Tag Archives: LBJ

Austin’s Landmark Hotel Built By a Cattle Baron

Jesse Driskill, a cattleman who made a fortune feeding the Confederate Army beef, hosted the grand opening of the Austin hotel that bore his name on December 20, 1886.

Driskill lost money on his pet project and in 1888 lost the hotel altogether in a poker game.  The Driskill was closed as much as it was open until another cattle baron, George Littlefield, bought the place in 1895.  The Austin landmark was Lyndon Johnson’s second home, where he took Lady Bird on their first date and where he watched the returns on Election Night 1964.

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.

“Pappy” Wins Senate Seat in “Long Count”

In the special election held on June 28, 1941 to fill the seat left empty by the death of longtime Senator Morris Sheppard, Lyndon Baines Johnson led Gov. W. Lee O’Daniel by 5,000 votes when he decided to turn in for the night.

After all, the young congressman reasoned, how could “Pass the Biscuits, Pappy” catch him with 96 per cent of the ballots tabulated?  But the totals kept trickling in from East Texas, and by the time the winner was declared three days later it was O’Daniel by 1,300 votes.