropriated funds to purchase an additional 640 acres for the Koasatis, but allegedly found no suitable open land available in Polk County. With the permission of the Alabama people, the Koasatis settled on the Alabama reservation in 1859. Following an additional land grant in 1928, the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation now spans 4,593.7 acres.