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"Time is what we want most, but what we use the worst."
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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Moments in Texas History ~ 9.6.2011

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Jaybirds order black leaders out of Fort Bend County
Constitutional convention meets in Austin
September 06, 1875
On this day in 1875, the Constitutional Convention of 1875 met in Austin. The convention grew out of the determination of Texas Democrats to eliminate the radical Constitution of 1869. Edward B. Pickett presided over the convention, which adjourned in late November after adopting the new Constitution of 1876 by a vote of fifty-three to eleven. Dissatisfaction with the Constitution of 1869--which forbade slavery, strengthened the office of the governor, and centralized law enforcement--and with the administration of Governor Edmund J. Davis prompted provisions to decentralize the state government. The new constitution placed restrictions on salaries, expenditures, taxes, and the state debt. It also abolished state banks, limited some activities of corporations and railroads, and placed term limits on many public offices. The Constitution of 1876 was approved by the state's voters in February 1876 and remains the basic organic law of Texas.
Texan's sacrifice in Korea earns Medal of Honor
September 06, 1952
On this day in 1952, Benito Martinez of Fort Hancock, Texas, died in action in Korea. Corporal Martinez was a machine gunner with Company A, Twenty-seventh Infantry Regiment, Twenty-fifth Infantry Division, near Satae-ri, Korea. On the night of the sixth he was manning an advanced listening post when he was encircled by a strong enemy force. He remained at his post and refused to allow any attempts to reach him because of the danger to any rescuers. The next morning his body was found with an empty ammunition clip in his left hand and a .45 caliber pistol in his right. Because of his stand, friendly forces were able to regain key terrain. His posthumous Medal of Honor was presented to his mother by the secretary of the army at the Pentagon in Washington.
Jaybirds order black leaders out of Fort Bend County
September 06, 1888
On this day in 1888, white members of a political association known as the Jaybirds held a mass meeting in Richmond, Texas, and ordered Charles Ferguson and several other black political leaders to leave Fort Bend County within ten hours. The so-called Jaybird-Woodpecker War was a feud between two political factions for the control of Fort Bend County. The Jaybirds, representing most of the white population, were the regular Democrats who sought to rid the county of the Republican government that had gained control during Reconstruction. The Woodpeckers, numbering about forty persons and also claiming to be Democrats, were the officials and former officials who held office as a result of the black vote for the Republican ticket. Former friends, neighbors, and relatives became bitter enemies as a result of the feud. The election of 1888 engendered much bitterness. After one Jaybird leader was killed and another wounded, the party met in Richmond and expelled a number of Woodpecker leaders. The Woodpeckers won the election in spite of this, and the violence continued. After the riot known as the "Battle of Richmond" in 1889, the Woodpeckers were driven from office. In October a further series of meetings in Richmond established the Jaybird Democratic Organization of Fort Bend County. The whites-only organization dominated Fort Bend County politics for the next seventy years.
posted by Jeff 9.6.2011 -  The Texas State Historical Association

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