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Texas Back Roads
yesterday at 23:20. Facebook
TiTH: The Town in Two States

December 08

On this day in 1873, the community of Texarkana was established, and the first store in town, a combination drug and grocery store operated by George M. Clark, opened for business.

The town is in two states, Texas and Arkansas, and near another, Louisiana; the name Texarkana combines the three state names. The strategic position of Texarkana is the...
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Texas Back Roads
12/07/2016 at 23:07. Facebook
TiTH: A Bad Citizen

December 07

On this day in 1830, Noah Smithwick was banished from Texas as "a bad citizen."

Smithwick, born in North Carolina in 1808, came to Texas in 1827 and eventually settled in San Felipe. When San Felipe authorities ordered a friend of his who was accused of murder chained with leg irons, Smithwick, a blacksmith by trade, provided a file and a gun so he might...
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Texas Back Roads
12/07/2016 at 18:36. Facebook
TiTH: Wacoan Fearlessly Defends Pearl Harbor

December 07

On this day in 1941, during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Texas native Doris Miller responded courageously to the assault.

He was serving as a mess steward on the USS West Virginia. When the ship was attacked he went on deck and manned an unattended deck gun. It was Miller's first experience firing such a weapon because black...
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Texas Back Roads
12/06/2016 at 23:07. Facebook
TiTH: The Legend of Lead Belly

December 06

On this day in 1949, blues pioneer Huddie Ledbetter, popularly known as “Lead Belly,” died in New York City.

Born in 1888, the son of a black sharecropper, Lead Belly grew up in Louisiana and East Texas before striking out on his own in 1901 to live the life of a musician. He eventually made his way to Dallas, where he met songster Blind Lemon...
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Texas Back Roads
12/05/2016 at 23:07. Facebook
TiTH: Texians Assault Mexican Garrison at Béxar

December 05

On this day in 1835, the Texas revolutionary army began its assault on the Mexican garrison at San Antonio de Béxar. Ben Milam and William Gordon Cooke gathered more than 300 volunteers to attack the town in two columns, while Edward Burleson and another 400 men forced Mexican general Martín Perfecto de Cos to keep his 570 men...
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Texas Back Roads
12/05/2016 at 03:39. Facebook
TiTH: The Deepest Well in the World

December 04

On this day in 1928, Carl G. (the Big Swede) Cromwell drilled the world's deepest oil well.

In the wake of his 1923 success with the famed Santa Rita No. 1, Cromwell had become drilling superintendent of the Texon Company's rapidly expanding field on University of Texas land in Reagan County. He also acquired his own leases and became known...
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Texas Back Roads
12/04/2016 at 03:28. Facebook
TiTH: The Life of an Outlaw

December 03

On this day in 1884, noted outlaw and cattleman Joseph Graves Olney came to an ignominious end after a colorful and controversial life. Olney, born in 1849 in Burleson County, first became embroiled in a cattle dispute and shot a man in Llano County in 1874.

The following year he killed a man named Moses Baird, thereby becoming part of the Central...
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Texas Back Roads
12/02/2016 at 23:07. Facebook
TiTH: A New Face for the $100 Note

December 2

On this day in 1862, the Confederate government issued $100 notes bearing a portrait of the renowned Southern beauty Lucy Pickens. Lucy Holcombe was born in 1832 in Tennessee. Between 1848 and 1850 the Holcombes moved to Wyalucing plantation in Marshall, Texas. Lucy became highly acclaimed throughout the South for her "classic features, titian...
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TiTH: A Star is Born

December 01

On this day in 1913, Mary Martin, musical theater star, was born in Weatherford, Texas. Family and friends encouraged Mary to perform in local theater as a child, and she began taking voice lessons at age 12.

She first achieved fame on the New York stage when she appeared in Cole Porter's production Leave It To Me. Martin's rendition of "My Heart Belongs to...
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TiTH: The Man Behind Old Man Texas

December 01

On this day in 1905, political cartoonist John Francis Knott began his career with the Dallas Morning News. Born in Austria, Knott grew up in Iowa and honed his drawing skills in Chicago before journeying to Dallas, where he illustrated harness and saddlery catalogs. He met Morning News managing editor and artist D. Prescott Toomey and went to...
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TiTH: Memoirist Killed in Attempt to Save Bastrop Sheriff

November 30

On this day in 1890, soldier and memoirist John Holland Jenkins was killed in a gunfight in Bastrop in an attempt to save his son, the sheriff, from an ambush.

Jenkins, born in Alabama in 1822, was a man of little education but learned to write in a vigorous and cultivated style. He and his family came to Texas in 1828 or...
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TiTH: Texas Gets Privateers to Guard the Coast

November 29

On this date in 1835, Samuel Whiting, who later published a number of newspapers in Texas during the period of the republic, was granted six blank commissions or letters of marque to outfit privateers at New Orleans.

Just four days previously, the General Council had passed a bill providing for the issuance of letters of marque to...
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Nicholas is a petty officer stationed out in California. He reached out just to say that he and his scouts were fans of Texas Back Roads. We wanted to send them a little something to say thanks.

Nicholas, I've got some stickers on the way.
TiTH: The Death of Gideon Lincecum

November 28

On this day in 1874, physician and naturalist Gideon Lincecum died at his Long Point home. The self-educated Lincecum, born in Georgia in 1793, moved in 1818 with his wife and family to Mississippi, where he began practicing medicine.

In 1835 he joined an exploring expedition to Texas, during which he studied the fauna in the vicinity of Eagle...
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TiTH: Texan Immigrant First to Receive Medal of Honor

November 27

On this day in 1944, Macario García distinguished himself on the battlefield near Grosshau, Germany, while serving with the 4th Infantry Division. Though wounded in the shoulder and foot, he single-handedly assaulted two German machine-gun emplacements and destroyed them, killing six enemy soldiers and capturing four. Only...
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TiTH: The Texas Tycoon with two Wives

November 26

On this day in 1930, his wedding anniversary, H. L. Hunt made a deal with "Dad" Joiner that made him the owner of Daisy Bradford No. 3 and all Joiner's surrounding leases in the East Texas Oilfield.

Hunt had got his start in the oil industry in El Dorado, Arkansas. He used money from an El Dorado clothier, P. G. Lake, to buy out Joiner in...
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TiTH: Texas Gets a Navy

November 25

On this day in 1835, the first Texas Navy was established when the General Council authorized the purchase of four schooners and granted letters of marque and reprisal to privateers until the ships were armed. Established to protect the supply line to New Orleans, the navy included the 60-ton Liberty, the 125-ton Independence, the 125-ton Brutus, and the...
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TiTH: Texas Rangers Made Official

November 24

On this day in 1835, Republic of Texas lawmakers instituted a special force known as the Texas Rangers. Stephen F. Austin had hired ten experienced frontiersmen as "rangers" as early as 1823, but the 1835 legislation formalized the organization.

The importance of the rangers has waxed and waned several times over the ensuing century and a half....
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TiTH: West Texas Sand Dunes

November 24

On this day in 1957, Monahans Sandhills State Park officially opened. It is located on Park Road 41 near Interstate Highway 20 in northeast Ward and southeast Winkler counties, six miles northeast of Monahans. It comprises 3,840 acres of sand dunes that are a part of a dune field stretching north into New Mexico.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife...
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TiTH: First Artificial Bypass Performed in Houston

November 23

On this day in 1964, Dr. Michael DeBakey and his team performed the world's first successful coronary artery bypass graft surgery in Houston.

DeBakey, Denton Cooley, and many others in Houston revolutionized cardiovascular surgery by developing new techniques for the treatment of patients with congenital anomalies, aneurysms,...
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