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Victims of deadly 1940 Alamo train crash remembered in new book

Victims of deadly 1940 Alamo train crash remembered in new book
4 months 5 days 14 hours ago Tuesday, March 12 2024 Mar 12, 2024 March 12, 2024 12:11 PM March 12, 2024 in News - Local

A somber anniversary is coming up in Rio Grande Valley history.

More than 80 years ago in Alamo, 29 farmworkers died in a train crash. A teacher in Donna wants to make sure their story and their mission isn't forgotten. 

A truck full of farmworkers lost their lives on March 14, 1940, when a train crashed into them at the intersection of Tower Road and Business 83.

The farmworkers from Starr County and cities like Donna and Alamo were on their way to work that day.

Donna High School teacher Juan Carmona is the co-author of "The Deadly 1940 Alamo Train Crash."

He wrote the book with his former student, Taylor Seaver, to document this part of Valley history, and to share the story of the farmworkers who go unnoticed.

"You know, they're just basically going to feed their families and, in the sense, to feed the nation. And they do this every day, you know, from 1940 to even today. And here we're a large loss of life with just people who are literally just trying to put food on their table and take care of their family," Carmona said.

He says while gathering all the details for the book, they learned through testimonies how many farmworkers actually died.

The book dives into untold stories of the farmworkers and their families. They will be painting the names of the victims on a historical marker.

The city will host a remembrance event on Thursday, March 14, at the crash site starting at 10 a.m.

Carmona says he will also be signing books. His book is now on sale at local Target and Barnes and Noble bookstores across the Valley.

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