Category Archives: This Week in Texas History

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.

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.

The Latest From “This Week in Texas History”

After nine years of the Washington politicians going back on their word, nothing should have surprised the citizens of the former Lone Star Republic.  But even in their worst nightmare Texans never dreamed the United States government would leave the frontier unprotected.

So on July 1, 1855, Gov. Elisha Pease called on James Callahan, a veteran Indian fighter with a hard-as-nails reputation, to save an endangered species — the frontier settler.

That’s what “This Week in Texas History” for Wednesday, June 25 thru Tuesday, July 1 is about.  If your local newspaper carries the column, be sure to read it.  If not, buy an email subscription right now on this web site.

Dallas Doctor Falls For “It Girl”

The subject of “This Week in Texas History” for Wednesday, June 11 through Tuesday, June 17 is the scandalous romance involving a handsome young doctor from Dallas and the femme fatale of the silent screen, Clara Bow.

You can read this rarely told story in your local newspaper or with your own private email subscription available on this web site.  Either way, it’s a column you don’t want to miss!

Bloody Last Act of East Texas Feud

“When the sun rose over San Augustine on June 4, 1900, two dozen or more early-bird snipers already encircled the courthouse.  The curtain was about to go up on the last act of a long-running East Texas feud.”

That is how the “This Week in Texas History” column for Wednesday, June 4 through Tuesday, June 10 begins.  Don’t miss reading it in your local newspaper or with your own private email subscription available on this web site.

Not Even Blindness Could Stop “Stovepipe”

Two years after pulling off the slickest military trick of the Civil War and only two months before he was shot in the face and blinded by his own troops, “Stovepipe” Johnson was promoted to Confederate brigadier general on June 1, 1864.

Adam Rankin Johnson could have spent the last half century of his life feeling sorry for himself.  Instead he founded the town of Marble Falls as well as several successful businesses.  You can read his whole story in the “This Week in Texas History” column for Wednesday, May 28 through Tuesday, June 3 either in your local newspaper or with a private email subscription available on this web site.

Barnstormers Fly In Circles Over Fort Worth

The “This Week in Texas History” column for Wednesday, May 14 through Tuesday, May 20 starts with:  “Hundreds of Cow Towners skipped church on Sunday, May 19, 1929 and slipped out to the municipal airport to give the “Fort Worth” a rousing send-off.”

A mechanic and a West Texas cowboy took off in an overloaded second-hand airplane in pursuit of the world record for continuous flight.  Would they succeed or die trying?

Roosevelt Rallies His “Riders” in San Antonio

“Hundreds of ‘Rough Riders’ descended on San Antonio on May 5, 1898 itching to lend Teddy Roosevelt a hand in kicking the Spaniards out of Cuba.”

That’s how the “This Week in Texas History” column for Wednesday, April 30 through Tuesday, May 6 begins.  Hope you get a chance to read it in your local newspaper.  It doesn’t carry my column?  Then you need to sign up for a private email subscription on this web site.

Big-League Pitcher Knew When To Walk Away

Proving he was in top-notch pre-war form, Boston Red Sox pitcher “Tex” Hughson won his third start in thirteen days on April 29, 1946.

That is how  the “This Week in Texas History” column for Wednesday, April 23 through Tuesday, April 29 begins.  The Buda/Kyle native was the dominant right-hander in the American League at his prime, but his arm gave out on him before he could pitch his way into the Hall of Fame.

Mysterious Case of The “Lady in Blue”

Out-of-body travel has always been a mind-boggling concept that defies the laws of nature.  The case of the “Lady in Blue,” a Spanish nun who claimed she preached the gospel to Texas Indians in the early 17th century, remains the most baffling example of this bizarre phenomenon.

This is the subject of the Wednesday, April 16 through Tuesday, April 22 installment of “This Week in Texas History,” the longest-running and most widely read newspaper feature of its kind ever.  If your local paper does not carry it, you can read each and every column with your own private email subscription available on this web site.