Happy John Wayne Day, y’all. Today, we’re celebrating what would have been the Duke’s 115th birthday. Kick up your boots and get ready to celebrate Hollywood’s favorite on-screen cowboy with a day full of events.
If you’re wondering why Texas proclaimed its own John Wayne Day, you’ve come to the right place. Back in 2015, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, along with the Texas Legislature, declared May 26 as John Wayne Day to honor the legend’s birthday + 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.”
Marion Robert Morrison — known professionally as John Wayne — was an American actor whose career spanned five decades. He quickly became known for his starring roles during Hollywood’s Golden Age, specifically those that personified the Old West including the iconic American cowboy image.
Despite not being from the Lone Star State, the Duke’s on-screen persona was a natural figure for Texans — especially when he starred in films like Texas Cyclone, The Lucky Texan, Texas Terror, and Three Texas Steers.
His accomplishments include an Oscar for Best Actor in True Grit and nominations for three Academy Awards. Aside from his accolades in film, the legend was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and in 1980 President Jimmy Carter awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Here are a couple of ways you can honor the icon today in Cowtown:
Catch a series of free screenings hosted by the Movie Mutant.
🎬 Stagecoach | 11:15 a.m.
🎬 McLintock | 2 p.m.
🎬 The Green Berets | 5 p.m.
🎬 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance | 8 p.m.
Head over to the Stockyards for a day of coffee tasting with Gold Handle Coffee, enjoy a Duke Spirits tasting, meet Jimmy Don Holmes from HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” + eat birthday cake with the Wayne family.