Category Archives: Uncategorized

Owls Gives Bear Bryant Going-Away Present

On November 16, 1957, the same Saturday the rumor surfaced that Aggie coach Bear Bryant might leave College Station for Alabama, King Hill led Rice to a 7-6 upset of Texas A&M, the top-ranked college football team in the country.

The Owls went to win Jess Neely’s fourth and final Southwest Conference crown.  First-place Rice finished the 1957 season at eighth in the AP poll followed by Texas at 11th and A&M at 9th.

Connally Decides Against Another Term as Governor

John Connally announced on November 10, 1967 that he had “reluctantly concluded” he would not seek a fourth term as governor of Texas. 

In 1971 Connally joined President Nixon’s cabinet as secretary of treasury.  The following year, he chaired “Democrats for Nixon” declaring party loyalty sometimes “asks too much,” in this case support for nominee George McGovern.  Then in 1973, three months after LBJ died, the Texan officially switched parties.  Republicans, however, saw him as a Johnny-come-lately and turned thumbs down on his presidential bid in 1980.

Voters Crush Taft’s Hopes of Carrying Texas in 1912

Only a tiny fraction of the many thousands of Texans, who flocked to see President William Howard Taft on his tour of the Lone Star State three years earlier, cast their ballots for the incumbent on November 5, 1912.

The Republican was so encouraged by the big turnout that he told his staff he might win Texas the next time.  Instead, Democrat Woodrow Wilson beat him seven to one as the 300-pound Taft, who carried just Vermont and Utah, outpolled Teddy Roosevelt and Socialist Eugene Debs in a photo-finish for second place.

Welles Meets Wells at Texas Radio Station

H.G. Welles, the Englishman who wrote “War of the Worlds,” and Orson Welles, the American who scared the dickens out of listeners with his radio adaptation of the sci-fi classic, met at a San Antonio radio station on October 29, 1940.

The encounter was strictly a coincidence.  Both men were passing through the Alamo City on lecture tours, and neither knew the other had been booked for an on-air interview at the same time.

U.S. Government Smuggles Nazi Scientists into Texas

By October 15, 1945, the U.S. government had begun smuggling Nazi scientists across the Rio Grande as part of the secret “Project Paperclip.”

Ever wonder how NASA wound up with so many Germans on the payroll?  “This Week in Texas History” for Wednesday, October 9 through Tuesday, October 15 answers that intriguing question.

You can read all about it in your local newspaper or with a private email subscription that is available on this website.

“Babe” Was the Best There Ever Was

President Eisenhower joined the nation on September 27, 1956 in mourning the death from cancer of Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias, the incomparable athlete who excelled at every sport she tried.

Born in Port Arthur and raised in Beaumont, “Babe” burst on the scene at the 1932 Summer Olympics, where she won gold in the 80-meter hurdles and javelin and was cheated out of the gold medal that was rightfully hers in the high jump.  She could play any sport from basketball to softball and baseball and golf.  The Associated Press named “Babe” the ninth greatest athlete of either gender for the Twentieth Century.

Something You Gotta See to Believe!

Just got back from four days in Austin, where I saw among things the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.  It has been open since 2001, but I just got around to seeing it as a belated Father’s Day present from my son, Brett.

After wandering the three floors for more than five and a half hours, I can only say I wish I had visited the museum sooner.  The layout and organization of exhibits is nothing less than pure creative genius.  You do not have to be a Texas History buff much less a professional like myself to enjoy the experience while learning a heck of lot in the process. 

I encourage everyone, Texans of every description and folks just passing through, to put the Texas State History Museum on their must-see list.  You won’t be disappointed.

Governor Declares Martial Law in Longview

After weeks of escalating racial tension and violent outbursts in Longview, Gov. William P. Hobby placed the East Texas town and all of Gregg County under martial law on July 13, 1919.  To show he meant business, the governor sent in eight Rangers and three units of National Guard.

The mob violence in Longview, which claimed the lives of two black men, was one of 25 race riots in the “Red Summer” of 1919.  Texas experienced nothing on the scale of the Chicago riot that lasted for 13 days and resulted in 38 deaths.

Oilman Marries Not One But Two Hollywood Beauties

Houston oilman W. Howard Lee married actress Gene Tierney on July 11, 1960. 

Lee’s first wife was also a movie star, Austrian-born Hedy Lamarr, known as “the most beautiful woman in Europe” before coming to Hollywood.  That tumultuous marriage lasted six years, but Tierney, a knockout in her own right, remained the tycoon’s wife until the day he died in 1981.

Welcome to the New Bartee Haile dot Com

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present to you the new home of Bartee Haile and his popular column, This Week in Texas History.

My name’s Brett. I’m his son and web administrator and, while I won’t be posting too often, I will from time to time when there’s news about the site, not unlike today.

Here you can expect Bartee to regularly post about how Texas and Texans are currently affecting the world around us. He’ll update you on the comings and goings of his column and even drop little morsels of history right here on these pages.

Thanks for reading. Giving y’all a new, brighter and more active place to visit was our goal. We hope you enjoy!