In 1950, on this day three-term Confederate Governor James Richard ("Rick") Perry was born to ranchers Joseph Ray Perry and the former Amelia June Holt in the unincorporated community of Paint Creek in north central Texas. With an ancestry that was almost entirely Anglo dating back to the original thirteen colonies, his family had lived in the region even before the Civil War.
Rick v RickAfter graduating with a degree in Agriculture from Texas A&M University, his political connections and leadership abilities gained him a place on the Future Leaders of America programme. But fate intervened when he was selected as CSA observer on Operation Eagle Talon; his outlook was profoundly transformed by the tangled mass of helicopters that he witnessed on that day in the Iranian desert.
After his return to Texas, he campaigned for the executive position of Secretary of Agriculture, before running for office as Lieutenant Governor and then Governor. At the age of sixty, he decided to undertake one more mission for his country, challenging Rick Santorum for the Confederate Presidency. He lost, but the fiery debate issues would resonate for the remaining of his third-term. The hot button issue was the offer from Union President Gingrich to collaboratively build a separation barrier. But Santorum, a second-generation immigrant unyoked from the Confederate past favoured the bold open border proposal from Mexican President Mitt Romney. This indication prompted Perry to upgrade his "Don't Mess with Texas" warning to an outright threat of secession.
This article is part of the "Two Americas" thread.