Vol 8, No 120
April 30, 1803
Napoleon sells Louisiana to the United States
Today in Sports
Sherman's Charlie Robertson pitches Perfect Game
CHICAGO IL (1922)
In the entire 20th century, there were only 14 perfect games in major league baseball. A perfect game occurs when no batter over 9 innings gets on base. No hits, no walks, no base on errors. Cy Young was the first to pitch a perfect game. Kenny Rogers of the Texas Rangers did it in 1994.
On this date in 1922, Texas born Charlie Robinson of the Chicago White Sox pitched only the 3rd perfect game of the century, and only the fifth in major league history. It took Robertson only 90 pitches to shut out the Detroit Tigers 2-0 and enter the record books. This was only his third start as a major leaguer.
Robertson started with the Sox in 1919, but avoided the famed "Black Sox" scandle where eight players took money for throwing the World Series. Among those suspended for life were two pitchers, making room for Robertson to become a White Sox starter.
Born This Date
Willie Nelson born in Abbott
On this date in 1933, Country music legend Willie Hugh Nelson was born in Abbott, a small community north of Waco. He would go on to write many hit country songs like "Crazy" recorded by Patsy Cline and become a superstar in his own right.
Johnny Horton born in California
LOS ANGELES CA (1925)
Country great, Johnny Horton was born on this date in 1925 in California. Long time resident of Tyler, he was a regular on the Louisiana Hayride, and recorded the smash hits "The Battle of New Orleans" and "North to Alaska". He was killed Nov. 5, 1960 at the age of 35.
The Louisiana Purchase
WASHINGTON DC (1803)
On this date in 1803, the Treaty of Paris transferred sovereignty of Louisiana (the lands West of the Mississippi River and its tributaries), from France to the United States. The Spanish had relinquished Louisiana to France in 1800, but continued to bully American shippers in New Orlean shipping houses.
Originally, the United States went to France with a proposal to buy just the New Orleans area for $10 million, but when Napolean countered, offering the entire territory of Louisiana for just $15 million, negotiators, without further authority, quickly accepted. Napoleon wanted out of the America's and needed money to continue his war with Great Britain.
Thomas Jefferson, a strict Constitutional constructionist, had serious reservations about the deal, but when Napoleon almost withdrew his offer, Jefferson quickly sent the treaty to Congress for ratification. The territory, which extends from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada, and from the Rockies to the Mississippi river, 828,000 square miles, came to about 4 cents per acre. Not a bad deal, even at 1803 prices.
But what were we getting for our money? Many believed that the French territory extended as far west as the Rio Grande by virtue of the LaSalle's settlement and explorations. Emmigrants from New Orleans in the early 1800s may have used this belief to justify their entry into Texas.
The matter of the border was finally settled in 1819 by a treaty with Spain whereby the United States would give up any further claims west of the Sabine, in exchange for Spain giving up Florida. Shortly thereafter, Mexico won it's independence from Spain, and Texas became part of the Mexican State of Coahuila.
Pioneer Aviator Bessie Coleman Dies in Accident
JACKSON FL (1926)
Flying pioneer Bessie Coleman died on this date in 1926, in a accident in Jacksonville, Florida during practice for an upcoming airshow. She was tossed from the open cockpit of her plane when her co-pilot lost control.
Coleman was the first African America of either sex to be certified to fly, a dream she had since childhood. She was 34.
Texas Navy takes on Mexico to save Yucatan
CAMPECHE, YUCAT (1843)
On this date in 1843, several ships of the Texas Navy, under the command of Commodore Edwin W Moore, launched an attack against a far supperior Mexican Navy off the coast at Telchac, north of Campeche. In the weeks that followed, Moores ships, often without benefit of wind for their sails, were able to drive the Mexican's from the coast of Yucatan, an independent state, friendly to Texas.
This battle saw the Mexican navy use, for the first time anywhere use the new French designed exploding Paixhans shells. Nontheless, Texas suceeded in reopening the Yucatan to shipping. This was the only time in recorded history that sailing ships defeated steam powerered ships in battle.
It was also significant for another reason. Mexico had it's eye on the Yucatan and on Texas, hoping to reclaim both. By driving the Mexican Navy from the Yucatan, it forced Mexico to avoid further confrontation with Texas, and accept a peace initiative brokered by Britain and the United States.