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Words of Wisdom

"Time is what we want most, but what we use the worst."
~William Penn

Monday, June 13, 2011

Moments in Texas History ~ 6/13/2011


President signs appropriation for Texas aviation station
June 13, 1940
On this day in 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the $25 million appropriations bill for the Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi. Construction began on June 30, and the dedication was held on March 12, 1941. The station, at Flour Bluff, eventually occupied 20,000 acres in three counties. It initially trained naval pilots, navigators, gunners, and radio operators. By 1948, when the station became a permanent military installation, it was home to the Naval Air Advanced Training Command. The precision flight team the Blue Angels was headquartered there from 1949 to 1955. In 1959 the navy converted the major repair facility to the army's Aeronautical Depot Maintenance Center, while the navy continued to train flight crews for multiengine land and sea planes. In 1986 the station's airfield was named Truax Field, in honor of Lt. Myron Milton Truax, United States Navy. In 2001 the base served as home to several navy commands, including the Chief of Naval Air Training.

"Father of black Baptists in Texas" dies in La Marque
June 13, 1898
On this day in 1898, Israel S. Campbell died in La Marque. Campbell was born in Kentucky in 1815 and came to Texas as a missionary in 1866. In 1867 he reorganized the African Baptist Church (now the Avenue L Baptist Church) in Galveston, the first completely independent black Baptist congregation in Texas after emancipation. In 1868 Campbell and John Henry Yates helped organize the Regular Missionary Lincoln Baptist Association, the first association of black Baptists in Texas. Campbell also wrote the constitution for the Baptist State Missionary Convention in 1872. By the time of his retirement, in 1891, he was popularly known as the father of black Baptists in Texas.

Fraudulent petition seeks organization of Loving County
June 13, 1893
On this day in 1893, the organizers of the Loving Canal and Irrigation Company filed a petition with the Reeves County Commissioners Court requesting separate organization for Loving County. In 1887 the Texas legislature had separated Loving County from Tom Green County, but it remained attached to Reeves County for judicial purposes. Loving County is the only Texas county to be organized twice. The first organization appears to have been a scheme to defraud on the part of the organizers. Although the 1890 United States census reported a population of only three in Loving County, the petition filed with the Reeves County Commissioners Court three years later was signed by 150 allegedly qualified voters. In the ensuing county election eighty-three votes were reported, and county organization was approved. In the spring of 1894, however, only three people were found to be living in Mentone, the county seat.

Loving County reportedly held a second election of county officials in November 1894, but there is evidence that neither election was legitimate. The legislature deorganized Loving County in 1897, reattaching it to Reeves County. After Mentone was abandoned in 1897, no town existed in Loving County. The 1900 census reported a county population of eleven females and twenty-two males, all white. With the discovery of oil in the county in the 1920s, the population grew, and the county was organized a second time in 1931. The oil town of Ramsey was renamed Mentone and became the county seat.

First Texan on U.S. Supreme Court dies in New York City
June 13, 1977
On this day in 1977, Thomas Campbell Clark, the first Texan to serve on the United States Supreme Court, died in New York City. Clark, born in Dallas in 1899, joined the Roosevelt administration in 1937 as an assistant to the United States attorney general. During World War II he coordinated and directed the relocation and incarceration of American citizens of Japanese ancestry, which he later recalled as one of his biggest mistakes. Clark became attorney general to President Truman in 1945. In 1949 he was appointed to the Supreme Court. In Sweatt v. Painter (1950) Clark's support of the majority opinion, which ordered the integration of the University of Texas law school, was particularly important. He also wrote the opinion in Terry v. Adams (1953), which struck down the white primary in Texas. Clark retired from the bench in 1967 when his son, William Ramsey Clark, was appointed attorney general.

posted by Jeff ~6.13.2011 The Texas Historical Association

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