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Topics in Chronicling America - Pancho Villa

Francisco "Pancho" Villa is wanted "dead or alive" by American troops after Villa's army of bandits murders 16 Americans in a raid on Columbus, New Mexico on March 10, 1916. Known at first as a "Robin Hood" in Mexico, the American press later portrayed Villa as a brutal villain "thirsting for blood" as war raged along the Mexican border. At the end of the Mexican Revolution, after his army had dwindled, Villa negotiated an amnesty with the Mexican government and retired his military pursuits in 1920, only to be assassinated in an ambush three years later in 1923. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.
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Important Dates:

  • June 5, 1878 Born Jose Doroteo Arango Arambula in San Juan del Rio, Durango, Mexico.
  • 1910 Joins Francisco Madero against dictator Porfirio Diaz.
  • 1913 When Madero is overthrown, Villa joins with Emiliano Zapata and Venustiano Carranza to oppose the dictatorship of Huerta. Forms own army, the Division del Norte. Serves as provisional governor of the state of Chihuahua.
  • 1914 Villa splits with Carranza, who has assumed the presidency.
  • March 9, 1916 Raid on Columbus, NM, allegedly initiated by Pancho Villa in retaliation of the change in US allegiance from him to Carranza.
  • 1916-1917 “Punitive expedition” lead by Brigadier General Pershing is sent into Mexico with 3,000 US troops. Villa eludes capture. Pershing is called back when the US enters WWI.
  • 1920 Villa is granted amnesty and retires to a ranch in northern Mexico.
  • June 20, 1923 Assassinated in Parral, Chihuahua.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Pancho Villa, Francisco Villa, Pershing, Juarez, Columbus, punitive expedition.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  May 1, 2013
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