The origination began in 1988 when a group of friends, some, former “cowboy gunslingers,” caught the motor bandit bug and became “Reenactments ETC” (ETC = Early Thirty's Crime) and performed in Texas and Louisiana at historic sites of actual crimes. After the passing of some of the founding members the group reformed in 2005 as “Public Enemies” (adding “1934” later) because nobody wanted to “go home.” Members come from all walks of life and occupations and interests. Venues have expanded to include Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Wisconsin, Iowa and more. Public Enemies of 1934 has appeared and contributed to many documentaries including those seen on the History Channel and Discovery Channel, The group includes historians, authors, motion picture professionals, businessmen, managers, accountants, supervisors, marketing professionals and wearers of every color collar.
Crime doesn't pay. The the criminals we portray had an average “career” lasting two years or less. Then most were dead, the rest in prison.
Not necessarily the favorite but interesting nonetheless. There has always been controversy surrounding the ambush of Bonnie and Clyde. Did the lawmen give or intend to give an order to surrender? Years after the incident it was discovered that the rifle borrowed by deputy Prentis Oakley was defective and would shoot by its self. If this was the case at the time of the ambush perhaps as Oakly had Clyde in his sights and disengaged the safety the firearm unexpectedly fired. Reacting to a shot being fired the rest of the posse began shooting.
The real John Dillinger is reported to have said, “Never trust a woman or an automatic pistol. Just when you need them the most, they will let you down.” Our performers always carry a backup gun in case of a jam or miss-fire. And on occasion have had to use it.
Love of history.
Does everyone in the group dress up and portray a character- or do you have some in the group that have "other jobs" for the group and what do they do?
Dianne is our official photographer. Michele is in charge of the website. Arthur when not performing, loads and keeps an eye out on the “arsenal” at events. Spouses when not in a show lend a great deal of support behind the scenes.
Even though I own several Thompsons; I still love the 1918 Browning Automatic Rifle.