Texas Landmarks and Legacies - Today in Texas History
Vol MMXVII, No 99 April 8, 1976 Thursday Evening
Folk Singer/Writer Phil Ochs Dead at 35
Ochs Hangs Himself
NEW YORK CITY Click Here to follow "Phil Ochs" back in Time(1976)   On this date in 1976, El Paso native Phil Ochs, singer, song writer and peace activist, hanged himself in the home of his sister in Far Rockaway, New York. He was only 35. Och is best remembered through his songs. One favorite, "There But for Fortune" was a major hit for folk singer Joan Baez in 1965. More of "Phil Ochs" on the Web
Business Desk
de Leon petitions to found colony in Texas
MEXICO CITY   (1824)    On this date in 1824, Martin de Leon applied to the Mexican government for permission to establish a colony in Texas.

Capitol Desk
James Long killed by Mexican Guard
MEXICO CITY Click Here to follow "Jane Long" back in Time (1822)    On this date in 1822, a guard in Mexico City accidentally shot and killed James Long. Long was captured at La Bahia after mounting a raid in hopes of driving the Mexicans from Texas and declare an independant Republic of Texas.
   Unknown to Long, his wife who was abandoned by Long and the remaining settlers on the Bolivar Peninsula, had given birth to his third child.


City Desk
Sam Houston is granted a divorce from Eliza Allen
NACOGDOCHES Click Here to follow "Sam Houston" back in Time (1837) Click Here to follow "Sam Houston" forward in Time  On this date in 1837, Sam Houston received a long awaited divorce from Eliza Allen. Under the laws of pre-revolutionary Texas under Mexico, divorces were illegal, but now as President of the new Republic of Texas, Houston approved a law legalizing divorce. The object of his affections for four years was Anna Raguet, but Anna didn't approve of his scruples and methods he used to secure his divorce from Eliza Allen, so she left Houston, and later married Robert Irion.

National Desk
Padre Island National Seashore dedicated
CORPUS CHRISTI   (1968)    On this date in 1968, Lady Bird Johnson dedicated Padre Island National Seashore, the longest remaining undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world.

Political Desk
Jean Laffite establishes a government in Galveston
GALVESTON Click Here to follow "Laffite" back in Time (1817) Click Here to follow "Laffite" forward in Time  On this date in 1817, Jean Laffite, privateer, and menace to shipping along the gulf coast, organized a government for Galveston. A week later Laffite's officers swore allegiance to Mexico in it's struggle against Spanish rule.   More about "Laffite" on the Web

13th Amendment passed in the US House
WASHINGTON DC Click Here to follow "Civil Rights" back in Time (1864) Click Here to follow "Civil Rights" forward in Time  The Emancipation Proclamation ordered by President Lincoln in January, effectively freed slaves only in those regions still at war with the United States. Lincoln worded it very carefully because he knew that the President alone did not have the power to change the law of the land. So Lincoln used his war powers to pass the proclamation to apply the executive order only to those states still at war with the Union. The effect was, that as the Union marched farther into slave holding areas, they were followed by former slaves freed from their masters. By the end of the Civil War, there were no slaves by virtue of the Union defeating the South and freeing the slaves. However, it would take a Constitutional Amendment to make the reality on the ground in the south, the law of the Nation. On this date in 1864, the 13th Amendment which permanently bans slavery, passed the US House of Representatives.   More about "Civil Rights" on the Web

Weather Desk
Hill Country Hit by Powerful Storms
AUSTIN   (1900)    On this date in 1900 and for five days after, the Texas hill country is hit by floods from major storms in the area. McDonald Dam in Austin crumbles, releasing a wall of water upon the city, killing 23 and causing over $1 million in damage.

Tornado hits Rowena (Runnels Co)
LUBBOCK Click Here to follow "Tornados" back in Time (1922) Click Here to follow "Tornados" forward in Time  On this date in 1922, a tornado kills 52 people in Rowena (Runnels County).