1971 was the year of 'Billy Jack'. Actually a sequel to the 1967 film 'Born Losers', 'Billy Jack' became the biggest independent film hit in history.

Although not all film critics liked the film, it was a huge hit, especially with younger people.  The story of 'David vs. Goliath', or the loner against the corrupt establishment had been told many times before, but this was aimed at young adults, and featured martial arts and didn't shy away from violence.

Tom Laughlin was a star. Tom Laughlin was Billy Jack.

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Looking at the movie now, more than 50 years later, it may look a little cheesy...a little dated....a little too 'black and white' in its portrayal of the good guy against the bad town.

But it was a major hit.

So whatever happened to Billy Jack? Or rather the actor who portrayed Billy Jack?

Well, actor Tom Laughlin was deeply involved in politics and in fact made independent runs for President in his later years.  He was also involved in writing, psychology, and counseling.  In the early 2000s, there was talk of a new 'Billy Jack' movie and in fact, apparently, some scenes had been recorded, but no movie was ever released to the public.

Married to actress/writer/producer Delores Taylor since 1954 (by the way, Delores was born in Winner, S.D.), Tom passed away Dec. 12, 2013 at the age of 82 in California. Delores passed away in March of 2018.

'Billy Jack' also gave us a hit song, 'One Tin Soldier', a big pop music hit by the group Coven.

Wikipedia Contributed To This Article

Flashback 1992: Inside Sioux Falls Old Washington High School

The modern marvel that is YouTube never ceases to amaze me. Sure, there's plenty of garbage there, but you can also find some gems.

Like this video from 1992. It's a sort of video time capsule of the old Washington High School in Sioux Falls. If you came to The Queen City in the last couple of decades, you may only know the building downtown as the Washington Pavilion, a center of Sioux Falls arts and culture.

Before it was the Pavilion, the corner of Main Avenue and 11th Street in Sioux Falls was home to many of the city's schools for most of the 20th century.

Built on the site of the former Central School, WHS's first class of 328 students started in 1908. It was the only high school in Sioux Falls until Lincoln High was completed in 1965.

The class of 1992 was the last class of Sioux Falls to graduate from the old Washington High. That fall the new WHS, constructed on N. Sycamore Ave on the east side of the city, took over the name and educational mission.

Check out the shots below for a flashback to 1992.



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