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"Time is what we want most, but what we use the worst."
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Moments in Texas History ~ 6/15/2011


Roberts family sells Nacogdoches landmark
June 15, 1901
On this day in 1901, the Roberts family sold the Old Stone Fort in Nacogdoches to William and Charles Perkins, who dismantled the structure and put up a more modern commercial building on the site. The Old Stone Fort dated to 1779, when Antonio Gil Ibarvo, who laid out the town, built a two-story stone house to use in the trading business. It remained the tallest structure in Nacogdoches for nearly a century. The Old Stone Fort assumed a quasi-public character over the following decades through several changes of ownership, and was the scene of many historic events. John S. and Harriet Fenley Roberts, who purchased it in 1838, operated a saloon there. When the Perkins brothers dismantled the building, they donated the materials to a local ladies' organization. In 1936 the state of Texas moved the materials to the campus of Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College, where a replica of the original structure was erected for the Texas Centennial celebration.
Race riot erupts in Beaumont
June 15, 1943
On this day in 1943, whites and blacks clashed in Beaumont after workers at a local shipyard learned that a white woman had accused a black man of raping her. On the evening of June 15 more than 2,000 workers, plus perhaps another 1,000 interested bystanders, marched toward City Hall. Even though the woman could not identify the suspect among the blacks held in the city jail, the workers dispersed into small bands and proceeded to terrorize black neighborhoods in central and north Beaumont. Many blacks were assaulted, several businesses were pillaged, a number of buildings were burned, and more than 100 homes were ransacked. Acting Texas governor A. M. Aikin, Jr., placed Beaumont under martial law. More than 200 people were arrested, fifty were injured, and two--one black and one white--were killed. Another black man died later of injuries received during the riot. Twenty-nine of those arrested were turned over to civil authorities on charges of assault and battery, unlawful assembly, and arson. The remainder were released, mostly because of lack of evidence.
Texas woman becomes the first black licensed pilot
June 15, 1921
On this day in 1921, Bessie Coleman became the world's first licensed black pilot. The native of Atlanta, Texas, graduated from high school in Waxahachie and attended Colored Agricultural and Normal University in Oklahoma. After moving to Chicago, she went to France and attended the aviation school at Le Crotoy. The Federation Aeronautique Internationale issued her a pilot's license. She flew in her first air show at Curtiss Field near Manhattan in 1922. She afterward took part in many more shows while touring the country, and her daredevil stunts earned her the nickname "Brave Bessie." She was killed during a test flight on April 30, 1926, at Jacksonville, Florida. She is buried in Lincoln Cemetery at Chicago. A Chicago street is named Bessie Coleman Drive, and a United States commemorative stamp in her honor was issued in 1995.

Posted by Jeff ~6.15.2011 The Texas State Historical Association

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