Timeline Description: Jose Doroteo Arango Arambula, known best by his nickmane Pancho Villa, was a bandit, a killer, a revolutionary leader, and a folk hero. He was the most prominent Mexican Revolutionary general and was known best for his civil exploits.
|June 5, 1878||Pancho Villa was born
Pancho Villa was born to Micaela Arambula and Agustin Arango. He grew up as the son of sharecroppers, experiencing the difficulties of life as a peasant family.
|1893||Villa's father passed away
When he was only fifteen, Pancho Villa's father passed away and he took over the family business as a sharecropper. He worked to support his widowed mother and his four siblings.
|1894||Pancho shot the hacienda owner
Coming home from working in the field one day, Villa learned that the hacienda owner planned on raping his twelve year old sister. At the age of sixteen, Villa found a pistol, shot and killed the hacienda owner, and ran off to the mountains.
|1896||Pancho Villa became the leader of a group of bandits
Villa spent most of his time hiding from the law in the mountains from 1894 to 1910. He formed a group of bandits in 1896 and led them in robbing money shipments, committing offenses against the wealthy population, and taking their livestock. He was known as a modern day Robin Hood, stealing from the rich in order to provide for the poor.
|1896||Francisco "Pancho" Villa began using his nickname
With his heightened popularity as a leader of the bandits, Villa began going only by his nickname to evade the authorities. It is unknown why he chose that name. Some speculate that it was the last name of his fraternal grandfather. Others believe that it was the name of a bandit leader he looked up to.
|1910||Pancho Villa became a revolutionary leader
In October of 1910, Villa joined forces with Francisco Madero, who promised change for the lower classes. He agreed to lead Madero's revolutionary army.
|1911||Pancho Villa resigns
In May of 1911, Pancho Villa resigned from command as an exceptionally effective revolutionary leader. His differences with another commander, Pascual Orozco, Jr., caused him to leave the army.
|May 29, 1911||Maria Luz Corral and Pancho Villa were married
Pancho Villa tried to settle down and enjoy married life quietly. It was during this time that Madero became president of Mexico and political unrest led to Villa's support of Madero. He gathered troops and began working with General Victoriano Huerta, who then accused him of stealing his horse and ordered that Villa be executed.
|December 27, 1912||Pancho Villa escaped from prison
Villa received a reprieve from Madero, but was forced to stay in prison from June to December 1912. At this same time, Huerta killed Madero and claimed the presidency. Villa fled from prison to ally himself with Carranza to battle Huerta. Villa was successful, winning numerous battles for the next several years.
|1914||Villa and Carranza became enemies
While Mexico was still wrapped up in a civil war, Pancho Villa and Venustiano Carranza turned against each other. The United States chose to support Carranza. Villa grew angry and killed 18 Americans in January.
|March 9, 1916||The raid of Columbus, New Mexico
Pancho Villa was angered by the U.S. support of Carranza and led rebels to raid Columbus. Nineteen more Americans were slaughtered and the small town was ravaged.
|May 20, 1916||The hunt for Villa began.
After the raid on Columbus, several thousand soldiers were sent over the border in search of Pancho Villa. They searched for over a year, but never found him.
|May 20, 1920||Carranza was assassinated
De la Huerta became the interim president of Mexico. He called for peace and negotiations with Villa. Pancho Villa was convinced to retire and was given a hacienda in Chihuahua as part of the deal.
|July 20, 1923||Pancho Villa was shot
Villa had retired from his life as a killer, bandit, and revolutionary leader after receiving a hacienda from De la Huerta. After only three years of retirement, he was shot while sitting in his car and died.Pancho Villa endured many battles, survived his adversaries, and skirted numerous manhunts. He was viewed as a hero by some and a criminal by many others. Returning home from a baptism that was held for the child of him and his mistress, Villa and his bodyguards heard a man yell, "Viva Villa!" Villa's car was shot over forty times and he was killed instantly. The killer was never found.