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TPA Roundup 8/20/2012

The Texas Progressive Alliance is still recovering from the weekend Back To School sales as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff has an analysis of the Democratic legislative target list for 2012.

BossKitty at TruthHugger keeps waiting for any Candidate to stop mudslinging long enough to help Americans navigate the stresses caused by natural climate changes. America, the wasteful, can’t seem to find a Candidate brave enough to do anything but collect rewards from the same industries trashing America’s natural resources. America is consumed by Greed, Denial and Bad Water.

Our transportation infrastructure is being starved and will only cost more in the long run. WCNews at Eye on Williamson writes that The cost of neglect keeps rising.

PDiddie at Brains and Eggs began his November endorsements early, with a couple of Democrats — Nile Copeland and Keith Hampton — and a few Greens: Alfred and GC Molison and Henry Cooper.

Guess what Tom DeLay is up to? CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants you to know DeLay is now lobbying about sex trafficking.

Neil at Texas Liberal took the opportunity offered by the dumb comments about rape made by Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri to remind folks that state-mandated rape is the law of the land in Texas with the forced sonogram legislation, and that three Texas State Senate Democrats played a role in passing the forced sonogram law.

Texas History for the Week of August 20

August 19
Pioneer Methodist missionary enters Texas (1837)
Apaches bury the hatchet (1749)
John Selman kills John Wesley Hardin (1895)
August 20
Presidential parents wed (1907)
The future Fort Lancaster is established (1855)
Peace–finally!–between the U.S. and Texas (1866)
Repeat hurricane dooms Indianola (1886)
August 21
“La Musa Texana” dies in Laredo (1910)
Antisuffrage activist dies (1928)
Texan’s sacrifice in Vietnam earns Medal of Honor (1968)
August 22
Racially integrated art exhibition opens in Texas (1971)
H&TC absorbs four other rail lines (1901)
A&M College of Medicine opens its doors (1977)
August 23
Loyalist warns governor of anti-Mexican sentiment in Nacogdoches (1835)
Carl Crane, aviation pioneer, makes first automated landing (1937)
San Patricio deserters face court-martial (1847)
August 24
Flood destroys West Texas town (1882)
Military hero begins long Congressional career (1946)
Treaty grants Mexican independence (1821)
August 25
DRT takes over French Legation (1949)
Young Thomas Short confesses to cattle theft (1849)
Ninetieth Division activated at Camp Travis (1917)
Black medical organization founded (1886)

TPA Roundup 8/13/2012

The Texas Progressive Alliance would like to thank Mitt R-money for clarifying what this election is about better than it ever could as it brings you this week’s roundup.

BossKitty at TruthHugger is amazed how blind America’s elected leaders are to the reality of climate changes. Headlines have described catastrophic climate and weather events, one after another for the past decade. Each year seems to break another record, at least in terms of human recorded history. So, 2012 election year gives Americans a chance to elect responsive and responsible leaders. On Fire, Out of Food, Out of Water, Out of Power shows the reality Americans are facing. Who can we elect that will step up to save our future?

The great equalizer in any society is education, that’s why the regressives hate it so much. WCNews at Eye on Williamson points out that The GOP attack on public education will continue next session.

Off the Kuff notes that while Democrats want to talk about solutions in Texas, Republicans want to talk about things that will benefit themselves.

At TexasKaos, Libby Shaw explains how the Texas Tea Party Republicans Bur[ied] the Birther Hatchet. For Ted Cruz.

The stooges running Harris County elections came under the withering scrutiny of PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, and a proposal to appoint an elections administrator was met with moans of objection from Democratic activists. PDiddie reminds the naysayers that if you keep on doing what you’ve been doing, you’re going to keep on getting what you’ve got.

Rick Perry and his minions lied their a**es off about money to pay for women’s health. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme isn’t the least surprised.

Neil at Texas Liberal has been in Chicago this week. Neil has posted a number of pictures from that great American city on Texas Liberal.

Texas History for the Week of August 13


August 13

Black infantrymen allegedly attack Brownsville citizens (1906)
UT professor speaks out for academic freedom (1945)
U.S. agent advises against recognition of Texas independence (1836)

August 14

Hispanic meeting in Harlingen stalls, but lays groundwork for LULAC (1927)
First Texas newspaper begins brief life (1819)
Texas suffragist dies (1957)

August 15

Philip Sublett nominates Sam Houston for president of the Republic of Texas (1836)
First Feast of the Assumption celebrated in Praha (1855)
Future superior of Refugio Sisters of Mercy takes religious vows (1872)

August 16

Civil rights attorney killed in accident (1960)
Irish colony founded in South Texas (1828)
French adventurer marries Spanish official’s daughter (1719)

August 17

Black Jack Ketchum is captured in New Mexico (1899)
Pioneer settler’s death prematurely announced (1842)
Davy Crockett born (1786)

August 18

Mexican Congress passes colonization law (1824)
Gutiérrez-Magee expedition squashed in bloodiest Texas battle (1813)
Famous Hollywood designer born in Waco (1894)

TPA Roundup 8/6/2012

The Texas Progressive Alliance salutes NASA for its awesome job with the “Curiosity” landing as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff rounded up the Republican and Democratic primary runoff results.

BossKitty at TruthHugger was on a role this week. Always disgusted at the deliberate distractions from urgent issues by political campaigns, Candidate State of Denial: Why Can’t They Buy Rain?, Bitter Governors Screw 6 Million People out of health insurance. BossKitty mourns the passing of a past co-worker Sally Ride.

Local property tax elections are the result of state leaders shirking their duty and passing the buck to local ISD’s. WCNews at Eye on Williamson posts that The plan to defund public education continues.

Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart choked again last Tuesday night trying to count election results, and PDiddie at Brains and Eggs doesn’t believe any excuse the man makes at this point.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants everyone to know that Henry Cuellar is a rat.

Over at TexasKaos, lightseeker rags on about Poisonous Hypocrisy and Those Who Practice It. Rick Perry and Reagan and Palin share more they some people know.

Neil at Texas Liberal posted that the very first historical marker at the San Jacinto Battlefield Park just outside Houston–where Texas Independence was won–notes the gift of cannons from the people of Cincinnati. Full self-reliance is a myth—Most especially in Texas.


Texas History for the Week of August 6

Famous Texas missionary dies in Mexico City

August 06, 1726, Antonio Margil de Jesús, early missionary to Texas, died in Mexico City. Margil was born in Valencia, Spain, in 1657. Even as a boy he referred to himself as “Nothingness Itself,” a title he consistently used in adulthood. He become a Franciscan in 1673. At the age of twenty-five he received Holy Orders and soon accepted the challenge of missionary work in New Spain. He arrived at Veracruz in 1683. In New Spain Margil was assigned to the missionary College of Santa Cruz de Querétaro, and spent several years as a missionary in Yucatán, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. Margil also traveled in early 1707 to Zacatecas to found and preside over the missionary College of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Zacatecas. He was to have accompanied the Domingo Ramón expedition of 1716, charged with setting up Franciscan missions in East Texas. However, illness prevented his arrival in East Texas until after the founding of the first four missions. In 1717 Margil supervised the founding of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de los Ais and San Miguel de Linares de los Adaes, which with the previously established Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe completed the missions under the control of the Zacatecan Franciscans. In February 1720 Margil founded at San Antonio the most successful of all Texas missions, San José y San Miguel de Aguayo.In 1722 he was recalled to Mexico to serve again as guardián of the college he had founded. At the conclusion of his three-year term, Margil resumed missionary work in Mexico until his death. Arguably the most famous missionary to serve in Texas, Antonio Margil de Jesús remains under consideration for sainthood by the Vatican.

New British diplomat arrives in Texas

August 06, 1842, the new British charge d’affaires to Texas arrived at the port of Galveston. He was Charles Elliot, British knight and retired naval officer. After entering the Colonial Service, he had served in Guiana and China. He was censured for not adequately representing British mercantile interests in China during the Opium War. In 1842 he was reassigned to duties in the Republic of Texas. In this post he advocated abolition of slavery, worked for the establishment of free trade, and emphasized the importance of peace with Mexico. He became a personal friend of Sam Houston and Anson Jones, and worked with the British ambassador to Mexico for an armistice between Texas and Mexico in 1843. He was instrumental in negotiating the release of some of the prisoners from the Mier expedition. He opposed Texas annexation by the United States, and when Texans voted for annexation he was recalled. Afterward, Elliot was successively governor of Bermuda, of Trinidad, and of St. Helena. He died in England on September 9, 1875.

Feminist folk artist born in Laredo

August 06, 1902, Alice Dickerson Montemayor was born in Laredo. She had planned to study law, but after her father died she remained in Laredo to help her mother. She married Francisco Montemayor in 1927, and they had two sons. From 1934 to 1949 Alice Montemayor was a social worker in Webb County. When she began, she was denied an office key and worked under a tree. Some Caucasian clients refused to see her, and at one time she was provided a bodyguard. In 1936 Mrs. Montemayor became a charter member of the local Ladies LULAC chapter, and soon became active on the national level as well. In 1973 Mrs. Montemayor began painting gourds with vivid, multifarious hues. By 1976 she began painting with acrylics, first on tin and later on masonite. She signed her works “Mom,” then “Admonty.” Her works often depict women, nature, and the family in a characteristically Mexican fashion. In 1988 she was the subject of a presentation at the Smithsonian Institution. She died in 1989.

Oilman gives Paisano Ranch to UT

August 06, 1966, Houston oilman Ralph A. Johnston signed the deed transferring Paisano Ranch to the University of Texas. The 254-acre ranch, fourteen miles southwest of Austin, was the country retreat of J. Frank Dobie. After Dobie’s death in 1964, a group of his friends and admirers, including O’Neil Ford, Peter Hurd, J. Lon Tinkle, and John Henry Faulk, undertook to preserve Paisano as a writers’ retreat. Johnston, to whom Dobie had dedicated his last book, bought Paisano to take it off the market. A gala dinner and art auction in Houston helped raise the money to purchase the ranch from Johnston, who died two days after signing the deed over to the university. Since 1967, more than sixty native Texan writers have worked and lived at the ranch as recipients of Dobie Paisano Fellowships, awarded by the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Institute of Letters.

August 06

New British diplomat arrives in Texas (1842)
Oilman gives Paisano Ranch to UT (1966)
Famous Texas missionary dies in Mexico City (1726)
Feminist folk artist born in Laredo (1902)

August 07

Dallas strikers attract spectators and international attention (1935)
Alexander Cockrell buys Dallas townsite (1852)
Peripatetic pioneer elected first Bosque County judge (1854)
Mickey Leland dies in plane crash (1989)

August 08

Abilene “Top Citizen” dies (1968)
Raiders attack Norias Division of King Ranch (1915)
Soul legend born in Rogers (1935)

August 09

Birth of Texas blues pianist Robert Shaw (1908)
Last reunion at Camp Ben McCulloch (1946)
“Bet-a-Million” Gates dies (1911)

August 10

First woman poet laureate dies (1958)
Confederate soldiers attack Unionists beside the Nueces River (1862)
Texas Department of Public Safety established (1935)

August 11

Decline continues as Spanish officer leaves San Xavier missions (1754)
Future Texas woodcarver born in Switzerland (1883)
Mysterious fire destroys evidence against Parr political machine (1914)


TPA Roundup 7/30/2012

The Texas Progressive Alliance is overloading on the Olympics as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff notes that for a guy who claims to hate the federal government, Rick Perry sure gives them a lot of opportunities to get involved in Texas’ business.

BossKitty at TruthHugger was on a roll this week. America and Collateral Damage and Double Jeopardy, the NCAA went overboard when they punished past, present and future Penn State students.

Too many Americans have been tricked into believing that the government can no longer help them and their families. Until enough people realize that as a lie, take back the government, and use it to bring economic equality back we will continue in this depression. WCNews at Eye on Williamson says it’s It’s the inequality stupid.

As long as Mitt Romney didn’t bring bacon-wrapped shrimp to the Knesset after leaving London, then last Thursday was the worst day of his European vacation, writes PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants you to know that Republicans at Texas A & M are thrilled to give our money to North Carolina while screwing Texas workers.

Neil at Texas Liberal wrote about an interesting and expansive definition of life that he read about in New Scientist magazine….

Texas History for the Week of July 30

Yesterday, July 29 1958

Eisenhower signs bill creating NASA  July 29 1958

On this day in 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The national commitment to a broad program of space exploration, including manned space flight, came in response to the Soviet Union’s successful space launches, begun in 1957. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy set as a national goal the achievement of a manned landing on the moon by the end of the decade. NASA began to reorganize and increase its space establishments. Central to the agency’s new future was the construction of a manned-space-development aggregation, including facilities in Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. NASA also elected to build a new space-management, crew-training, and flight-control center on Clear Lake in southeastern Harris County, Texas, thanks to the efforts of Texas Congressman Albert Thomas. The Manned Space Center opened in 1963 and was officially renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center ten years later.

Fire-breathing preacher indicted for murder  July 29, 1926

On this day in 1926, J. Frank Norris, the controversial minister of the First Baptist Church of Fort Worth, was indicted for murder. He had been zealous in promoting prohibition, condemning gambling, and attacking the alleged teaching of evolution at Baylor University. Though he had begun the first regular radio ministry in the United States in 1920, he also openly supported the Ku Klux Klan and attacked the Catholic Church. His unrelenting criticism of Baylor, Baptist leaders, and state Baptist policies caused the Baptist General Convention to deny seats to Norris’s congregation at the meetings of 1922 and 1923. In a quarrel with Mayor H.C. Meacham, Norris shot and killed Meacham’s friend D.C. Chipps. The fiery fundamentalist was acquitted on grounds of self-defense.

July 29, 1867 – Fort Griffin was established on the right bank of the Clear Fork of the Brazos to protect settlers.

July 30, 1941 – The US Army declared eminent domain over Texas’ Matagorda Peninsula, establishing a bombing and machine-gun range on the land during WWII.

July 31, 1845 – The present-day community of Corpus Christi was started when US General Zachary Taylor landed troops on Corpus Christi to form a base camp during the Mexican War.

Governor removed from office for balking at Reconstruction  July 30, 1867

On this day in 1867, James Webb Throckmorton, first governor of Texas after the Civil War, was removed from office for being an “impediment to Reconstruction” On the grounds that the state of Texas did not support the Fourteenth Amendment, he refused to support it himself. He declined to increase protection for former slaves and to advocate Radical Republican policies. This “Tennessean by birth [and] Texan by Adoption” was a physician and politician who had a long and distinguished record of service to the state, the United States, and the Confederacy. He died at McKinney on April 21, 1894.

Legendary frontier merchant dies  July 30, 1902

On this day in 1902, Charles Rath died in Los Angeles, California. Rath, born near Stuttgart, Württemberg, in 1836, came to the United States in 1848. About 1853 Charles joined William Bent’s Colorado trading empire, working as an independent freighter hauling supplies and trade goods across Kansas. In the early 1870s Rath brought Andrew Johnson into his employ. Rath was among the first to take advantage of the growing buffalo-hide trade, hunting, freighting, and marketing the hides for a high profit. Often the hideyard of the Rath Mercantile Company was filled with 70,000 to 80,000 hides at one time. In 1874, as the buffalo slaughter moved south into the Texas Panhandle, Rath and a business partner opened a combination store and restaurant at Adobe Walls, near the site of William Bent’s old outpost; Rath himself was back in Kansas on June 27 and thus missed the second battle of Adobe Walls. In the 1870s, Rath and partners such as Frank E. Conrad and William McDole Lee opened commercial establishments at Fort Griffin, Mobeetie, and Rath City. By 1879, however, the buffalo supply was exhausted. Although Rath and his associates profited briefly from the bones their crews hauled away and sold for fertilizer, his fortune soon decreased as his debts from unsuccessful land speculations mounted. He lived in Mobeetie for a while before moving to Los Angeles, where he died of “mitral insufficiency.”

July 31
Pirate resigns as ruler of Galveston Island (1817)
Tarrant County Junior College founded (1965)
August 01
Baylor declares himself governor of Confederate Territory of Arizona (1861)
First election in Texas (1731)
Gunman opens fire on students at UT (1966)
August 02
Texans oust Mexicans in battle of Nacogdoches (1832)
Law arrives west of the Pecos (1882)
Legislature grants Katy a Texas charter (1870)
August 03
Murder of sheriff candidate kindles feud (1898)
Clash with Rangers radicalizes rancher (1915)
August 04
Stevenson becomes governor of Texas as O’Daniel departs for U.S. Senate (1941)
Bracero program supplies labor during World War II (1942)
Texas Revolution participant marries future memoirist (1836)

TPA Roundup 7/23/2012

The Texas Progressive Alliance reminds everyone that this is the only week of early voting for the July 31 primary runoffs as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff notes that Medicaid expansion would be far less expensive than originally claimed.

BossKitty at TruthHugger is sad to see history repeating itself more frequently. More and more people are “loosing” their sanity and getting away with it. Because of the recent mass murders in Colorado, I re-post I Have A Gun and I Have A Grudge – Update.

The Romney campaign is blatantly lying, and CNN and Fox News are going along with it. It’s what WCNews at Eye on Williamson calls The horribleness of our media.

The Houston Chronicle made an endorsement in the Democratic primary that caused PDiddie at Brains and Eggs to question their integrity. It’s an unsettling account of an editorial board with few apparent scruples and even less journalistic competence.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants you to know that our government is still building a monument to racism, aka that damn fence.

Justin at Asian American Action Fund has Linsanity.

Neil at Texas Liberal offered a first look at the 2012 Green Party Presidential ticket.

Texas History for the Week of July 23

July 23
Future film actress born in Houston (1895)
First woman game warden in Texas dies (1966)
Texas Bankers Association founded (1885)
July 24
World War I camp construction begins (1917)
Town of Kyle established (1880)
Confederacy grows as Baylor defeats Yankees in Arizona Territory and declares himself governor (1861)
Confederacy grows as Baylor defeats Yankees in Arizona and declares himself governor (1861)
July 25
Texas enlistee dies heroically and is awarded Medal of Honor (1953)
Old Galveston lives again in restored Ashton Villa (1974)
First Odd Fellows lodge chartered in Texas (1838)
July 26
Sweethearts of the Cattle Trail Marry (1870)
Arthur Schott dies (1875)
Nolan Expedition goes on last Comanche raid in Texas (1877)
United States flag raised on Texas island (1845)
July 27
County government comes to a new area of the Panhandle (1888)
Civil rights activist denied vote in Harris County primary (1940)
July 28
First American matador debuts in Guadalajara (1908)
Riot flares in Dallas protest march (1973)

TPA Roundup 7/16/2012


The Texas Progressive Alliance wants you to know that it has never worked for Bain Capital as it brings you this week’s blog roundup.

There will be no Medicaid expansion in Texas. Off the Kuff discusses why this is such a bad thing.

BossKitty at TruthHugger knows that Hate Groups abound in Texas, but is very concerned about the recent developments demonstrating American Undercurrents of Hate Threaten First Lady.

Is the leading GOP US Senate candidate so far to the right that so-called moderate Republicans would cross over and vote for the Democratic candidate in November? That’s what WCNews at Eye on Williamson tries to get to the bottom of in,Would a Cruz win end the crossover myth?

At McBlogger, we discover Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson cribbing from Hank Gilbert, ca. 2006.

The NAACP’s 2012 national convention, held in in Houston last week, was covered by PDiddie of Brains and Eggs, and reports from the the scene included Eric Holder’s poll taxes, Mitt Romney’s boos, and Joe Biden’s character of (PBO’s) convictions.

Today in July 2012:

BossKitty reports for jury duty. It is the responsibility all American Citizens should be proud to serve.

Each Texas county has its own system for handling jury duty. 

In the juror’s box

The pay isn’t much for jury duty, but court officials say it’s a citizen’s responsibility that helps keep democracy alive and serves as a check on the legal system.

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark’s words in 1966 still ring true concerning the importance of jurors to the court system:

“The collective conscience of the jury adds a humanistic touch to the strict demands of the law, so as to allow a more equitable judgment. The jury system improves the quality of justice and is the sole means of keeping its administration attuned to community standards,” wrote Clark, who was born in Dallas and was U.S. Attorney General before serving on the Supreme Court from 1949-1967.

To qualify as a juror, you must:

Be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the state and of the county in which you are to serve as a juror, able to read, write and to vote in the county in which you are to serve as a juror.

  • You must not have served as a juror for six days during the preceding three months in the county court; or during the preceding six months in the district court.
  • “Good moral character” is required, plus not being under indictment, or having a conviction for misdemeanor theft or any felony.
  • Potential jurors may be excused if:
  • They have legal custody of a child younger than 10 years old and the person’s service on the jury would entail leaving the child without adequate supervision.
  • Are the primary caretaker of a person who is an invalid unable to care for himself – the exemption does not apply to health care workers.
  • They are a student of a public or private secondary school – however, some students in those schools are 18, and thereby eligible to serve – or attend an institution of higher education.
  • Are an officer or an employee of the senate, house of representatives, or any department, commission, board, office, or other agency in the legislative branch of government.
  • Have a physical/mental impairment.
  • Are unable to comprehend English.

The judge may give prospective jurors an opportunity to discuss personal hardships that jury service would entail. However, the court may not excuse a juror for an economic reason unless each party of record for the case approves the release. Under the Texas Government Code, a person who receives a summons for jury service and fails to answer the summons, is subject to a contempt action that is punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000.

TPA Roundup 7/9/2012

The Texas Progressive Alliance thinks America doesn’t look a day over 235 as it brings you this weeks blog roundup.

Off the Kuff notes that we are now up to six school finance lawsuits.

BossKitty at TruthHugger sings back to the choir, you know that small loud minority willing to sacrifice everybody else to satisfy their selfish rhetoric. Op Ed: Crazy Weather Really A Liberal Conspiracy?

Now that the Affordable Care Act has cleared the Supreme Court hurdle, when will uninsured Texans begin to get health insurance? WCNews at Eye on Williamson says that it’s up to the Texas GOP, What health care choices will the Texas GOP make?

The NAACP opened their national convention in Houston this week, and with Joe Biden and Mitt Romney on the speaker’s list, it promises to be newsworthy. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has a media credential and will be filing reports from the scene.

Neil at Texas Liberal blogged about Danny Glover coming to Houston on behalf of Houton janitors looking for a modest raise.

This week in Texas History

 Spanish governor issues ordinance on cattle branding

 July 10, 1783 , Domingo Cabello y Robles, Spanish governor of Texas, issued a bando, or ordinance, imposing strict guidelines for the roundup, branding, and export of unbranded cattle. At the time, the province was in the midst of a protracted livestock controversy. Cattle rustling between vecinos and missions, depletion of cattle through wasteful slaughter and excessive exports, and noncompliance with an ordinance of January 1778 were holdovers from the administration of Cabello’s predecessor, Juan María de Ripperdá. Enforcing existing regulations and preventing illegal exports became Cabello’s major concerns. Cabello’s enforcement of livestock regulations resulted in much animosity from ranchers. Soon after his departure from the province in 1787, the ranchers filed a memorial against Cabello charging him with arbitrary and unjust decrees and misrepresentations that denied them rights to unbranded cattle. The case did not adversely affect his career, for by 1797 Cabello had reached the rank of field marshall.

Lamar expresses good will to Chief Colita

July 09, 1839  Mirabeau B. Lamar, president of the Republic of Texas, wrote to Colita, chief of the Coushatta Indians, expressing regret that conflicts had occurred between the Indians and white settlers. The event is notable because it marked a sharp divergence from Lamar’s general Indian policy. Unlike Sam Houston, whose administration had attempted to conciliate the Indians–especially Houston’s “own” tribe, the Cherokees–Lamar thought that the Indians should be either exterminated or driven from Texas. This animus helped to bring about several of the most serious clashes between Indians and whites in early Texas. Lamar’s proffer of friendship toward the Alabamas and Coushattas was therefore a striking exception to his usual policy. Perhaps he was remembering how these East Texas Indians had helped the white settlers to escape from the Mexican army in the Runaway Scrape (1836). In any case, Lamar offered land to the Alabamas and Coushattas and appointed Joseph Lindley as a mediator between the Indians and the settlers. The gesture turned out to be futile, however, for when the Indians saw their land being marked off, they assumed it was for white settlers and abandoned the area; whereupon white settlers took the land.

 Presidential candidate drowns in Galveston Bay

 July 11, 1838, James Collinsworth fell or jumped off a boat in Galveston Bay and drowned. Collinsworth, born in Tennessee in 1806, was a candidate for the presidency of the Republic of Texas, along with Mirabeau B. Lamar and Peter W. Grayson. Collinsworth served as a district attorney in Tennessee, where he was a political ally of Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston, but moved to Texas by 1835. He represented Brazoria at the Convention of 1836 and was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Collinsworth later served as Houston’s aide-de-camp, in the Senate of the republic, and as the first chief justice of the republic. He also helped organize the Texas Railroad, Navigation, and Banking Company and was a charter member of the Philosophical Society of Texas. His death, which occurred less than two weeks after the announcement of his candidacy for president, was generally presumed to have been a suicide, and his body lay in state in the capitol in Houston. In 1876 the legislature named Collingsworth County in his honor, though the act establishing the county misspelled his name.

 Chief Kicking Bird retires after fighting McClellan at the Little Wichita

 July 12, 1870, at the battle of the Little Wichita River, Capt. Curwin B. McClellan and a force of fifty-five troopers of the Sixth Cavalry attacked a camp of Kiowa Indians under Chief Kicking Bird. The Indians had crossed the Red River into Texas and terrorized white settlers across Wichita, Archer, Young, and Jack counties. McClellan caught up with them on the Little Wichita River in what is now Archer County. He soon realized that he was outnumbered by two to one, and that the Indians were equipped with Spencer rifles, superior to his equipment. His men were attacked from all sides, and three died during a retreat. After cowboys from the Terrell Ranch and twenty troopers reinforced McClellan, Kicking Bird broke off the engagement. In his report McClellan praised Kicking Bird’s generalship and called for larger forces to protect the frontier. This was the last time Kicking Bird was ever involved in hostilities. He dedicated the rest of his life to establishing better relations between the Kiowas and the whites.

 New law authorizes sale of state land to finance education

 July 14, 1879, the state of Texas authorized selling state land for fifty cents an acre. Half the proceeds were to go for reduction of the public debt and half to pay into the Permanent School Fund, established in 1876. The state sold 3,201,283 for $1,600,641.55 in fifty-two West Texas counties. On January 22, 1883, the Fifty Cent Act was repealed as a public necessity resulting from fraudulent speculation in the land.

 Texas government offers huge prize for eradicating long-nosed cotton pest

 July 13, 1903, a proclamation was made from the steps of the Texas Capitol offering a $50,000 prize for the discovery of a way to rid Texas of the boll weevil. This small snout beetle had been ravaging cotton crops in Mexico for at least two millenia. Its introduction into Texas seems to have been first announced by Charles W. DeRyee of Corpus Christi in a letter dated October 3, 1894. It had reached all of East Texas by 1903 and by the 1920s had spread north and west to the High Plains. The insect continued to spread through Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Virginia. Calcium Arsenate was found to be reasonably effective against it, and during the 1920s fluorides were introduced. Since the weevil does not survive well on the high plains of Texas, this region proved to be more favorable to future cotton production. The 1903 prize was never awarded to anyone.

  Transplanted Baylor College of Medicine opens in Houston

 July 12, 1943, Baylor College of Medicine opened in a former Sears, Roebuck store in Houston. The school, the only private medical school in the southwest, was founded in Dallas in 1900 as the University of Dallas Medical Department, even though the University of Dallas did not yet exist. Baylor University assumed control three years later, and awarded 1,670 M.D. degrees between 1903 and 1943. In the latter year, however, a severe conflict arose between civic leaders and physicians in Dallas and Baylor’s Baptist administrators over the denominational character of the school. In exchange for fiscal support and new quarters in a proposed medical center to be erected on Hines Boulevard in Dallas, the school was expected to relinquish administrative control and denominational affiliation. Under longtime dean Walter H. Moursund, a Presbyterian, the school extricated itself from this dilemma by accepting an invitation from the M. D. Anderson Foundation and other Houston benefactors to relocate to that city instead. In 1947 the school moved to the Roy and Lillie Cullen Building, becoming the first institution to locate in the Texas Medical Center. The relationship between the Baptist General Convention of Texas and Baylor College of Medicine was terminated by mutual agreement in 1969, and the school became a nonsectarian, freestanding nonprofit corporation.

TPA Roundup 7/2/2012

The Texas Progressive Alliance is ready for some fireworks as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff disputed the notion that Rick Perry would be doing better than Mitt Romney if he were the GOP Presidential nominee.

BossKitty at TruthHugger wonders where all the constitutional scholars are, and why they are so silent? Peamble to the US Constitution Violated.

While the Supreme Court delivered landmark case decisions earlier and later in the week, the two Texas Democrats battling for the nomination to the US Senate held a debate. They were overshadowed, as it turned out, for good reason. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs paid attention but really wishes he hadn’t.

The Democrats have to, in the minds of voters, turn Democrats back into the party of the people and the GOP back into the party of the rich and powerful. The winning won’t start again until that’s done, and that new governing coalition is built in Texas. WCNews at Eye on Williamson says that Beer and Democracy is as good a place to start.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme isn’t surprised that the republican Supreme Court wants American Hispanics to carry citizenship papers. Yeah. Right.

At TexasKaos, lightseeker shines a light on the continuing assault on public education in Texas. Coupled with the nationwide exposure of the anti-criticial thinking plank in the state Republican platform, scary stuff indeed. Take a look: Killing Public Education in Texas with STAAR.

Neil at Texas Liberal posted a list of Fouth of July events in Houston, Galveston, Fort Bend County and College Station. This list information comes with a nifty Fourth of July reading list included for no extra charge.

Justin at Asian American Action Fund Blog cheers the incredible rise of Asian Americans in the Texas Democratic Party while lamenting the failures of the Texas Democratic Party Convention’s Nominations Committee.

Texas History, week of July 2

Willie goes to Billy Bob’s for the Fourth of July

Billy Bob’s Texas announces the return of Willie Nelson’s Legendary 4th of July Picnic to the historic Fort Worth Stockyards. The long-standing Texas tradition now in it’s 39th year will again be held outside and inside of the famed Billy Bob’s Texas. Tickets go on sale Monday, April 23rd. Willie’s picnic has been held in the Fort Worth Stockyards 4-times previously, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2011.  This year’s setup will again feature the air-conditioned comfort of Billy Bob’s opening to the landscaped beauty of Rodeo Plaza in the Stockyards. Doors will open at 11:30 am with the first artist taking the stage at 12 noon.

July 02, 1863, Hood’s Texas Brigade became a major participant in the battle of Gettysburg. The brigade had been organized in 1861 in Richmond, Virginia. It was composed of the First, Fourth and Fifth Texas Infantry regiments, the only Texas troops to fight in the Eastern Theater. Col. John Bell Hood had been commander of the Fourth. On July 2, 1863, the brigade led the assault at Devils Den and Little Round Top, the crucial action of the second day of the battle. A soldier of the First Texas called the assault on Devil’s Den “one of the wildest, fiercest struggles of the war.” After routing the Union forces at the Devil’s Den, however, the brigade was unable to capture Little Round Top. A thirty-five-foot monument to the men of Hood’s Texas Brigade stands on the south drive of the Capitol in Austin.

Greatest manager in Texas League history born

July 02 1879, John Jacob (Jake) Atz, baseball player and manager, was born in Washington, D.C. He is generally considered the greatest baseball manager in Texas League history. He began his major-league playing career in 1902 with Washington of the American League and played for the Chicago White Sox in 1907-09. His major-league career ended when he was hit by a pitch thrown by Walter Johnson. Atz signed as a playing manager of the Fort Worth Cats of the Texas League in 1914. He quit in 1916 but returned in 1917.
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Angry soldiers burn Fredericksburg store, destroying early Gillespie County records

July 02 1850, a mob of soldiers burned down the store of Fredericksburg merchant John M. Hunter, destroying all Gillespie County records up to that time. Hunter, the first Gillespie County clerk, had a violent temper and had clashed more than once with the soldiers at nearby Fort Martin Scott. On the night of June 30, Hunter had refused to sell whiskey to a soldier named Dole. When Dole became abusive, Hunter fatally stabbed him in the chest. Some fifty angry soldiers returned the next night, looking for Hunter, but the merchant had fled town.
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African-American bus franchise in Houston suburb is first in the South

July 02 1959, the state of Texas granted the first bus franchise in the South owned and operated by African Americans. The Acres Homes Transit Company served the predominantly black community of Acres Homes, nine miles southwest of downtown Houston. Living outside the city limits and without adequate public transportation, the residents petitioned the city hall for a permit to operate a suburban bus franchise. The AHTC had four buses that made forty-three round trips daily between downtown Houston and Acres Homes.

Oldest public hospital in Texas opens

July 03 1884, the City-County Hospital, the oldest public hospital in Texas, opened in Austin. The hospital was owned jointly by the city of Austin and Travis County until 1907, when the county withdrew its support. It was known as City Hospital until 1929, when the city council renamed it in honor of Dr. Robert J. Brackenridge, who had served as chairman of the hospital board and worked for many years toward improving medical care in Austin. Brackenridge Hospital offered Austin’s first intercranial and open-heart surgery in 1948 and 1961. The city’s first intensive-care unit opened there in 1960, its first cardiac-care unit in 1971, and its first alternative birth center in 1978. In addition, the Brackenridge Emergency Room is the regional trauma center for a ten-county area. Brackenridge also housed the area’s first nursing school, which was established in 1915 and operated by the hospital until 1984, when Austin Community College assumed responsibility for the program. After beginning an education program for interns and residents after World War II, Brackenridge became a fully accredited teaching hospital in the mid-1950s.

Convention considers annexation

July 04 1845, the convention to consider the joint resolution of the United States Congress proposing the annexation of the Republic of Texas to the United States assembled in Austin. Thomas Jefferson Rusk was elected president of the convention, and James H. Raymond was secretary. By a vote of fifty-five to one, the delegates approved the offer of annexation. Richard Bache of Galveston was the lone dissenter. Subsequently, the convention prepared the Constitution of 1845 for the new state. Rusk appointed several committees to examine legislative, executive, judicial, and general provisions of the constitution, as well as a committee of five to prepare convention rules. Of the fifty-seven delegates elected to the convention, eighteen were originally from Tennessee, eight from Virginia, seven from Georgia, six from Kentucky, and five from North Carolina. Considered the most able body of its kind ever to meet in Texas, the convention included men of broad political experience such as Thomas J. Rusk, James Pinckney Henderson, Isaac Van Zandt, Hardin R. Runnels, Abner S. Lipscomb, Nicholas H. Darnell, R. E. B. Baylor, and José Antonio Navarro. The convention adjourned on August 28, 1845.

Governor Pease launches Callahan expedition

July 05 1855, Governor Elisha Pease authorized James Hughes Callahan to cross the Rio Grande into Mexico for the alleged purpose of punishing Apache Indians who raided in Texas and then fled to Mexico. The expedition may have been an attempt by Texas slaveholders to capture runaway slaves who were being permitted to settle in Mexico. Governor Santiago Vidaurri of Nuevo León y Coahuila had rebuffed the slaveholders’ emissary and ordered his troops to prepare for invasion. Callahan crossed into Mexico on October 1-2 and encountered a Mexican detachment at the Rio Escondito near Piedras Negras. There were casualties on both sides. Callahan retreated to Piedras Negras, captured the town, and burned it. American forces across the river covered his retreat. Historians have long argued about the real purpose of the operation. In 1876 the Claims Commission settled claims originating from the expedition, awarding 150 Mexican citizens a total of $50,000 in damages.

July 03

Natural Bridge Caverns, largest in Texas, opens to public (1964)
Oldest public hospital in Texas opens (1884)
Generous curandero dies in South Texas (1907)

July 04

Convention considers annexation (1845)
Willie goes to Luckenbach for the Fourth of July (1995)
First train to Brownsville touches off Kingsville celebration (1904)

July 05

Texas’s first licensed pilot dies (1956)
Governor Pease launches Callahan expedition (1855)
Margaret Borland dies of “trail fever” (1873)

July 06

Order of the Sons of Hermann founded (1861)
Wealthiest antebellum planter dies (1878)
Dr Pepper incorporates (1923)
Civil rights leader Lulu White dies (1957)

July 07

New republic staves off old adversary (1842)
Gritten keeps Gonzales loyal to Mexico (1835)
Border businesswoman attends ceremony at Big Bend National Park (1960)
New port of Velasco officially opens (1891)

TPA Roundup 6/25/2012

The Texas Progressive Alliance is in search of a shady spot and a cold beverage as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff analyzes the Democratic DA primary and the race for HCDP Chair in Harris County.

WCNews at Eye on Williamson posts about striking janitors in Houston and tax payer give-aways to corporations, Texas is a cheap labor state, and it shows.

PDiddie at Brains and Eggs wonders out loud if the new chair of the Texas Democratic Party might have some explaining to do about the goings-on in Cameron County.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants everyone to know that tort reform didn’t lower health care costs.

At TexasKaos, Libby Shaw writes about what is obvious to everyone with half a brain. Sadly, it still has to be said: Voters voted for Jobs in 2010. The GOP Delivered Witchhunts.

Neil at Texas Liberal offered thoughts on the death of Rodney King.

Texas History, week of June 25

General Custer, once stationed in Texas, meets his Waterloo in Montana,  June 5, 1876

On this day in 1876, George Armstrong Custer and some 265 men of the Seventh U.S. Cavalry were annihilated on the Little Big Horn River. Custer had a Texas history. After an outstanding career in the Union Army during the Civil War, he had been assigned to duty in Texas as part of Gen. Philip H. Sheridan’s effort to prevent Confederate retrenchment in Mexico under the emperor Maximilian. During five months in Hempstead and Austin, he alienated many in his command by strict enforcement of regulations prohibiting foraging and other army predations, while winning the gratitude of many Texans. On the other hand, he also recommended that the army retain control of Texas until the government was “satisfied that a loyal sentiment prevails in at least a majority of the inhabitants.” Custer’s wife, Elizabeth (Bacon), included in her memoir Tenting on the Plains (1887) a charming account of their stay in Texas. Custer’s headquarters building in Austin, the Blind Asylum, located on the “Little Campus” of the University of Texas, has been restored.

Civil War skirmish at Las Rusias,  June 25, 1864

On this day in 1864, a skirmish between Confederate and Union forces was fought at Las Rusias, a colonia located one mile north of the Rio Grande in southwest Cameron County. Confederate officer Refugio Benavides of Laredo led a company and joined John Salmon (Rip) Ford to overrun Union forces. Ford, a colonel of the Second Texas Cavalry who engaged in border operations protecting Confederate-Mexican trade, praised Benavides for his gallant conduct during the battle. Las Rusias had also been the site of a skirmish on April 25, 1846, when Mexican troops ambushed an American patrol; the shedding of “American blood upon American soil” sparked the Mexican War.


Ma Ferguson dies, June 25, 1961

On this day in 1961, Ma Ferguson, the first woman governor of Texas, died of heart failure. Miriam Amanda Ferguson was born in Bell County in 1875. She married James Edward Ferguson in 1899 and served as first lady of Texas while he was governor from 1915 to 1917. After his impeachment, Miriam entered the race for the Texas governorship. She won an August run-off and the November general election, thus becoming the second woman governor in United States history. Political strife and controversy characterized her first administration. Mrs. Ferguson pardoned an average of 100 convicts a month, and she and “Pa” were accused of accepting bribes. Controversy helped Dan Moody defeat her in 1926. Ma ran again unsuccessfully in 1930, and in 1932 she narrowly won the Democratic nomination, then defeated the Republican nominee. Her second term as governor was much less controversial than her first; nonetheless, the Fergusons temporarily retired from politics in 1934. Ma Ferguson did declare for governor once again in 1940, alleging that she could not resist a “popular draft” for the nomination, but failed to unseat incumbent W. Lee O’Daniel. After her husband’s death in 1944, Miriam Ferguson retired to private life in Austin.


June 25
General Custer, once stationed in Texas, meets his Waterloo in Montana (1876)
Spurs are champions! (1999)
Civil War skirmish at Las Rusias (1864)
Ma Ferguson dies (1961)
June 26
Mexican garrison surrenders in prelude to Texas Revolution (1832)
WFAA radio goes on the air (1922)
Work Projects Administration establishes NYA (1935)
June 27
Indian raiders strike again at Adobe Walls (1874)
Suffragist leads the way in Harris County (1918)
Legendary Texas naturalist born in Illinois (1878)
June 28
Texas Senate ratifies women’s right to vote (1919)
Texas Jack Omohundro dies (1880)
Texas humorist wins record libel award (1962)
June 29
Democratic convention ends as split party agonizes over Catholic nominee (1928)
Sculptor Elisabet Ney dies (1907)
Residents of homestead community petition for incorporation (1949)
June 30
Henry Flipper is dismissed from the military (1882)
Historic Frontier Echo publishes first edition (1875)
Texas fiddler performs on first commercial country music recording (1922)

TPA Roundup 6/18/2012

The Texas Progressive Alliance hopes everyone had a happy Father’s Day as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff did an interview with State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Republicans’ top target in November.

WCNews at Eye on Williamson says the Texas GOP is getting set to raise taxes on working and middle classes Texans again, Here comes the next wave in the assault on health care & public education in Texas.

Refinish69 at Doing My Part For The Left can only say WTF??? Has the entire Country lost its mind?

Neil attended a march of Houston janitors looking for nothing more than a more fair wage for the work they do. This post has two videos of the arrest of one of these peaceful marchers by aggressive Houston police officers on horseback.

At TexasKaos, lightseeker points out that, all of a sudden somebody at the national level gets it, the Dems have NO Brand! Check it out It’s The Branding Stupid!

Texas History: Week of June 18

German church sues for return of art treasures (1990)
Historic ranch formed by partnership of legendary pioneers (1876)
Southwest Airlines takes to the air (1971)
June 19
Belated emancipation forms the basis for Juneteenth celebrations (1865)
Texas congressman calls Mexican president a “spineless cactus” (1919)
“Cowboys’ Christmas Ball” published (1890)
June 20
Fort Clark established at Las Moras Springs (1852)
Texas senator delivers speech against martial law (1870)
Feudists intensify conflict by lynching (1874)
June 21
Famous trial lawyer born in log cabin (1902)
Kate Ward begins her career as first river steamer on the Colorado (1845)
American Revolution reaches Texas (1779)
June 22
Mexican general investigates Texans’ restiveness (1832)
Medical center for veterans opens in Kerrville (1921)
Austin Colony settlers clash with Karankawas (1824)
June 23
Pilot Wiley Post circles the earth to make aviation history (1931)
Provisional government declares Texas independence (1819)
Monument honors Alabama Indian subchief (1990)