Monday, December 29, 2008

Postwar prosperity brought Winter Texans to Rio Grande Valley

After the end of World War II, motorists hitched up roomy travel trailers behind V-8-powered cars with fastbacks and turtlehulls for road trips across America.

Postwar prosperity, cheap gasoline and paid vacations made travel a seemingly limitless proposition.

At the same time, Midwestern retirees, including farmers and former factory workers from Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Omaha and Cleveland, had money to spend from pensions and Social Security checks.

This was a combination the Rio Grande Valley was poised to capitalize on. Balmy winters, swaying palms, friendly people and a low cost of living made the Valley a natural destination for "winter tourists" looking for a haven from the frigid North.
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