Category Archives: This Week in Texas History


Some people have long believed the famous “tramp” photo taken in downtown Dallas minutes after the shooting of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963 features a young Charles Harrelson, father of tv and movie actor Woody Harrelson and convicted assassin of a federal judge.

While his possible involvement in the Kennedy murder is debatable, there is no doubt Harrelson was a prolific killer-for-hire.

The Alamo – Most Haunted Place In Texas?

That’s the title of the Halloween week column, “This Week in Texas History” for Wednesday, October 29 through Tuesday, November 4.

Given the circumstances of the defenders’ deaths and the fact Santa Anna denied them a Christian burial, it stands to reason that ghosts have been seen in and around the Alamo on countless occasions for the past 178 years.  The chilling stories are guaranteed to make your hair stand on end!

Tribe Paid High Price For Befriending Texans

“A surprise attack by four hostile tribes on October 25, 1862 cut the number of Tonkawas in half leaving less than 150 still alive and kicking.”

If you haven’t read this installment of “This Week in Texas History” for Wednesday, October 22 through Tuesday, October 28, you are missing out on the fascinating story of the Indians who called themselves “the most human of men.”

Crew Talked Captain Out Of Abandoning “Houston”

“A Japanese torpedo so badly damaged the HOUSTON on the night of Oct. 13, 1944 that the captain of the light cruiser gave the order to ‘abandon ship.'”

That’s how the Wednesday, October 8 through Tuesday, October 14 column for “This Week in Texas History” starts.  The second World War II fighting ship to bear the name of Texas’ biggest city looked like it would follow the first to the bottom of the Pacific, but that would spoil the story. Read all about it in your local newspaper or with a private email subscription available on the web site.


Old Rip Ford Was The Texans’ Texan

“This Week in Texas History” for Wednesday, October 1 through Tuesday, October 7 tells the story of John Salmon Ford, better known as “Rip” and widely admired as the Texans’ Texan.

In his long life, Rip did it all:  fought Indians and Mexican raiders, practiced medicine and the law, taught Sunday school, served in the Republic Congress and wrote plays as well as one of the best autobiographies in Texas history.

Police Chief Goes Over To The Dark Side

“After thirteen months on the run, a former small-town police chief wanted for murder and armed robbery was captured in Tennessee on September 27, 1929.”

That’s the attention grabbing beginning to the “This Week in Texas History” column for Wednesday, September 24 through Tuesday, September 30.  If you haven’t read it, you’re missing out on a fascinating and rarely told story.

Schoolboy Rowe Took The Batters To School

In just his second season with the Detroit Tigers, Lynwood “Schoolboy” Rowe won 16 games in a row en route to a 24-8 record in 1934.

When his right arm was healthy, the Waco native was nearly unhittable.  He also was one of the most popular major-league players of all time.  Read all about Schoolboy in the Wednesday, September 17 through Tuesday, September 23 installment of “This Week in Texas History.”

Outlaw Too Smart For His Own Good

On September 4, 1881, Isaac “Ike” Stockton turned in a member of his own gang for the murder of a Colorado lawman and collected a sizeable reward for the back-stabbing betrayal.

That’s how the “This Week in Texas History” column for Wednesday, September 3 through Tuesday, September 9 starts off.  But to find out how the story of the Stockton brothers ends, you will have to read it in your local newspaper or with a private email subscription available on this web site.

Newspaperman Writes Political Best-Seller

A book reviewer had nothing but the highest praise on August 28, 1959 for a newspaperman’s first novel:  “It may be a long time before a better one comes along.”

How right he was!  “Advise and Consent” by Houston native Allen Drury was the last work of political fiction to win the Pulitzer Prize — more than half a century ago.  Read all about it in “This Week in Texas History” for Wednesday, August 27 through Tuesday, September 2.