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Celebrate John Wayne Day in the Stockyards

Celebrate John Wayne’s birthday in the Stockyards with hat embroidery, movie screenings, spirit tasting, and coffee celebrations.

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This year marks the 116th anniversary of John Wayne’s birthday. | Photo by FTWtoday

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This Friday marks the 116th anniversary of John Wayne’s birthday and the party is just getting started. Kick up your boots and get ready to celebrate Hollywood’s favorite on-screen cowboy with a series of events in the Stockyards.

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Bob Hope, John Wayne, Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra with Ronald Reagan at a campaign dinner. | Photo via UCLA Library Digital Collections

An honorary Texan

If you’re wondering why Texas proclaimed its own John Wayne Day, you’ve come to the right place.

Marion Robert Morrison — known professionally as John Wayne — is an actor known for his starring roles during Hollywood’s Golden Age, specifically those that personified the Old West. His American cowboy image was a favorite among Texans as he starred in films like “Texas Cyclone,” “The Lucky Texan,” “Texas Terror,” and “Three Texas Steers.”

In 2015, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the Texas Legislature declared May 26 John Wayne Day to honor the legend’s birthday, celebrate his lifelong career + make him an honorary Texan.

Gov. Greg Abbott once said, “The Duke’s independent spirit embodies what it means to be a Texan and personifies the storied history of the Lone Star State.”

His accomplishments include an Oscar for Best Actor in “True Grit” and nominations for three Academy Awards. Aside from his accolades in film, the icon was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1979, and in 1980, President Jimmy Carter awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Gold Handle Coffee is located inside the former Railcar Coffee & Spirits. | Photo by FTWtoday

A Texas-sized celebration

John Wayne Movie Screening | Downtown Cowtown at the Isis | Thursday, May 25 at 7 p.m.

  • Catch a screening of “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger” (1977) with a special guest appearance from the icon’s son, Patrick Wayne. Admission is free with the purchase of two concession items.

Birthday Bash | John Wayne: An American Experience | Friday, May 26 at 4 p.m.

  • Join the Wayne family at the one-of-a-kind exhibit featuring hat branding, embroidery, Gold Handle Coffee + Duke Spirits tastings, a book signing, and the launch of the new “Why I Love Her” 50th Anniversary Collection.

Gold Handle Coffee Grand Opening | Stockyards | Saturday, May 27 at 8 a.m.

  • Celebrate the newly opened cafe with The Duke’s family, $2 coffee drinks, and a giveaway for a Gold Handle soft cooler. The coffee shop is inspired by John Wayne’s unique tradition of gifting personalized gold-handled mugs to the cast and crew of his movies. Inside, guests will find walls adorned with photos and memorabilia like coffee cups and hats.
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