Gene Autry

Some life stories can’t be contained in a blogpost. Gene Autry’s is one of them. He’s just a name to most of us, but he was an influential star of early television, appeared in 93 movies, and had a singing career that sold 100 million records.

In the 1940s and ’50s he had a hit radio show that was extremely popular with young boys. Recognizing the influence he has having, he created “The Cowboy Code”.

1. The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.

2. He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.

3. He must always tell the truth.

4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.

5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.

6. He must help people in distress.

7. He must be a good worker.

8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.

9. He must respect women, parents, and his nation’s laws.

10. The Cowboy is a patriot.

I tried to pick a video, but there’s just too many. So here’s Johnny Cash singing “Daddy, Who’s Gene Autry?”

Truth, Justice, and the American Way

The Lone Ranger was one. Let’s visit some other icons of Old America. What sort of hero was Superman? What sort of message was being taught to boys with his character?

Wonder what country this comic preferred?

Here’s the introduction to the TV show from the 1950s.

The Lone Ranger

Unambiguous, honest, brave. Heroes that made you want to root for them. The Lone Ranger was one. He lived by a creed that was shared with his young fans. You might not remember that part, so here it is.

I believe…

That to have a friend, a man must be one.

That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.

That God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.

In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for what is right.

That a man should make the most of what equipment he has.

That ‘this government of the people, by the people, and for the people’ shall live always.

That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.

That sooner or later…somewhere…somehow…we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.

That all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever.

In my Creator, my country, my fellow man.

You don’t see television or movie heroes living by a creed anymore. That’s the sort of thing you used to see in Old America. Take a few minutes and remember how it was. Watch an episode of The Lone Ranger.