Pop Culture Gallery
The Pop Culture Gallery showcases the Texas Rangers in popular culture through radio, television, film and more. The gallery primarily features artifacts from popular programs The Lone Ranger and Walker, Texas Ranger, including these exhibits:
Over the Airwaves: The Lone Ranger on Radio
In 1933, America is in the grips of the Great Depression. Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated as President after campaigning against Herbert Hoover on a platform that promises to help "the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.” Americans are disheartened, suffering from high unemployment and reduced wages, failed banks, agricultural ruin in the Dust Bowl, and years of crime fueled by Prohibition. Overseas the peace after WWI is threatened by the emerging fascist dictatorships of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Americans need an escape from their often harsh everyday realities. Enter the Lone Ranger…
The first Lone Ranger program was broadcast on WXYZ Radio in Detroit, Michigan on January 30th, 1933. Families would gather in their living rooms or around the kitchen table and listen to the Lone Ranger and other radio broadcasts. Radio programming required the listener to be an active participant. Adults and children would have to use their imaginations when listening to the Lone Ranger; the actors, costumes, sets, and props were all of the listener’s imagination.
Clayton Moore: A Legend Unmasked
Perhaps the best known of the Lone Ranger actors is Clayton Moore. In 1949 Moore was signed to play the Lone Ranger on television. The Lone Ranger program lasted until 1957, and Moore starred in 169 episodes of the television series. He and Jay Silverheels, as Tonto, also starred in two feature-length Lone Ranger movies. For many years Moore continued to portray the Lone Ranger and promote Ranger “ideals” in personal appearances, TV guest spots and commercials.
The Dolores Taylor Lone Ranger Collection
Dolores “D.” Taylor, M.D. purchased her first Lone Ranger collectible, a Lone Ranger belt, when she was nine years old. Such was the beginning of a fifty-three-year passion for collecting Lone Ranger and Tonto items. Her fascination with the Lone Ranger and life-long commitment to collecting Lone Ranger and Tonto memorabilia has resulted in one of the largest and finest personal Lone Ranger collections today. You can learn more about the Lone Ranger Collection here.
Walker, Texas Ranger
The TV show, Walker, Texas Ranger first aired on CBS in April of 1993 and produced 203 episodes before ending in May 2001. The star of the show, Ranger Cordell Walker, played by actor Chuck Norris, portrayed a modern-day Texas Ranger stationed in the Dallas-Fort Worth area who relied on old-fashioned instincts to catch today’s sophisticated criminals.
The fictional character of Ranger Cordell Walker was not based on a particular Texas Ranger. Instead, Walker, Texas Ranger combined the popular image of the rough and tough Ranger of the old west with that of a 20th-century crime-fighting law officer. Although the show was set in the late 1990s and filmed in various locations throughout Texas, the show was not based on actual events, only inspired by contemporary crimes. The exhibit includes costumes and props from the actual television show, including Walker's hat and badge.