Vol MMXIII, No 106
April 16, 1947
Ship Explodes at Texas City. Hundreds Dead.
City Leveled by Blast
On this date in 1947, The French ship SS Grandcamp, loaded with chemicals, exploded in harbor at Texas City causing over $100 million in damages. A nearby ship carring almost 1,000 Tons of ammonium nitrate also added to the destruction. By the end of the day, 552 are dead, 200 missing, and over 3,000 injured.
Farm and Ranch Desk
Ophra speaks out against Texas Cattle
On this date in 1996, on her nationally televised talk show, Ophra Winfrey and vegetarian activist Howard Lyman suggested that feeding practices of Cattle could lead to Mad Cow disease in humans, even though there had been no reported cases of Mad Cow disease in the United States. To an enthusiast audience, Ophra exclaimed that Lyman's stories were enough for her to give up hamburgers.
Cattle prices pludged, and Texas cattlemen soon lost an estimated $11 million in beef prices. The Cattlemen sued Winfrey and Lyman under the Texas "veggie liability" law protecting the agriculture industry against false claims of tainted foods. Ophra's attorneys argued for the first amendment right to free expression of opinion.
In February 1998, a Jury found Ophra Winfrey not liable for damages to the Texas Cattle industry.
Tennessee Governor Sam Houston resigns
On this date in 1826, Tennessee Governor Sam Houston resigned after two years in office. Houston was separated after a three month marriage, and soon rejoined his adopted Cherokee family (who gave him the Indian name "The Raven" years before.)