The 1,600th “This Week in Texas History” column is about Porfirio Diaz, the iron-fisted dictator that ruled Mexico for 35 years.
With the support of many Texans, who gladly gave him their money and support, Diaz seized Matamoros, sister city of Brownsville, on March 27, 1876. Following a short setback that sent him into a brief exile in Cuba, he returned to wield power well into his eighties.
Texas ratified the Confederate constitution on March 23, 1861 and officially joined the Confederacy.
How many thousands of lives would have been spared if Texans had followed the lead of Sam Houston and a few others and charted a separate and sovereign course after seceding from the United States? But the blood ties with their southern brethren were too strong and emotionally charged to allow for a restoration of the Republic.
The 50-year struggle to win the vote for the female half of Texas finally bore fruit on Mar. 25, 1918 with the signing of the Primary Election Law by Gov. William P. Hobby.
Texas women had come a long, long way from the not-so-distant past when they were banned from the ballot box along with “children, idiots, lunatics, paupers and felony convicts.” That is the subject of the newspaper column “This Week in Texas History” for Wednesday, March 19 through Tuesday, March 25.
“Slim” Lindbergh reported for pilot training at Brooks Field in San Antonio on March 18, 1924 just three years before the skinny college dropout and son of a Minnesota congressman became the famous man in the world.
Lucky Lindy’s misadventures in Texas make for mighty good reading in the Wednesday, March 12 through Tuesday, March 18 installment of “This Week in Texas History.” And remember — you can read the longest running newspaper feature of kind with your own private email subscription available in the “General Store” on this web site.
John W. Smith returned to San Antonio on Mar. 11, 1836 after delivering Travis’ last message to the convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos to find the Alamo had fallen.
Smith, a bilingual early resident of Mexican Texas, went on to fight at San Jacinto and to hold every office under the sun in independent San Antonio, including three terms as mayor.
On March 10, 1859, Sam Houston left the U.S. Senate after 13 years and came home to run for governor — again.
The hero of San Jacinto had cooked his own political goose four years earlier with his controversial vote on the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. His plan was to resign from the Senate after winning the 1857 gubernatorial election, but he was rejected by the voters for the first time in his life. Houston bounced back to win in 1859 but could not keep Texas in the Union.
That’s the title of the “This Week in History” column for the week of Wednesday, March 5 through Tuesday, March 11, and it’s all about the Marine who is one of only two NFL football players and one of only two professional baseball players awarded the Medal of Honor.
Jack Lummus was an All-Southwest Conference end on the gridirion and the best centerfielder on the diamond for Baylor on the eve of the Second World War. He played a little minor-league baseball and a full season with the football Giants before going off to fight the Japanese.