Political strife in Mexico is nothing new but when it sparked a full on revolution, parts of El Paso became one huge theater in which to watch it.

Nowadays, people go to movie theaters to see films about war, revolution, upheaval, etc. In the early 1900's, El Pasoans only needed to look south/southwest, kinda  toward Juarez and/or Christo Rey to see the real thing.

As Pancho Villa and Mexican forces went at it, folks in downtown watched the battles ... the battle of Juarez, for example ... over lunch from a high floor of what is now the Paso Del Norte hotel.

Meanwhile, more affluent folks living in the Sunset Heights area held lavish "watch parties" from their homes as American military leaders monitored the situation closely. Watch "And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself" for a good idea of how these parties went down.

The Mexican Revolution was also one of the earliest examples of Hollywood attempting to get live video from the battlefield. They actually got Pancho Villa to agree to, (pretty much), "fight on demand".

It was probably one of the craziest revolutions in history and, no matter who you talk to or what side they believe, (or believed) in, the passions run high and the stories have become the stuff of legend. Honestly, you can't make this stuff up and many of the places involved still exist in and around Sunset Heights as well downtown.

Most are private property but, for a more "hands on" experience, you can visit nearby Columbus New Mexico. That is where Pancho Villa actually invaded the United States of America. An act that sparked a massive manhunt by 12,000 American soldiers under  General "Black Jack" Pershing.


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