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

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Moments in Texas History ~ 6/19/2011


Texas congressman calls Mexican president a "spineless cactus"
June 19, 1919
On this day in 1919, Texas Congressman Claude B. Hudspeth called Mexican president Venustiano Carranza "that spineless cactus of Mexico" on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Hudspeth, a vociferous supporter of American intervention in the Mexican Revolution, was defending Secretary of War Newton Baker's controversial decision to send troops into Juárez against Francisco (Pancho) Villa. Hudspeth, born in Medina in 1877, became editor and publisher of the Ozona Kicker as a teenager and had settled in El Paso by 1902. He was elected to Congress in 1918 and served until 1930, when he declined to run for renomination because of ill health. He died in San Antonio in 1941. Hudspeth County was named in his honor.

Belated emancipation forms the basis for Juneteenth celebrations
June 19, 1865
On this day in 1865, Union general Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation (originally issued by Abraham Lincoln in 1863) in Galveston, thus belatedly bringing about the freeing of 250,000 slaves in Texas. The event, now celebrated as "Juneteenth," eventually gave rise to an annual day of thanksgiving ceremonies, public entertainment, picnics, and family reunions. Some communities have set aside land, known as Emancipation Parks, for celebrations on Juneteenth. In 1979 Governor William P. Clements signed an act making the day a state holiday. The first state-sponsored Juneteenth celebration took place the next year.

"Cowboys' Christmas Ball" published
June 19, 1890
On this day in 1890, poet and ranchman Larry Chittenden's "The Cowboys' Christmas Ball" was first published in the Anson Texas Western. Chittenden, born in New Jersey in 1862, came to Texas in 1883 and established a ranch at the foot of Skinout Mountain near Anson. An annual Christmas dance at Anson's Star Hotel, which burned in 1890, inspired his best-known poem. It has been reprinted and anthologized many times since. John A. Lomax and his brother Alan published it in their book Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads in 1910. Chittenden, who moved to Bermuda in 1904, died in 1934, the same year the citizens of Anson staged the first annual Cowboys' Christmas Ball. The poem was set to music and sung at the Anson ball in 1946, and it became a tradition to have a soloist sing the ballad before the ball.
posted by Jeff ~ 6.19.2011  The Texas State Historical Association

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