This Day In Texas History - May 16

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This Day In Texas History - May 16


Post by joe817 » Thu May 16, 2019 9:20 am

1837 - The early settlers of Fannin County in Northeast Texas faced many difficulties with Indians, particularly with the Cherokees and their Twelve Associated Bands. The first skirmish took place on May 16, 1837, when settlers attacked a band of Indians made up of various groups. Tension had been mounting as the Indians grew less friendly with the rapid influx of white settlers and the resulting damage to hunting. The Indians retaliated with constant raids of their own in which settlers were killed and livestock stolen. Stories describe brutal attacks of Indians on cabins and travelers. Residents of Fannin County were infuriated particularly by the Indians' practice of mutilating dead bodies, and their indiscriminate killing of women and children. Skirmishes with the Indians continued over the next six years until the Treaty of Bird's Fort(in present day Arlington) was signed by Edward H. Tarrant with the Tehuacanas, Keechis, Wacos, Caddoes, Anadarcos, and others. This treaty, for the most part, ended Indian hostilities.
[as an anecdote on Bird's Fort: ]

1839 - The Matagorda Colorado Gazette and Advertiser, printed its first issue on this day, with W. Donaldson as editor.

1843 - Two ships of the Texas Navy--the sloop-of-war Austin and the brig Wharton--won a decisive victory in a return engagement with two Mexican ships off the coast of the Yucatán. The Austin and the Wharton chased the powerful new Mexican steam warship Moctezuma and steam frigate Guadaloupe some fourteen miles before the Austin, having sustained seventeen hits to hull and rigging, withdrew to Campeche. The Austin, commanded by Edwin Ward Moore, and the Wharton, under John T. K. Lothrop, had sailed from New Orleans in April hoping to engage the Moctezuma and to break up a rumored amphibious assault on Galveston Island. The two Texas ships had first engaged the Moctezuma and the Guadaloupe on April 30. Their second encounter, a little more than two weeks later, was a clear victory for the Texans and was immortalized in an engraving on the cylinder of the famed Colt Navy revolver.

1869 - A group of twelve cowboys, besieged by Comanches northwest of what is now Jean, held their attackers at bay for an entire day while pinned down in a buffalo wallow on the Salt Creek Prairie. Salt Creek Prairie, once known as "the most dangerous prairie in Texas," is a rolling, intermittently timbered prairie extending about nine miles on either side of Salt Creek in Young County from Fort Belknap to Rock Creek near the Young-Jack county line. It was crossed by the Butterfield Overland Mail and was long a favorite area for Comanche and Kiowa war parties striking south from the Fort Sill area to waylay travelers and attack settlers. Some twenty-one graves were dug on the prairie for victims of Indian attacks over a four-year period in the early 1870s.

1883 - Due to the persistence of the Texas Veterans Association and others, the legislature appropriated $1,500 for acquiring the ground on which the San Jacinto Monument had been erected, and on May 16, 1883, ten acres of land were bought for the San Jacinto Battleground and State Historic Park. :txflag:

1888 – The present state capitol building in Austin was opened after seven years of planning and construction.

1898 - Theodore Roosevelt joined his regiment, the First United States Volunteer Cavalry( better known as the "Rough Riders") in San Antonio on May 16. There, encamped in what is now Roosevelt Park, it learned drill and discipline. The men, their lieutenant colonel wrote, were pleased to have been organized and trained "in the city where the Alamo commemorates the death fight of Crockett, Bowie, and their famous band of frontier heroes." The regiment also purchased its horses in Texas. These animals "were not showy," Roosevelt wrote, "but they were tough and hardy" and made excellent cavalry mounts.

1902 - Texas Ranger Anderson Yancey Baker killed suspected cattle rustler Ramón de la Cerda, thus touching off a feud that cost the lives of several more men. Ramón, his brother Alfredo, and their father owned the Francisco de Asís Ranch, which bordered the famous King Ranch. Their father was killed in 1900 by a Brownsville policeman. In 1901 the brothers were arrested and charged with rustling cattle from the King Ranch and changing the King brand from "W" to "Bar-W." In May 1902 Ramón was in the process of branding cattle on King's El Saenz pasture when Baker killed him in an exchange of gunfire. The incident provoked newspaper charges of abuse on the part of the rangers, and led to a series of gunfights that left one ranger and two Mexican Americans dead and one ranger wounded. In the final episode of the feud ranger Baker was acquitted of the murder of the Cerda brothers in 1903. He went on to become the political boss of Hidalgo County.

1924 - Dallas millionaire, J.L.Lancaster was named president of the ailing Texas and Pacific Railroad which ran through Dallas from Louisiana to El Paso.

1942 - Oveta Culp Hobby is sworn in as head of the WAACS.

1953 - San Marcos Army Air Field was renamed Gary Air Force Base in honor of 2d Lt. Arthur Edward Gary, the first San Marcos resident killed in World War II. Gary was killed when Japanese bombers attacked Clark Field in the Philippines on December 7, 1941. Gary AFB was transferred to the army in 1956 and became Camp Gary. At the time of its closure in December 1963, the base consisted of 2,282 acres, 750 buildings, 1.7 million square feet of floor space, barracks space for 1,100 men, family housing for 108 families, five runways, and seven taxiways. The site is now used by the San Marcos Airport and by the Gary Job Corps Center.

1964 - An order from the Board of Regents of the University of Texas, sets September 1st as the deadline that all dormitories and dining halls would be desegregated. 150 students at the time were black. In 1949, Marion Sweatt, a black man, filed lawsuit against the University of Texas, after being denied acceptance to the UT Law School. Under existing "Separate but Equal" laws (also known as Jim Crow laws), segregation was legal providing that facilities were equal for both blacks and whites but Texas had no public law school for blacks. Sweatt's case was upheld in 1954 by the United States Supreme Court. But it wasn't until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that racial descrimination in laws, facilities and accomodations was outlawed, thus putting an end to officially sanctioned segregation.

1968 - 400 students at Edgewood High School in San Antonio held a walkout and demonstration, and marched to the district administration office. Ninety percent of the students in the Edgewood district were of Mexican origin. Among the students' grievances were insufficient supplies and the lack of qualified teachers. On July 10 of the same year, Demetrio Rodríguez and seven other Edgewood parents filed suit on behalf of Texas schoolchildren who were poor or resided in school districts with low property-tax bases. The resulting class action, Rodríguez v. San Antonio ISD, was a landmark case in which a federal district court declared the Texas school-finance system unconstitutional.
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