Monthly Archives: July 2014

Baptist Paper Puts The Blame On Cities

An editorial in the July 30, 1914 issue of the “Baptist Standard” described the prohibition movement as “a struggle for a higher Anglo-Saxon civilization against the slum civilization of the great cities.”

The author of an article in the same issue contended the big cities were “the nuclei of vice, depravity, misery and crime generated by the liquor traffic.”  No wonder so many Texans got so worked up over the proposed ban on booze!

Innkeeper To The World

On August 4, 1925, Conrad Hilton opened the first hotel he built from the ground up and put his name on — the Dallas Hilton.  And that’s what “This Week in Texas History” for Wednesday, July 30 through Tuesday, August 5 is all about.

Just six years earlier, the World War I veteran was looking to buy a bank in Cisco, Texas but wound up purchasing a two-story hotel called The Mobley.  At his death 57 years later, Hilton owned and operated 188 hotels in 38 states and another 54 in countries around the globe.

Mannen Clements Got Away With Murder

Mannen Clements, gunfighter and all-around rough character, killed Petyon “Pate” Patterson on July 25, 1872.

Clements was tried for the murder six years later, but the jury voted to acquit.  The Clements brothers (Mannen, Joe, Jim and Gip) were a force to be reckoned with, especially when joined by cousin John Wesley Hardin.  Mannen was shot to death in the Senate Saloon in Ballinger in March 1887 by city marshall Joseph Townsend, who died in an ambush a short time later.

President Roosevelt’s Son Marries A Texan

On July 22, 1933, four days after the divorce from his first wife became final, Elliott Roosevelt, one of the president’s four sons, married Ruth Coogins of Fort Worth.

During this decade-long marriage, which was followed by two more, Roosevelt dabbled in ranching and early radio in the Lone Star State.  Despite poor eyesight, he pulled the necessary strings to obtain a pilot’s license and flew 89 combat missions in World War II.

Was Jean Lafitte The First President of Texas?

When his last rival worthy of the name fled Galveston for a healthier climate on July 21, 1817, the self-proclaimed “President of Texas” consolidated complete control of the island.

That’s how “This Week in Texas History” for Wednesday, July 16 through Tuesday, July 22 starts.  If you want to find out how it ends, you’ll have the read the column for yourself in your local newspaper or with a private email subscription available on this web site.

FDR’s Third Term Dashes Rayburn’s White House Hopes

His own presidential ambitions thwarted by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s unexpected decision to seek a third term, Texas congressman Sam Rayburn appealed to the Democratic National Convention on July 17, 1940 to make FDR’s nomination unanimous.

Two months later, Rayburn suddenly found himself Speaker of the House following the fatal heart attack of William Bankhead.  Except for two short periods of Republican control (1947-1949 and 1953-1955) he held the powerful post until his death in 1961.

Mysterious Death of “I Fought The Law” Singer

Bobby Fuller, the rock ‘n roll sensation who put “I Fought The Law” on the top of the pop music charts, was found dead in his mother’s car on July 15, 1966.  He’s the subject of the “This Week in Texas History” column for July 9 through July 15.

The Goose Creek, now Baytown, native was only 22 years with a bright future in the music industry.  Yet the Los Angeles police and coroner ruled his death under highly suspicious circumstances a suicide.  Forty-eight years later, it still looks like someone got away with murder.

Scandalous Exile Spent Last Years In Texas

On July 9, 1943, Alfred de Marigny was charged with the murder in the Bahamas of his father-in-law, Sir Harry Oakes .

In his role as royal governor, the Duke of Windsor, who had abdicated the throne to marry a divorced American, oversaw the trial that mesmerized the world.  De Marigny was acquitted but exiled from the island as an “undesirable alien.”  The Frenchman spent the last forty years of his life as a rich but rarely seen recluse in Houston.

Colonists Lose One Mexican Official They Trusted

In an emotional letter to a friend on July 2, 1832, the most respected Mexican of his generation, and the only one Texas colonists felt they could trust, hinted strongly at taking a life — his own.

Read the story of Gen. Don Manuel de Mier y Teran in the Wednesday, July 2 through Tuesday, July 8 installment of “This Week in Texas History.”  And if your local paper does not carry the longest running column of its kind, buy an email subscription on the website.

Thank you, Phil Collins!

Have you heard the news?  Last week singer/songwriter Phil Collins did all Texans — past, present and future — an incredibly generous favor.  Collins, who is not a Texan and has never lived in the Lone Star State, announced he is donating his entire Texana collection to the Alamo.

Now this isn’t just a bunch of stuff in his basement.  No, it is reputed to be the largest and most valuable private collection of Texas artifacts in existence.  And it is coming home to Texas!

Click on the links below and read all about it.

Singer Phil Collins to donate his collection of artifacts to Alamo

Legendary British Rocker Phil Collins Delivers Priceless Collection To The Alamo