Columbus, NM — Mexican-American history and culture will be highlighted all day at Pancho Villa State Park’s 11th Annual Camp Furlong Day on Saturday, March 8, 2014.
“Camp Furlong Day promotes friendship and goodwill between the United States and Mexico and honors our strong ties,” said John Read, Pancho Villa State Park Manager. “Visitors and residents of both countries will join in the celebration of our common heritage.”
Camp Furlong Day is the anniversary of March 9, 1916, when Mexican General Francisco “Pancho” Villa and his troops invaded the village of Columbus. The United States responded with the build-up of Camp Furlong, portions of which still exist within the park. Shortly after the raid, General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing launched the Punitive Expedition into Mexico from Camp Furlong in an attempt to capture Pancho Villa. The search was unsuccessful in capturing Villa but was successful in disbanding his forces.
The Visitor’s Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. At 1:30 p.m., U.S. Army Historian Dr. Robert Bouilly will speak about the Army camp at Columbus predating Pancho Villa’s raid and on the history of Camp Furlong.
At 2:30 p.m., historian and noted author of Ringside Seat to a Revolution, David D. Romo, will give a presentation about Pancho Villa’s raid on Columbus and its relation to world history.
At 3:30 p.m., the First Aero Squadron Foundation will give a presentation about the deployment of Curtiss “Jenny” biplanes as the first use of U.S. Army airplanes in a U.S. military campaign.
Citizens of the Village of Columbus will welcome the 15th Annual Cabalgata Binacional into the village plaza at 10 a.m. Riders on horseback from Mexico will cross into the United States at Palomas, Mexico, and join with riders from the United states, making a three mile trek to Columbus as a gesture of peace and goodwill between two nations.
Regular day use and camping fees will apply at Pancho Villa State Park. For more information about Camp Furlong Day, visit www.nmparks.com  . Please contact 575-494-1535 for more information about the Cabalgata Binacional and Village of Columbus plaza events.