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Fort Hancock, Texas: U.S.- Mexican Border Bridge Pact Dooms Gay Peon Weekends

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

No Sound on Film | ca 1936

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  •  Customs officials gather at the edge of the Rio Grande River 
  •  Mexican citizens cross the border into Texas 
  •  Officers question those wanting to cross the border 
 
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In 1933, the United States and Mexico signed the Rio Grande Rectification Treaty that launched a large scale international construction project to create a floodway along the Rio Grande, build a dam, straighten the river's curves, and build several bridges across the border linking twin U.S. and Mexican cities, including one between Fort Hancock, TX and El Porvenir, Mexico. This Universal Newsreel shows border regulation at the Fort Hancock crossing just before construction began on the bridge. Every Saturday, the river crossing would open with customs officials converging at Fort Hancock to open the passage to the groups of neighboring Mexican citizens who rode across to spend the day in the U.S.