For over 100 years, the telegraph was a primary source of communication among individuals separated by large distances. Today the technology seems obsolete with the advances made to make communicating easier. However, the code is still as useful as it was fifty years ago.

The Museum of South Texas History’s Sunday Speaker Series presents Fred Mann and Bill Parry’s Code is Still Alive on Sunday, April 19 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Morse code was developed in the United States by Samuel Morse in the 1840’s. The code is essentially a simple way to represent letters and numbers using long and short pulses. Morse telegraphy became the standard method of electrical communication throughout the United States, Europe and Mexico.

Code is Still Alive will explore the history of Morse code in south Texas and its many uses today. Mann and Parry will also demonstrate the sending and receiving of a coded message. Practice sending your own message on the telegraph machine located in the River Crossroads exhibit at the museum.

Mann is currently a professor of journalism at the University of Texas-Pan American. He received his Bachelors degree at Texas A&M-Kingsville in history and geography, and his Masters from Texas A&M—Commerce in education technology with a concentration on television. He served honorably as a commissioned officer, Major, in an infantry branch in the United States Army Reserve, and is now retired.

Parry was raised in the Rio Grande Valley and received his Bachelors and Masters from Texas A&M University. He has an extensive career in education throughout San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley, retiring as principal of Nikki Rowe High School in 2001. He currently teaches Education Administration part time at the Education Service Center in Edinburg.

Presentations in the Sunday Speaker Series are included with admission to the Museum. All FRIENDS of the Museum enjoy free admission.

For more information on the Sunday Speaker Series, or becoming a FRIEND of the Museum, call 956-383-6911, or visit

The Museum of South Texas History is located on the Courthouse Square in Downtown Edinburg.