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Words of Wisdom

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

Monday, June 06, 2011

Moments in Texas History ~ 6/6/2011

Texas Centennial Exposition opens
June 06, 1936
On this day in 1936, the Central Centennial Exposition, part of the Texas Centennial celebration marking 100 years of Texas independence, opened in Dallas's Fair Park. Construction on the exposition began in October 1935 with George L. Dahl as the architect. The official $25 million central exposition occupied fifty buildings and was the first world's fair held in the Southwest. The "Cavalcade of Texas," a historical pageant depicting four centuries of Texas history, became one of the exposition's most popular attractions.

The Hall of Negro Life marked an exposition milestone, the first recognition of black culture at a world's fair. The competing unofficial Fort Worth Frontier Centennial Exposition opened on July 18. The Fort Worth exposition closed on November 14, the Dallas exposition on November 29. Although attendance at both fairs (Dallas, 6,345,385; Fort Worth, 986,128) fell far short of expectations, civic leaders felt the publicity they brought to both the area and the state was well worth the cost. The Dallas exposition reopened in June 1937 as the Greater Texas and Pan American Exposition and closed in October. Many of the exposition buildings, including the Hall of State, are still standing and were renovated along with Fair Park in the 1980s.

Rudder's Rangers fight with distinction on Normandy beaches
June 06, 1944
On this day in 1944, D-day, James Earl Rudder commanded the Second Ranger Battalion as it achieved one of the great feats of arms of the Normandy invasion. Rudder, a native of Eden, Texas, had served in the army in the 1930s and was recalled to duty during World War II. He became commander and trainer of the elite Second Ranger Battalion in 1943. On D-day Rudder's Rangers stormed the beach at Pointe du Hoc and, under constant enemy fire, scaled 100-foot cliffs to reach and destroy German gun batteries. The battalion suffered higher than 50 percent casualties, and Rudder himself was wounded twice. In spite of this, he and his men helped establish a beachhead for the Allied forces. In later life Rudder became president of Texas A&M. In 1967 he received the Distinguished Service Medal from President Lyndon Johnson.

Texas rancher and traildriver born in Mississippi
June 06, 1836
On this day in 1836, Robert Kelsey Wylie was born in Tishomingo County, Mississippi. After moving to Anderson County, Texas, with his parents around 1850, he worked building brick chimneys, labor for which he accepted cattle as payment. With his brothers he started a ranch in Erath County and, in 1862, helped formed Picketville, at the site of the future Ballinger, in Runnels County. He ranched in Coleman County during the Civil War. In 1865 he began driving cattle to Fort Sumner, New Mexico, a business he continued for ten years. He established cattle ranches near Ballinger and at Horsehead Crossing on the Pecos River. He also started a sheep ranch near Van Horn. At various times he supplied cattle to John S. Chisum and to the foundation herd of the Matador Ranch. He retired to Mineral Wells by 1905 and died on July 11, 1910, after falling off the back of a Pullman car near Trinidad, Colorado.

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