Texas Back Roads
yesterday at 23:07. Facebook
TiTH: Mexican Soldier Joins Texas Revolution

February 22

On this day in 1836, former Mexican soldier Nepomuceno Navarro cast his lot with the Texas revolutionaries by enlisting in Juan N. Seguín's company of Tejanos.

The company served as rear guard for General Houston's army, and Navarro served with Seguín at the battle of San Jacinto.

For his participation in the Texas Revolution, he...
View details ⇨
Texas Back Roads
02/21/2017 at 23:07. Facebook
TiTH: Infamous Judge Roy Bean Promotes Famous Boxing Bout

February 21

On this day in 1896, colorful lawman Roy Bean staged a heavyweight championship fight on a sandbar just below Langtry, on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande.

Bean, known as the “Law West of the Pecos,” was appointed as the justice of the peace for Pecos County in 1882. He settled at Eagle’s Nest Springs, which acquired a...
View details ⇨
Texas Back Roads
02/20/2017 at 23:21. Facebook
TiTH: First Black Sheriff in U.S. Elected Texas Senator

February 20

On this day in 1874, after considering a challenge from his Democratic opponents, the Texas Senate confirmed the election of Walter Moses Burton.

Burton was brought to Texas as a slave from North Carolina in 1850 at the age of twenty-one. He belonged to a Fort Bend planter, Thomas Burke Burton, who taught him how to read...
View details ⇨
Texas Back Roads
02/20/2017 at 02:26. Facebook
TiTH: Indian Captive Reunited with Husband

February 19

On this day in 1838, Indian captive Rachel Plummer was reunited with her husband after spending over a year with the Comanches.

Born Rachel Parker in Illinois in 1819, she moved to Texas with her father, James W. Parker, and her family and married Luther Plummer in 1833.

In May 1836, their settlement was attacked by a large group of...
View details ⇨
Texas Back Roads
02/18/2017 at 23:07. Facebook
TiTH: First Plane to Fly in Texas?

February 18

On this day in 1910, 107 years ago, a Frenchman, Louis Paulhan, made the first recorded airplane flight in Texas.

The first people in the state to fly, in the 1860s, were air-show balloonists and their passengers, although several inventors were also busy with plans for winged flying machines. The alleged flight of Jacob F. Brodbeck in 1865 has...
View details ⇨
Texas Back Roads
02/18/2017 at 01:47. Facebook
TiTH: Army Vessel Burns Near Freeport

February 17

On this day in 1913, the Comstock caught fire off the mouth of the Brazos River. The hydraulic hopper dredge General C. B. Comstock was built for the United States Army Corps of Engineers in 1895 and named for Cyrus B. Comstock, a prominent nineteenth-century corps of engineers officer.

The Comstock was ordered for service in Galveston and...
View details ⇨
Texas Back Roads
02/16/2017 at 23:07. Facebook
TiTH: Lone Survivor Found

February 16

On this day in 1599, Jusepe Gutiérrez, the lone survivor of the Bonilla expedition, was found by Spanish explorer Juan de Oñate.

Francisco Leyva de Bonilla, a Portuguese captain in the service of Spain, was dispatched in 1594 by Governor Diego de Velasco of Nueva Vizcaya to pursue beyond the frontiers of that state a rebellious band of Indians that had...
View details ⇨
Texas Back Roads
02/16/2017 at 00:05. Facebook
TiTH: The New Law of the Land

February 15

On this day in 1876, citizens of Texas adopted the Constitution of 1876. They ratified it by a vote of 136,606 to 56,652.

The document is the sixth constitution by which Texas has been governed since declaring independence from Mexico.

Among the longest of U.S. state constitutions, the Constitution of 1876 reflects the earlier influences of Spanish...
View details ⇨
TiTH: A Town After Your Own Heart

February 14

On this day in 1882, the town of Valentine, Texas, was founded and named when a Southern Pacific Railroad crew building east from El Paso reached the point where a new water and fuel depot would be needed.

Valentine, in Jeff Davis County, is 36 miles west of Fort Davis, halfway between Marfa and Van Horn. The trains started running in 1883, and...
View details ⇨
TiTH: The Highwayman, Outlaw, and Cricket

February 13

On this day in 2002, country music icon Waylon Jennings died from diabetes.

Waylon Jennings was born near Littlefield, Texas, on June 15, 1937, on the J. W. Bittner farm, where his father was working as a tenant farmer. The family later moved to Littlefield, where his father ran a produce store.

Waylon learned to play the guitar at the...
View details ⇨
TiTH: Legendary Texas Ranger "Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas

February 13

On this day in 1977, the legendary Texas Ranger M. T. "Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas died in Dallas at the age of 85. Gonzaullas was born in 1891 to a Spanish father and Canadian mother.

He was a major in the Mexican army by the age of 20, then a special agent for the U.S. Treasury Department for five years. He joined the Texas Rangers...
View details ⇨
TiTH: 61 Die on Caddo Lake

February 12

On this day in 1869, 61 men, women, and children died when the sidewheel steamboat Mittie Stephens caught fire on Caddo Lake during a run from New Orleans to Jefferson, Texas.

The boat had been plying the New Orleans-Red River route since 1866. At that time Jefferson was the head of navigation via Caddo Lake due to the great log raft that obstructed...
View details ⇨
TiTH: Mutiny in the Texas Navy

February 11

On this date in 1842, the first and only mutiny in the Texas Navy began.

The schooner San Antonio was anchored in the Mississippi River at New Orleans. Although the high-ranking officers were ashore, the sailors and marines were confined aboard because of fear of desertion. But they evidently got drunk on smuggled liquor and, under marine sergeant...
View details ⇨
TiTH: Oldest Living Survivor of the Alamo Died Today

February 10

On this day in 1899, Andrea Castañón Villanueva (Madam Candelaria), who claimed to be a survivor of the battle of the Alamo, died at age 113 in San Antonio.

She said she had been born in Laredo in 1785 though other sources say she was born at Presidio del Río Grande. She came to San Antonio when she was about twenty-five and...
View details ⇨
IT ALL HAPPENS TONIGHT!

Tonight we’re in a for a triple treat! Weather permitting, over the course of Friday night, we’ll be able to see a snow moon, a penumbral eclipse, and a comet!

On their own, each one of these events is pretty cool, but to have all three in the same night is nothing short of remarkable.

Here’s the lowdown on what’s happening and when:

SNOW MOON:

Every full moon has...
View details ⇨
TiTH: Jazz Man Dead at 29

February 09

On this day in 1939, the saxophonist and composer Herschel Evans died of heart disease in New York City.

Evans, a native of Denton, Texas, was only 29 years old at the time of his death but had already established a formidable reputation in the jazz world.

His cousin Eddie Durham, himself a legendary musician, convinced a young Evans to switch from...
View details ⇨
TiTH: Death of Fort Worth Marshal Ushers in the End of Red Light District

February 08

On this day in 1887, "Long Hair Jim" Courtright, former town marshal of Fort Worth, was killed in a gunfight with Luke Short.

This was one of the most famous gunfights in western history--and, contrary to the movie legends, one of the few face-to-face shootouts.

The duel was the first of two events that...
View details ⇨
TiTH: Brigadier General Wounds His Replacement in Duel

February 07

On this day in 1837, Brig. Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston was wounded in a duel by Brig. Gen. Felix Huston.

Johnston had been sent by President Sam Houston to replace Huston as commander of the Texas army.

Huston considered the lack of confidence in his leadership such an affront that, in spite of his esteem for the senior...
View details ⇨
This is a gorgeous shot of the sun rising over the Rio Grande in Big Bend. And while beautiful shots like this are pristine moments frozen in time, they betray the story behind what it took to get the shot.

They don't tell about the early wake up, the hour-long drive from Terlingua, the 20-minute hike in the dark up vertical climbs, traversing over loose rocks though prickly cacti with 50...
View details ⇨
TiTH: Next Stop Galveston & the Vanishing of Virginia Point

February 06

On this day in 1860, the Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railroad completed its bridge from Virginia Point to Galveston Island. Virginia Point, on the mainland west of Galveston, was an outlying part of Stephen F. Austin's Coast Colony.

The bridge brought growth, as it facilitated traffic between Galveston and Houston....
View details ⇨