Vol 8, No 90
March 30, 1892
First Train crosses Pecos River High Bridge
Pecos High Bridge Opens
On this date in 1892, the first train crossed the Pecos High Bridge near Comstock. The bridge, for many years the highest railroad bridge in North America, replaces a lower bridge located at the mouth of the Pecos, which required a long trip down the canyon called the "Loop Line." In order to eliminate the Loop Line, a high bridge was built in 1892 five miles upstream.
Completed on Febuary 20th after only 87 days, it carried the first train and Southern Pacific president C P Huntington, opening this new faster route for the Sunset Limited across the Pecos River.
With the opening of the new High Brige, and this final segment of the Sunset Route, travelers and immigrants could travel by train from the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Ocean, cutting their travel time by weeks or often months.
John Denver's Sunshine Hits No 1
NEW YORK CITY (1974)
On this date in 1974, "Sunshine on My Shoulder" became John Denver's first No 1 hit as a performer. Earlier in 1969, his song, "Leaving on a Jetplane" propelled Peter, Paul, and Mary to their only No 1 hit.
Denver was born Henry John Deutschendorf Jr, the son of an Air Force pilot "Dutch" Deutschendorf. Denver graduated from Fort Worth's Arlington Heights High School, before taking on his stage name, his superstar career.
Denver joined the Mitchell Trio, replacing Chad Mitchell, adding his touch to the group's satircal theme.
With his new singing and writing fame, Denver soon broke out on his own, recording the hit "Take Me Home, Country Roads" with Fat City. What followed was a career which included his music, television and movies.
Texas army receives training near San Felipe
SAN FELIPE (1836)
On this date in 1836, the Texas Army under General Sam Houston began two weeks of training at camp "Bernardo" on Groce's Plantation near San Felipe. The town of San Felipe was burned the day before by the Texas Army to prevent the advancing Mexican army from resupplying. Eventually, under threat of the advancing Mexican Army, Houston lead his army eastward, eventually engaging them at San Jacinto.
As the Texans are training just on the west side of the River, Santa Anna is at Thompson's Ferry, just a few miles downstream, preparing to cross the Brazos. Rain and a swollen river prevent the Mexican Army from crossing the river and engaging the Texans at San Groce's Plantation.
On the 14th, the Texas army broke camp and headed for San Jacinto. Leonard Groce, owner of the plantation where the Texans were being trained, was the son of Jared Groce who in 1822 establish the Cotton industry in Texas.
Texas Readmitted to the Union following Civil War
WASHINGTON DC (1870)
On this date in 1870, President Ulysses S Grant signed a bill into law, readmitting Texas to the Union.
Before readmission, Texas had to ratify the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the US Constitution, and adopt a new state constitution providing voting rights to all male citizens regardless of race. Military rule hereby is ended in Texas, and the term "provisional" is dropped from the titles of Texas officeholders. Texas was the last state readmitted to the Union.
Transcontinental RR Company acquired by T&P
On this date in 1872, just months after surveying began, the newly chartered Southern Transcontinental Railroad was acquired by the Texas Pacific Railroad.
The Charter of the STRR was to build the southern Trans-Continental Railroad across Texas to Arizona. In 1881, the new owners (Texas and Pacific Railroad), turned their route southward in West Texas to meet the Southern Pacific (under GH&SA RR), at Sierra Blanca in Hudspeth County.
The Southern Pacific line was complete from that point westward to Los Angeles, making this December 1881 connection the nations second Transcontinental Railroad.
Tornados hit East Texas
On this date in 1933, tornados hit Angelina, Nacogdoches and San Augustine counties, killing 10, injuring 56.