Dance Queen is Born

November 4th, 1906

On this day in 1906, Gussie Nell Davis was born in Farmersville, Texas. She went on to gain fame as the organizer and leader of the Kilgore Rangerettes, the innovative dance-drill team at Kilgore College. First performing in 1940, the group achieved international recognition under Davis’s direction and appeared at such heralded events as President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Inauguration and several Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parades. The Rangerettes graced the covers of Life, Newsweek, the Saturday Evening Post, and other magazines. Davis guided the group until her retirement in 1979, and she served as a consultant for drill teams across the nation. This drill team pioneer was honored with induction into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 1989.

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Dance Queen is Born

November 4th, 1906

On this day in 1906, Gussie Nell Davis was born in Farmersville, Texas. She went on to gain fame as the organizer and leader of the Kilgore Rangerettes, the innovative dance-drill team at Kilgore College. First performing in 1940, the group achieved international recognition under Davis’s direction and appeared at such heralded events as President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Inauguration and several Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parades. The Rangerettes graced the covers of Life, Newsweek, the Saturday Evening Post, and other magazines. Davis guided the group until her retirement in 1979, and she served as a consultant for drill teams across the nation. This drill team pioneer was honored with induction into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 1989.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

Share this article

Share the Texas Day by Day

Get a Piece of Texas History in Your Inbox

With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
Get your Texas Day by Day delivered straight to your inbox: