Texas Landmarks and Legacies - Today in Texas History
Vol 8, No 322 November 18, 1999 Thursday Evening
Aggie Bonfire Collapses, Many Feared Dead
Today in Sports
Football Great Davey O'Brien dies at age 60.
FORT WORTH Click Here to follow "Davey O'Brien" back in Time (1977)    On this date in 1977, football great, Davey O'Brien died in Fort Worth of cancer. O'Brien receivd the 1938 Heisman Trophy, and played two years with the Philadelphia Eagles. Shortly before his death, long time friends help to establish the Davey O'Brien Foundation and the O'Brien Memorial Trophy, for outstanding college quarterbacks.    More about "Davey O'Brien" on the Web

Obituaries
Doug Sahm of the Sir Douglas Quintet dies
ALBUQUERQUE NM Click Here to follow "Doug Sahm" back in Time  (1999)     On this date in 1999, San Antonio native, Doug Sahm, lead singer of the Sir Douglas Quintet dies at age 58 in New Mexico. To the public, his band looked British, but they were all Tex-Mex. Their biggest hit, "She's About a Mover" hit number 13 on Billboards top 100 in 1965 during the British music invasion. See "Doug Sahm" Page 1D
Football Great Davey O'Brien dies at age 60.
FORT WORTH Click Here to follow "Davey O'Brien" back in Time  (1977)     On this date in 1977, football great, Davey O'Brien died in Fort Worth of cancer. O'Brien receivd the 1938 Heisman Trophy, and played two years with the Philadelphia Eagles. Shortly before his death, long time friends help to establish the Davey O'Brien Foundation and the O'Brien Memorial Trophy, for outstanding college quarterbacks. See "Davey O'Brien" Page 1D

Bonfire Kills Workers
COLLEGE STATION Click Here to follow "Texas A&M" back in Time(1999)Click Here to follow "Texas A&M" forward in Time  For 90 years, students at Texas A&M lit a huge bonfire prior to the football game with the University of Texas. The Bonfire of late, was made of logs brought in from East Texas and in 1969 the bonfire set a world record in height.
   At 2:00 AM on November 18th 1999, the wedding cake arrangement of approximately 5,000 logs had reached 40 feet. It was at that time that the logs shifted, and the structure collapsed killing 12 students and injuring 27 others. Heavy equipment was brought in to help with the rescue effort, but many of the logs had to be removed by hand for fear of further injury to victims.
   The incident gripped the nation. Over 50 satellite news trucks descended upon the site, and the nation watched as victims were pulled from the debris. John Comstock was the last person pulled alive from the debris. His leg would require amputation. Later he returned to A&M graduating in 2001.
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Education Desk
AMC of Texas holds its first Bonfire
COLLEGE STATION Click Here to follow "Texas A&M" back in Time (1907) Click Here to follow "Texas A&M" forward in Time  On this date in 1907, students at Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M) held their first bonfire. At that time, Bonfire was little more than a trash heap. Freshmen were expected to build the bonfire, oftentimes gathering wood from illicit sources.
   In 1935 a local farmer reported that his barn has been taken for the bonfire. By the 1940s, Bonfire was the biggest event of the football season. The 1942 filming of the movie "We've Never Been Licked" had Bonfire change to a series of logs in a tee-pee shape, and by 1952, Bonfire was constructed exclusively of fresh cut logs.
   The 1963 Bonfire was dismantled out of respect to the recent assassination of President Kennedy. Later in the 1960s, Bonfire was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest bonfire in the world. In 1978 the tee-pee shape gave way to a wedding-cake shape and buildings near Bonfire were equipped with roof-top fire protection systems.
   In 1999, the collapse of the Bonfire "stack" caused the death of 12, injuring 27 others. Today, Bonfire is a private off-campus event, sponsored by ticket sales.
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