As railroads and irrigation drastically changed the Rio Grande Valley at the turn of the 20th century, new immigrants moved to the region in order to farm what was described “Magic Valley.” Who were these new immigrants? Joseph Fox, the associate education officer at the Museum of South Texas History, will present “Friendship on Foreign Soil: Japanese Farmers in the Rio Grande Valley” during the Sunday Speaker Series June 3 at 2 p.m. at the Museum of South Texas History.

Among the newcomers to the Rio Grande Valley were Japanese farmers such as the Shimotsus, Kawahatas and Katos, who developed strong friendships and became part of the Valley community. The farmers were also part of the turbulent times in the region’s World War II history.

Fox earned a master’s degree in history from Texas State University in San Marcos. His areas of research include borderland and Texas music history. Fox has written articles for the Handbook of Texas History and a historical marker for the Texas Historical Commission.

Sunday Speaker Series is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of the MOSTHistory are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship.

This program is made possible with generous support from the Carmen C. Guerra Endowment. Mrs. Guerra was deeply committed to supporting educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley. This named endowment was created at the museum by her family to honor her memory and to continue her commitment to providing opportunities for education to the community.