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Columbus on the Border

Expected Release Date:  2024

Pancho Villa, Invasion, and a Lingering Moment in History on the New Mexico Border

Columbus was established in 1891 on the border across from Palomas, Mexico. In the early years, the town grew as a small border commercial center.

During the Mexican Revolution, Columbus grew as an important business hub for revolutionaries.

In the early morning hours of March 9, 1916, Pancho Villa raided Columbus, killed 18 soldiers and civilians and triggered a military invasion of Mexico.

The Punitive Expedition based its operations at the railhead at Columbus.

For the last eight decades of the 20th century, the town declined as the army and citizens departed.

In recent years, tourism and revitalization has opened a chapter of growth for the community.

“In the early morning hours of March 9, 1916, Pancho Villa and his force of 500 dorados made their way toward Palomas and the border. Ahead lay the town of Columbus where the American families and the nearby soldiers at Camp Furlong lay sleeping, unaware of the approaching danger.”

SKU: 643950456826 Category:

This documentary film traces the story of Columbus, New Mexico and the people who arrived there in 1891 and constructed a desert community on the border with Mexico. In its first three decades, Columbus built stores, saloons, hotels, a newspaper, schools, and by WWI, over 700 citizens lived in town. During the Mexican Revolution, the town attracted Mexican revolutionaries to its business hub, Pancho Villa attacked and burned Columbus in 1916, and General John J. Pershing mounted his invasion of Mexico from his base of operations at Columbus.

By the 1920s Columbus began a slow decline as the Army and the railroad abandoned the desert town, and the economy faded away over the next eight decades. What happened to the people in Columbus during the declining years? As the community transitioned through depression and wartimes, how did the face of Columbus change during those years? This film will follow that journey of over a century of growth, change, and decay.

Length 60 minutes


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