Sunday, October 31, 2010

October 31: Texas John Slaughter

On this Halloween in 1958, Disney's weekly television series (at the time called Walt Disney Presents) debuted Texas John Slaughter, the first episode of a new 17-part series starring Tom Tryon in the title role.

Based on a real-life historical figure and symbol of the American west, John Horton Slaughter (who was born in Louisiana in 1841) was a cattleman, lawman, soldier, politician, and gambler. After serving during the American Civil War (in the Confederate Army), Slaughter became a member of the famed Texas Rangers (a law enforcement agency who functioned as a paramilitary force at the service of both the Republic and later the state of Texas).

This day's debut episode introduced Slaughter as a man attempting to live a simple life during the 1880s as a cattle rancher, despite problems with thieves and rustlers, who decides to join the Texas Rangers in order to pursue the criminals who stole his herd.

The popular mini-series ran for 3 seasons through 1961.

Click HERE for more October 31 Disney history.

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