Category: Texas History

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This Day in Texas History: Mason County Courthouse Burns

This Day in Texas History: Mason County Courthouse Burns January 21, 1877 On this day in 1877, the Mason County courthouse burned, destroying all early county records, including those pertaining to the Mason County War. This deadly episode began as a feud over cattle rustling but grew into a conflict between the Anglo and German…
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This Day in Texas History: First Appearance of Popeye

This Day in Texas History: First Appearance of Popeye January 17, 1929 On this day in 1929, Popeye, the Sailor Man, renowned comic-strip character, first appeared in print. The Victoria Advocate is credited as the first newspaper in the nation to run Elzie Crisler Segar’s comic strip, originally called “Thimble Theatre,” which starred the spinach-eating…
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This Day in Texas History: Big Brazos Bridge Opens in Waco

This Day in Texas History: Big Brazos Bridge Opens in Waco January 7, 1870 On this day in 1870, the Waco Suspension Bridge, a 475-foot structure that crosses the Brazos River in downtown Waco, was opened to traffic. At the time, it was one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. Civil engineer Thomas…
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This Day in Texas History: Elvis Plays Lubbock’s Cotton Club

This Day in Texas History: Elvis Plays Lubbock’s Cotton Club January 6, 1955 On this day in 1955, Elvis Presley, while on the Louisiana Hayride tour played the Cotton Club in Lubbock. The up-and-coming, but still largely unknown, Elvis Presley officially joined the Louisiana Hayride with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black on November 6, 1954.…
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This Day in Texas History: Rival Lubbock County Towns Consolidate

This Day in Texas History: Rival Lubbock County Towns Consolidate December 19, 1890 On this day in 1890, the rival Lubbock County towns of Lubbock and Monterey agreed to consolidate. In July 1890, W. E. Rayner and several associates found a suitable site for a town on the north side of Yellow House Draw in…
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This Day in Texas History: Founder of Negro National League Dies

This Day in Texas History: Founder of Negro National League Dies December 9, 1930 On this day in 1930, Andrew “Rube” Foster, “father of the Negro Baseball League,” died in Illinois. He was born in Calvert, Texas, in 1879. He began a barnstorming career at age seventeen pitching with the traveling Waco Yellow Jackets. By…
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This Day in Texas History: Mormons Arrive in Texas

This Day in Texas History: Mormons Arrive in Texas November 19, 1845 On this day in 1845, the first group of Mormon settlers to come to Texas, led by Lyman Wight, arrived in Grayson County. After wintering in an abandoned fort at Preston, this group of dissident Mormons pressed on to Austin in June 1846.…
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This Day in Texas History: The Circus Comes to Town

This Day in Texas History: The Circus Comes to Town November 8, 1852 On this day in 1852, the first recorded mention of the distinctive Mexican circus in Texas appeared in the San Antonio Ledger. Though the performing groups may have been in Texas prior to this date, this newspaper report marked the first documentation…
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This Day in Texas History: Castaways Begin Amazing Journey

This Day in Texas History: Castaways Begin Amazing Journey November 6, 1528 On this day in 1528, some eighty survivors of the Narváez expedition washed up on an island off the Texas coast. The castaways included Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and three other men: the slave Estevanico, Alonso Castillo Maldonado, and Andrés Dorantes de…
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This Day in Texas History: Johnny Horton Dies

This Day in Texas History: Johnny Horton Dies November 5, 1960 On this day in 1960, singer Johnny Horton died in a car accident in Milano, Texas. Though he was born in Los Angeles in 1925, Horton grew up in East Texas and graduated from high school in Gallatin. He attended junior college in Jacksonville…
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