67Mill BC Dinosaurs roamed the area that later
became Big Bend National Park. Neck bones of a hundred ton dinosaur
from this time were found in 2000.
(SFC, 2/2/00, p.A3)
36kBCE A woolly mammoth died on the Texas Gulf
Coast. It was unearthed in 2004 and tentatively dated to this time.
13.5k BC ¬- 11.2k BC In 2011 archeologists reported the discovery of
56 stone tools found in central Texas dating to about this time. The
dating prefigured the “Clovis culture" by about 2 thousand years.
(SFC, 3/25/11, p.A7)
1528 Nov 2, The Spanish Narvaez
expedition, having traveled some 700 miles toward eastern Texas,
encountered a massive storm and their 5 barges separated.
(ON, 10/03, p.2)
1528 Nov 6, A Spanish barge
under Don Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca landed in East Texas. The
survivors of 2 barges spent the winter on an island they named Isla
de Malhado, "The Island of Misfortune." By the spring of 1529 there
were 15 castaways left and half the native population was dead from
(ON, 10/03, p.3)
1534 Sep, Don Alvar Nunez
Cabeza de Vaca, reunited earlier with 3 survivors of the Narvaez
expedition: Andres Dorantes, Alonso de Castillo and Estevanico, a
black African and formerly Castillo's slave, fled their enslavement
under the Mariames Indians.
(ON, 10/03, p.4)
1535 Jun, Castaways Don Alvar
Nunez Cabeza de Vaca with 3 companions resumed their journey from
Texas to Mexico after spending 8 months with the congenial Avavares
(ON, 10/03, p.5)
1536 cJan, Spanish castaways
Don Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca with 3 companions reached the Pacific
Coast in northern Mexico under Indian escort and encountered Spanish
troops engaged as slave hunters.
(ON, 10/03, p.5)
1540 Feb 23, Spanish explorer
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado began his unsuccessful search for the
fabled Seven Cities of Gold in the American Southwest. Antonio de
Mendoza, Viceroy of Mexico, sent Francisco Coronado overland to
search for the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola in present day New
Mexico. Coronado, Spanish explorer, introduced horses, mules, pigs,
cattle, and sheep into the American southwest. An Indian guide spoke
of a rich kingdom called Quivira. When no cities were found he
confessed under torture that the story was false.
(NPS-CNM, 4/1/97)(HN, 2/23/99)(TL-MB, 1988,
p.16)(SFC, 1/31/04, p.D1)
1541 May, The expedition of
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, having crossed the high plains of
Texas, feasted on game and held a Mass of thanksgiving.
(Sm, 2/06, p.12)
1686 Jan, A storm arose and
sank the French ship “La Belle," of explorer Rene Robert Cavelier,
Sieur de La Salle, in Matagorda Bay, Texas. La Salle was off
searching for the Mississippi River. This ended La Salle’s plan for
a French colony and opened the door to Spain to come and occupy
Texas. Archeologists found the ship in 1995 in 12-feet of water and
began a recovery project. In 1996 a skeleton was bound onboard. In
2014 the remains of the ship were transported to the Bullock State
History Museum in Austin.
(SFC, 11/9/96, p.A12)(SFC, 11/30/96, p.A7)(SFC,
8/16/12, p.A7)(AP, 7/18/14)
1687 Mar 19, French explorer
Robert Cavelier (b.1643), Sieur de La Salle, the first European to
navigate the length of the Mississippi River, was murdered by
mutineers while searching for the mouth of the Mississippi, along
the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in present-day Texas.
1720 Mission San Jose was
established by Franciscan friars on the San Antonio River.
(SSFC, 4/8/01, p.T8)
1793 Mar 2, Sam Houston, the
first president of the Republic of Texas (1836-38, 1841-44), was
born near Lexington, Va. He fought for Texas' independence from
Mexico; President of Republic of Texas; U.S. Senator; Texas governor
(AP, 3/2/98)(HC, Internet, 2/3/98)(SC, 3/2/02)
1793 Nov 3, Stephen Fuller
Austin was born. He colonized Texas.
1804 Nov 27, Pres. Jefferson
issued a nationwide proclamation to military and public officials
warning of a conspiracy to attack Spanish territory in Texas. He had
opened negotiations with Spain to purchase Texas territory west of
New Orleans. Jefferson had heard rumors that Aaron Burr had begun
plotting an invasion of Texas. Jefferson ordered Gen. James
Wilkinson to move federal troops into defensive positions between
the Sabine River and New Orleans. Wilkinson, unbeknownst to
Jefferson, was a close confidant of Burr and also worked as a spy in
the employ of Spanish officials in Mexico.
(ON, 12/08, p6)
1819-1820 The James Long Expedition was an attempt
to take control of Spanish Texas. Long successfully established a
small independent government, known as the Republic of Texas
(distinct from the later Republic of Texas created by the Texas
Revolution). The expedition crumbled later in the year, as Spanish
troops drove the invaders out. Long returned to Texas in 1820 and
attempted to reestablish his control.
1821 Feb 22, The Adams-Onis
Treaty became final, whereby Spain gave up all of Florida to the US.
The boundary between Mexico and the Louisiana Purchase was
established and the US renounced all claims to Texas.
(AH, 2/06, p.15)
1829 Aug 25, Pres. Jackson made
an offer to buy Texas, but the Mexican government refused.
1835 Sep, Texans petitioned for
statehood separate from Coahuila. They wrote out their needs and
their complaints in The Declaration of Causes. This document was
designed to convince the Federalists that the Texans desired only to
preserve the 1824 Constitution, which guaranteed the rights of
everyone living on Mexican soil. But by this time, Santa Anna was in
power, having seized control in 1833, and he advocated the removal
of all foreigners. His answer was to send his crack troops,
commanded by his brother-in-law, General Martin Perfecto de Css, to
San Antonio to disarm the Texans.
1835 Oct 2, The first battle of
the Texas Revolution took place as American settlers fought Mexican
soldiers near the Guadalupe River; the Mexicans ended up
1835 Oct, Before the Alamo,
Mexican General Css led troops against the small community of
Gonzales, since enshrined in history as the "Lexington of Texas."
San Antonio de Bixar went under military rule, with 1,200 Mexican
troops under General Css’ command. When Css ordered the small
community of Gonzales, about 50 miles east of San Antonio, to return
a cannon loaned to the town for defense against Indian
attack--rightfully fearing that the citizens might use the cannon
against his own troops--the Gonzales residents refused. "Come and
take it!" they taunted, setting off a charge of old chains and scrap
iron, shot from the mouth of the tiny cannon mounted on ox-cart
wheels. Although the only casualty was one Mexican soldier, Gonzales
became enshrined in history as the "Lexington of Texas." The Texas
Revolution was on.
1835 Nov 13, Texans officially
proclaimed Independence from Mexico, and called itself the Lone Star
Republic, after its flag, until its admission to the Union in 1845.
In 2001 Randy Roberts and James S. Olson authored "A Line in the
Sand," a narrative of the Texas drive for independence.
(HN, 11/13/98)(WSJ, 2/9/00, p.W6)
1835 Nov 24, Texas Rangers, a
mounted police force, was authorized by the Texas Provisional
Government. The Mexicans called them Los Diablos Tejanos -The Texas
(MC, 11/24/01)(HNQ, 4/7/02)
1836 Jan 5, Davy Crockett
arrived in Texas just in time to die at the Alamo.
1836 Jan 18, Knife aficionado
Jim Bowie arrived at the Alamo to assist its Texas defenders.
1836 Feb 12, Mexican General
Santa Anna crossed the Rio Grande en route to the Alamo.
1836 Feb 23, The Alamo was
besieged by Santa Anna. Thus began the siege of the Alamo, a 13-day
moment in history that turned a ruined Spanish mission in San
Antonio, Texas, into a shrine known and revered the world over. In
2012 James Donovan authored “The Blood of Heroes: The 13-Day
Struggle for the Alamo – and the Sacrifice That Forged a Nation.
(AP, 2/23/98)(Econ, 6/2/12, p.99)
1836 Feb 24, Some 3,000
Mexicans under Gen. Santa Ana launched an assault on the Alamo, with
its 182 Texan defenders. The siege lasted 13 days.
(HN, 2/24/98)(MC, 2/24/02)
1836 Feb 27, Mexican forces
under General Jose de Urrea defeated Texan forces at the Battle of
1836 Mar 2, Texas declared its
independence from Mexico on Sam Houston's 43rd birthday. The first
vice-president was Lorenzo de Zavala. Mexico refused to recognize
Texas but diplomatic relations were established with the US, Britain
and France. Texas was an independent republic until 1845.
(WSJ, 11/21/95, p.A-12)(WP, 6/29/96, p.A15)(SFC,
4/28/97, p.A3)(AP, 3/2/98)(HN, 3/2/99)
1836 Mar 2, Mexican forces
under General Jose de Urrea defeated Texan forces at the Battle of
1836 Mar 6, The Alamo fell
after fighting for 13 days. Angered by a new Mexican constitution
that removed much of their autonomy, Texans seized the Alamo in San
Antonio in December 1835. Mexican president General Antonio Lopez de
Santa Anna marched into Texas to put down the rebellion. By late
February, 1836, 182 Texans, led by Colonel William Travis, held the
former mission complex against Santa Anna’s [3,000] 6,000 troops. At
4 a.m. on March 6, after fighting for 13 days, Santa Anna’s troops
charged. In the battle that followed, all the Alamo defenders were
killed while the Mexicans suffered about 2,000 casualties. Santa
Anna dismissed the Alamo conquest as "a small affair," but the time
bought by the Alamo defenders’ lives permitted General Sam Houston
to forge an army that would win the Battle of San Jacinto and,
ultimately, Texas’ independence. Mexican Lt. Col. Pena later wrote a
memoir: "With Santa Anna in Texas: Diary of Jose Enrique de la
Pena," that described the capture and execution of Davy Crockett and
6 other Alamo defenders. In 1975 a translation of the diary by
Carmen Perry (d.1999) was published. Apparently, only one Texan
combatant survived Jose María Guerrero, who persuaded his captors he
had been forced to fight. Women, children, and a black slave, were
(AP, 3/6/98)(HN, 3/6/98)(HNPD, 3/6/99)(SFC,
1836 Mar 12, Mexican forces
under General Jose de Urrea defeated Texan forces at the Battle of
1836 Mar 13, Refugees from the
Alamo arrived in Gonzales, Texas, and informed Gen. Sam Houston of
the March 6, fall of the Alamo. Houston immediately ordered a
(ON, 8/10, p.1)
1836 Mar 16, The Republic of
Texas approved a constitution.
1836 Mar 17, David G. Burnet
(1788-1870) became interim president of Texas and continued to Oct
22, 1836. he became the second Vice President of the Republic of
Texas (1839-41), and Secretary of State (1846) for the new state of
Texas after it was annexed to the United States of America.
1836 Mar 20, At Coleto Creek,
Texas, Colonel James Fannin after being surrounded by Mexican forces
under General Urrea, agreed to surrender to Colonel Juan Jose
Holzinger. Fannin was unaware that General Santa Anna had decreed
execution for all rebels. Urrea negotiated the surrender "at the
disposal of the Supreme Mexican Government," falsely stating that no
prisoner taken on those terms had lost his life.
1836 Mar 26, Mexican Colonel
Jose Nicolas de la Portilla received orders from Gen. Santa Anna in
triplicate to execute his Texan prisoners at Goliad.
1836 Mar 27, Mexican Colonel
Jose Nicolas de la Portilla executed his Texan prisoners at Goliad.
Colonel Portilla had the 342 Texians marched out of Fort Defiance
into three columns. The Texians were then fired on at point-blank
range. The wounded and dying were then clubbed and stabbed. Those
who survived the initial volley were run down by the Mexican
1836 Mar, Thousands of English
speaking Texans abandoned their homes as the Mexican army advanced
following the fall of the Alamo. They fled toward Louisiana in what
came to be called the “Runaway Scrape."
(ON, 8/10, p.2)
1836 Apr 21, Some 910 Texians
led by Sam Houston, the former governor of Tennessee, defeated the
Mexican army under Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at San Jacinto.
The victory in the 18 minute battle sealed Texan independence from
Mexico. Houston counted 9 fatalities. 630 Mexicans were killed out
of some 1,250 troops. Some 700 were taken prisoner.
(AP, 4/21/97)(HN, 4/21/98)(AH, 2/03, p.22)(ON,
1836 May 19, Comanche warriors
in Texas attacked Fort Parker and kidnapped Cynthia Ann Parker (9)
and several others. She was recaptured by whites in 1860 and was
forced to live among whites until her death in 1871. Her son Quanah
(d.1911) escaped capture and grew up to become leader of the
Quahadi, the most feared subset of the Comanche. In 2010 S.C. Gwynne
authored “Empire of the Southern Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise of
the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History."
1836 Sep 5, Sam Houston was
elected president of the Republic of Texas.
1836 Oct 22, Sam Houston was
inaugurated as the first constitutionally elected president of the
Republic of Texas.
(AP, 10/22/97)(HN, 10/22/98)
1836 Dec 27, Stephen Fuller
Austin (43), founder of state of Texas, died.
1836-1838 Sam Houston (1793-1863), US soldier and
political leader, was president of the Republic of Texas.
(WUD, 1994, p.689)
1836-1845 Texas was an independent republic.
(SFC, 4/28/97, p.A3)
1837 Mar 3, US President Andrew
Jackson and Congress recognized the Republic of Texas.
1839 The Republic of Texas
issued the so-called Texas "redbacks." It printed over two million
dollars in redbacks, which were initially worth about 37 cents to a
US dollar. By 1842, the redbacks had become virtually worthless and
had lost the power of legal tender. Once again Texans used bank
notes from other states and shinplasters instead of the Texas money.
1839 John Neely Byron started a
trading post on what later became known as the grassy knoll near
Dealy Plaza in Dallas, Tx., near the site of JFK's 1963
(SSFC, 11/16/03, p.C8)
1843 Mar 25, Seventeen Texans,
who picked black beans from a jar otherwise filled with white beans,
were executed by a Mexican firing squad. After months of raiding,
captivity and escapes in Northern Mexico, Mexican president Antonio
Lopez de Santa Anna ordered the execution of one tenth of the 176
Texas freebooters of the Mier Expedition. The event was later
depicted by artist Theodore Gentilz.
1844 Apr 12, Texas became a US
1845 Mar 1, President Tyler
signed a congressional resolution to annex the Republic of Texas.
1845 Jun 23, The congress of
the Republic of Texas voted to accept annexation by the US after 10
years as an independent republic. [see Jul 4, 1845]
1845 Jul 4, Texas Congress
voted for annexation to US. [see Jun 23, 1845]
1845 Oct 13, Texas voters
ratified a state constitution.
1845 Dec 29, Texas (comprised
of the present State of Texas and part of New Mexico, Colorado, and
Wyoming) was admitted as the 28th state, with the provision that the
area (389, 166 square miles) should be divided into no more than
five states "of convenient size." Sam Houston insisted on
maintaining control of offshore waters as a condition of joining the
union. The annexation of Texas led Mexico and the US to prepare for
(AP, 12/29/97)(Econ, 7/1/06, p.29)(SFC, 1/11/20,
1846 Jan 13, President James
Polk dispatched General Zachary Taylor and 4,000 troops to the Texas
Border as war with Mexico loomed. At the outset of the
Mexican-American War, the Mexican army numbered 32,000 and the
American army consisted of 7,200 men. The American army had, since
1815, only fought against a few Indian tribes. Forty-two percent of
the army was made up of recent German or Irish immigrants. In the
course of the war, the total U.S. force employed reached 104,000. In
2008 Martin Dugard authored “The Training Ground: Grant, Lee,
Sherman, and Davis in the Mexican War, 1846-1848." In 2012 Amy S.
Greenberg authored “A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln and the 1846
US Invasion of Mexico."
(HNQ, 2/28/99)(WSJ, 5/16/08, p.W8)(SSFC, 1/6/13,
1846 Feb 19, The Texas state
government was formally installed in Austin, with J. Pinckney
Henderson taking the oath of office as governor.
1846 May 8, News reached
Washington DC that Mexican troops had attacked a US reconnaissance
patrol near the Rio Grande and killed or captured some 40 men. That
same afternoon Polk and his cabinet had decided to ask Congress for
a declaration of war against Mexico.
(AH, 6/07, p.44)
1846 May 8, The first major
battle of the Mexican-American War was fought at Palo Alto, Texas;
US forces led by General Zachary Taylor were able to beat back the
invading Mexican forces.
1846 May, Sarah Borginnis was
very big--a red-haired behemoth anywhere from 6 to 7 feet tall,
depending on whose account you read. She first appeared in history
at the beginning of the Mexican War as she traveled with Zachary
Taylor's army as a cook, laundress and occasional nurse. But it was
in May 1846 during the siege of Fort Brown, Texas, that Sarah
distinguished herself by calmly making coffee and bean soup in an
open courtyard as Mexican explosive shells burst around her. In
spite of receiving a "bullet through her bonnet and another through
her bread tray," Sarah, who became known as "The Heroine of Fort
Brown," made her rounds nursing soldiers and feeding the men.
1849-1853 Fort Worth served as an Army post.
1853 May 26, John Wesley Hardin
was born in Bonham, Texas. The 19th-century Western outlaw John
Wesley Hardin was named after John Wesley, who began the Methodist
movement in 1738.
1853 The 825,000-acre King
Ranch was founded by Richard King, a former NY native and steamboat
(SFC, 5/25/01, p.D7)
1859 The Episcopal Diocese of
Texas named its first bishop. In 2020 the church acknowledged that
its first bishop was a slaveholder.
1860 Nov, Abraham Lincoln won
the US presidential elections with a majority of the electoral votes
in a 4-way race. Following his election South Carolina seceded from
the Union followed by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia,
Louisiana and Texas.
(WSJ, 9/19/97, p.A13)
1860 Texas enacted a sodomy
law. It was repealed in 2000.
(SFC, 6/9/00, p.A4)
1861 Feb 1, A furious Governor
Sam Houston stormed out of a legislative session upon learning that
Texas had voted 167-7 to secede from the Union. Texas became the 7th
state to secede.
(AP, 2/1/97)(HN, 2/1/99)(MC, 2/1/02)
1861 Feb 4, Winfield Scott, US
general-in-chief, decided to relieve Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee as
commander of federal forces in Texas and bring him to Washington DC
where Lee could take command of forces guarding DC.
(ON, 12/05, p.11)
1861 Feb 4, Delegates from six
southern states met in Montgomery, Ala., to form the Confederate
States of America. They included Mississippi, Florida, Alabama,
Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. They elected Jefferson Davis as
president of Confederacy.
(AP, 2/4/97)(ON, 11/00, p.1)
1861 Feb 23, Texas by popular
referendum became the 7th state to secede from the Union.
(HN, 2/23/98)(MC, 2/23/02)
1861 Apr 5, Federals abandoned
Ft. Quitman, Tx.
1861 Apr 23, Battle of San
1861 Aug 12, Texas rebels were
attacked by Apaches.
1862 Feb 21, The Texas Rangers
won a Confederate victory in the Battle of Val Verde, New Mexico.
1862 Aug 12, Gen John Hunt
Morgan and his raiders capture Gallatin, TX.
1863 Jul 26, Samuel Houston
(70), 1st Pres. of Republic of Texas (1836-38, 41-44), died.
1863 Sep 8, Confederate
Lieutenant Dick Dowling thwarted a Union naval landing at Sabine
Pass, northeast of Galveston, Texas.
1863 A woman was executed by
the state. The next woman to face execution would be Karla Faye
Tucker in 1998.
(WSJ, 2/3/98, p.A1)
1864 Nov 26, Colonel Kit
Carson led the attack in the first Battle of Adobe Walls. Carson,
leading a column of 335 officers and men of the 1st New Mexico
Volunteer Cavalry, surprised an encampment of Kiowa Indians on the
site of adobe buildings on the South Canadian River in Texas. After
routing the Kiowa, Carson's forces were counterattacked by hundreds
of Comanches from nearby villages and forced to retreat.
1865 May 12, The last land
action of the Civil War was fought at Palmito Ranch in Texas. It was
a Confederate victory.
(SC, Internet, 5/12/97)(HN, 5/12/02)
1865 May 26, At the Battle of
Galveston, TX., Edmund Kirby Smith surrendered.
1865 Aug 20, Pres. Johnson
proclaimed an end to the "insurrection" in Texas.
1865 Jun 2, At Galveston,
Confederate General Kirby-Smith surrendered the Trans-Mississippi
Department to Northern Forces.
1865 Jun 19, Emancipation Day,
also known as Juneteenth, was the day that Union General Granger
informed Texas slaves that they were free. Blacks came to celebrate
the day as Juneteenth Freedom Day.
p.D3)(SFC, 6/18/04, p.B2)
1865-1875 Texas, like other Confederate states,
was subjected to a federal army of occupation for a decade.
(WP, 6/29/96, p.A15)
1866 Nov 1, Belle Starr [née
Myra Maybelle Shirley], “Bandit Queen" and wild woman of the west,
married James C. Reed (d.1874) in Collins County, Texas.
1866 Some Texans drove a herd
of longhorns 900 miles overland to Missouri. A majority of the
cattle were lost.
(ON, 4/01, p.12)
1867 cJan, Joseph G.
McCoy, livestock dealer, began building a stockyard and hotel in
Abilene, Ka., the westernmost point of the new railroad. He sent
agents to Texas to encourage ranchers to drive their cattle up the
Chisholm Trail to his holding pens.
(ON, 4/01, p.12)
1868 Jun 1, The Texas
constitutional convention met in Austin.
(DT internet 6/1/97)
1868 Nov 24, Scott Joplin was
born in Texas. By the time he was a teenager, Joplin could play the
banjo and the piano, and had begun to work as a saloon musician. In
the late 1890s, he was performing and composing at the Maple Leaf
Club in Sedalia, Missouri, and in 1899 his "Maple Leaf Rag" made
ragtime popular. Ragtime was a mixture of classical European and
African-American styles of music, and it influenced the later
development of jazz. Joplin was not considered a serious composer
until ragtime resurfaced in the 1970s, when his composition "The
Entertainer" was the theme to the movie The Sting. The first grand
opera composed by an African American was Joplin's Treemonisha
(1911), which was not very successful at the time. In 1976, however,
more than 50 years after Joplin died, Treemonisha won the Pulitzer
1868 Dec 22, John Nance Garner,
(VP-D-1933-41), was born in Texas.
1868 Over 100,000 Texas
longhorn cattle came up the Chisholm Trail to the Abilene, Ka.,
(ON, 4/01, p.12)
1869 Apr 12, The US Supreme
Court in Texas v White established that secession is illegal. The
case involved a claim by the Reconstruction government of Texas that
United States bonds owned by Texas since 1850 had been illegally
sold by the Confederate state legislature during the American Civil
1870 Jan 1, In Texas Comanche
Indians stole Adolph Korn (10) near the settlement of Castell on the
Llano River. The boy spent 3 years with the Indians and upon his
return spoke only Comanche, ate raw meat and refused to sleep
(AH, 6/07, p.60)
1870 Mar 30, Texas was the last
Confederate state readmitted to the Union.
(AP, 3/30/97)(HN, 3/30/98)
1870 Sep 2, Samuel Augustus
Maverick (b.1803), Texas lawyer, politician, land baron and signer
of the Texas Declaration of Independence, died. His name is the
source of the term "maverick", first cited in 1867, which means
independent minded. Maverick was considered independent minded by
his fellow ranchers because he refused to brand his cattle.
1871 Brit Johnson, a black
Texas ranch foreman, was killed by Kiowa raiders. His home life had
been shattered in 1864 when an Indian raiding party killed his son
and captured his wife along with 2 of their other children. He
reportedly ransomed back his family in 1865 and continued searching
for other stolen children before he was killed. Author Alan Le May
(1899-1964) later used his story as a model in his novel “The
1874 Jan 11, Gail Borden
(b.1801), inventor of condensed milk, died in Borden, Tx. Epitaph:
“I tried and failed, I tried again and again and succeeded."
(ON, 5/04, p.5)(
1874 May, John Wesley Hardin
gunned down Charlie Webb in Comanche, TX.
1874 Sep 28, Colonel Ronald
Mackenzie raided a war camp of Comanche and Kiowa at the Battle of
Palo Duro Canyon, Texas, slaughtering 2,000 of their horses.
1874 Oct 4, Kiowa leader
Santanta, known as "the Orator of the Plains," surrenders in
Darlington, Texas. He was later sent to the state penitentiary,
where he committed suicide October 11, 1878.
1874 Cattleman Charles
Goodnight rounded up 5 orphaned buffalo calves and set them loose on
10,000 acres in the Palo Duro Canyon of the Texas Panhandle. The
herd grew to 250 animals and a number were sent to start herds
elsewhere. In 1997 the herd was put under the guardianship of the
state. By 2001 it was realized that inbreeding put the herd at risk
of extinction. In 2005 Ted Turner agreed to provide 3 bulls from his
herd in New Mexico to help the Texas herd.
(WSJ, 8/2/05, p.A1)
1874-1875 The Gatling gun was first used against
the Comanche Indians at the Battle of Red River in the Texas
(SFC, 3/18/00, p.B4)
1875 The Quahadi Comanches, led
by Quanah Parker, gave up their fight and settled on a reservation
in Oklahoma after hunters slaughtered the great buffalo herds of the
(Econ, 6/19/10, p.85)
1876 Jan 24, Bat Masterson had
a legendary gunfight in Sweetwater, Texas. A cavalry soldier named
King and a woman named Mollie Brennan were killed, Masterson was
seriously wounded in the hip in a saloon.
(MesWP)(AH, 2/06, p.14)
1876 Texas adopted a post-civil
war constitution. It barred idiots, lunatics, paupers and women from
(Econ, 10/29/05, p.30)
1877 The Texas and Southwestern
Cattle Raisers Association was formed to represent ranchers in Texas
and Oklahoma in their fight against castle theft on the open range.
(SSFC, 4/11/04, p.A24)
1879 Mar 19, Jim Currie opened
fire on the actors Maurice Barrymore and Ben Porter near Marshall,
Texas. His shots wounded Barrymore and kill Porter.
1879 Texas passed legislation
that made gay and lesbian activity a crime. The law was modified in
1993 to make homosexual sex a misdemeanor with a fine up to $500.
(SFEC,11/30/97, p.A6)(SFC, 11/7/98, p.A7)
1880s Although invented in
Waco, Texas in the 1880s, Dr Pepper first received national exposure
at the 1904 St. Louis World‘s Fair.
1882 Jul 10, Ima Hogg, Texas
art patron, founder of Houston Symphony, was born.
1882 John Armstrong III, a
Texas Ranger, settled a ranch south of Corpus Christi. He bought the
beginnings of the Armstrong Ranch with the $4,000 bounty he received
for capturing outlaw John Wesley Hardin. The ranch, which expanded
to 50,000 acres, is near the King Ranch, settled by the Kleberg
(SFC, 2/13/06, p.A6)(http://tinyurl.com/dhd84)
1884 The Lone Star Brewery
opened on the banks of the San Antonio River. The structure was used
as a cotton mill in the 1920s and in 1981 was renovated as the San
Antonio Museum of Art.
(SFEC, 5/2/99, p.T11)
1885 In Texas George Bannerman
Dealey founded the Dallas News at the behest of Col. A.H. Belo.
(SFC, 2/20/07, p.B4)
1885 America's 1st recorded
serial murders took place in Austin, Texas.
(SFCM, 10/11/03, p.34)
1886 In Galveston the Millie
Walters House was built. It was the last of the famous Postoffice
(HT, 5/97, p.62)
1886 Texas was hit by 4
(SSFC, 9/26/04, p.A1)
1886 The Baptist General
Convention, a state umbrella group for Baptist churches, was
(SFEC, 3/1/98, p.A14)
1889 Feb 17, H[aroldson] L.
Hunt, Texas oil multi-millionaire, was born.
1890 Oct 14, Dwight D.
Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States, was born in
(AP, 10/14/97)(HN, 10/14/98)
1890 In Galveston the Isaac
Heffron home was built.
(HT, 5/97, p.62)
1891 Sep 3, Cotton pickers
organized a union & strike in Texas.
1891 Businessman William Marsh
Rice (1816-1900) decided to charter a free-tuition educational
institute in Houston, bearing his name, to be created upon his
death, earmarking most of his estate towards funding the project.
Rice's will specified the institution was to be "a competitive
institution of the highest grade" and that only white students would
be permitted to attend.
1891 The 1st Battle of Flowers
Parade was held in San Antonio.
(SSFC, 4/8/01, p.T8)
1892 In Fort Worth, Texas, 20
women founded the state’s 1st art museum with $50,000 from Andrew
(WSJ, 12/17/02, p.D8)
1894 The Grand Opera House was
built in Galveston, Texas, with no seat more than 70 feet from the
(SSFC, 11/6/05, p.F5)
c1895 In Galveston the Louis
Marx home was built.
(HT, 5/97, p.62)
1896 May 15, A tornado killed
78 in Texas.
1899 Dec 22, Wiley Post,
aviation pioneer, was born in Texas.
1900 Sep 8, Some 6,000-8,000
people were killed in Galveston by flying debris, collapsing
buildings and drowning. The storm let up around midnight, leaving in
its wake $30 million in damage and thousands of bodies. Many of the
dead had to be hastily dumped in the ocean for fear of spreading
disease. Bishop's Palace in Galveston, Texas, remained standing amid
piles of rubble after the island city suffered the greatest natural
disaster in U.S. history. By nightfall, winds reached 125 mph and
the city was under 15 feet of water. The storm battered Galveston
for 18 hours and some 3,600 buildings were destroyed. Reports of the
storm failed to reach Galveston because the US Weather Service had
temporarily banned the cable transmission of Cuban weather reports.
In 1999 Erik Larson published "Isaac's Storm."
(AP, 9/8/97)(HNPD, 9/8/98)(SFC, 11/30/98,
p.A2)(WSJ, 9/3/99, p.W8)(SFC, 9/22/05, p.A17)
1900 In Texas the Goodall
Wooten mansion was built in Austin. It was transformed into a hotel
(SSFC, 9/8/13, p.N3)
1900 The Dallas Symphony
Orchestra was founded.
(WSJ, 2/4/99, p.A20)
1900 Robert LeRoy Parker and
Harry Alonzo Longabaugh (aka Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) and
their Wild Bunch went to Fort Worth after their last holdup of the
First National Bank at Winnemucca, Nevada. They posed for pictures
at John Swartz’s photo studio.
(HT, 4/97, p.45)(SFC, 1/19/98, p.A10)
1901 Jan 10, In Corsicana the
Lucas Gusher flowing at the rate of 80,000 to 100,000 barrels per
day, blew in. Pattillo Higgins, a self-taught geologist, became
interested in Spindletop Hill, just south of Beaumont, Texas in
1889. Believing that Spindletop covered a vast pool of oil, Higgins
joined two other men in 1892 to form the Gladys City Oil, Gas, and
Manufacturing Company--one of the first oil companies in Texas.
Higgins, lacking proper drilling equipment, failed in his efforts,
and the Gladys City Company leased land to a team led by Austrian
mining engineer Captain Anthony Lucas in 1899. By 1902, 285 wells
were operating on Spindletop Hill and over 600 oil companies had
been chartered, but overproduction ruined the field. By 1903 the
boom was over and within 10 years Spindletop Hill was practically a
ghost town. Spindletop enjoyed a resurgence in 1926 when technology
made possible the recovery of more oil through deeper drilling.
(HNPD, 1/10/99)(WSJ, 6/29/99, p.A12)
1901 Oct 24, Anna Edson Taylor,
a 43-year-old widow, was the first woman to go safely over Niagara
Falls in a barrel. She made the attempt for the cash award offered,
which she put toward the loan on her Texas ranch.
(AP, 10/24/97)(HN, 10/24/98)
1902 Apr 7, The Texas Fuel Co.
was founded. It soon changed its name to the Texas Co. and
eventually became Texaco.
(SFC, 10/20/04, p.C6)
1902 In Pittsburg, Texas, Rev.
Burrell Cannon (d.1922), itinerant Baptist minister and inventor,
built his Ezekial Airship and reportedly flew it for a short
distance at a 12 foot altitude. The craft was destroyed on a rail
car while enroute to the St. Louis World Fair.
(WSJ, 11/20/02, p.A1)
1905 Virgil Earp died of
pneumonia in Goldfield, Nevada.
1906 Aug 13, At Fort Brown,
Texas, some 10-20 armed men engaged an all-Black Army unit in a
shooting rampage that left one townsperson dead and a police officer
wounded. A 1910 inquiry placed guilt on the soldiers and Pres.
Roosevelt ordered all 167 discharged without honor. In 1970 John
Weaver (d.2002) authored "The Brownsville Raid," an account of the
incident that led the Army to exonerate all 167 men.
(SFC, 12/7/02, p.A25)
1907 Sep 10, Herbert Marcus
Sr., his sister Carrie Marcus Nieman, and her husband A.I. Nieman
opened the retail firm Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Texas. By 2002 the
firm had 32 US stores.
(SSFC, 9/9/07, p.G3)(AP, 9/10/07)
1907 Sep 29, Gene Autry
(d.1998), singing cowboy and baseball executive, was born in Tioga,
(SFC, 10/3/98, p.A14)(AP, 9/29/07)
1908 Aug 27, Lyndon B. Johnson,
the 36th president of the United States (1963-1969), was born near
(AP, 8/27/97)(HN, 8/27/98)
1909 Apr, The Texas Sugar Land
prison facility began operations. It was basically a plantation
owned by Imperial Sugar which leased inmate workers from the state.
The prison shut down in 2011 saving the state about $12.4 million in
1909 May 14, Texan Samuel
Franklin Cody became the first to make a powered airplane flight
beyond one mile in the United Kingdom. Cody, no relation to William
F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, used his name and talents to create his own
"Wild West" show that toured Europe. Despite the fact he could read
nor write, Cody designed a series of kites, including a huge
man-lifting version that could be used for battle reconnaissance.
Cody built a large biplane for the British army, which he flew
beyond a mile on May 14, 1909. His second flight of the day crashed.
Cody died in 1913 when another of his planes broke apart in midair.
1909 The Texas Sugar Land
prison facility began operations. It shut down in 2011 saving the
state about $12.4 million in annual costs.
(SFC, 9/1/11, p.A11)
1911 Jan 24, U.S. Cavalry was
sent to preserve the neutrality of the Rio Grande during the Mexican
1911 Jul 28, Ann Doran, actress
(Longstreet, Shirley), was born in Amarillo, Tx.
1911 Dec 16, In Texas two farm
laborers, ages 16 and 20, conspired to hitch a ride on the fruit
wagon, challenge Fort Worth peddler Nathan Schlessinger (26) to a
game of poker, and abscond with his earnings. As planned, the youths
traveled in the wagon for five miles before “proposing" a card game.
When Schlessinger declined, the older youth slammed him in the
forehead with brass knuckles. The peddler jumped off the wagon, ran
down the “desolate" dirt road begging for his life, and fell to the
earth when the older youth fired three shots from a Colt 41
revolver. A jury later sentenced the gunman to life in prison. His
accomplice was tried separately and pleaded insanity. After his
trial ended in a hung jury, the prosecution dismissed the charges.
(Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 2/26/22)
1911 The 226-room Hotel Galvez
was built in Galveston, Texas.
(SSFC, 11/6/05, p.F5)
1912 Aug 13, Ben Hogan, PGA
golfer (US Open 1950, 51, 53), was born in Dublin, Tx.
1912 Dot Babb authored “In the
Bosom of the Comanchos," an account of his and his sister’s life as
captive children among the Comanches.
(AH, 6/07, p.64)
1913 May 15, In Texas a lynch
mob attacked the county jail in Fort Worth late today intent on
seizing Tommie Lee, an African American accused of murder and
attempted murder. Earlier that day Lee had stalked through the south
end of town, killing two men, one of them a white police officer,
and wounding three others. The mob failed to seize Lee and then
rampaged through the town's Black business district looting, setting
fires, and beating up any black person they could get their hands
on. Officials later set damage to black-owned property at a
(Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 6/19/21)
1914 Jun 26, Babe (Mildred)
Didrikson Zaharias (International Women's Sports Hall of Famer,
Olympic Hall of Famer, World Golf Hall of Famer, LPGA Hall of Famer,
National Track and Field Hall of Famer), was born in Port Arthur,
1914-1919 The Texas Rangers killed some 5,000
Hispanics over this period.
(SFC, 4/12/04, p.E8)
1915 Aug 16, A hurricane hit
Galveston, Texas. It caused 12 deaths and an estimated $5-8 million
in property damage in the city.
1915 Sep 22, Southern Methodist
University in Dallas, Texas, held its 1st class.
1915-1916 A number of skirmishes took place
between the Texas Rangers and Mexican Americans rebelling under the
"Plan de San Diego" and numerous people were killed. Participants
included the anarchist Magon brothers, and rebel leader Aniceto
Pizana. In 2003 Benjamin Heber Johnson authored "Revolution in
Texas: How a Forgotten Revolution and Its Bloody suppression Turned
Mexicans into Americans."
(SSFC, 1/4/04, p.M3)
1915-1917 James Ferguson served as governor of
Texas until he was impeached for fiscal irregularities. In 1924 his
wife was elected governor.
(WSJ, 8/5/05, p.W2)
1916 Aug 28, C. Wright Mills
(d.1962), sociologist, writer (The Power Elite), was born in Waco,
1916 Trammell Crow was born. He
later established one of the world's largest real estate companies
and amassed a collection of Asian art which he placed in a pavilion
behind the Trammell Crow Center in Dallas.
(WSJ, 2/12/99, p.W9)
1917 Feb 27, John Connally,
Texas Governor, wounded in the assassination of President John
Kennedy, was born.
1917 Dec 29, Tom Bradley,
future mayor of Los Angeles, was born on a cotton plantation in
(SFC, 9/30/98, p.A13)
1918 Sep 3, Five soldiers were
hanged for alleged participation in the Houston riot of 1917.
1918 In Texas C.N. Williamson
and E.E. Dickies established the U.S. Overall Co. It was later
renamed Williamson-Dickie and then came to be known as Dickies.
(SSFC, 8/20/06, p.M4)
1919 Texas Rep. Jose T. Canales
pushed through legislation to reform the Texas Rangers following
reports that the Rangers had killed some 5,000 Hispanics over the
previous 5 years.
(SFC, 4/12/04, p.E8)
1920 Aug 22, Denton Cooley,
heart surgeon (1st artificial heart implant), was born in Houston.
1920 The Cowtown Coliseum in
Fort Worth, Texas, hosted the world's 1st indoor rodeo.
(SSFC, 8/3/03, p.C4)
1920s The Newton Boys were 4
brothers from rural Texas who became bank robbers in the early
1920s. They held up over 80 banks. The 1998 film "The Newton Boys"
was based on their true story.
(SFEC, 3/22/98, DB p.10)(SFC, 3/23/98, p.E2)(WSJ,
1921 Aug 19, Gene Roddenberry,
television writer and producer, best known for the series "Star
Trek," was born in El Paso, Texas.
(HN, 8/19/98)(MC, 8/19/02)
1921 Nov 14, The Cherokee
Indians asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their claim to 1
million acres of land in Texas.
1921 The "Texas Pig Stand," the
1st drive-in car-service restaurant, was opened on the Dallas-Ft.
worth Highway by G. Kirby and R.W. Jackson.
(SFC, 8/12/00, p.B3)
1923 Apr 12, Ann Miller,
[Lucille Ann Collier], dancer (On the Town), was born in Cherino,
1923 Tula Elise Finklea, later
known as actress and dancer Cyd Charisse, was born in Amarillo.
(SFC, 12/28/99, p.C4)
1924 Jun 20, Audie Murphy was
born in Kingston, Tx. He became the most decorated American soldier
of World War II who went on to make movies and write a book about
his war experiences called "To Hell and Back."
(HN, 6/20/98)(MC, 6/20/02)
1924 Nov 4, Miriam Ferguson was
elected governor in Texas. She began office Jan 20, 1925, as the
nation’s 2nd woman governor, 15 days after Nellie T. Ross in
1924 M.B. Zale and his brother
William founded a jewelry business in Wichita Falls, Texas. The Zale
family cashed out of Zale Corp. in the 1980s.
(WSJ, 6/26/06, p.A1)
1925 Oct 16, The Texas School
Board prohibited the teaching of evolution.
1927 Mar 7, A Texas law that
banned Negroes from voting was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme
1927 Herman Lehmann authored
“Nine Years Among the Indians, 1870-1879: The Story of the Captivity
and Life of a Texan Among the Indians." He had been captured as a
boy and spent 6 years among the Apaches.
(AH, 6/07, p.64)
1927 Clinton and Jeff Smith
authored “The Boy Captives: being the true story of the experiences
and hardships of Clinton L. Smith and Jeff D. Smith."
1927 Texas Southern Univ. (TSU)
was founded to educate black scholars who had little access to
higher education. By 2017 its share of Latino students had doubled
to 8% over the last six years.
(Econ, 2/18/17, p.23)
1928 Aug 29, Thomas Stewart,
baritone (La Roche Capriccio), was born in San Saba, Texas.
1929 Aug 12, Buck Owens,
country singer (Hee Haw), was born in Sherman, Texas.
1929 Dec 21, The 1st US group
hospital insurance plan was offered in Dallas, Tx.
1930 Mar 19, Ornette Coleman
was born in Fort Worth Texas and was an early proponent of ‘free
form jazz.‘ Having taught himself to play the saxophone and read
music by age 14, Coleman moved to Los Angeles and met like-minded
musicians in the early ‘50s. His debut album in 1959, Something
Else! introduced his atonal interpretation of jazz, one free of
traditional tonal structure, which he terms ‘harmolodic.‘ Many
listeners and critics have termed it ‘anarchy.‘ Coleman has
continued to be an influential if controversial figure in jazz, now
producing albums under his own label (Harmolodic, Inc.) as well as
soundtracks for films.
1930 Mar 26, Sandra Day
O'Connor, first woman US Supreme Court Justice (1981- ), was born in
El Paso TX.
(HN, 3/26/01)(SS, 3/26/02)
1930 May 13, A farmer was
killed in a hailstorm near Lubbock, Texas. His death became the only
US death officially attributed to hail.
(SFC, 5/13/09, p.D8)
1931 Feb 6, Rip Torn, actor
(Coma, Summer Rental, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), was born in Tx.
1931 Oct 31, Dan Rather, news
anchor (CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes), was born in Wharton Texas.
1931 George Glenn Jones,
country singer, was born in Saratoga.
(WSJ, 1/17/02, p.A12)
1932 Jul 30, The Summer Olympic
Games opened in Los Angeles. The US won 41 gold medals, Italy was
2nd with less than a third of that. Bill Miller of Stanford won a
gold medal in the pole vault when he cleared 14'-1 ¾". Later in the
year he set a world record at 14'-1 7/8". Babe Didriksen (21) of
Texas won 2 track gold medals and a silver. Track events in this
summer’s Olympics were timed with manual stopwatches.
(SFC, 7/14/96, Par p.4)(AP, 7/30/97)(NG, 8/04,
Geographica)(WSJ, 8/23/04, p.C3)
1932 Nov, Miriam Ferguson was
elected governor in Texas for a 2nd time.
1932 Elmer Doolin of Texas gave
a border cook $100 for a corn chip recipe that grew to become
(SFEC, 1/17/99, Z1 p.1)
1933 Apr 26, Carol Burnett,
comedian, actress (Annie, 4 Seasons), was born in San Antonio, Tx.
1933 Sep 1, Ann Richards,
Gov-Tx., was born.
1934 Mar 5, Mother-in-law's day
was 1st celebrated in Amarillo, Tx.
1934 Apr 1, Two Texas Highway
Patrol officers, E.B. Wheeler (26) and H.D. Murphy (24), were killed
by Henry Methvin, a gang member of Bonnie and Clyde, as they
approached the gang’s car near Grapevine, Texas.
(ON, 7/02, p.2)(SFC, 8/13/96, p.A3)(WSJ, 1/26/08,
1934 May 13, A great dustbowl
storm occurred. [see Apr 14, 1935]
(SS, Internet, 5/13/97)
1934 Apr 18, The 1st
laundromat, called a "Washateria," opened in Fort Worth, Tx.
1934 May 23, Bonnie Parker and
Clyde Barrow were shot some 4 dozen times early in the morning in a
police ambush by Texas Rangers as they were driving a stolen Ford
Deluxe along a road in Bienville Parish, near Sailes, La. This ended
the most spectacular manhunt seen in America up to that time. The
pair had spent the previous 2 years killing and robbing banks in the
Midwest. Bonnie Parker was 19 and Clyde Barrow was 21 when they met
in Dallas in 1930. By the time the Barrow gang's crime spree ended
four years later, Bonnie, Clyde, Clyde's brother Buck and Buck's
wife had terrorized the Southwest and Midwest and were believed to
have committed 13 murders. In 1997 Clyde’s bullet-ridden shirt was
auctioned off to a Nevada casino for $85,000. His largest theft was
estimated at $4,000. In 1979 Ted Hinton and Larry Grove authored
"Ambush: The Real Story of Bonnie and Clyde."
(SFC, 4/3/97, p.A13)(SFC, 4/15/97, p.A13)(AP,
5/23/97)(HNPD, 5/29/99)(HN, 5/23/02)(ON, 7/02, p.3)
1934 Nov 17, Lyndon Baines
Johnson married Claudia Alta Taylor, better known as "Lady Bird," in
San Antonio, Texas.
1935 Apr 14, A major sandstorm,
dubbed “The Black Blizzard," ravaged the US Midwest. The Black
Sunday was the worst day of the almost decade long Dust Bowl era. It
ravaged Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. In 2005
Timothy Egan authored “The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of
Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl."
1936 Feb 28, Samuel Maverick
Jr. (99), San Antonio banker, died. During the Civil War he served
in Terry's Texas Rangers, a Confederate regiment, He was the last
surviving member of that organization. His father was the Texas
pioneer Samuel A. Maverick
1936 Apr 23, Roy Orbison,
rocker (Pretty Woman), was born in Vernon, Tx.
1936 Aug 12, 120° F (49° C),
Seymour, Texas (state record).
1936 Sep 7, Rock legend Buddy
Holly (d. Feb 3, 1959) was born Charles Hardin Holley in Lubbock,
Texas. His hit songs included "That'll Be the Day," "Oh Boy" and
(AP, 9/7/97)(WSJ, 2/25/99, p.A16)
1936 The Texas Co. joined
Standard Oil in Saudi Arabia. The joint venture eventually became
the Saudi oil giant Aramco.
(SFC, 10/20/04, p.C6)
1937 Feb 25, Bob Schieffer,
newscaster (CBS Weekend News), was born in Austin, Tx.
1937 Mar 18, Some 300 people,
mostly children, were killed in a gas explosion at a school in New
1937 Jun 15, Waylon Jennings
(d.2002), country singer, was born in Littlefield, Texas, where his
father worked on a cotton farm.
(SFC, 2/14/02, p.A2)
1937 Jun 27, Robert Johnson,
blues guitarist, recorded "Traveling Riverside Blues and 10 other
songs in Dallas for the American Record Corp. He also "Come On in My
(SFC, 7/25/97, p.D5)(BS, 5/3/98, p.7E)
1938 Aug 21, Kenny Rogers,
singer, was born in Houston.
(SSFC, 5/20/01, Par p.22)
1938 Aug 24, Mason Williams,
composer (Classical Gas), writer (Smother Brothers Hour), was born
in Abilene, Tx.
1938 Nov 24, Mexico seized oil
land adjacent to Texas.
1938 Gilbert Kerlin of New York
began buy the 61,000 acres of Padre Island along with the ribbon of
water separating it from land from the Mexican¬-American Ballis
family. A share of the mineral rights were assigned to the Ballis
family, but never paid. In 2000 a judge ruled that 1.1 million in
royalties was owed along with penalties for malice and fraud.
(SFC, 8/3/00, p.A3)
1939 Feb 28, Tommy Tune,
dancer, choreographer (Boyfriend), was born in Wichita Falls, Tx.
1939 Apr 21, In Texas the new
San Jacinto Monument was dedicated following 3 years of
construction. It stood over 14 feet taller than the Washington
Monument. The monument is topped with a 220-ton star that
commemorates the site of the Battle of San Jacinto, the decisive
battle of the Texas Revolution.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Jacinto_Monument)(AH, 2/03, p.24)
1939 The Carter Family left
Virginia and went to Texas to pioneer border radio broadcasts.
(SSFC, 8/4/02, p.M3)
1939 In Texas Buchanan Dam was
completed. Lake Buchanon was formed by the construction of the dam
by the Lower Colorado River Authority to provide a water supply for
the region and to provide hydroelectric power. The lake covered the
tiny town of Bluffton.
1940 Mar 14, A truck full of
migrant workers collided with a train outside McAllen, Texas. 27
people were killed and 15 injured.
1940 Dec 19, Phil Ochs,
anti-war folk singer (Joe Hill, War is Over), was born in El Paso,
1940s In the late 1940s Gordon
L. Harwell and a partner started Uncle Ben’s Inc. under the name
Converted Rice. The namesake was a Texas rice grower who lived near
Houston many years ago.
(BS, 5/3/98, p.6F)
1941 Dec, Cecil Green (d.2003
at 102), Eugene McDermott, J. Eric Jonsson and H. Bates Peacock
purchased Geophysical Service Inc. in Dallas, Texas. In 1951 the
name was changed to Texas Instruments.
(SFC, 4/17/03, p.A22)
1942 Apr 15, Kenneth Lay, the
son of a Baptist minister, was born. He grew up in Rush, Missouri,
and in 1986 became the CEO of Texas-based Enron Corp.
(SSFC, 2/3/02, p.A19)
1942 Lake Jackson, south of
Houston, was founded as a bedroom community for a new Dow Chemical
Plant. Architect Alden Dow dedicated all the streets after plants
named all roads that lead downtown as ways. One corner thus came to
be the intersection of This Way and That Way.
(SFC, 12/15/99, p.A1)
1943 Sep 7, Fire in a decrepit
old Gulf Hotel killed 45 in Houston, Texas.
1943 Lady Bird Johnson
purchased KTBC, a low-powered radio station in Texas. The Federal
Communications Commission, which reviewed all broadcast-license
transfers, was close to being abolished. Lyndon Johnson used his
political influence in both Congress and the White House to prevent
that from happening. In 1945 the FCC OK'd KTBC's request to
quintuple its power, which cast its signal over 63 counties.
1943-1945 Some 4,800 soldiers of Germany’s Afrika
Corps were held in a POW camp near Hearne, Texas.
(AM, May/Jun 97 p.28)
1944 Mar 30, Gobbledygook was
coined by US Rep. Maury Maverick, a Texas Democrat, in a memo
banning "gobbledygook language" at the Smaller War Plants
Corporation. It was a reaction to his frustration with the
"convoluted language of bureaucrats." However, the first time the
new word was seen by the average person was on May 21, 1944. That
day, he wrote a long article for the New York Times magazine,
explaining how he invented the word, and giving readers many
examples of how the new word could be used.
1944 Aug 15, Linda Ellerbee,
newscaster (Weekend, NBC Overnight), was born in Bryan, Texas.
1944 Oct 31, Kinky Friedman,
country rocker (Ride 'em Jewboy), was born in Palestine, Tx.
1946 Sep 15, Tommy Lee Jones,
actor (Executioner's Song, Bloody Monday, Fugitive), was born in San
1946 The Balcones Research
Center was established in Austin, Texas. It carried out
government-supported defense and electronics research. Tracor, a big
defense firm, grew out of this and itself spun off some 20
technology related firms, which established Austin as a high-tech
(Econ, 10/14/06, p.17)
1946 John Baugh (1916-2007) and
his wife Eula Mae launched Zero Foods to deliver frozen food to
businesses in Houston. In 1970 Baugh persuaded eight similar firms
to merge with his to form Systems Services Company (SYSCO).
(Econ, 12/14/13, p.74)
1947 Apr 9, A series of
tornadoes struck Kansas, West Texas and Oklahoma. 181 were killed
and some 1,300 injured. The Woodward tornado ranked as the deadliest
ever to hit Oklahoma.
(AP, 4/9/08)(AH, 4/07, p.55)
1947 Apr 16, The French ship
Grandcamp, carrying ammonium nitrate fertilizer, caught fire and
blew up, devastating Texas City, Texas. It was America's worst
harbor explosion. Another ship, the Highflyer, exploded the
following day. The final death toll was 576, and more than 3,000
Texas City residents were left homeless. Property damage ran into
(SFC, 5/4/96, p.E-4)(AP, 4/16/97)(HNPD, 4/17/00)
1948 Lyndon Johnson‘s nickname
"Landslide Lyndon" was coined because of his slim victory in the
1948 primary election for the senate. While Johnson finished second
in the first round of the Texas Democratic primary of 1948, a runoff
election was required. In the runoff election, Johnson won the
majority of the more than 1 million ballots cast by a mere 87 votes,
thus earning him the ironical nickname "Landslide Lyndon." Although
the vote was contested, Johnson was awarded the victory and went on
to win election to the U.S. Senate. Johnson was reelected to the
senate twice and became Vice President under John Kennedy in 1961.
Upon the assassination of Kennedy in 1963, Johnson became President.
In the 1964 presidential election, Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater
in a true landslide, garnering 43 million popular votes to
Goldwater‘s 27 million. Johnson did not seek reelection in 1968.
1949 Dec 25, Sissy Spacek,
(Carrie, Badlands, Coal Miner's Daughter), was born in Quitman, Tx.
1949 The interracial drama film
"Pinky" starred Jeanne Crain and Bert Conway (d.2002 at 87). It was
directed by Elia Kazan. It was banned in Marshall, Texas, but the
censoring ordnance was declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme
(SFEC, 3/14/99, p.D5)(SFC, 2/18/02, p.B6)(SFC,
1949 R.D. Hull, a Texas
watchmaker, invented the spin-cast reel for fishing and got the Zero
Hour Bomb Co. in Tulsa to manufacture it. The company soon changed
its name to Zebco.
(WSJ, 9/9/99, p.A25)
1949 The last US case of
smallpox was reported in Texas.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1950 Feb 3, Morgan Fairchild,
[Patsy McClenny], actress (Falcon Crest), born in Dallas, Tx.
1950 Elizabeth Taylor spent her
first honeymoon with Nicky Hilton in his El Paso, Texas, downtown
(Econ, 6/28/08, p.39)
1951 Jan 16, World's largest
gas pipeline opened from Brownsville Tx, to 134th St, NYC.
1953 May 11, An F5 tornado hit
downtown Waco, Texas, killing 114 people with 597 injured. Damages
were estimated at $200 million.
(SSFC, 5/11/03, Par p.11)(SFC, 5/11/09, p.D8)
1953 May 25, 1st non-commercial
educational television station began in Houston, TX.
1953 May 29, Rick Henderson,
singer (Mason Dixon-Karen Comes Around), was born in Beaumont, TX.
1954 Apr 9, Dennis Quaid, actor
(Big Easy, Dreamscape, Right Stuff), was born in Houston, TX.
1954 On the US-Mexican border
the 100,000 acre Falcon Lake, near Zapata, Texas, was created on the
Rio Grande's old river bed. It was managed by the bi-national
International Water Boundary Commission.
1954 In Houston John Staub
designed a home for Harris and Carroll Masterson. It was bequeathed
to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts in 1991 and named after Mr.
Masterson's grandfather, Rienzi Melville Johnston, who was editor
and publisher of the Houston Post as well as a US senator.
(SFC, 3/22/99, p.A20)
1955 Sep 17, A US Convair B-36
bomber took off from Carswell AFB, Texas, becoming the first
aircraft in the world to fly with a nuclear reactor. Over the next 2
years the Convair Crusader made 47 flights.
(AH, 2/03, p.51)
1956 Mar 8, On the 2nd day of a
3-day regional conference of the Southern District Division of
Production, American Petroleum Institute, in San Antonio, Texas, M.
King Hubbert, a Shell geologist, predicted that US oil production
for the 48 states would peak (i.e., reach a maximum annual
extraction rate) in 1965 if the nation ultimately produced 150
billion barrels, and in 1970 if the nation ultimately produced 200
billion barrels. 1970 turned out to be the peak year, both for the
48 states and for the 50 states including Alaska.
(SSFC, 3/21/04, p.J3)
1956 Jul 2, Jerry Hall, model,
Mrs. Mick Jagger, was born in Mesquite, Tx.
1956 Aug 30, A white mob
prevented the enrollment of blacks at Mansfield HS, Texas.
1956 Sep 27, Mildred E "Babe"
Didrikson Zaharias (b.1911), track and field gold medalist
(1932) and Hall of Fame golfer, died in Galveston, Texas. Six years
earlier the Associated Press had named her the Greatest Female
Athlete of the First Half of the 20th Century.
1956 Dec 31, In Dallas
12-year-old Jeannett Mangan was slain on Goat Hill bluff. Ernesto
Lopez (19) and Simon Rodriguez (16) were later convicted of the rape
and murder. In 1962 both men escaped from prison. Rodriguez was
captured but Lopez remained at large until he was captured in 1997.
(SFC, 6/28/97, p.A8)
1957 Jun 26, Hurricane Audrey
hit Louisiana earlier than expected. It left at least 390 people
dead with 192 missing in Louisiana and Texas.
(SFC, 6/26/09, p.D10)
1957 Jun 27, More than 500
people were killed after Hurricane Audrey slammed through coastal
Louisiana and Texas.
1957 Canyon Dam, 30 miles NE of
San Antonio, Tx., was completed.
(SFC, 7/5/02, p.A4)
1958 Jul 24, Jack Kilby
(1923-2005) of Texas Instruments came up with the idea for creating
the 1st integrated circuit on a piece of silicon. By September 12 he
made a working prototype.
(SFC, 10/11/00, p.A6)(SFC, 6/22/05, p.A5)(Econ,
1958 A rattlesnake roundup
began in Seetwater, Texas, for ranchers concerned about rattlesnakes
biting their cattle. It grew to become the world’s largest such
(Econ, 3/21/09, p.36)
1959 Dec 19, Walter Williams
(117), officially recognized as the last survivor of the 4 million
who fought in the Civil War, died in Houston. He served as forage
master for a Confederate cavalry company. The last survivor of the
Union Army was Albert Woolson. He died on August 2, 1956 at the age
1960 Apr 16, In Texas teacher
and ex-beauty queen Irene Garza (25) was killed following her
confession at a Roman Catholic church in McAllen. On April 21 police
found Garza's body face down in a McAllen canal, along with a
candelabra from Sacred Heart and a Kodak slide photograph viewer
that police said belongs to priest John Bernard Feit. An autopsy
revealed that she had been raped. In 2016 pleaded guilty to her
murder. On Dec. 8, 2017, a jury sentenced Feit (85) to life in
3/15/16, p.A6)(SFC, 12/9/17, p.A5)
1960 The Dallas Cowboys
football team was formed with Tom Landry as head coach.
(WSJ, 2/16/00, p.A26)
1961 Apr 16, Selena, Latina
singer (Grammy-1994), was born in Texas.
1961 Jul 23, Woody Harrelson,
actor (Woody Boyd-Cheers), was born in Midland, Tx.
1961 Nov 3, New Braunfels,
Texas, began hosting its Wurstfest, an annual sausage festival, to
drum up business for local merchants. The festival was set to always
begin on the Friday before the first Monday in November. By 2007 the
1 day festival had expanded to 10 days with well over 100,000
(SSFC, 10/7/07, p.D8)
1961 The 1st Six Flags park
opened in Texas. By 2004 there were 31 in the US and Europe with
39,500 seasonal employees.
(WSJ, 8/31/04, p.B1)
1962 The 1st Van Cliburn Int’l.
Piano Competition was held in Fort Worth, Texas.
1963 May 29, Lisa Whelchel,
actress (Blair-Facts of Life, Mickey Mouse Club), was born in Fort
1963 Oct 25, Anti-Kennedy
"WANTED FOR TREASON" pamphlets scattered in Dallas.
1963 Nov 21, President Kennedy
and his wife, Jacqueline, began a two-day tour of Texas.
1963 Nov 22, John F. Kennedy,
the 35th president of the United States, had been in office two
years, 10 months and two days, when an assassin's bullet ended his
life in Dallas, Texas. Kennedy, on a pre-campaign trip to supposedly
hostile Texas, had been greeted warmly by enthusiastic crowds at
every stop. Upon their arrival in Dallas, President and Mrs.
Kennedy, accompanied by Texas Governor John Connolly and his wife,
were driven slowly through the downtown streets on their way to a
scheduled speech at the Dallas Trade Mart. At 12:30 p.m., as the
open limousine traveled through Dealey Plaza past the Texas School
Book Depository, Kennedy was shot. Within the hour, Kennedy was
pronounced dead at Parkland Hospital and by 2 p.m., Dallas police
had arrested Lee Harvey Oswald as the suspected assassin. At 2:38
p.m. Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th
President of the United States.
1963 Nov 22, Two amateur films
recorded the assassination of Pres. Kennedy. A 24 ½ sec. video by
Orville Nix Sr. and Abraham Zapruder, a dress manufacturer, captured
the assassination on video tape. In 1981 David Lifton published
"Best Evidence," on the medical evidence of the assassination. In
1993 Gerald Posner published "Case Closed," a book on the Warren
Commission report. In 1998 new testimony was released that a 2nd set
of pictures was taken at the autopsy that were never made public. In
2007 David Talbot authored “Brothers: The Hidden History of the
(SFC, 8/1/98, p.A5)(SFC, 10/25/98, p.D5)(SFC,
11/23/00, p.A11)(SSFC, 5/13/07, p.M1)
1963 Nov 22, Dr. Charles Andrew
Crenshaw, a 3rd year surgical intern at Dallas’ Parkland Memorial,
tended Kennedy and placed him into a coffin. In 1992 Crenshaw
(d.2001) authored "JFK: Conspiracy of Silence" and insisted that
Kennedy had 4 gunshot wounds, including one from the front and that
the neck wound had been tampered to look like an exit wound.
(SFC, 11/21/01, p.A25)
1963 Nov 22, John F. Kennedy
was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald while riding in a motorcade in
Dallas. Texas Gov. John B. Connally was seriously wounded. Oswald
was in turn shot in front of TV cameras by Jack Ruby. Rufus
Youngblood (1924-1996), a Secret Service agent, shielded VP Johnson
from possible gunshots with his body. Johnson rewarded him by
promoting him over time to the No. 2 position in the Secret Service.
Ruby used a .38 Colt Cobra purchased at Ray’s Hardware and Sporting
Goods in Dallas run by Lawrence Brantley (1921-1996). From the
address that President Kennedy never got to deliver in Dallas: "If
we are strong, our strength will speak for itself. If we are weak,
words will be no help."
(TMC, 1994, p.1963)(AHD, p. 931)(SFC, 10/4/96,
p.B2)(SFC, 10/17/96, C2) (AP, 11/22/97)
1963 Nov 22, Dallas police
officer J.D. Tippit was slain by Lee Harvey Oswald 45 minutes after
Pres. Kennedy was shot when he called Oswald over for questioning.
Oswald was arrested inside the Texas Theater, 321 W. Jefferson
Blvd., just before 2pm.
(SFC, 8/1/98, p.A5)(SFC, 10/25/98, p.D5)(SSFC,
1963 Nov 24, Jack Ruby shot and
mortally wounded Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of
President Kennedy in front of TV cameras in the garage of the Dallas
Police Department. Ruby used a .38 Colt Cobra purchased at Ray’s
Hardware and Sporting Goods in Dallas run by Lawrence Brantley
(1921-1996). Sometime earlier Oswald had made an attempt to murder
right-wing Gen’l. Edwin A. Walker. In 2002 Thomas Mallon authored
"Mrs. Paine’s Garage and the Murder of John F. Kennedy."
(SFC, 10/17/96, C2)(AP, 11/24/97)(HN,
11/24/00)(WSJ, 1/18/02, p.W8)
1963 Billie Sol Estes
(b.1925)), Texas swindler, was convicted on federal charges. He
served 6 years of a 15 year sentence. In 1979 he was convicted of
tax fraud and served 4 more years.
(SFC, 5/16/13, p.D5)
1964 Jan 10, The US Post Office
released a new stamp showing Texas pioneer Sam Houston with a rifle.
Its initial Dec 13 release was withheld due to the assassination of
(SSFC, 12/15/13, p.42)
1964 Dec 13, In El Paso, Texas,
President Johnson and Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz set off
an explosion that diverted the Rio Grande, reshaping the
U.S.-Mexican border and ending a century-old dispute.
1964 Harrel G. Tillman Sr.
(d.1998 at 73) was appointed a municipal court judge in Houston, the
first black judge in the state.
(SFC, 6/23/98, p.A16)
1965 Apr 9, The newly built
Houston Astrodome featured its first baseball game, an exhibition
between the Astros and the New York Yankees. Mickey Mantle hit the
1st indoor homerun, but the Astros won, 2-1 in 12 innings.
(WSJ, 10/15/98, p.B8)(AP, 4/9/09)
1965 Apr 19, At a cost of
$20,000, the outer Houston Astrodome ceiling was painted because of
sun's glare. This in turn caused the grass to die.
1965 The play "The Effect of
Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds," written by Paul Zindel
(d.2003), was 1st produced at the Alley Theater in Houston. It
opened off Broadway in 1970 and was made into a film in 1972.
(SFC, 4/1/03, p.A16)
1965 Raymond D. Nasher, Dallas
real-estate developer, opened the NorthPark Center, in which he
began displaying large sculptures that he collected with his wife
(WSJ, 11/4/03, p.AD8)
1966 Mar 19, Texas Western
College under coach Don Haskins won the NCAA basketball tournament
becoming the 1st team to win with an all African American team. In
2006 the film “Glory Road" depicted the story of the winning team.
(SFC, 1/24/06, p.B1)
1966 Aug 1, Charles Joseph
Whitman (25), architectural engineering student and ex-Marine, shot
and killed 14 people at the University of Texas before he was gunned
down by police. His mother and wife were the first victims before he
climbed to the tower at the Univ. of Texas in Austen and shot 14
people dead and wounded 31. One shooting victim died of
complications in 2001 bringing the death toll to 17. The 1997 film
"The Delicate Art of the Rifle" by the Cambrai Liberation Collective
of North Carolina was a reimaging of the attack at the Austin
(AP, 8/1/97)(SFC,11/19/97, p.A3)(SFC, 4/17/07,
1966 The US tested biological
weapons in Texas. This was not disclosed until Mar 18, 1981.
1966 Norman Brinker, restaurant
pioneer, founded Steak and Ale in Dallas. The chain later became
part of the Metromedia Restaurant Group. In 2008 Metromedia filed
(WSJ, 7/30/08, p.B1)
1966 Lonnie Pilgrim took over
Texas-based Pilgrim’s Pride. In 1986 he took the chicken company
(WSJ, 10/17/08, p.A1)
1967 Jan 3, Jack Ruby (55), the
man who shot accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, died
in a Dallas hospital.
1967 Mar 15, Texas lawyer Herb
Kelleher and businessman Rollin King incorporated Southwest Airlines
initially as "Air Southwest Co." Kelleher and King faced four years
of setbacks and legal challenges from competitors that culminated in
winning key cases before the Supreme Court of the United States in
December 1970 and the Supreme Court of Texas in June 1971. The first
flights finally took off on June 18, 1971.
1967 Jun 20, Boxer Muhammad Ali
was convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by
refusing to be drafted. He was soon sentenced to five years in
prison but was released on appeal. His conviction was overturned
three years later by the US Supreme Court.
1967 Nov 28, Actress-model Anna
Nicole Smith (d.2007) was born Vickie Lynn Hogan in Houston.
1967 IBM opened a plant in
Austin, Texas, to make Selectric typewriters. The plant moved on to
make mainframe circuit boards, terminals and eventually personal
(Econ, 9/23/06, p.74)
1967 Texas increased oil
production to soften the blow of the Arab oil embargo following
Israel’s 6-day war.
(Econ, 2/15/14, p.23)
1968 May 3, Texas Dr. Denton
Cooley (1920-2016) and Dr. Michael E. DeBakey (1908-2008), surgeons
at Houston’s St. Luke’s Hospital, sewed the heart of a 15-year-old
girl into Everett Thomas (47) in the world’s first successful heart
transplant. Thomas lived for 204 days.
1969 Apr 4, In Houston, Texas,
Dr. Denton Cooley implanted the 1st temporary artificial heart.
1969 Harold Simmons
(1931-2013), Dallas owner of the Williams Drug Co., bought Ward’s
Drugstores for 18 million. In 1973 he sold his stores for $50
million in Eckerd stock.
(SFC, 1/1/14, p.E5)
1970 Aug 3, Hurricane "Celia"
reached its peak as it made landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas, as
a strong Category Three hurricane.
1971 Sep 20, The American
League Ok'd the Washington Senator move to Arlington, where they
became the Texas Rangers.
1971 The Rothko Chapel, an
interfaith chapel in Houston, Texas, was built around the paintings
of Mark Rothko (1903-1970). Composer Morton Feldman wrote his work
“Rothko Chapel" for the occasion. In 1964 Rothko was commissioned by
John and Dominique de Menil (also founders of the nearby Menil
Collection) to create a meditative space filled with his paintings.
1972 Mar, Texas called for flat
out oil production amidst rising consumption and declining
(Econ, 2/15/14, p.23)
1972 Oct 29, Charles A. Tuller,
his 2 sons and William White Graham hijacked an Eastern Airlines jet
from Houston and flew to Cuba 4 days after an abortive bank robbery
in Arlington, Va. The robbery left 2 people dead in Arlington and a
ticket agent dead in Houston. This was the second-to-last successful
hijacking from the United States to Cuba before the signing of an
anti-hijacking agreement between the two countries in February,
1972 In Fort Worth, Texas, the
Kimbell Museum, designed by Louis Kahn, opened.
(WSJ, 12/17/02, p.D8)
1972 The Campus Crusade for
Christ organized “Explo ‘72" at “Godstock" in Dallas, Texas. The
organization for the first time embraced rock music to attract young
(WSJ, 1/18/08, p.W11)
1972 In Olney, Texas, Jack
Northrup and Jack Bishop organized the annual One-Arm Dove Hunt. It
turned into an annual support meeting for amputees.
(SFEC, 8/24/97, p.A8)
1972 Hillary Clinton helped
register Mexican-American voters in south Texas.
(Econ, 2/27/15, p.24)
1973 Jan 22, Former President
Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969) died at his Texas ranch at age 64.
Robert Dallek in 1998 published the biography "Flawed Giant."
(SFC, 7/19/97, p.A6)(AP, 1/22/98)(SFC, 3/16/98,
1973 Aug 8, In Texas Elmer
Wayne Henley (17) called police in the Houston suburb of Pasadena to
report a shooting. The high school dropout said he had killed Dean
Corll after the 33-year-old electric company employee threatened to
rape and kill Henley and two other teenagers who had gone to party
at Corll's modest bungalow. By night's end 8 corpses were recovered
from makeshift graves inside the corrugated metal shed in southwest
Houston. The next day 9 more were discovered. Another 10 bodies were
found on remote High Island beach, 80 miles east of Houston, and in
a wooded area near Lake Sam Rayburn in East Texas. 27 dead Some as
young as 13, none older than 21, were all victims of one killer,
Dean Corll, and his two teenage accomplices, Elmer Wayne Henley and
David Owen Brooks. The boys had seemed to vanish over the previous
three years. In July, 1974, Henley was convicted in six of the
murders and sentenced to six life terms in prison.
1973 Aug 26, The Univ. of Texas
at Arlington became the 1st accredited school to offer belly
1973 Sep 22, Dallas-Fort Worth
International Airport was dedicated. It was constructed to
accommodate the new jumbo jets.
(Hem., 5/97, p.70)(AP, 9/22/98)
1973 Marvin Zindler
(1922-2007), TV reporter, pressed Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe to close
the Chicken Ranch brothel. His crusade eventually led to the
Broadway show and film: “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."
(SFC, 7/30/07, p.B8)
1974 Oct 28, Missionaries Mark
Fischer (19) of Milwaukee, Wis., and Gary Darley (20) of Simi
Valley, Calif., disappeared in Austin, Texas. Their bodies were
never found. Robert Elmer Kleasen, taxidermist, was convicted for
their murder and sentenced to death in 1975, but was released after
2 years due to a faulty search warrant. He moved to Britain and in
2001 was convicted again based on DNA evidence, but died in 2003
while awaiting possible extradition.
1974 Nov 29, Haroldson L. Hunt
(b.1889), Texas oil man and multi-millionaire, died.
1974 Architects Doug Michels
(1943-2003) and Chip Lord, founders of the San Francisco-based Ant
Farm, created "Cadillac Ranch," a sculpture of 10 planted Cadillacs,
near Amarillo, Texas.
(SSFC, 6/22/03, p.A1)(SFC, 1/9/21, p.E1)
1974-1978 Fred Hofheinz served as mayor of
Houston. In 2000 Hofheinz pleaded guilty in a New Orleans federal
(SFC, 11/22/00, p.A5)
1975 Jul 25, Jay R. Ferguson
Jr., American actor (Taylor Newton-Evening Shade), was born in
1975 The 1st post prohibition
winery opened in Texas.
(WSJ, 6/2/00, p.W1)
1975 Joseph Stanley Faulder was
convicted for the murder of oil matriarch Inez Phillips (75). He was
sentenced to be executed. His execution was blocked in 1998 because
he was a Canadian citizen and had not been informed of his right to
contact the Canadian consulate. He was executed in 1999.
(SFC, 12/10/98, p.C13)(SFC, 6/18/99, p.A10)
1976 Feb 22, Sandra Camille
found her husband, David Stegall, a Dallas dentist, dead with
slashed wrists and a bullet in the left temple. Sandra collected
insurance and re-married 2 years later to Bobby Bridewell, who died
of cancer 2 years later. After 2 more years Sandra married Alan
Rehrig (29). He was found shot dead in 1985, and Sandra again
collected insurance. Sandra embarked on a series of frauds and in
2007 at age 62 was held in North Carolina pending investigations
into her past.
(SFC, 7/6/07, p.B9)
1976 Apr 5, Reclusive
billionaire Howard Hughes died in Houston at age 72. In 1993 Charles
Higham authored “Howard Hughes: The Secret Life." In 1996 Peter
Harry Brown and Pat H. Broeske authored "Howard Hughes: The Untold
Story." Hughes had hired a coterie of Mormons to take care of his
confidential business. These included Frank William Gay (1920-2007),
who led Hughes’ Summa Corp. from 1970-1978.
(AP, 4/5/97)(SFC, 10/21/00, p.A24)(WSJ, 5/26/07,
1976 J. Howard Marshall II
(d.1995), Texas oil tycoon and alumnus of Haverford College, Pa.,
pledged $4 million to Haverford. In 1994 Marshall married Playboy
Playmate Anna Nicole Smith (26) and by his death had donated less
than $2 million to the college.
(WSJ, 7/24/03, p.A1)
1977 Apr 23, Dr. Allen Bussey
completed 20,302 yo-yo loops in Waco, Texas.
1977 May 5, In Texas Joe Campos
Torres (23), a Mexican-American Vietnam War veteran arrested on a
disorderly conduct charge, was beaten to death by Houston police
officers. Two of the six officers were later convicted of
misdemeanor negligent homicide and fined $1 and sentenced to
1977 Sep, In Philadelphia Helen
"Holly" Maddux, a Bryn Mawr College graduate from Tyler, Texas, was
murdered and stuffed into a steamer trunk for 18 months until her
body was discovered. Ira Einhorn, "hippie guru" was arrested for the
murder in 1979 but released on bail. He fled to hide in France. Fred
Maddux, Holly's father, committed suicide in 1988. Einhorn was
convicted in absentia in 1993. In June,1997, he was arrested in
France. A French court ruled against extradition and released
Einhorn. Einhorn was arrested in 1998 under a new extradition
warrant. The events were broadcast as a TV crime story in 1999
titled "The Hunt for the Unicorn Killer." In 1999 The French Supreme
Court ruled that Einhorn should be returned to the US. In 1999 a
civil suit ordered Einhorn to pay $907 million to the Maddux family.
Einhorn was extradited to the US in 2001. he was convicted of murder
Oct 17, 2002.
(SFC, 6/17/97, p.A2)(SFC,12/5/97, p.A17)(SFC,
9/22/98, p.A3)(WSJ, 5/3/99, p.A20)(WSJ, 5/12/99, p.A23)(SFC,
5/28/99, p.D3)(SFC, 7/29/99, p.A8)(SFC, 7/20/01, p.A14)(SFC,
1977 Nov 5, Guy Lombardo (75),
orchestra leader (Auld Lang Syne), died in Houston.
1975 Waylon Jennings and Willie
Nelson made a hit with their duet: "Luckenbach, Texas."
(SFC, 2/14/02, p.A2)
1977-1992 Rev. Rudolph Kos sexually abused a
number of altar boys from 1977-1992, when he was suspended. In 1988
he became a pastor. In 1997 on Jul 24, a Dallas jury awarded $120
million in damages against the local Roman Catholic diocese on the
grounds that the Church had ignored evidence of his abuses. He was
sentenced to life in prison in 1998. In 1998 the Diocese agreed to
pay $23.4 million to the nine former altar boys.
(SFC, 7/25/97, p.A1)(SFC, 4/2/98, p.A6)
1978 Apr 2, TV show "Dallas"
premiered on CBS as a 5 week mini-series. It was produced by Leonard
Katzman (1927-1996) and ran through May, 1991.
1978 Jun 10, Algur Hurtle
Meadows (b.1899), Texas oilman, died in a car crash. He left behind
a large collection of Hispanic art at the Virginia Meadows Museum at
Southern Methodist Univ.
1978 Jun 21, Dr. LeMaistre and
Art Dilly flew to New York City with checks totaling $2.4 million to
purchase a complete edition of the two-volume, 1456 Gutenberg Bible.
The Carl H. and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation of NYC had sold the
Gutenberg Bible to the Ransom Center of Texas.
1978 Jul 30, Tropical Storm
Amelia formed in the western Gulf of Mexico near Brownsville, Texas.
The storm moved over land, but continued to intensify to a 50 mph
tropical storm. The storm dissipated over Texas on August 1.
Flooding rains due to torrential rains exceeding 40 inches led to
the deaths of 30 people in Texas.
1978 Nov 1, In Dallas, Texas,
Jonathan Bruce Reed attacked Wanda Jean Wadle and her roommate,
Kimberly Pursley. He'd apparently entered their apartment by posing
as a maintenance man. In 1979 Reed was convicted and condemned to
death for the rape-slaying of Wanda Jean Wadle at her apartment. In
2009 an appeals court ruled that Reed could be freed because
prosecutors improperly excluded blacks from his jury in the belief
that blacks empathize with defendants.
1978 John Mackey began his
Whole Foods Market in a garage in Austin, Texas, under the name
SaferWay. In 1980 he merged with a natural grocery store and opened
as Whole Foods Market. The natural foods grocery went public in
1979 Mar 12, Mary Francis Davis
was shot and killed at the Lone Star Ice and Food Store in San
Antonio. John Satterwhite was later convicted and sentenced to
death. He was executed Aug 16, 2000.
(SFC, 8/17/00, p.A5)
1979 May 29, US District Judge
John Wood (b.1916) was assassinated in San Antonio as he was about
to preside in a drug conspiracy trial against Jimmy Chagra. Joe
Chagra (1946-1996), Jimmy’s brother, conspired in the killing and
served as a prosecution witness against Charles V. Harrelson. Joe
served 6 1/2 of 10 years. Charles Harrelson (d.2007) was convicted
of the murder. Prosecutors said a drug dealer facing trial had hired
Harrelson to kill the judge, who was known for giving maximum
sentences. In 1985 Harrelson’s son Woody began an acting career with
a role in “Cheers."
1979 Jul, Tropical Storm
Claudette caused significant flooding in eastern Texas and western
1979 Oct 25, In Texas Johnny
Penry raped and stabbed to death Pamela Mosely Carpenter (22).
Penry, said to have an IQ of 51-63, was convicted of murder and
faced execution in 2000. The US Supreme Court blocked the Nov.
execution. The US Supreme Court overturned his death sentence in
2001 due to flawed instructions in his initial conviction.
1979 Nov 1, The tanker Burmah
Agate, spilled 10.7 million gallons of oil off Galveston Bay, Texas,
in US's worst oil spill disaster.
1979 The film "North Dallas
Forty" by Ted Kotcheff starred Nick Nolte as a wounded football
player. It was based on a novel by former Dallas Cowboy football
player Peter Gent.
(WSJ, 11/1/96, p.A11)(SFC, 5/29/97, p.E2)(WSJ,
1980 Apr 12, In Texas Richard
Whitehead (16) was shot and killed after allegedly drinking into the
early hours with co-worker Delma Banks. Banks claimed he was
innocent, but was convicted in the murder and sentenced to death.
The US Supreme Court stopped the execution in 2004 and allowed Banks
to appeal his conviction.
1980 Oct 13, In Houston, Texas,
a delicatessen clerk was shot and killed by one bullet during a
robbery. Willie Williams, who admitted to firing the fatal shot, was
executed in 1995. His accomplice, Joseph Nichols, was convicted in
1982 at age 20 and in 2007 was also executed for the murder.
1981 May 13, Bobby Grant
Lambert was shot and killed during an attempted robbery at a Houston
Safeway parking lot. Gary Graham was later convicted of the murder
and sentenced to death.
(WSJ, 6/28/00, p.A22)
1981 Mar 18, The U.S. disclosed
that there were biological weapons tested in Texas in 1966.
1981 The San Antonio Museum of
Art opened in a structure that originally housed the Lone Star
(SFEC, 5/2/99, p.T11)
1981 George Mitchell (b.1919),
a Texas oilman, began to develop an affordable way to extract
natural gas locked up in shale rock and other geological formations.
By the early 1990s his Mitchell Energy & Development company
successfully perfected the fracking process.
1981-1984 Kenneth Lay served as president and COO
of Transco Energy.
(SSFC, 2/3/02, p.A19)
1981-2015 The population of Texas surged to almost
27 million in 2015 as compared to less than 15 million in 1981.
(Econ, 5/30/15, p.28)
1982 Nov 19, An antenna tower
collapsed during construction in Missouri City, Texas, and 5 riggers
1982 Dec 7, Convicted murderer
Charlie Brooks Junior became the first U.S. prisoner to be executed
by injection, at a prison in Huntsville, Texas. Brooks, convicted of
murdering an auto mechanic, received an intravenous injection of
1982 In Texas the West Houston
Assistance Ministries was founded to help people during an oil bust
that eliminated 225,000 jobs and toppled the city's real estate
1982 Braniff Airlines, based in
Dallas, ceased operations with $1 billion in debt. Harding Lawrence
(d.2002 at 81) led the company from 1965-1980.
(SFC, 1/21/02, p.B5)
1982 Texas reinstated the death
1982 Texas sent James Curtis
Giles (28) to prison for 10 years for the gang rape of a Dallas
woman that he has long maintained he did not commit. In 2007 more
than a decade after his release from prison, he was expected to
become the 13th Dallas County man on track to be exonerated with the
help of DNA evidence.
1983 Feb 4, In Texas Wanda
Lopez was murdered in Corpus Christi. In 1989 Carlos DeLuna (27) was
executed for her murder. In 2012 a report, entitled "Los Tocayos
Carlos: Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution," said DeLuna was not guilty
of the murder.
1983 Mar 17, Laura Marie
Purchase was murdered in southeast Texas. In 2021 police in Kansas
arrested Thomas Elvin Darnell (75), following DNA evidence that
linked him to her sexual assault and murder.
1983 Mar 18, Mexico's financial
crisis was causing a surge of illegal aliens over the border into
1983 Jul 14, Clarencio Champion
(59), a party store operator in Mercedes, was stabbed during a
robbery and died a week later. In 1998 David Castillo (34) was
executed for the murder though he insisted on his innocence.
(SFC, 9/24/98, p.A3)
1983 Jul 25, The first nonhuman
primate, a baboon, was conceived in a lab dish in San Antonio, Tx.
1983 Aug 10, In Houston Janet
Caldwell (38), mother of two, died after she was shot twice in the
neck by Charlie Livingston, who robbed her as she returned to her
van with a bag of groceries.
1983 Aug 18, Hurricane Alicia
slammed into the Texas coast, leaving 21 dead and causing more than
$1 billion damage.
1983 Aug 29, William Goyen
(b.1915), Texas-born novelist and playwright, died in Los Angeles.
His 1st novel was “House of Breath" (1950).
1983 Oct, In Texas four bodies
were found shot execution-style in an airplane hangar on the B&B
Ranch north of Dallas. 3 months later chemical salesman Lester Leroy
Bower Jr. was charged with capital murder. More than 20 years later,
a state judge stopped Bower's scheduled July 22, 2008, execution and
agreed to consider his request that evidence be examined to see if
DNA testing could back up his claim of innocence. Bower was executed
on June 3, 2015.
(AP, 7/6/08)(Reuters, 6/3/15)
1983 The Texas-based Belo Corp.
under CEO James Moroney Jr. (1921-2007) purchased Corinthian
Broadcasting Group from Dun & Bradstreet for $606 million. This
was the largest deal to date in US broadcast history.
(SFC, 2/20/07, p.B4)
1983 Joseph Frank Smith was
convicted of raping the same woman twice in San Antonio. He later
agreed to impotence-causing injections as a condition of probation.
In 1998 he pleaded guilty to new sex crimes and was being
investigated for up to 75 more incidents since 1987.
(SFC, 11/28/98, p.A3)
1983 Jimmy Don Beets, a Dallas
fire captain, was murdered. His wife, Betty Lou Beets, was convicted
of the murder and sentenced to death. She was also accused of
shooting and killing her 4th husband, Doyle Barker, but was not
tried for that case. She was also convicted for shooting and
wounding her 2nd husband. Beets was executed in 2000.
(SFC, 2/23/00, p.A5)(SFC, 2/25/00, p.A3)
1984 Jun, Kenneth Lay joined
Houston National Gas as chairman and CEO.
(SSFC, 2/3/02, p.A19)
1984 Aug 22, The Republican
convention in Dallas renominated Ronald Reagan.
1984 Dick Armey, Texas
Republican and economics professor, was elected to the US Congress.
In 2003 he authored "Armey's Axioms."
(WSJ, 12/11/03, p.D6)
1984 The Dallas Semiconductor
Corp. began operations under Vin Prothro (d.2000 at 58).
(SFC, 11/18/00, p.A24)
1984 Michael Dell (19), a
student at the Univ. of Texas, founded Dell Computer in Austin,
(SFEC, 3/7/99, p.B9)(SSFC, 4/13/03, p.I1)
1984 Marketplace Chaplains USA
was founded in Dallas, Texas, to provide corporations with
chaplains. By 2007 it employed 2100 at 300 US companies in 46
(Econ, 8/25/07, p.60)
1984 In Texas Karla Faye Tucker
and a male companion took a pick-ax to two people. She was convicted
and sentenced to die. She was executed on Feb 3, 1998.
1985 Jul 11, Houston Astro's
Nolan Ryan became the first pitcher to strike out 4000 batters as he
fanned Danny Heep of the New York Mets.
1985 Aug 2, In Texas 137 people
were killed when a Delta Air Lines jumbo jet crashed while
attempting to land at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
1985 Sep 30, Maxxam Corp. made
a tender offer for Pacific Lumber at $36 a share. The same day it
demanded and received a 50% cut in fees due to Drexel Burnham
Lambert. During the summer the Wall Street firm Drexel Burnham
Lambert and Maxxam Corp. had hired a timber consultant to fly over
the holdings of Pacific Lumber and estimate their worth. Charles
Hurwitz announced his intention to acquire Pacific Lumber and had
Michael Milken of Drexel arrange junk bond financing. Control of
Pacific Lumber passed to Hurwitz of Texas-based Maxxam by the end of
the year. The bonds were sold to United Savings Association, a Texas
S&L whose parent corporation was owned by Charles Hurwitz. The
thrift failed in 1988 and taxpayers were stuck with a $1.6 billion
1985 Sep, In Texas Patrick
Rogers shot a killed police officer David Roberts (23) after a
robbery. Rogers, a black man, was convicted and sentenced to death.
His story was made into a 1997 Dateline NBC documentary.
(WSJ, 1/5/98, p.20)
1985 Nov 6, An exploratory oil
well at Ranger, Tx., exploded and spilled 150,000 barrels of oil.
1985 Nov 28, In Lake Worth,
Texas, two men and a teenager (15) died as a result of a briefcase
bomb on Thanksgiving Day. Another man and woman were injured by the
explosion. In 2009 Michael Roy Toney (43) was released from prison
after his 1999 conviction in the bombing was overturned.
1985 In Dallas developer
Trammel Crow built the massive Infomart, modeled after the London’s
famous Crystal Palace that burned down in 1936.
(WSJ, 12/2/97, p.B12)
1985 Ann Rockefeller Roberts
donated her father's folk art collection of some 2,500 pieces to the
San Antonio Museum of Art.
(SFEC, 5/2/99, p.T10)
1985 Texas passed a
compensation law to cover the wrongly convicted. It was limited to
$50,000 and included strict conditions.
(SSFC, 4/1/01, p.A16)
1985 Enron Corp. was formed
when Houston Natural Gas combined with InterNorth Inc., a
gas-pipeline company. Kenneth Lay (1942-2006) was named chairman and
CEO in 1986. Enron filed for bankruptcy in 2001.
(NW, 12/10/01, p.50)(SFC, 1/24/02, p.A1)(SSFC,
1985 John Kilheffer was killed
by two hitchhikers. In 1997 Irineo Tristan Montoya was executed for
holding Kilheffer while Juan Villavicencio stabbed him 22 times.
Villavicencio testified against Montoya and avoided the death
(SFC, 6/19/97, p.A3)
1985 Five illegal Mexican
immigrants were robbed and shot after crossing into Texas in a
boxcar. One of the 5 was killed and Rodolfo Hernandez was convicted
for his role in the murder. His execution was set for Mar 21, 2002.
(SFC, 2/23/02, p.A2)
1985 A Dallas-area woman was
raped and her apartment was burglarized. Thomas Clifford McGowan
(26) was convicted of both crimes in separate trials in 1985 and
1986 and sentenced to life each time. In 2008 McGowan won his
freedom after a DNA testing proved him innocent.
1986 Apr 30, Ranch foreman
James Hazelton (28) and brother-in-law Peter Sparagana (23) were
murdered near Huntsville, Texas, after they interrupted a burglary.
Gary Johnson (59) was later convicted of the murders and was
executed on Jan 12, 2010.
1986 Aug 13, In Texas Christine
Morton was found beaten and killed in her Williamson County home.
Her husband Michael Morton was convicted and spent 25 years in
prison before being freed in 2011 after DNA evidence showed another
man was responsible. On April 19, 2013, a judge ruled that former DA
Ken Anderson had acted improperly and issued an arrest warrant on
criminal contempt and tampering charges.
(SFC, 10/5/11, p.A7)(SFC, 4/20/13, p.A4)
1986 Sep 13, In Texas Jonathan
Nobles stabbed to death Mitzi Johnson-Nalley (21) and Kelly Farquhar
(24). Nobles was high on drugs at the time and during imprisonment
offered to donate his organs, but the Texas system did not allow
organs from death row inmates to be harvested. He was executed Oct
(SFC, 10/8/98, p.A3)
1986 Sep 19, Harken Energy
agreed to acquire Spectrum 7 Energy Corp., a Texas oil and gas
company where George W. Bush was chairman, for 200,000 shares and a
consulting salary. Bush became a Harken board member and a
$100,000-a-year ($120,000-a-year) consultant. In 1989 Harken sold
80% of its Aloha petroleum subsidiary to a group of insiders. An SEC
investigation pointed to disguised Harken losses of $8 million.
(SFC, 7/9/02, p.A12)(WSJ, 10/9/02, p.A4)
1986 Oct 15, Harvard Univ.
agreed to buy 1.35 million shares of Harken Energy for $2 million
and to invest $20 million in Harken projects. George W. Bush served
as a Harken board member and paid consultant.
(WSJ, 10/9/02, p.A4)
1986 Dec 27, James Wilkens shot
and killed is ex-girlfriend’s 4-year-old son and boyfriend. Wilkens
was executed in 2001.
(SFC, 7/12/01, p.A10)
1986 Deanna Ogg (16) was raped
and murdered. Roy Criner was convicted and sentenced to life in
prison with no physical evidence. DNA tests in 1997 showed that
Criner was not the rapist but an appeals court denied a new trial.
In 2000 prosecutors agreed that Criner should be released. He was
pardoned by Gov. Bush.
(SFC, 7/25/00, p.A4)(SFC, 7/29/00, p.A7)(SFC,
1987 Feb 12, A Court in Texas
upheld an $8.5 billion fine imposed on Texaco for the illegal
takeover of Getty Oil.
1987 May 22, A deadly tornado
devastated the small West Texas town of Saragosa, killing 30 people
and injuring 162. The storm destroyed 61 houses and leveled the
community center and church.
1987 May 23, Rescue workers and
survivors searched through the rubble of a killer tornado in
Saragosa, Texas, that had claimed 30 lives. Texas Gov. Bill Clements
expressed his sorrow, and pledged all possible help.
1987 Jul 17, 10 teen-agers were
killed when raging floodwaters from the Guadalupe River near
Comfort, Texas, swept away a church bus and van holding 43 people.
1987 Aug 4, Ernest Ray Willis
was sentenced to death for capital murder in an arson in west Texas.
In 2004 he was released after facts in the case exonerated him.
(NYT, 10/8/04, p.A16)
1987 Oct 14, A real-life drama
began in Midland, Texas, as 18-month-old Jessica McClure slid 22
feet down an abandoned well at a private day care center. Hundreds
of rescuers worked 58 hours to free her.
1987 Oct 15, Frantic efforts
continued in Midland, Texas, to save 18-month-old Jessica McClure,
who had fallen 22 feet down an abandoned well the day before.
Jessica was freed the following evening.
1987 The Menil Museum in
Houston, Texas, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, was
(WSJ, 6/8/06, p.D8)
1987 George Roden was driven
from the Branch Dravidian religious group after a gun battle with
David Koresh over the leadership. The 77-acre compound near Waco,
known as Mount Carmel, belonged to Roden’s mother, who named Koresh
as the trustee in her will.
(SFC, 12/8/98, p.A3)
1987 Kevin Lee Zimmerman
stabbed and killed a Louisiana oil worker at a Beaumont motel. He
was convicted and faced execution in 2004.
(USAT, 1/20/04, p.12A)
1987 Apr 7, Frances Newton (22)
allegedly killed her husband and 2 children in Houston to gain
insurance benefits. According to a reprieve petition, Adrian Newton
was a drug user and drug seller and there was evidence that some
sort of trouble in this regard was brewing before the murder. In
2005 she was executed in Huntsville, Texas, the 1st black woman to
be executed by the state since the Civil War.
(SFC, 9/15/05, p.A3)(http://tinyurl.com/9mw34)
1988 Mar 1, Courtney Gibbs
Eplin (21) of Texas was crowned 37th Miss USA.
1988 Apr, Marie Wilson (7) was
raped and killed by Garry Dean Miller near Abilene. Miller was
executed in 2000.
(SFC, 12/6/00, p.A13)
1988 Jul 12, Democratic
presidential candidate Michael S. Dukakis tapped Texas Sen. Lloyd
Bentsen as his running mate.
1988 Jul 29, FDIC bailed out
1st Republic Bank, Dallas, with $4 billion.
1988 Aug 25, Challenger Center
opened its classroom doors in Houston.
1988 Aug 31, Fourteen people
were killed when a Delta Boeing 727 crashed during takeoff from
Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.
1988 Sep 6, Lee Roy Young
became the first African-American Texas Ranger in the force's
1988 Sep 8, Two nuclear-missile
rocket motors were destroyed at an army ammunition plant in Karnack,
Texas; they were the first US weapons to be eliminated under an arms
reduction treaty with the Soviet Union.
1988 Nov 10, The Department of
Energy announced that Texas would be the home of a $4.4 billion
atom-smashing super collider. However, support for the project
declined as cost estimates soared, and Congress finally voted in
October 1993 to kill it.
1988 Nov 22, Americans honored
President Kennedy on the 25th anniversary of his assassination, with
2,500 people turning out in Dallas, and visitors stopping by his
gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery.
1988 Texas made hunter safety
education mandatory for any hunter seeking a license born after
Sept. 2, 1971.
(SFC, 2/14/06, p.A10)
1988 Nancy DePriest was killed
at a Pizza Hut in Austin. Christopher Ochoa was arrested and pleaded
guilty. He was sentenced to life in prison and later said his plea
was coerced. In 2001 he was cleared by DNA evidence, gathered by a
group of law students, and released.
(SFC, 1/17/01, p.A4)
1989 Apr 17, The US House
Ethics Committee released its report accusing Speaker Jim Wright of
violating House rules on the acceptance of gifts and outside income
-- charges denied by the Texas Democrat.
1989 Jun, Miguel Angel Flores
murdered Angela Tyson (20), a student of Eastern New Mexico Univ.,
after kidnapping her at knifepoint from a video store in the Texas
Panhandle. Flores was executed Nov 9, 2000.
(SFC, 10/14/00, p.A16)(SFC, 11/10/00, p.A3)
1989 Jul 6, The U.S. Army
destroyed its last Pershing 1A missiles at an ammunition plant in
Karnack, Texas, under terms of a 1987 treaty.
1989 Sep 21, In Alton, Texas,
21 students died when their school bus collided with a truck and
careered into a water-filled pit.
1989 Oct 23, Twenty-three
people were killed in an explosion at Phillips Petroleum Co.'s
chemical complex in Pasadena, Texas.
1989 Dallas opened The Sixth
Floor Museum dedicated to the 1963 assassination of JFK. It was
located on the 6th floor of the former School Book Depository near
the site of the murder.
(SSFC, 11/16/03, p.C8)
1989 Jerry Jones, the new owner
of the Dallas Cowboys, let go coach Tom Landry, who had led the team
(WSJ, 2/16/00, p.A26)
1989 In Texas Steven Mark
Chaney was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison in
the 1987 stabbing death of John and Sally Sweek. Chaney’s teeth
reportedly caused the bite marks on the arm of drug dealer John
Sweek. In 2015 Chaney (59) was freed after a judge found that the
bite evidence against him was unsound.
1989 In Texas Claude Howard
Jones was convicted for the slaying of Allen Hilzendager. Jones was
executed in 2000.
(SFC, 12/8/00, p.D4)
1989 A Dallas police narcotics
officer was killed. Javier Suarez Medina (20) was convicted and
sentenced to death. In 2002 Mexico’s Pres. Fox called for a halt to
(SFC, 8/13/02, p.A5)
1990 Jun 22, George W. Bush, a
director of Harken Energy Corp., a Texas oil company, sold 212,140
shares at $4 per share just before huge losses were reported.
Corporate disclosure of the sale was filed months later.
(SFC, 7/4/02, p.A1)(SFC, 7/9/02, p.A12)(WSJ,
1990 Jun 30, Harken Energy
reported a $23 million 2nd quarter loss. George W. Bush was a
director at Harken.
(SSFC, 7/28/02, p.A19)
1990 Jul 31, Pitcher Nolan Ryan
of the Texas Rangers became the 20th major leaguer to win 300 games
as he led his team to victory over the Milwaukee Brewers 11-to-3.
1990 Aug 27, Texan blues
guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan (35) was killed in a helicopter crash
after performing at a concert in Wisconsin.
1990 Nov 6, In Texas Ann
Richards (1933-2006) narrowly beat oilman Clayton Williams to become
1990 Nov 24, In Texas Rosemary
Diaz (15) went missing. Her remains were found in 2015 near the
Wharton-Matagorda county line following a tip from the family of a
man considered a suspect in the case. The suspect had recently died
1990 Nov 30, Harken Energy
transferred $20 million in debt to a Harvard partnership, and
eliminated another $16 million in debt by transferring assets to
Harvard. George W. Bush served as a Harken board member and paid
(WSJ, 10/9/02, p.A4)
1990 Buzz Bissinger authored
“Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream," the story of a
football team in the Texas oil town of Odessa. A film version was
released in 2004.
(SSFC, 2/3/13, p.F3)
1990 Hallie Crawford Stillwell
(d. 1997 at 99), a Big Bend Texas pioneer, wrote her autobiography.
A sequel was to be completed by her great niece.
(SFC, 8/21/97, p.C4)
1990 Bob Bullock (d.1999 at 69)
began serving as lieutenant governor. For 8 years he presided over
the state Senate, made all committee appointments and controlled the
flow of legislation.
(SFC, 6/19/99, p.A21)
1990 In San Antonio a newspaper
began publishing lists of heavy water users during times of drought.
The paper went defunct but the list was continued by the
(WSJ, 8/10/98, p.A1)
1990 James Michael Wilcox was
murdered in Texas. Robert Smith (22), with an IQ estimated at 63,
was convicted and sentenced to death. In 2004 Gov. Rick Perry
commuted the death sentence due to a 2002 Supreme Court decision
barring the execution of developmentally disabled inmates.
(SFC, 2/13/04, p.A2)
1991 Jan 26, Four people were
killed in a shooting spree at a Taco Bell restaurant in Irving,
Texas. Jessy Carlos San Miguel was convicted and executed in
Huntsville by lethal injection on Jan 29, 2000.
1991 Mar 4, George W. Bush
notified the SEC about his 1990 sale of Harken stock.
(SSFC, 7/28/02, p.A19)
1991 Jul 3, A Fort Worth,
Texas, police officer was videotaped beating a handcuffed prisoner
in his patrol car. The officer was suspended, but later reinstated
after a grand jury refused to indict him.
1991 Oct 16, In Killeen, Texas,
George Jo Hennard (35) crashed his pickup truck into a Luby's
Cafeteria and opened fire, killing 23 people before taking his own
life. Another 20 people were wounded.
(AP, 10/16/97)(SFC, 4/17/07, p.A8)
1991 Dec 23, In Texas the house
of Cameron Todd Willingham caught fire in Corsicana and his 3 young
daughters were killed in the blaze. Investigators said the burn
pattern in the house indicated arson. Willingham maintained his
innocence but was convicted, sentenced to death and executed in
2004. Shortly before his execution an arson expert said the initial
investigation was based on bad science and that there was no proof
(Econ, 10/24/09, p.36)
1991 Jennifer Soto (19), a Taco
Bell manager, was killed during a robbery attempt in Dallas. LaRoyce
Lathair Smith (19) was tried, convicted and sentenced to death for
her murder. In 2004 his sentence was overturned by the US Supreme
Court because jurors did not consider his learning disability and
other evidence. Smith’s IQ was reported to be 78.
(SFC, 11/16/04, p.A4)
1992 Feb 7, In Texas Robert
Moreno Ramos used a hammer to kill his 42-year-old wife Leticia,
their 7-year-old daughter Abigail and 3-year-old son Jonathan at
their home in Progreso. He remarried three days later. In 1993 Ramos
was convicted and sentenced to death. Ramos was executed on Nov. 14,
1992 Mar 12, Caren Koslow was
beaten to death at her home in Fort Worth. Her husband Jack was also
beaten but survived. In 2000 Jeffrey Dillingham, hired for the
murder by a stepdaughter, was executed by injection for the murder.
(SFC, 11/2/00, p.A4)
1992 May 3, In Texas Natasha
Atchley (19) was brutally murdered early today. Her remains were
found later the same day in the trunk of her burned out Camaro
hatchback on a dirt road in a rural area of Shepherd. Her body was
dismembered before being set on fire. The case has remained a
(NBC News, 5/9/20)
1992 Aug 15, While Republicans
gathered in Houston for their national convention, President Bush
spent the weekend at Camp David, his renomination secure.
1992 Aug 22, President Bush
told an evangelical gathering in Dallas that the Democrats had left
"three simple letters" out of their platform: "G-o-d." Democrat Bill
Clinton said Bush was trying to divert attention from the economy.
1992 Sep 2, On the campaign
trail, President Bush announced nearly $2 billion in new aid for US
farmers and a $6 billion jet fighter sale that would largely benefit
Texas. Democrat Bill Clinton, meanwhile, charged that Bush would
short change middle-class students to finance tax cuts for the rich.
Bush announced the agreement to sell Taiwan 150 F-16 jet fighters at
the General Dynamics factory in Fort Worth, Texas.
1992 Sep 25, Dorothy Harris
(41) and Louis Oates (63) were shot to death at their oil company
office in Palestine, Texas. Kelsey Patterson, a paranoid
schizophrenic, was arrested and convicted of the murder. Patterson
was executed May 18, 2004.
1992 Oct 12, Mike Piperis (46),
co-owner of U&I Restaurant in Corpus Christi, and Anthony Staton
(31), a cook, were murdered. Martin E. Gurule was convicted for the
murder and sentenced to death. Gurule’s girlfriend, Malisa Smith,
was also convicted, and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
(SFC, 11/28/98, p.A8)
1992 The south Texas town of
Hidalgo erected a 20-foot statue of a bee and dubbed itself the
Killer Bee Capital of the World. Tourists came to see it.
(Econ, 12/23/06, p.41)
1992 In Texas Dan and Fran
Keller were convicted of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old after
children in their day care told investigators of dismembered bodies,
tortured pets and other fantastic tales. In 2017 the couple were
slated to receive $3-4 million from the state for being wrongfully
imprisoned for more than two decades.
(SFC, 3/24/17, p.A5)
1992 Texas executed 12 inmates.
1993 Feb 2, IRS and Willie
Nelson settled on $9M tax bill (of $16.7M). In November 1990 the IRS
had raided Willie Nelson's home in Texas and seized everything. The
IRS auctioned off Nelson's home and his property, though friends and
fans bought most of his things and gave them back later.
1993 Feb 28, Agents of the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided the ranch of the
Branch Davidian sect under David Koresh in Waco, Texas. A shootout
followed when Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents tried
to serve warrants on the Branch Davidians; four agents and six
Davidians were killed as a 51-day standoff began. In 1997 the film
"Waco: The Rules of Engagement: was released that documented the
(SFC, 2/28/97, p.D3) (AP, 2/28/98)
1993 Mar 1, Authorities near
Waco, Texas, continued negotiating with Branch Davidians holed up in
their bullet-scarred compound, a day after a furious gun battle
between the Davidians and federal agents that left 10 people dead.
1993 Mar 6, As a standoff at
the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended its first week,
authorities appealed publicly to David Koresh and his followers to
give themselves up.
1993 Mar 7, Authorities said
David Koresh, the leader of the Branch Davidians, was becoming
irritable and had rejected proposals to end a week-long standoff at
his compound near Waco, Texas.
1993 Apr 19, The 51-day siege
at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended as fire
destroyed the structure after federal agents began smashing their
way in; dozens of people, including leader David Koresh (Vernon
Howell), were killed. In 1999 the FBI admitted that it used
incendiary tear gas canisters but still maintained that it did not
start the fire. An undisclosed tape recording of the assault was
also disclosed in 1999.
(TMC, 1994, p.1993)(AP, 4/19/97)(SFC, 8/25/99,
p.A3)(SFC, 9/2/99, p.A30)
1993 May 2, Authorities said
they had recovered the remains of David Koresh from the burned-out
Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas.
1993 May 15, The $186 million
Alamodome opened in San Antonio, Texas.
1993 Jun 5, In Texas,
Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison won the U.S. Senate seat vacated by
Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen.
1993 Jun 15, Former Texas Gov.
John Connally, who was wounded in the gunfire that killed President
Kennedy, died at age 76.
1993 Jun 24, In Texas Jennifer
Ertman (14) and Elizabeth Pena (16) were confronted by six teenage
members of a loose-knit "Black and White" gang who savagely raped,
tortured, and beat them to death. Police soon arrested Jose Ernesto
Medellin, who gave a written confession but was not told that he
could request assistance from the Mexican consulate. Five of the six
defendants received death sentences at trial. Medellin was sentenced
to death in 1994, but the World court in 2004 ruled that his
conviction, and that of 50 other Mexicans in the US, violated the
1963 Vienna Convention. In 2007 his case went before the US Supreme
Court. In 2010 Peter Anthony Cantu was executed for his role in the
rapes and murders.
10/11/07, p.A7)(SFC, 8/18/10, p.A4)
1993 Aug, Juan Raul Garza,
indicted as the boss of a drug ring, was convicted and sentenced to
death for killing 3 men in Texas between April 1990 and Jan 1991.
Garza maintained his innocence and in 2000 Pres. Clinton delayed the
execution to allow an appeal for clemency. The delay was followed by
a 6-month reprieve to study racial and geographic disparities in the
federal death penalty. Garza was executed in 2001.
(SFC, 8/3/00, p.A3)(SFC, 12/8/00, p.A3)(SFC,
1993 Sep 12, In San Antonio,
Texas, Rodolfo Rodriguez (72), his wife Virginia (62) and Paula
Moran (90), a former nanny, were fatally stabbed in a robbery that
netted about $300. A grand-nephew of the couple later implicated
himself, his brother and Arnold Prieto. In Jan 21, 2015, Prieto (41)
was executed for his role in the killings.
(SFC, 1/22/15, p.A7)(http://tinyurl.com/mv4k33j)
1993 Sep 27, Sen. Kay Bailey
Hutchison, R-Texas, was indicted on charges that, as Texas state
treasurer, she'd misused state facilities and employees. The
indictment was dismissed for technical reasons; Hutchison was
reindicted and later acquitted.
1993 Sep 30, US Treasury
Department issued a report sharply criticizing top officials at the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for their handling of the
February raid on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas.
1993 Oct 8, The US government
issued a report absolving the FBI of wrongdoing in its 51-day siege
and final assault in Texas on the Branch Davidian compound, which
went up in flames, killing as many as 85 people. It concluded the
department and Attorney General Reno made no mistakes and that the
cult bore the blame for the fire that destroyed the compound,
killing at least 80 people.
1993 T.D. Jakes, a West
Virginia preacher who ran a Pentecostal church in Dallas, published
"The Lady, Her Lover and Her Lord." It was a self-help guide
peppered with scripture. In 1998 the title was followed up with a
gospel-pop album of the same name as "sacred music for married
(WSJ, 8/21/98, p.A1)
1993 Federal Judge Lucius
Bunton (d.2001 at 76) forced the legislature to establish the
Edwards Aquifer Authority to regulate pumping from the 175-mile
aquifer of San Antonio.
(SFC, 1/20/01, p.A24)
1993 Enron Corp. persuaded the
SEC to grant it an exemption from the depression-era Public Utility
Holding Company Act that prevented utilities from diversifying into
(SSFC, 2/24/02, p.D1)
1993 Hearst Corp. acquired the
San Antonio Express-News.
(SFC, 8/7/99, p.A9)
1993 A US project to build a
23-km particle accelerator near Waxahachie, Texas, was cancelled
after nearly $2 billion had been spent.
(Econ, 4/29/06, p.84)
1993 The 12-year-old
step-daughter of Ricky McGinn was raped and hacked to death with an
ax. McGinn was convicted for the murder and sentenced to death. In
2000 DNA tests confirmed his guilt and he was executed Sep 27.
(SFC, 6/2/00, p.A3)(SFC, 8/16/00, p.A3)(WSJ,
1994 Jan 30, The Dallas Cowboys
repeated as NFL champions as they defeated the Buffalo Bills, 30-13,
in the Super Bowl. It was the fourth straight Super Bowl loss for
1994 Feb 11, A judge in
Fort Worth, Texas, ordered Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison acquitted of
ethics charges after prosecutors refused to present their case.
1994 Feb 26, A jury in San
Antonio acquitted 11 followers of David Koresh of murder, rejecting
claims they had ambushed federal agents; five were convicted of
1994 Mar 29, Dallas Cowboys
coach Jimmy Johnson resigned, capping a longstanding feud with team
owner Jerry Jones.
1994 Apr, Napoleon Beazley (17)
shot and killed John Luttig (63), the father of a federal judge, in
a carjacking in Tyler. Beazley’s scheduled execution in 2001, was
delayed. Beazley was executed May 28, 2002.
(SFC, 8/14/01, p.A3)(SFC, 8/16/01, p.A3)(SFC,
1994 Jun 22, The Houston
Rockets defeated the New York Knicks 90-84 to win the NBA
1994 Jul 3, Thirty-one people
died in three separate crashes on Texas highways.
1994 Sep 24, In Texas Orlando
Hall and three others abducted Lisa Rene (16) in Dallas after Hall
was stiffed by her two bothers in a drug deal. Rene was killed two
days later in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Hall (49) was executed in 2020.
(SFC, 11/21/20, p.A4)
1994 Oct 16, Heavy rains began
drenching southeast Texas, resulting in floods that left 20 dead and
forced 14,000 from their homes in 35 counties.
1994 Nov 1, George W. Bush was
elected governor of Texas.
(SSFC, 12/2/18, p.A13)
1994 Trieu Viet Le and 5 other
men staged an armed robbery for microchips of the Cyrix Corp. in
Richardson, Texas. Le was indicted in 1999.
(SFC, 3/10/99, p.A20)
1994 The educational Knowledge
Is Power Program (KIPP) was launched in Houston, Texas. Its main
motto was “Work Hard. Be Nice."
(Econ, 7/11/09, SR p.6)(www.kipp.org/01/)
1994 Hearst acquired Associated
Publ. Co., a publisher of "yellow pages" directories in Texas.
(SFC, 8/7/99, p.A9)
1994 Texas executed 14 inmates.
1995 Jan 17, George W. Bush
(b.1946) began serving as the 46th governor of Texas. Bush had
already picked Alberto Gonzales (b.1955) as his general counsel.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Bush)(Econ, 7/14/07, p.38)
1995 Jan 20, Bruno Jordan, suit
salesman and brother a drug enforcement officer, was shot dead in El
Paso. In 2002 Charles Bowden authored "Down By the River," an
account of the murder and narcotics traffickers.
(NW, 1/13/03, p.61)
1995 Mar 31, Mexican-American
singer Selena, 23, was shot to death in Corpus Christi, Texas, by
the founder of her fan club. Yolanda Saldivar was convicted of
murder and sentenced to life in prison.
1995 Apr 1, More than 1,500
mourners attended a vigil for Mexican-American singer Selena in
Corpus Christi, Texas, where she had been shot to death the day
1995 Apr 18, The Houston Post
closed after 116 years.
(AP, 4/18/00)(MC, 4/18/02)
1995 May 5, Thunderstorms began
tearing through North Texas, claiming two dozen lives.
1995 May 19, AMC Entertainment
Inc. opened the 1st multi-theater film megaplex, the Grand 24, in
(SFC, 5/19/05, p.C3)(WSJ, 5/13/97, p.B1)
1995 Jun 5, Ron Kirk began
serving as the first black mayor of Dallas, Texas.
1995 Aug 4, J. Howard Marshall
II, Texas oil tycoon and alumnus of Haverford College, Pa., died. In
1994 Marshall had married Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith (26).
In 2002, a federal judge ruled that the dying 90-year-old truly
loved his then 26-year-old wife and awarded her $88 million in a
court fight with Marshall’s son. In 2004 an appeals court reversed
the judgment. In 2010 a federal appeals court recognized a 2001 jury
verdict in Texas that determined an irrevocable trust and will
leaving $1.6 billion to Pierce Marshall was valid.
12/31/04)(SFC, 3/20/10, p.A6)
1995 Aug, In Austin, Texas,
Madalyn Murray O’Hair, leader of United Secularists of America,
disappeared with her son and granddaughter and more than $600,000 in
funds from her various organizations. Her diaries, some 2,000 pages,
were scheduled to be auctioned in 1999. The IRS filed an affidavit
in 1999 against David Waters and 3 others in relation to suspected
murders and theft. In 1999 Waters (52) was sentenced to 60 years in
prison for skimming over $50,000 from the atheist organization.
Waters was later given another 8 year sentence on a federal weapons
charge. [See Oct 3.] In 2001 bones were found on the ranch where she
was believed to have been buried following an agreement between
Waters and prosecutors. All 3 bodies were identified in Mar.
(SFEC, 3/3/97, p.A4)(SFC, 1/12/99, p.A4)(SFC,
5/27/99, p.A3)(SFC, 8/12/99, p.3)(SFC, 8/21/99, p.A3)(SSFC, 1/28/01,
p.A2)(WSJ, 3/16/00, p.A1)
1995 Oct 3, In Texas three
young crooks stole a suitcase from a walk-in storage locker in North
Austin. The suitcase contained some $80,000 in coins stashed by Gary
Karr, David Roland Waters and Danny Raymond Fry, who were implicated
in the disappearance of atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair.
(SFC, 6/3/00, p.A7)
1995 Oct 23, A jury in Houston
convicted Yolanda Saldivar of murdering Tejano singing star Selena.
1995 Nov 25, In Texas Victor
Saldano and Mexican friend Jorge Chavez, drunk and high on crack
cocaine, were seen holding Paul King at gunpoint in a parking lot.
King (46) was abducted from a Plano supermarket, robbed and shot. In
1996 Saldano, an illegal alien from Argentina, was convicted and
sentenced to death for the killing. In 2017 a federal court agreed
to review the case.
1995 Dec 4, Diane Zamora and
David Graham, high school sweethearts, killed Adrienne Jones (16).
Jones and Graham had had sex and the murder was reported as an
appeasement to Zamora. Graham went on to the Air Force Academy at
Colorado Springs. The murder remained a mystery until Zamora
confided her story to classmates at the Annapolis Naval Academy in
Sep 1996. Zamora later testified that Graham shot and killed Jones.
Zamora was convicted in Feb, 1998, and received a life sentence with
possible parole after 40 years. Graham was convicted in July, 1998,
and received an automatic life sentence.
(SFEC, 2/8/98, p.A6)(SFC, 2/11/98, p.A3)(SFC,
2/18/98, p.A3)(SFC, 7/25/98, p.A3)
1995 Texas passed the "veggie
libel" law that protected perishable food products from false and
(SFC, 1/21/98, p.A3)
1995 In Houston a test pilot
demonstrated a backpack rocket contraption and flew over the Houston
Ship Channel for 28 seconds. The rocket belt was built by Larry
Stanley and Brad Parker in a shop that belonged to Joe Wright. In
1994 Barker beat Stanley with a hammer. Stanley sued Barker and
Wright for conspiracy to seize the belt for their own benefit.
Wright was bludgeoned to death July 16, 1998. In 1999 Stanley won a
default judgment for over $10 million in damages and the return of
the RB-2000 belt, which was still missing.
(SFC, 7/27/99, p.A6)(SFC, 7/28/99, p.A7)
1995 Texas executed 19 inmates.
1995 J. Howard Marshall,
oilman, died at age 90 and left a fortune estimated at $1.6 billion.
He had married Anna Nicole Smith, a Houston stripper in 1994. In
2000 a court awarded Smith $449.7 million based on her "widow’s
election" and overrode a will that bequeathed the fortune to
Marshall’s youngest son. Smith accepted a $475 million court award
in 2001. A federal judge later nullified the court award.
(SFC, 9/28/00, p.A2)(SFC, 1/6/01, p.A2)(SFC,
1996 Jan 14, The Pittsburgh
Steelers defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 20-to-16, to win the AFC
championship. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Green Bay Packers,
38-to-27, to win the NFC championship.
1996 Jan 28, In Super Bowl XXX
the Dallas Cowboys captured their third Super Bowl victory in four
years, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-to-17.
1996 Apr 16, Oprah Winfrey
hosted her evening show and included a segment on mad cow disease. A
group of Texas cattle ranchers later sued her for her comments. The
case was initially a test of the state’s 1995 "veggie libel" law
that protected perishable food products from false and defamatory
statements, but was ruled to proceed as a common-law business
defamation case. Texas jury selection in the trial of Oprah began
Jan 20 and she was acquitted by the jury on Feb 26, 1998.
1996 May 24, Jayla Belton (2)
died of internal injuries. An 11-year-old girl was convicted of
murder and sentenced to 25 years. In 1999 the conviction was
overturned because police obtained her statements illegally.
(SFC, 4/16/99, p.A3)
1996 Jun 22, A Texas firm
called id Software released a video game called “Quake," featuring a
fully three-dimensional world.
(Econ, 6/18/16, p.79)
1996 Jun 27, A Dallas police
officer was charged with trying to hire a hit man to kill football
star Michael Irvin; Johnnie Hernandez later pleaded guilty to
solicitation of capital murder. He was sentenced to serve two
concurrent six-year prison terms, and was paroled in 1998.
1996 Sep 3, In Texas Grady
Alexander (80) and his wife Bessie (86) were found beaten and
stabbed to death at their home in Lamar County. Larry Wooten was
later convicted with DNA evidence and sentenced to death. He was
executed on Oct 21, 2010.
1996 Dec 22, Eight workers were
killed in an explosion at the Wyman Gordon Forgings
metal-fabricating plant in northwest Houston. They had been doing
maintenance on 9-story pressurized tanks.
(SFC, 12/24/96, p.A3)(AP, 12/22/97)
1996 Laura Bush founded the
Texas Book Festival.
(WSJ, 9/4/01, p.A19)
1996 In a Dallas suburb 14
teenagers and young adults died after using a potent "uncut" Mexican
(SFC, 6/2/98, p.A6)
1997 Jan 1, Townes Van Zandt
(1944-1997) Texas songwriter, died. His work included the 1983 song
"Pancho and Lefty," sung by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson.
(SFC, 1/3/97, p.A26)(SFC, 1/4/97, p.E1)(WSJ,
1997 Feb 17, Angela Peck was
stabbed in the back and the neck by Carl Wayne Thomas (21), a
security guard. She pleaded for mercy and promised to blame the
attack on a fictitious character. Thomas agreed and summoned aid.
She later told the truth and Thomas confessed. he agreed to a
42-year prison sentence for attempted murder.
(SFC, 10/13/97, p.A9)
1997 Apr 16, Doris Angleton,
wife of former bookie Robert Angleton, was found shot to death in
River Oaks, Houston. Roger Angleton, Robert’s brother, confessed to
the murder in a suicide note in Feb 1998.
(SFC, 8/15/01, p.A4)
1997 Apr 27, A Texas militia
group, called Republic of Texas, took 2 hostages at the Davis
Mountain Resort community. They advocated independence for the
state. The hostages were released later the next day in exchange for
a jailed comrade, but the standoff continued. Richard McLaren and
Robert Otto were later captured, convicted and sentenced to 99 and
50 years in prison. Acquittal on kidnapping charges against McLaren
and Otto were handed down by an Appeals court in 1999.
(WSJ, 4/29/97, p.A1)(SFC, 4/29/97, p.A1)(SFC,
1997 Apr 30, Sarah Patterson
(11) was sexually assaulted and murdered with her throat slit near
Fort Worth, Texas. Her brother was beaten, but survived and later
testified against Bobby Wayne Woods. Woods (44) was executed on Dec
1997 May 2, In Texas Robert
Scheidt surrendered to police and left behind 7 people of the
Republic of Texas under the leadership of Richard McLaren. The
number of separatists was reduced to 7 from an earlier estimate of
(SFC, 5/3/97, p.A3)
1997 May 3, The standoff in
Texas with the Republic of Texas ended. Two militia members fled
into the Davis mountains while 5 surrendered peacefully.
(SFEC, 5/4/97, p.A1)
1997 May 27, A tornado hit
Cedar Park, [Jarrell] Texas, and left at least 32  people dead.
It cut a swath from Austin to Waco.
(SFC, 5/28/97, p.A1)(SFC, 5/29/97, p.A3)(AP,
1997 Jun 4, In Lubbock, Texas,
Michael Rosales, a parole violator, beat and used kitchen tools to
kill Mary Felder (67) during a robbery at her apartment. Rosales
(35) was executed on April 16, 2009.
1997 Jun 18, Irineo Montoya, a
Mexican laborer, was executed by the state of Texas for a 1985
killing despite protests by the Mexican government.
1997 Jun 23, Two freight trains
collided in Texas near San Antonio and 4 people were killed.
(SFC, 6/24/97, p.A2)
1997 Jul 24, A Dallas jury
awarded $120 million in damages against the local Roman Catholic
diocese that ignored evidence that the priest, Rudolph Kos, sexually
abused a number of altar boys from 1977-1992. Kos was suspended in
1992. Kos pleaded guilty to 3 sex abuse charges in 1998.
(SFC, 7/25/97, p.A1)(SFC, 3/25/98, p.A3)
1997 Aug 30, Philip Noel
Johnson, an armored car driver believed to have stolen $22 million,
was arrested at the Texas border. Johnson later pleaded guilty to
charges of kidnapping, money laundering and interfering with
interstate commerce. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
1997 Sep, In Dallas, Texas, the
Walt Whitman Community School began classes as the nation’s first
private high school for gay students.
(SFC, 5/11/98, p.A3)
1997 Nov 5, The Enron executive
committee approved several hundred million in loan guarantees for a
new partnership named Chewbacca, to be partly owned and run
independently by Enron executive Michael Kopper. This set a pattern
for transactions that inflated earnings and kept debt hidden.
(WSJ, 2/1/02, p.A1)
1997 Nov 6, The $83 million
George Bush Presidential Library and Museum was dedicated on the
campus of Texas A&M Univ. at College Station.
1997 Nov 13, In Texas Coy
Wesbrook (1958-2016) went on a shooting rampage killing 5 people,
including his ex-wife. Wesbrook was executed in 2016.
1997 Nov 19, Michael Eugene
Sharp became the 35th condemned killer to be put to death this year
in Texas. He used the Internet to distribute his last words. He had
abducted a woman and her 2 young daughters, sexually abused them,
and fatally stabbed the mother and youngest daughter.
1997 Nov 21, Charlie Livingston
was executed by lethal injection for the Aug 10, 1983 murder of
Janet Caldwell (38).
1997 Dec 2, In Texas Alberto
Gonzales (b.1955), the general counsel to Gov. George W. Bush, began
serving as the Sec. of State.
1997 Dec 6, Lee Patrick Brown
was elected as the first black mayor of Houston.
1997 Dec 9, Michael Lee
Lockhart was put to death by lethal injection for the 1988 murder of
a Beaumont police officer. He was also wanted by Florida and Indiana
where in 1987 he killed a 14-year old girl and 16 year-old girl. He
was the 37th to be executed by Texas this year.
1997 Dec 26, It was reported
that the Emu market had collapsed and that the 100-pound birds were
roaming the Texas countryside and being slaughtered by frustrated
1997 The Dallas Zoo claimed the
largest sculpture in the state with a giant giraffe built by Robert
Cassilly of St. Louis. His piece surpassed the giant statue of Sam
Houston made by sculptor David Adickes.
(WSJ, 1/18/06, p.A6)
1997 In Sugarland, Tx., Ira
P.H. Poon spent $20 million to open his Forbidden Gardens museum, a
1/20th scale replica of the Forbidden City in Beijing along with a
replica of the tomb of Qin Shi Huang.
(SFC, 8/23/99, p.A3,4)
1997 Yvonne Gonzalez,
superintendent of the Dallas school district, pleaded guilty to
fraud and embezzlement of $10,000 that she used to furnish her home.
(SFC, 4/23/99, p.A21)
1997 Kelli Cox (20), a student
at the Univ. of North Texas, disappeared. She was one of four young
women disappeared in Oklahoma and Texas over a four-month period.
The others included Tiffany Johnson (19), Jessica Cain (17) and
Laura Smither (12). In 2016 William Lewis Reece led police to the
graves of Cox and Cain. In 2017 Reece was indicted for the murder of
(SSFC, 12/17/17, p.A8)
1997 Enron won exemption from
the Investment Company Act of 1940 which allowed it to leave debt
from foreign power plants off its books.
(SSFC, 2/24/02, p.D1)
1998 Jan 16, Texas settled with
the tobacco industry for $15.3 billion.
(SFC, 1/17/98, p.A6)
1998 Jan 20, In Texas jury
selection in the multi-million-dollar lawsuit trial of Oprah Winfrey
began. She was being sued by Texas cattlemen for remarks on her Apr
16, 1996 show about mad cow disease. The case was initially a test
of the state’s 1995 "veggie libel" law that protected perishable
food products from false and defamatory statements, but was ruled to
proceed as a common-law business defamation case. Winfrey won the
case on Feb 26.
1998 Feb 3, In Texas Karla Faye
Tucker (38) was executed by lethal injection with sodium thiopental
for the 1983 pickax slaying of 2 people during a break-in in 1983.
She was the first woman executed in the United States since 1984.
(SFC, 2/4/98, p.A1)(WSJ, 1/4/98, p.R4)(AP,
1998 Feb 17, A jury in Fort
Worth, Texas, convicted former Naval Academy midshipman Diane Zamora
(20) of killing a 16-year-old romantic rival. Zamora and her
ex-boyfriend, former US Air Force Academy cadet David Graham, were
sentenced to life in prison in the slaying of Adrianne
1998 Feb 26, A jury in
Amarillo, Texas, rejected an $11 million lawsuit brought by Texas
cattlemen who blamed Oprah Winfrey's talk show for a price fall
after a segment on food safety that included a discussion about
1998 Mar 17, In Texas Joe
Collins (64) was killed during a break-in at his home outside
Nagadoches. In 2009 Khristian Oliver (32) was executed for beating
and shooting Collins.
1998 Apr 25, Three teenagers
were found shot to death in Brownsville.
(SFC, 4/27/98, p.A5)
1998 May 1, The grand opening
of the new 2,056-seat Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall
in Fort Worth was held. It was designed by David M. Schwarz.
(WSJ, 5/22/98, p.W5)
1998 May, In Texas drug dealer
Troy Clark drowned his former roommate Christina Muse of Tyler in
his bathtub and stuffed her body into a barrel. He feared that she
would snitch on him. In 2018 Clark (51) was executed by lethal
(SFC, 9/27/18, p.A4)
1998 Jun 5, In Texas an
estimated 22,000 trout died in the Guadalupe River after eating dead
fire ants that fell into the river after mating.
(SFC, 6/6/98, p.A4)
1998 Jun 7, James Byrd Junior,
a 49-year-old black man, was chained to a pickup truck and dragged
to his death in Jasper, Texas. Three white men were soon arrested; 2
of the men were sentenced to death and the 3rd received life in
prison [see Jun 9].
(SFC, 6/9/98, p.A3)(AP, 6/7/00)
1998 Jun 8, In Splendora,
Texas, Don Willburn Collins (13) doused Robert Middleton with
gasoline on his 8th birthday and set him on fire. Middleton died in
2011 from skin cancer blamed on burns across 99% of his body. In
2014 a judge ruled that Collins could be tried as an adult.
(SFC, 3/7/14, p.A8)(http://tinyurl.com/mzfz6pk)
1998 Jun 9, In Texas three
white men, Shawn Allen Berry (23), Lawrence Russell Brewer (31) and
John William King (23), were charged for the June 7 murder of James
Byrd Jr. (49). King was convicted of murder Feb 23, 1999, and was
executed in 2019. Brewer was found guilty of capital murder on Sep
20, 1999 and was excuted in 2011. Berry was sentenced to life in
(SFC, 6/10/98, p.A3)(SFC, 2/24/99, p.A1)(SFC,
9/14/99, p.A10)(SFC, 9/21/99, p.A3)(SFC, 9/24/99, p.A3)(SFC,
11/19/99, p.A3)(SFC, 4/25/19, p.A8)
1998 Jun 26, Gov. George W.
Bush agreed to commute the death sentence of Henry Lee Lucas in the
"Orange Socks" murder case. Lucas was serving 6 life terms, 2 75
year terms and one 60 year term for nine other murders.
(SFC, 6/27/98, p.A3)
1998 Jun, Clifford Boggess was
executed in Huntsville, 12 years after he had murdered 2 old men in
separate robberies. A documentary film of his crimes and executions
was shown in 1999 on Frontline.
(SFC, 2/9/99, p.A20)
1998 Jul 7, In Texas 2 Border
Patrol agents were killed in a gun battle with Ernest Moore who was
suspected of killing a woman and her daughter. Moore soon after died
of wounds at a hospital.
(SFC, 7/8/98, p.A2)
1998 Jul 10, Bringing to a
close one of the biggest sex scandals ever to hit the Roman Catholic
Church, the Diocese of Dallas agreed to pay $23.4 million to nine
former altar boys who said they had been molested by a priest.
1998 Jul 14, Flash floods hit
Tennessee and Alabama and 2 people were reported killed. Meanwhile
hot weather in Texas was responsible for some 23 deaths where
temperatures hit over 100 for the last 26 days.
(SFC, 7/15/98, p.A3)
1998 Jul, In Houston six police
officers without a warrant stormed the home of Pedro Navarro (22) on
a drug tip. No drugs were found and Navarro was killed after being
shot 12 times, 9 times in the back. The officers were later fired.
(SFC, 11/3/98, p.A3)
1998 Aug 24, Tropical Storm
Charley dropped a foot of rain on South Texas and northern Mexico
and left at least 14 people dead and over 60 missing.
(SFC, 8/25/98, p.A1)
1998 Sep 8, David Logie (37),
an Army major from North Carolina was beaten, robbed and killed by 2
couples on their way to Mexico. In 2010 Billy Galloway and Kevin
Varga were executed for their role in the murder of Logie.
(http://off2dr.com/smf/index.php?topic=7221.0)(SFC, 5/14/10, p.A6)
1998 Sep 11, Tropical Storm
Frances hit the middle of the Texas coast. In Louisiana one person
was killed and 6 were injured. In Houston the streets were flooded.
(SFC, 9/11/98, p.A3)
1998 Oct 8, In Port Arthur an
incinerating plant operated by Waste Management began burning a
diluted batch of napalm.
(USAT, 10/9/98, p.20A)
1998 Oct 18, A weekend storm in
Texas killed at least 14 people after 12 inches of rain fell. The
death toll increased to 22 and later 28.
(SFC, 10/19/98, p.A2)(SFC, 10/21/98, p.A3)(WSJ,
1998 Oct 23, In Texas the
Natural Resource Conservation Commission voted against issuing a
license for a radioactive waste dump at Sierra Blanca, 16 miles from
the Mexican border.
(SFC, 10/23/98, p.A10)
1998 Oct, Zacchaeus Field was
shot to death. John Turnbow was convicted of killing Field, a black
man and complete stranger, as a hate crime and sentenced to life in
prison in 2001.
(SFC, 7/4/01, p.A5)
1998 Nov 27, In Texas Martin E.
Gurule became the first inmate to escape from Death Row at
Huntsville. He was convicted for a double murder in 1992. He was
found drowned to death on Dec 3.
(SFC, 11/28/98, p.A1,8)(SFC, 12/4/98, p.A3)
1998 Dec 16, Philip True (50),
a reporter for the San Antonio Express-News, was found dead in a
remote mountain range between Jalisco and Nayarit states in Mexico.
He went hiking the area Nov 29 to photograph and write about the
Huichol Indians and apparently fell into a deep ravine. A coroner’s
report later indicated that he had been strangled and dropped into
the ravine. In 2002 an appeals court overturned the acquittal of 2
Huichol Indians, who were arrested with True’s camera and backpack.
In 2005 Robert Rivard authored “Trail of Feathers: Searching for
(SFC, 12/18/98, p.D6)(SFC, 5/31/02, p.A22)(SSFC,
1998 Dec 20, In Houston Nken
Chukwu gave birth to 5 girls and 2 boys 12 days after giving birth
to another girl.
(SFC, 12/21/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 27, In Texas the
smallest of the Chukwu octuplets died.
(SFC, 12/28/98, p.A1)
1998 In Texas 4 women were
convicted of assaulting two nieces of Anna Ramirez, ages 7 and 9, in
successive attacks during a week in 1994. The girls had testified
that the women held them by their wrists and ankles, attacked them
and threatened to kill them. Anna Vasquez was released on parole in
November, 2012. Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh and Cassandra
Rivera were released in 2013 after a judge decided to
recommend that an appeals court vacate their 1998 convictions as
tainted by faulty witness testimony.
1998 Mark Lund (46) was killed
for his $5,000 gun collection by a hit man, Billy Don Williams
[Wilson], who was hired by Lund's son Brandon Lund (16). Brandon
tried unsuccessfully to renege on the deal. He was convicted and
sentenced to 2 years in juvenile prison. Wilson (23) was convicted
of capital murder in 1999 and sentenced to life in prison.
(SFC, 4/7/99, p.A2)(SFC, 4/9/99, p.A3)
1999 Jan 21, In Texas LaTausha
Curry (25) was abducted while trying to make a call at a pay phone.
Derrick Lamone Johnson later confessed that he and an accomplice had
raped and murdered her. In 2009 Johnson (25) was executed.
1999 Feb 16, Testimony began in
the Jasper, Texas, trial of John William King, charged with murder
in the gruesome dragging death of James Byrd Jr. King was accused of
beating Byrd with a bat and then dragging him behind a truck until
the African-American man died from decapitation. King was later
convicted and sentenced to death.
1999 Feb 23, A jury in Jasper,
Texas convicted white supremacist John William King of murder in the
gruesome dragging death of a black man, James Byrd Jr.; King was
sentenced to death two days later.
(SFC, 2/24/99, p.A1)(AP, 2/23/00)
1999 Mar 11, Gov. George W.
Bush declared an emergency in 167 of the states 254 counties due to
a dry winter and in fear of a summertime drought.
(SFC, 3/12/99, p.A3)
1999 Mar 29, In Abilene Arthur
Goodman (19) killed his girlfriend and 3 of her friends. His
girlfriend, Sandy Witt (20) apparently refused to supply him with an
alibi in a crime for which he was suspect. Goodman was killed by
police the next day when he pointed a gun at officers.
(SFC, 3/31/99, p.A11)(SFC, 4/1/99, p.A3)
1999 Apr 22, The Dallas Board
of Education named SF Superintendent Bill Rojas as its choice to run
the Dallas school district. The SF Board of Supervisors were not
pleased. Rojas was given a 3-year contract at $260,000 per year plus
benefits, and was scheduled to begin work in August.
(SFC, 4/23/99, p.A1)(SFC, 5/26/99, p.A18)
1999 Apr 28, Plans for the new
$20 million Cathedral of Hope church by architect Philip Johnson
(92) were unveiled. The congregation consisted primarily of gay and
(SFC, 4/27/99, p.A1)
1999 May 2, Minister Norman
Sirnic (46) and his wife Karen (47) were found dead inside their
home near railroad track in Weimar. Rafael Resendez-Ramirez was
suspected of the murder.
(SFC, 6/22/99, p.A3)
1999 May 17, The House followed
the Senate and approved a bill that designated March 31 as "Cesar
(SFC, 5/18/99, p.A3)
1999 May 19, In Houston Troy
Blando, a police auto theft detective, was shot and killed. Bicycle
patrol officers quickly arrested a suspect.
(SFC, 5/20/99, p.A7)
1999 May 30, Nidia and Patricio
Leal were killed when their Ford Explorer skidded into a ditch near
Brownsville, Tx., following the unraveling of a Firestone tire.
Relatives settled with Bridgestone/Firestone in 2000 in the 1st
product liability suit following an August, 2000, tire recall.
(SFC, 10/24/00, p.A8)
1999 Jun 4, Josephine Konvicka
(73) was found slain inside her home in Fayette County. Rafael
Resendez-Ramirez was suspected of the murder.
(SFC, 6/22/99, p.A3)
1999 Jun 5, Noemi Dominguez
(26) a Houston schoolteacher was found beaten to death in her home.
Rafael Resendez-Ramirez was suspected of the murder.
(SFC, 6/22/99, p.A3)
1999 Jun 17, It was reported
that Rafael Resendez-Ramirez (39), a drifter from Mexico, was being
sought for the suspected murders of at least 5 people near railroad
tracks between Houston and San Antonio. His real name was later
found to be Angel Leoncio Reyes Recendis [Angel Maturino Resendez,
Resendiz]. Ramirez surrendered to police in El Paso on July 13. His
sister, Manuela Karkiewicz of New Mexico, arranged for the surrender
and was awarded $86,000 in reward money. Resendiz was convicted in
2000 for the murder and rape of a doctor. He asked the judge for the
death penalty and was sentenced to death.
(SFC, 6/17/99, p.A3)(SFC, 6/29/99, p.A3)(SFC,
7/14/99, p.A3)(SFC, 7/30/99, p.A6)(SFC, 5/19/00, p.A3)(SFC, 5/23/00,
1999 cJun 19, The Dallas Stars
won their first Stanley Cup hockey championship by 4 games to 2 over
the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 in triple overtime.
(WSJ, 6/21/99, p.A1)
1999 Jun 25, The San Antonio
Spurs beat the New York Knicks 78-77 in their 5th game and clinched
the NBA title.
(SFC, 6/26/99, p.E1)
1999 Jul 13, Angel Maturino
Resendiz, suspected of being the "Railroad Killer," surrendered in
El Paso, Texas. He was subsequently tried, convicted and executed on
July 27, 2006 at Huntsville Prison in Texas. He had been suspected
of killings in 15 cases in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
1999 Jul 20, In Tulia, Texas,
an indictment was handed down for the arrest of 46 people on drug
charges under the testimony of undercover agent Tom Coleman. A probe
into the arrests was opened in 2002 and in 2003 Gov. Rick Perry
pardoned 35 defendants. In 2004 45 of those arrested split a $6
million civil rights settlement. In 2005 Tom Coleman, former
undercover drug agent, was sentenced to 6 years on probation for
perjury in the bogus drug busts. In 2005 Nate Blakeslee authored
“Tulia: Race, Cocaine and Corruption in a Small Texas Town."
(SFC, 6/3/03, p.A3)(SFC, 8/23/03, p.A3)(SFC,
1/15/05, p.A6)(SSFC, 11/6/05, p.M3)
1999 Aug 6, In Texas a jury
awarded Debbie Lovett $23 million for heart-valve problems that she
blamed on the diet drug combination fen-phen.
(SFC, 8/7/99, p.A3)
1999 Aug 14, Some 20 million
dead menhaden fish were reported washed up at the banks of the
Arroyo Colorado. It was the worst kill in 4 years and low oxygen
levels from algal bloom were blamed.
(SFC, 8/14/99, p.A6)
1999 Aug 22, Hurricane Bret hit
the US-Mexican border near Brownsville late on this day. Winds hit
125 mph but the storm missed populated areas.
(SFEC, 8/22/99, p.A2)(SFC, 8/23/99, p.A1)
1999 Sep 5, The Houston Comets
won their third straight WNBA championship, beating the New York
1999 Sep 5, Katie Webster,
blues singer and pianist known as the "Swamp Boogie Queen," died at
(SFC, 9/10/99, p.D6)
1999 Sep 15, In Fort Worth,
Texas, lone gunman Larry Gene Ashbrook (47) of Forest Hill killed 7
people, aged 14-36, at the Wedgewood Baptist Church before killing
(SFC, 9/16/99, p.A1)(USAT, 9/17/99, p.1,3A)
1999 Sep, In Lubbock the new
Buddy Holly Museum was scheduled to open on Labor Day.
(SFEC, 6/7/98, p.T3)
1999 Oct 6, The US NFL voted to
place an expansion team in Houston after Bob McNair agreed to pay
$700 million for a franchise to begin in 2002.
(SFC, 10/7/99, p.A1)
1999 Oct 10, In Texas 6 college
students were killed just after midnight as they got out of their
cars for a party at Tau Kappa Epsilon in College Station. The driver
of a pickup had fallen asleep.
(SFC, 10/11/99, p.A3)
1999 Oct 13, In Texas 3
Pleasanton law officers, Mark Stephenson, Thomas Monse and Terry
Miller were shot and killed by Jeremiah Engleton (21), who had been
arrested earlier for beating his wife.
(SFC, 10/14/99, p.A8)
2000 Oct, The $25 million
renovated Dallas Opera Hall in Fair Park will reopen as the first
major museum dedicated to the contributions of women to American
(SFC, 3/19/98, p.A9)
1999 Nov 18, In College
Station, Texas, a pyramid of logs for a traditional football bonfire
collapsed and killed 11 students. One of 28 injured died the next
(SFC, 11/19/99, p.A1)
1999 Dec 2, Tim Cole (b.1960),
an army veteran convicted of a 1985 rape, died in a Texas prison
from complications of asthma. In 2008 Cole was cleared by DNA
evidence. In 2010 Texas Gov. Rick Perry pardoned Cole in the state’s
first posthumous pardon.
1999 Dec 31, Kaylene Harris
(13) was killed at her parents mobile home near Del Rio. In 2000
Tommy Lynn Sells (36), a former carnival worker, was sentenced to
death for the murder. Authorities said Sells had confessed to at
least a dozen murders across the country.
(SFC, 9/21/00, p.A6)
1999 Houston, Texas, began
exchanging titles with Los Angeles, Ca., as having the most polluted
air in the United States defined by the number of days each city
violates federal smog standards.
1999 Researchers began
introducing phorid species in Texas in 1999. As many as 23 phorid
species with pathogens attack fire ants to keep their population and
movements under control. Fire ants cost the Texas economy about $1
billion annually by damaging circuit breakers and other electrical
2000 Jan 1, In Dallas Mitch
Maddox, renamed as DotComGuy, began his one year isolation in a
house with only a laptop computer to order all his personal needs.
(SFEC, 1/2/00, p.A19)
2000 Jan 20, Enron Corp.
announced a deal with Sun Microsystems in which it would buy 18,000
computer servers, just before it released its earnings statement. It
was later learned that at least one Enron partnership removed a
hedge to limit price swings and made a gain of $80-100 million as
Enron stock soared. The sun deal died within 6 months.
(WSJ, 2/15/02, p.C1)
2000 Jan 25, In Texas a tanker
truck with 9000 gallons of furfural overturned and spilled the toxic
chemical, which is used in manufacturing, into a drainage ditch that
flows into San Martin Lake. An estimated 6 million fish and dozens
of ducks were soon found dead.
(SFC, 2/12/00, p.A9)
2000 Jan, Mark Cuban, Internet
tycoon (Yahoo), bought the Dallas Mavericks basketball team for $280
(WSJ, 4/22/03, A1)
2000 Feb 12, Tom Landry, former
coach of the Dallas Cowboys, died at age 75 in Irving, Tx.
(WSJ, 2/14/00, p.A1)(WSJ, 2/16/00, p.A26)
2000 Feb 24, Betty Lou Beets
was executed for the 1983 murder of her 5th husband. She was the 2nd
woman executed in Texas since the Civil War.
(SFC, 2/25/00, p.A3)
2000 Mar 4, Homar Hernandez,
Tejano songwriter, died at age 57. His compositions included the
1985 hit "Rosas para una Rosa."
(SFC, 3/11/00, p.A17)
2000 Mar 10, In Texas a medical
helicopter crashed and its 3-person crew were killed along with a
4-month-old baby near Dalhart. West of Longview on I-20 a 5 vehicle
crash in heavy rain left at least 2 people dead.
(SFC, 3/11/00, p.A6)
2000 Mar 20, In Texas Robert
Wayne Harris (28) shot 5 people to death and critically injured one
person at the Mi-T-Fine Car Wash in Irving. Harris was arrested the
next day. He had recently been fired for exposing himself to 2 women
at the business. Harris was sentenced to death on Sep 29.
(SFC, 3/21/00, p.A5)(SFC, 3/22/00, p.A4)(SFC,
2000 Mar 28, A tornado hit fort
Worth, Texas, and 4 people were killed with over 100 injured. It cut
a 2-mile swath and inflicted $450 million in damages.
(SFC, 3/29/00, p.A1)(WSJ, 5/6/02, p.A1)
2000 Apr 13, Shareholders led
by Edward Rose III of Dallas filed a 58-page suit against the
Terayon Communications for securities fraud, one day after the stock
fell 26%. Rose, a short seller and founder of Cardinal Investment
Co. had partnered with George Bush in the 1989 bid for the Texas
(SSFC, 11/9/03, p.A20)
2000 Apr 26, In Texas a prison
riot between Blacks and Hispanics left one person dead and 31
(WSJ, 4/27/00, p.A1)
2000 Apr, Gov. George W. Bush
signed a proclamation that declared June 10 to be Jesus Day.
(SFEC, 8/6/00, p.A14)
2000 May 4, Tommy Ray Jackson
(43) was executed for the 1983 murder of Rosalind Robison (24), a
student at the Univ. of Texas. Jackson was arrested driving her car
and carrying her bank teller card but maintained his innocence to
(SFC, 5/5/00, p.A6)
2000 Jun 8, A Texas appeals
court declared the state’s 1860 sodomy law unconstitutional.
Criminal penalties for partners of the opposite sex were dropped in
(SFC, 6/9/00, p.A4)
2000 Jun 10, Jesus Day. In
April Gov. George W. Bush signed a proclamation that declared June
10 to be Jesus Day.
(SFEC, 8/6/00, p.A14)
2000 Jun 22, In Texas Gary
Graham was executed for the 1981 murder of Bobby Lambert near a
Houston supermarket. Graham claimed his innocence to the very end.
(SFC, 6/23/00, p.A3)
2000 Jun 29, Jessy Carlos San
Miguel was executed by lethal injection for the 1991 shooting spree
that left 4 people dead in a Taco Bell restaurant.
(SFC, 6/30/00, p.A10)
2000 Jul 14, In Waco, Texas, a
federal jury decided that federal agents were not responsible for
the deaths of 80 Branch Davidians in 1993.
(SFC, 7/15/00, p.A1)
2000 Aug 9, In Texas Brian
Keith Roberson (36) was executed for the 1986 stabbing deaths of an
elderly couple in Dallas. Oliver Cruz (33) was executed for the 1988
abduction, rape and fatal stabbing of a 24-year-old woman in San
Antonio. Cruz’s IQ tests measured as low as 63.
(SFC, 8/10/00, p.A2)(SFC, 11/15/00, p.A11)
2000 Sep 5, Oyster harvesting
was shut down in Galveston Bay as a large toxic algal bloom began to
spread from the Texas Gulf Coast to the Florida panhandle. Million
of fish began to die.
(SFC, 9/30/00, p.B10)
2000 Oct 3, HUD officials took
over the Beaumont Housing Authority due to patterns of
discrimination that dated back to the 1960s.
(SFC, 10/4/00, p.A3)
2000 Oct 11, Sheriff’s Sgt.
Rudy Lopes (42) was found bound and shot to death in San Antonio.
(SFC, 10/19/00, p.A21)
2000 Oct 17, Police in San
Francisco captured Joshua Maxwell and Tessie McFarland of
Indianapolis, wanted for killings in two states following a
gun-shooting chase. Maxwell and McFarland were wanted for the murder
of Sgt. Rudy Lopes in San Antonio, Texas, and for the murder of
Robby Bott in Brooklyn, Indiana.
(SFC, 10/18/00, p.A1,5)
2000 Nov 3, Five people died in
central Texas over the last 2 days in car accidents due to flooding.
(SFEC, 11/5/00, p.A7)
2000 Dec 5, Garry Dean Miller
(33) was executed for the 1988 rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl.
Miller was the 38th person executed in Texas this year.
(SFC, 12/6/00, p.A13)
2000 Dec 7, In Texas Claude
Howard Jones was executed for the Nov 14, 1989, slaying of Allen
Hilzendager in Point Blank. Jones was the 40th execution this year
and the 239th since 1982. Jones was executed based on a single hair
as evidence from the liquor store killing. DNA analysis later found
the strand of hair did not belong to Jones.
(SFC, 12/8/00, p.D4)(SFC, 11/12/10,
2000 Dec 13, Seven inmates made
a daring escape from the maximum security the Connally Unit state
prison in Kenedy, Texas. Police in Colorado caught 4 escaped
convicts on Jan 22, 2001. A 5th committed suicide. The 2 at large
were caught Jan 23. The surviving six were sentenced to death for
killing a Dallas-area police officer during a robbery.
(SFC, 12/15/00, p.A11)(SFC, 1/23/01, p.A3)(SFC,
1/24/01, p.A2)(AP, 12/13/05)
2000 Dec 21, President-elect
George W. Bush resigned as governor of Texas; Lt. Gov. Rick Perry
(Republican) was sworn in to replace him.
(AP, 12/21/01)(SFC, 12/22/00, p.A11)
2000 Dec 24, A group of 7
escaped convicts robbed a sporting goods store in Irving, Texas;
police officer Aubrey Hawkins was killed during the robbery. George
Rivas, a recent escapee from Connally State prison, killed the
officer during a holdup at a sporting goods store. Rivas was
convicted for the murder in 2001 and was executed on Aug 14, 2008.
Prisoner Joseph Garcia was executed on Dec. 4, 2018.
(SFC, 8/22/01, p.A4)(SFC, 8/30/01, p.A6)(AP,
12/24/05)(AP, 8/15/08)(SFC, 12/5/18, p.A4)
2000 Dec 28, In the US recent
bad weather was blamed for 41 deaths: including 22 in Texas and 11
(SFC, 12/29/00, p.A6)
2000-2001 Nurse Vickie Dawn Jackson injected 10
Texas hospital patients with lethal drug doses at Nocona General
Hospital. In 2006 Jackson pleaded no contest to capital murder and
was sentenced to life in prison.
2001 Jan 24, The last two of
seven escaped convicts from Texas were captured in Colorado after 42
days on the run; four others were captured earlier, and one
2001 Feb 12, In Katy Timothy
Lee Rumsey (42) shot to death his 2 children and a step daughter and
then killed himself.
(SFC, 2/13/01, p.D2)
2001 Feb, Tom Lea, writer and
artist, died at age 93. His books included "The Brave Bulls" and
"The Wonderful Country," which was made into a film in 1959. He also
authored "A Picture Gallery," "In the Crucible of the Sun" and "The
Hands of Cantu."
(SFC, 7/2/97, p.E2)
2001 Apr 5, Wang Zhizhi of
China, 7 feet and 1 inch tall, made his NBA debut for the Dallas
Mavericks. Wang Zhizhi became the first Chinese player to play in
the NBA when he took the court for Dallas against Atlanta. He scored
six points and grabbed three rebounds as the Mavericks beat the
(SSFC, 4/15/01, p.A17)(AP, 4/5/02)
2001 May 2, In Dallas John
Battaglia (45), accountant, shot and killed his 2 daughters Liberty
(6) and Faith (9). Battaglia was convicted of murder in 2002.
(SFC, 5/4/01, p.A7)(SFC, 4/25/02, p.A7)
2001 May 11, Gov. Rick Perry
signed the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act.
(SFC, 5/12/01, p.A3)
2001 Jun 10, Tropical storm
Allison hung over Texas and Louisiana and killed at least 16 people.
Pres. Bush declared 28 counties disaster areas due to flooding.
(SSFC, 6/10/01, p.A12)(WSJ, 6/11/01, p.A1)
2001 Jun 17, Gov. Rick Perry
vetoed legislation that would have put a ban on the execution of
mentally retarded criminals.
(SFC, 6/18/01, p.A3)
2001 Jun 19, Juan Raul Garza
(44), Texas drug kingpin, was executed by injection in Terra Haute,
Ind. He was the 2nd federal inmate to die since 1963.
(SFC, 6/20/01, p.A3)(WSJ, 6/20/01, p.A1)
2001 Jun 20, Andrea Yates (36)
of Houston, Texas, drowned her 5 children, ages 6 months to 7 years,
at her home near the Johnson Space Center. Yates had been under
medication for post-partum depression. In 2002 a jury found Yates
guilty of capital murder and sentenced her to life in prison. Her
conviction was overturned in 2005 by an appeals court which ruled a
prosecution expert witness gave false testimony at her trial. In
2006 a jury found her not guilty by reason of insanity.
(SFC, 6/21/01, p.A6)(SFC, 3/13/02, p.A1)(SFC,
3/16/02, p.A1)(AP, 1/6/05)(SFC, 7/27/06, p.A3)
2001 Jul 18, A natural gas well
exploded in buffalo and 2 people were killed.
(SFC, 7/19/01, p.A6)
2001 Jul 20, Vanessa Leggett, a
fledgling crime writer, was jailed on contempt charges for refusing
to hand over her research notes on Robert Angleton to a federal
grand jury. Leggett was released Jan 4, 2002.
(SFC, 1/4/02, p.A17)(SFC, 1/5/02, p.A6)
2001 Jul, Mel Spillman, San
Antonio probate clerk, was arrested in a sting operation. He had
stolen some $5 million over the last 15 years from the estates of at
least 122 people. He pleaded guilty and faced 10 years in prison.
(SFC, 5/18/02, p.A16)
2001 Aug 8, US Federal
authorities announced the arrests of 100 people nationwide in an
Internet child pornography operation, Landslide Productions Inc.,
based in Fort Worth, Tx.
(SFC, 8/9/01, p.A3)
2001 Aug 14, Jeffrey K.
Skilling stepped down as CEO of Enron Corp. after 6 months in the
(SFC, 2/7/02, p.A8)
2001 Aug 14, In Houston 3
people died from heroin overdoses and joined 15 others who died over
(SFC, 8/15/01, p.A4)
2001 Aug 2, Houston launched
SimHouston, a program to provide each of its 1.8 million residents
with free e-mail accounts and access to word processing software.
(SFC, 8/21/01, p.C1)
2001 Aug 15, A Texas appeals
court halted the execution of Napoleon Beazley just hours before he
was scheduled to die for a murder he had committed as a teenager. He
was executed in May 2002.
2001 Aug 29, George Rivas, the
ringleader of the biggest prison breakout in Texas history, was
sentenced to death for killing an Irving, Tx., policeman, Aubrey
Hawkins, while on the run.
2001 Sep 25, A Texas man
allegedly shot and killed his wife and neighbor, who had become her
boyfriend. On March 7, 2012, Keith Thurmond was executed for the
murders and continued to express his innocence unto death.
(SFC, 3/8/12, p.A7)(http://tinyurl.com/72zcj8g)
2001 Sep 15, Four barges
smashed into the Queen Isabella Causeway between South Padre Island
and the mainland. At least 5 people were killed.
(SSFC, 9/16/01, p.A28)(SFC, 9/17/01, p.A18)
2001 Oct 4, In Texas Barry
Bonds hit his 70th home run to tie Mark McGwire's 1998 record in a
10-2 victory over Houston. Rickey Henderson homered to pass Ty Cobb
and become baseball's career leader in runs scored with 2,246 during
San Diego's 6-3 win over Los Angeles.
(SFC, 10/5/01, p.A1)(AP, 10/4/02)
2001 Oct 4, In Texas Mark
Stroman (b.1969), in the wake of 9/11, went on a shooting spree
targeting people of Middle Eastern descent killing 2 people and
wounding a third. The victims were from South Asia. Stroman was
later convicted and sentenced to death. He was executed on July 20,
2001 Oct 15, In Texas the last
2 of 5 escaped convicts were captured after one shot another and
freed a farm couple that was held hostage.
(SFC, 10/16/01, p.B6)
2001 Oct 16, Robert Durst
failed to appear for a court hearing in the dismemberment death of
Morris Black (71) in Galveston, Texas. Durst was also a suspect in
the Dec, 2000, shooting death of author Susan Berman. In 1982
Kathleen Durst (29) had disappeared after spending a weekend at the
family cottage in South Salem. Robert Durst, her husband, reported
her missing Feb 5. Durst was arrested Nov 30, 2001, in Bethlehem,
Pa., for shoplifting. A Texas jury acquitted Durst of Black's murder
(SFC, 10/13/01, p.A15)(SFC, 12/1/01, p.A3)(SFC,
2001 Oct 21, A moratorium
against state collection of Internet taxes was due to expire.
(SFC, 8/21/01, p.C2)
2001 Oct 24, In Montgomery,
Texas, Michael James Perry and Jason Burkett fatally shot Sandra
Stotler (50), her son Adam Stotler and Jeremy Richardson (18), with
a shotgun. Perry (28) was executed in 2010.
2001 Oct 26, In Fort Worth,
Texas, Chante Jawan Mallard (25), a nurse's aide, ran into Gregory
Biggs (37), a homeless man, after a night of partying. Biggs was
left to die in the windshield. In 2003 Mallard was convicted of
murder and sentenced to 50 years in prison.
(SFC, 6/27/03, p.A13)
2001 Oct 27, The body of an
unidentified woman was found in a Montgomery County lake. 2 men were
arrested 3 days later and told authorities that there were 2 more
bodies south of lake Conroe, where the bodies of 2 teenage boys were
(SFC, 11/1/01, p.C2)
2001 Oct, A one-day workshop on
deflecting asteroids was held at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in
Houston. The B612 Foundation formed soon thereafter to promote an
asteroid defense system. B612 is the asteroid home of the Little
Prince in Antoine de Saint-Exupery's child's story The Little
(SFCM, 10/8/06, p.13)(www.b612foundation.org)
2001 Nov 16, Texas storms
abated and left 9 people dead.
(SFC, 11/17/01, p.A15)
2001 Nov 30, Enron executives
awarded themselves big bonuses 2 days before the company filed for
bankruptcy (Dec 2). They soon reneged on severance pay promised to
4,500 laid-off employees.
(SFC, 2/6/02, p.A1)
2001 Dec 2, Enron Corp. under
CEO Kenneth Lay filed for bankruptcy. Employee fury in Nov persuaded
Lay to give up a severance package worth about $60 million.
(SFC, 12/30/01, p.D8)
2001 Dec 5, Marjorie Dabney
(70) of Bakersfield, Ca., disappeared from the Dallas-Fort Worth
Airport. In 2008 DNA evidence identified her remains, which were
found in a field 15 miles from the airport.
(SFC, 12/8/08, p.A4)
2001 Dec 22, A cloned cat was
born following a year of experimentation by scientists at Texas
(SFC, 2/15/02, p.A1)
2001 Dec 28, Oklahoma led the
US in prisoner executions this year over Texas in with 18 vs. 17.
(SFC, 12/28/01, p.A9)
2002 Jan 22, Stanley Marcus
(b.1905), former president and chairman of the Texas based Nieman
Marcus department store chain, died.
2002 Jan 23, Enron CEO Kenneth
Lay (59) resigned under pressure.
(SFC, 1/23/02, p.A1)
2002 Jan 25, J. Clifford
Baxter, a former Enron vice-chairman, was found dead of apparent
suicide in Sugar Land, a Houston suburb.
(SFC, 1/26/02, p.A1)(SFC, 4/12/02, p.A14)
2002 Feb 6-7, The 4 inmates who
escaped from the Montague County Jail on Jan 28 were captured in
(SFC, 2/8/02, p.A2)
2002 Feb 8, In Texas a $60
million casino run by the Tigua Indians was shut down following
lobbying efforts by religious activist Ralph Reed and Washington
lobbyists Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon. Abramoff and Scanlon
then persuaded the tribe to pay $4.2 million to lobby Congress to
reopen it. Senate hearings on the process opened in 2004.
(SSFC, 9/26/04, p.A10)
2002 Feb 23, James D. Smallwood
Jr. (33) shot and killed his 3 children and then himself outside the
home of his estranged wife in Throckmorton.
(SFC, 2/25/02, p.A5)
2002 Feb 26, Former Enron chief
executive Jeffrey Skilling, at times combative, insisted during a
Senate hearing that he knew nothing about manipulation of company
books and denied misleading Congress as alleged by some lawmakers
and Enron officials.
2002 Mar 12, In Houston a jury
found Andrea Pia Yates (37) guilty of capital murder for drowning
her 5 children. On Mar 15 she was sentenced to life in prison. Her
conviction was overturned in 2005 by an appeals court which ruled a
prosecution expert witness gave false testimony at her trial. In
2006 a jury found her not guilty by reason of insanity.
(SFC, 3/13/02, p.A1)(SFC, 3/16/02, p.A1)(SFC,
2006 Mar 13, Deadly tornadoes
raked the Midwest while wildfires scorched the Texas Panhandle.
2002 Mar 15, A Houston jury
spared Andrea Yates’ life after prosecutors stopped short of
demanding the death penalty for the tormented mother who’d drowned
her five children in the bathtub. Yates was sentenced to life in
prison; however, she was later acquitted by reason of insanity in a
2002 Mar 15, In Lewisville,
Texas, Jackson Carr (6) was killed and buried by his older sister
(15) and brother (10). His body was found the next day.
(SFC, 4/17/02, p.A5)
2002 Mar, In Freeport, Texas, a
group of private investors formed Freeport Waterfront Properties
with hopes of developing a private marina. Their development plans
led to the city’s filing for eminent domain to acquire land owned by
Western Seafood, a private shrimping business. In 2007 Carla T. Main
authored “Bulldozed," an account of this ongoing struggle.
(WSJ, 12/18/07, p.D5)
2002 May 5, A tornado in Texas
killed 2 people.
(SFC, 5/6/02, p.A3)
2002 May 28, Napoleon Beazley
(26) was executed for the 1994 murder of John Luttig (63), the
father of a federal judge, in a botched carjacking in Tyler.
(SFC, 8/14/01, p.A3)(SFC, 8/16/01, p.A3)(SFC,
2002 Jun 2, C. Dana Rice (47),
senior VP and treasurer at El Paso Corp., was found dead by suicide
at his Houston suburb home.
(WSJ, 6/4/02, p.A3)
2002 Jun 13, US Catholic
Bishops in Texas opened a 2-day summit on clerical sex abuse. 3 men
and a woman told how their lives had been devastated by abuse and
subsequent ill treatment by the church.
(WSJ, 6/14/02, p.A1)(AP, 6/13/04)
2002 Jun 14, US Roman Catholic
bishops meeting in Dallas voted to remove any priest from his
ministry who abuses a minor but stopped short of zero tolerance, as
pushed by some victims.
(SFC, 6/15/02, p.A1)(AP, 6/14/03)
2002 Jun 26, Chinese basketball
star Yao Ming was selected first overall by the Houston Rockets in
the NBA draft.
2002 Jul 4, In central Texas
70,000 cubic feet of water gushed down a spillway from Canyon Lake
toward the Guadalupe River for three days, scraping off vegetation
and topsoil and leaving only limestone walls. The
mile-and-a-half-long Canyon Lake Gorge, up to 80 feet deep, was dug
out from what had been a nondescript valley covered in mesquite and
2002 Jul 5, The Medina River
near San Antonio, Texas, overflowed along with the Guadalupe River
and flooding left at least 7 people dead.
(SFC, 7/6/02, p.A3)
2002 Jul 28, Police in Dallas
found 2 bodies in a tractor trailer from which some 40 suspected
illegal immigrants had escaped earlier.
(SSFC, 7/28/02, p.A9)
2002 Jul 24, In Houston, Texas,
Clara Harris ran over her cheating husband with her Mercedes after
catching him with his mistress. Harris (45) was convicted of murder
Feb 13, 2003.
(SFC, 2/15/03, p.A5)
2002 Aug 4, In Dallas, Tx., a
man, woman and 3 children were shot to death. The woman’s husband
was taken into custody.
(SFC, 8/5/02, p.A7)
2002 Aug 14, Texas Gov. Rick
Perry denied a reprieve for Javier Suarez Medina and authorities in
Huntsville gave Suarez a lethal injection as he sang the hymn
2002 Aug 15, President Vicente
Fox canceled a meeting with President Bush to express anger over the
Texas execution of a drug smuggler and police killer despite pleas
from the Mexican leadership. Javier Suarez Medina, a Mexican
national, was never told he could contact the Mexican consulate for
help after his 1988 arrest, a violation of the 1963 Vienna
Convention of Consular Relations.
2002 Aug 28, In Texas Toronto
Patterson was executed for the 1995 killing of a cousin when he was
(SFC, 8/30/02, p.A1)
2002 Aug 31, It was reported
that Mexican police had arrested Juan Heriberto Carrillo Olivas, a
Mexican citizen, headed a gang in El Paso, Texas, that used a fleet
of tractor-trailers to transport cocaine to other U.S. cities.
2002 Oct 20, Yao Ming (22), a
7-foot-5 basketball player from China, arrived in Texas to join the
(WSJ, 10/22/02, p.A1)
2002 Dec 31, US executions for
the year rose from 66 to71 with 33 in Texas.
(SSFC, 12/29/02, p.A3)
2002 Dec, In Fort Worth, Texas,
the $65 million Modern Art Museum, opened. It was designed by Tadao
Ando of Japan.
(WSJ, 12/17/02, p.D8)
2002 Crazy ants, an invasive
species, were first discovered in Houston. In 2012 the crazy ant
species was identified as Nylanderia fulva, from northern Argentina
and southern Brazil. By 2013 they had spread to coastal areas from
Texas to Florida.
2003 Jan 5, In Edinburg, Texas,
6 men were shot to death in a home invasion that involved weapons
(SFC, 1/6/03, p.A8)
2003 Jan 15, The San Antonio
Spurs beat the New Jersey Nets 88-77 in game 6 to win the NBA
(SFC, 6/16/03, p.C1)
2003 Jan 23, In Texas 2
military helicopters collided and 4 marine reservists were killed.
(WSJ, 1/24/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 29, In Texas Travis
Runnels slashed the throat of Stanley Wiley (38), a supervisor at a
state prison shoe factory, while serving a 70-year sentence for
aggravated robbery. In 2019 Runnels (46) was executed by lethal
(SFC, 12/12/19, p.A5)
2003 Feb 1, Space shuttle
Columbia broke apart in flames over Texas, killing all 7 astronauts
just 16 minutes before they were supposed to glide to ground in
Florida. The astronauts included Michael P. Anderson (b.1959), David
M. Brown (b.1956), Laurel Clark (b.1962), Kalpana Chawla (b.1962),
Rick Husband (b.1957), William C. McCool (b.1961) and Ilan Ramon
(AP, 2/1/03)(SSFC, 2/2/03, p.A8)
2003 Feb 13, Clara Harris,
who'd run down her cheating husband with her Mercedes after catching
him with his mistress, was convicted by a Houston jury of murder
despite her claim that she'd hit him accidentally while in a
heartsick daze. She was later sentenced to 20 years in prison.
2003 Feb 13, Prof. Walt W.
Rostow (86), adviser to the Kennedy and Johnson administrations,
died in Austin, Texas. His over 30 books included "Theorists of
Economic Growth from David Hume to the Present, with a Perspective
on the Next Century" (1990), and "The Stages of Economic Growth"
(3rd ed. 1990).
(SFC, 2/15/03, p.A24)
2003 Mar 10, Natalie Maines,
lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, told a London audience: "Just so
you know ... we're ashamed the president of the United States is
2003 Mar 10, In Brownsville,
Texas, a woman and her common-law husband killed and beheaded their
3 children, ages 3 years to 2 months.
(SFC, 3/13/03, p.A6)
2003 Mar 20, Texas executed its
300th inmate since restoring the death penalty in 1982.
(WSJ, 3/21/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 24, In Texas a fire in
a sugar-cane field killed 5 illegal Mexican immigrants hiding there.
(WSJ, 3/25/03, p.A1)
2003 May 9, In Tyler, Texas,
Deanna LaJune Laney (38) bludgeoned to death her 2 sons Joshua (8)
and Luke (6). A toddler was in critical condition. In 2004 a jury
found Laney legally insane.
(SFC, 5/13/03, p.A6)(AP, 4/4/04)
2003 May 12, Texas Democrats
fled to a Holiday Inn in Oklahoma to thwart a Republican drive to
redraw the state's congressional districts.
2003 May 14, In Texas Victoria
County Sheriff's deputies found 17 people dead in and around a
tractor-trailer rig at a South Texas truck stop. Another died at
hospital. The victims were illegal immigrants. In 2006 a Texas jury
convicted 3 US citizens for the suffocation of 19 smuggled
immigrants in an airtight truck. In 2007 truck driver Tyrone
Williams (36) was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the
smuggling. In 2008 the last of 14 people indicted in the smuggling
pleaded guilty. In 2010 Octavio Torres-Ortega was sentenced to 14
years in prison for his role in the smuggling operation. In 2011
Williams was resentenced to nearly 34 years after a federal appeals
court overturned the multiple life sentences he had received.
(WSJ, 5/15/03, p.A1)(WSJ, 2/9/06, p.A1)(SFC,
1/19/07, p.A3)(SFC, 4/15/08, p.A3)(SFC, 6/8/10, p.A5)(SFC, 1/25/11,
2003 May 15, The three-year
championship reign of the Los Angeles Lakers came to a decisive end
as the San Antonio Spurs overpowered the Lakers 110-82 to win the
Western Conference semifinal series 4 games to 2.
2003 May 15, Runaway Texas
Democrats boarded two buses and returned home after a self-imposed
weeklong exile in Oklahoma that succeeded in killing a redistricting
bill they opposed.
2003 May 22, Annika Sorenstam
became the first woman since Babe Didrikson Zaharias in 1945 to tee
off against the men on the pro tour, playing in the first round of
the Colonial golf tournament in Fort Worth, Texas. Sorenstam missed
the cut the next day by four shots.
2003 May 23, Golfer Annika
Sorenstam failed to make the 36-hole cut at the PGA Tour in Fort
Worth, Texas, missing the cut by four strokes. She was the first
woman to play in a PGA Tour event in 58 years.
2003 Jun 11, Patrick James
Dennehy (21), a Baylor Univ. basketball player, disappeared in Waco,
Texas, and was feared to have been killed by team mates. Carlton
Dotson (21) later confessed to the slaying and was arrested in
Maryland on Jul 21. Dennehy's body was found Jul 25. In 2005 Dotson
was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
(SSFC, 6/28/03, p.A25)(SFC, 7/22/03, p.A1)(SSFC,
7/27/03, p.A1)(SFC, 6/16/05, p.B5)
2003 Jun 26, The US Supreme
court, in Lawrence v. Texas, struck down a Texas sodomy law and
proclaimed that gay Americans have a right to private sexual
relations. The court ruled 6-3 that laws prohibiting sexual acts
between members of the same sex are unconstitutional. In 2012 Dale
Carpenter authored “Flagrant conduct: The Story of Lawrence v.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_v._Texas)(SFC, 6/27/03, p.A1)
(SSFC, 3/18/12, p.F1)
2003 Jun 26, A jury in Fort
Worth, Texas, convicted former nurse's aide Chante Mallard of murder
for hitting a homeless man with her car, driving home with his
mangled body jammed in the windshield and leaving him to die in her
garage. Mallard was later sentenced to 50 years in prison.
(AP, 6/26/04)(AP, 6/26/08)
2003 Jul 21, Carlton Dotson
Jr., the roommate of missing Baylor basketball player Patrick
Dennehy, was arrested and charged with Dennehy's murder. Dotson
later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
2003 Aug 22, Texas Gov. Rick
Perry pardoned 35 people arrested in the 1999 Tulia drug busts and
convicted on the testimony of a lone undercover agent later charged
with perjury. The agent, Tom Coleman, was later found guilty of
aggravated perjury and sentenced to 10 years probation. He's been
appealing his conviction.
2003 Sep 28, In Linden, Texas
Billy Ray Johnson (42) was lured to an all-white party where
underage drinkers fed him alcohol and picked on him. In 2007 a jury
awarded $9 million to Johnson, a mentally disabled black man who
suffered permanent brain damage after being beaten and dumped in a
field by 4 white men.
2003 Sep, Carlo Benetton sold
his 11,000 acre Buffalo Ranch to the state of Texas for use by the
(Econ, 9/27/03, p.30)
2003 Oct 1, A federal judge in
Texas ruled that former Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay and Northern
Trust Corp., can be sued for allegedly failing to protect the Enron
employee pension plan.
(WSJ, 10/2/03, p.A1)
2003 Oct 11, A team of 18
doctors in Dallas, Texas, began a complicated separation surgery in
an attempt to give Ahmed and Mohamed Ibrahim, 2-year-old conjoined
twins from Egypt, a chance at independent lives. The 34-hour went
(AP, 10/11/03)(SSFC, 10/11/03, p.A2)(SFC,
2003 Oct 13, Texas Gov. Rick
Perry signed into law a controversial redistricting bill designed to
put more Republicans in the Texas congressional delegation.
2003 Oct 13, In Louisiana a bus
crash on I-20 killed 8 members of a Texas church group after the
driver fell asleep.
(WSJ, 10/14/03, p.A1)
2003 Oct, Raymond D. Nasher,
Dallas real-estate developer, opened the $70 million Nasher
Sculpture Center designed by Renzo Piano.
(WSJ, 11/4/03, p.AD8)
2003 Nov 11, In Galveston,
Texas, Robert A. Durst, NY multimillionaire who admitted to
butchering his neighbor Morris Black, was acquitted of the man's
(SFC, 11/12/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 15, In Cleburne,
Texas, Joanne Webb, housewife and sales rep for Passion Parties,
answered to obscenity charges for selling a vibrator to undercover
narcotics officers posing as a dysfunctional married couple.
(SFC, 12/16/03, p.A2)
2003 Dec 24, Caroline Weiss
Law, Texas oil heiress, died on her 85th birthday. She left 52 major
art works, valued at $60-85 million, and $25 million cash to
establish an endowment for the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.
(SFC, 2/13/04, p.D12)
2003 Texas Gov. Rick Perry
signed tort reform legislation, which capped non-economic damages in
(Econ, 8/13/11, p.28)
2003 The Texas Enterprise Fund
(TEF) was created during the 78th legislative session in response to
Governor Rick Perry's request in his 2003 State of the State address
for a special development fund of $390 million to help attract new
jobs and investment to the state.
(Econ, 8/20/11, p.28)(http://tinyurl.com/c2dsq4)
2003 Jeff Bezos (39), founder
of Amazon.com, began buying property east of El Paso, Texas, for
Blue Origin LLC, his commercial space venture. By 2006 he had
acquired 290,000 acres. Commercial operations were planned to start
(WSJ, 11/10/06, p.A1)
2003 A report from Texas
A&M Univ. showed that ionization fire detectors (smoke alarms)
take 15 minutes longer or more than photoelectric fire detectors to
detect smoldering fires. About 90% of US homes at this time
contained the ionization type, which were about $5 cheaper than the
(SSFC, 8/15/10, p.A12)
2004 Jan 1, Houston's $324
million, 7.5 mile, light rail system made its inaugural trips.
(AP, 1/2/04)(WSJ, 1/22/04, p.A1)
2004 Feb 1, In Texas
entertainer Janet Jackson covered her breast after singer Justin
Timberlake ripped off one of her chest plates during the halftime
Super Bowl performance in Houston. New England Patriots fans turned
rowdy after their team's 32-29 win over the Carolina Panthers.
(AP, 2/1/04)(SFC, 2/2/04, p.A2)
2004 Feb 17, Cameron Todd
Willingham (b.1968) was executed in Texas. He had been convicted of
murdering his three young children by arson at the family home in
Corsicana, Texas on December 23, 1991. An informant who sent him to
jail later said he lied in order to get a reduced sentence on
pending robbery charges.
2004 Feb 20, In Texas a strain
of avian flu was reported in Gonzales County. Further checks
revealed that it was highly pathogenic, but posed little risk to
(SFC, 2/24/04, p.A3)
2004 Mar 18, Jahari, a
13-year-old lowland gorilla, broke out of the Dallas Zoo and was
shot to death after snatching up a toddler with his teeth and
attacking 3 people.
(SFC, 3/20/04, p.A2)
2004 Mar, Jamie Olis, former
tax-planning executive at Dynegy, was sentenced to 24 years in jail
for his role in Project Alpha, an accounting fraud that inflated the
Texas energy company’s cashflow by $300 million. In 2005 an appeals
court upheld the conviction, but threw out the sentence.
(Econ, 11/5/05, p.68)
2004 Apr 8, Reliant Energy,
based in Houston, Texas, was indicted over an alleged plot to boost
power prices in June, 2000, at a cost to consumers of as much as $32
million. On August 15, 2005, Reliant announced that it had reached a
$460 million settlement with the states of California, Oregon and
Washington, resolving civil litigation claims against the company
related to the sale of electricity in the California electricity
crisis of 2000 and 2001. In March 2007, Reliant agreed to pay a
$22.2 million penalty in addition to a $13.8 million credit provided
in a previous settlement with the Federal Energy Regulatory
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliant_Energy)(SFC, 4/9/04, p.A1)
2004 May 3, Production began
for the US Mint’s Texas quarter, designed by Daniel Miller. The
unveiling was set for June 10.
(USAT, 5/18/04, p.17A)
2004 May 4, William J. Krar
(63) of East Texas was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison for
stockpiling weapons that included a sodium-oxide bomb capable of
killing everyone inside a midsize civic building.
(SFC, 5/5/04, p.A9)
2004 Jun 16, Myron Dukes, his 2
children, and another child, on convention with the Baptist Church
of Chicago, drowned at the Fort Worth Water Gardens.
(SFC, 6/18/04, p.A7)
2004 Jun 24, The US Census
Bureau reported that San Antonio had eclipsed Dallas as the nation's
2004 Jun 28, In Texas 2 freight
trains collided in San Antonio and one engineer was killed. Derailed
train cars released clouds of chlorine gas and ammonium nitrate. 2
people died from the toxic gases.
(USAT, 6/29/04, p.3A)(WSJ, 6/30/04, p.A1)
2004 Jul 8, Kenneth Lay, former
CEO of Enron Corp., was charged in Houston, Texas, with 11 counts of
conspiracy and fraud.
(WSJ, 7/8/04, p.A1)(USAT, 7/9/04, p.1B)
2004 Aug 7, Paul N. Adair
(b.1915), Texas oil field firefighter, died. The 1968 film
“Hellfighter" with John Wayne was based on his life.
(SFC, 8/9/04, p.B6)(Econ, 8/14/04, p.78)
2004 Oct 5, Texas executed
Edward Green despite pleas by Houston’s police chief for a
moratorium because of suspect work by the city’s crime lab.
(WSJ, 10/6/04, p.A1)
2004 Oct 7, US House Democratic
leader Nancy Pelosi called on Texas Rep. Tom DeLay to step down or
be ousted after his 3rd rebuke from the ethics committee in a week.
(SFC, 10/8/04, p.A3)
2004 Nov 3, A Houston jury
convicted 4 former Merrill Lynch executives and a former mid-level
Enron Corp, executive for a 1999 bogus sale of power plants off the
coast of Nigeria.
(SFC, 11/4/04, p.C3)
2004 Nov 17, US House
Republicans adopted a rule change to allow majority leader Tom DeLay
of Texas to keep his post if he is indicted on state corruption
charges. In 2004 the change was rescinded.
(SFC, 11/18/04, p.A3)(WSJ, 11/18/04, p.A1)(WSJ,
2004 Nov 21, In Texas Hasmukh
Patel (53), a San Antonio convenience store owner, was fatally shot
during an attempted robbery. In 2018 Christopher Young (34) was
executed by lethal injection for the slaying.
(SFC, 7/18/18, p.A6)
2004 Nov 29, A US Army Black
Hawk helicopter crashed near Fort Hood, Texas, and 7 soldiers were
(SFC, 11/30/04, p.A3)
2004 Dec 23, Two men were
convicted in Houston for their role in a smuggling attempt that
resulted in the deaths of 19 illegal immigrants crammed in a
2004 The new $480 million
Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center opened in Grapevine,
Texas. It covered 2.5 million square feet on 150 acres.
(WSJ, 8/11/04, p.B1)
2004 Catherine Rohr, a venture
capitalist, founded the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) in
Texas to engage prisoners in studying business.
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.36)
2005 Jan 6, Andrea Yates'
murder conviction for drowning her children in the bathtub on June
20, 2001, was overturned by a Texas appeals court. On July 26, 2006,
after three days of deliberations, Yates was found not guilty by
reason of insanity, as defined by the state of Texas.
2005 Jan 14, Army Specialist
Charles Graner Jr., the reputed ringleader of a band of rogue guards
at the Abu Ghraib prison, was convicted at Fort Hood, Texas, of
abusing Iraqi detainees. He was later sentenced to 10 years in
2005 Jan 15, A military court
at Fort Hood, Texas, sentenced Army Specialist Charles Graner Jr. to
10 years behind bars for physically and sexually mistreating Iraqi
prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison. Graner (42) was released from prison
In Leavenworth, Kansas, on Aug 6, 2011.
(AP, 1/15/06)(SSFC, 8/7/11, p.A10)
2005 Jan 18, Oscar Sanchez,
owner of a family restaurant in Dallas, was kidnapped in what police
believed was a stage car wreck. His body was found a week later.
Jose Felix, a former teacher, and Edgar "Richie" Acevedo, a
waiter at the restaurant, were responsible for the kidnapping and
slaying. Within weeks Felix was captured in Chicago. In October
Mexican federal authorities captured Edgar "Richie" Acevedo in Cabo
2005 Jan 21, The body of Megan
Leann Holden (19) was found near Stanton, Texas. Her abduction from
a Wal-Mart parking lot 2 days earlier was captured on surveillance
videotape. Johnny Lee Williams (24), the suspect in her murder, was
arrested at an Arizona hospital after he shot during a robbery
(SFC, 1/22/05, p.A3)
2005 Feb 17, Two US Border
Patrol agents in Texas stopped a van carrying 743 pounds of
marijuana and shot Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, an admitted Mexican drug
smuggler, as he fled back across the Rio Grande. In 2006 agents
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were sentenced to 11 and 12 years in
prison for offenses that included violating the smuggler’s civil
rights and failure to report the shooting to superiors. In 2007
Latino gang members beat Ignacio Ramos at the Yazoo City Federal
Correctional Complex in Mississippi. Both agents were freed in 2009
following a commute of their sentences by outgoing Pres. George
(SFC, 10/20/06, p.A6)(SSFC, 2/18/07, p.A11)(SFC,
2005 Mar 23, In Texas City,
Texas, an explosion at BP's 1,200-acre plant near Houston killed 15
and injured more than 100 others. BP later acknowledged faulty
equipment at the plant. In 2009 oil giant BP was hit with a record
52-million-pound fine for safety violations at the Texas refinery.
(AP, 3/24/05)(SFC, 3/25/05, p.A4)(WSJ, 7/27/05,
2005 May 4, A military judge at
Fort Hood, Texas, threw out Pvt. 1st Class Lynndie England's guilty
plea to abusing Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison, saying he was
not convinced the Army reservist knew her actions were wrong at the
time. England was later convicted in a court-martial and sentenced
to three years in prison.
2005 May 16, Army Specialist
Sabrina Harman was convicted at Fort Hood, Texas, of six of the
seven charges she faced for her role in the mistreatment of Iraqi
prisoners at Abu Ghraib. She was sentenced to six months in prison
after testimony about her acts of kindness toward Iraqis before she
became an Abu Ghraib guard.
2005 May 24, Texas lawmakers
tentatively voted to give juries the option of sentencing murderers
to life in prison without parole.
(SFC, 5/25/05, p.A3)
2005 May 25, The US Senate
confirmed Texas Supreme Court Judge Priscilla Owen to serve on the
US Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
(SFC, 5/26/05, p.A3)
2005 Jun 5, Texas Gov. Rick
Perry signed anti-abortion and anti-gay legislation at the Calvary
Christian Academy in Fort Worth.
(SFC, 6/6/05, p.A3)
2005 Jun 11, US officials said
a cow had tested positive for mad cow disease in November, opening
the door to possible changes in testing procedures in the US beef
industry. The cow was later identified as being calved in Texas in
(AP, 6/11/05)(WSJ, 6/30/05, p.A1)
2005 Jun 18, Former Texas
Congressman J.J. “Jake" Pickle died in Austin at age 91.
2005 Jun 20, Jack Kilby
(b.1923), Nobel Prize winner and co-inventor of the integrated
circuit (1958), died in Dallas.
(SFC, 6/22/05, p.A5)(Econ, 7/25/05, p.75)
2005 Jun 23, The San Antonio
Spurs won a thrilling Game 7 over Detroit Pistons, 81-74, to claim
the NBA championship.
2005 Jun 24, US Agriculture
officials said a 2nd case of mad cow disease was confirmed in a cow
from Texas. This case of the disease, as well as one from Alabama in
2006, was later reported as atypical.
(SFC, 6/25/05, p.A3)(SFC, 6/12/06, p.A6)
2005 Jun 27, The US Supreme
Court ruled 5-4 that Kentucky cannot display framed copies of the
Ten Commandments in county courthouses, and allowed the Texas
statehouse to keep the commandments as part of a display on its
(AP, 6/27/05)(SFC, 6/28/05, p.A1)
2005 Jul 22, In Irving, Texas,
Kimberly-Clark Corp., maker of Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers,
said it plans to cut about 6,000 jobs and sell or close up to 20
2005 Aug 11, President Bush
expressed sympathy for war protesters like Cindy Sheehan, the mother
camped outside his Texas ranch demanding answers for her
solider-son's death, but said he believed it would be a mistake to
bring U.S. troops home immediately.
2005 Aug 17, Hundreds of
anti-war vigils were held nationwide, part of an effort spurred by
Cindy Sheehan's protest near President Bush's Texas ranch in memory
of her son Casey, who was killed in Iraq.
2005 Aug 19, A Texas jury
awarded Carol Ernst, widow of Robert Ernst, $253 million charging
Merck Corp. liable for the heart-related death of Robert Ernst. $229
million was in punitive damages. Texas caps on punitive damages
reduced that figure to about $26 million; Merck planned to appeal.
(WSJ, 8/22/05, p.A1)(AP, 8/19/06)
2005 Aug 31, At least 25,000 of
Hurricane Katrina's refugees, a majority of them at the New Orleans
Superdome, began traveling in a bus convoy to Houston and will be
sheltered at the 40-year-old Astrodome, which hasn't been used for
professional sporting events in years.
2005 Sep 21, Hurricane Rita
intensified into a Category 5 storm with 140 mph winds and
threatened to devastate the Texas coast or already-battered
Louisiana by week's end. More than 1.3 million people in Texas and
Louisiana were evacuated The death toll from Katrina topped 1,000.
(AP, 9/21/05)(SFC, 9/22/05, p.A1)(AP, 9/21/06)
2005 Sep 22, Hurricane Rita,
weakened to Category 4 status, closed on the Texas coast, sending
hundreds of thousands of people fleeing on a frustratingly slow,
2005 Sep 23, Hurricane Rita,
dropped to Category 4, moved toward the Texas and Louisiana coast
with 135 mph winds, creating monumental traffic jams along
evacuation routes and raising fears of a crippling blow to the
nation's oil-refining industry. More than 100 people died in the
exodus from Houston.
(AP, 9/23/05)(Econ, 9/2/17, p.17)
2005 Sep 23, In Texas a bus
carrying elderly evacuees from Hurricane Rita caught fire and was
rocked by explosions on a gridlocked highway near Dallas, killing 23
people. In 2006 James Maples (65), owner of the bus, was acquitted
of a safety violation but convicted on 2 lesser counts. His company
Global Limo was found guilty on all charges.
(AP, 9/23/05)(SFC, 10/4/06, p.A3)
2005 Sep 24, Hurricane Rita,
reduced to Category 3, made landfall east of Sabine Pass, on the
Texas-Louisiana line, smashing windows, sparking fires and knocking
power out to more than 1 million customers, but largely sparing
vulnerable Houston and already reeling New Orleans. Within hours it
weakened to Category 2.
2005 Sep 26, A military court
in Texas convicted Pfc. Lynndie England (22) on 6 of 7 counts of
conspiracy and maltreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.
England was found guilty of one count of conspiracy, four counts of
maltreating detainees and one count of committing an indecent act.
She was acquitted on a second conspiracy count. She was the next day
sentenced to 3 years in prison.
(SFC, 9/27/05, p.A1)(AP, 9/28/05)
2005 Sep 26, A judge in El
Paso, Texas, cited conventions against sending a person to a country
where he could face torture. Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban militant,
was wanted in Venezuela for a 1976 airliner bombing. President Hugo
Chavez said the decision by a US immigration judge in the case of
Posada protects a terrorist and shows the "cynicism of the empire,"
a term he uses for President Bush's government.
2005 Sep 28, Tom DeLay, a
powerful political ally of President George W. Bush, stepped down as
head of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives
after being indicted in Texas on a campaign finance charge. He was
the 1st House leader to be indicted in more than a century.
(AFP, 9/29/05)(SFC, 9/29/05, p.A1)
2005 Oct 3, Representative Tom
DeLay, a powerful ally of President George W. Bush, was indicted on
a new charge of money laundering as his lawyers moved to dismiss a
previous conspiracy indictment filed last week.
2005 Oct 15, In Texas the
Government Canyon State Natural Area officially opened. The over
8,600 acre area was set aside to protect the Edwards Aquifer, which
provided drinking water for San Antonio.
(LP, Spring 2006, p.55)
2005 Oct 19, The Houston Astros
defeated the St. Louis Cardinals for the National League title. They
will face the Chicago White Sox in the World Series.
(WSJ, 10/20/05, p.A1)
2005 Oct 20, US Rep. Tom DeLay
turned himself in at the sheriff's office in Travis County, Texas,
where he was fingerprinted, photographed and released on $10,000
bail on conspiracy and money-laundering charges.
2005 Oct 21, Oscar Wyatt (81),
former chairman of Coastal Corp., was arrested at his home in
Houston for paying millions in kickbacks to the government of Saddam
Hussein in exchange for rights to buy discounted Iraqi oil under the
UN’s oil-for-food program. 2 Swiss associates were also indicted. In
2007 Wyatt was sentenced to over a year in jail after admitting that
he agreed to a surcharge of about $200,000 to be paid to bank
account in Jordan controlled by officials of Iraq’s State Oil
Marketing Organization in Dec 2001.
(SFC, 10/22/05, p.A3)(WSJ, 11/28/07, p.B10)
2005 Oct 26, The Chicago White
Sox beat the Houston Astros 1-0 to win their first World Series
title since 1917.
2005 Oct 28, Rice University
professor Richard Smalley (62), who shared a 1996 Nobel Prize in
chemistry for the discovery of "buckyballs," died in Houston of
(AP, 10/28/05)(Econ, 11/12/05, p.91)
2005 Nov 3, In Texas convicted
killed Charles Victor Thompson (35) escaped from Harris County Jail.
He was captured Nov 6 in Shreveport, La., drunk and talking on a pay
phone. Thompson had been sentenced to death for the murder of his
ex-girlfriend and her lover in 1998.
(SSFC, 11/6/05, p.A8)(AP, 11/7/05)
2005 Nov 8, Texas voters
overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on gay marriage.
2005 Nov 20, Chris Whitley
(45), a chameleon singer-songwriter who oscillated between roots
rock 'n' roll, blues and alt-rock, died of lung cancer in Houston.
He recorded 11 albums since his 1991 debut, "Living with the Law,"
including “Dirt Floor" (1998) and this year's "Soft Dangerous
2005 Dec 14, Carlos Delgadillo
Martinez died after losing his grip on an inner tube while trying to
cross the Rio Grande near Laredo, Texas. In 2011 jurors acquitted
helicopter pilot James Peters (41) of lying about his role in
(SFC, 9/3/11, p.A4)(http://tinyurl.com/3nzc2z7)
2005 Dec 27, Grass fires burned
in drought-stricken Texas and Oklahoma. Over three days, nearly 200
homes were lost and the fires blamed for at least four deaths.
2005 Dec 28, Firefighters
searched for missing people and hoped for cooler, calmer weather
after deadly wildfires raced across thousands of acres of grassland
dried out by Texas' worst drought in decades and destroyed dozens of
2005 Murders in Houston, Texas,
for the year totaled 334, many of which were linked to refugees from
(Econ, 9/16/06, p.41)
2005 Fort Bliss, Texas, had
some 25,000 inhabitants. Due to expansion plans a 2008 estimate
expected 90,000 people by 2013.
(Econ, 6/28/08, p.39)
2006 Jan 2, Grass fires in New
Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas left at least 4 people dead with over 250
(SFC, 1/3/06, p.A4)
2006 Jan 4, The Univ. of Texas
Longhorns scored a 41-38 win over Southern California in the Rose
Bowl. Official tickets sold for $175 and resellers on the internet
hawked them for as much as $3000.
(AP, 1/5/06)(Econ, 1/7/06, p.58)
2006 Jan 7, US Representative
Tom DeLay (R-Texas), facing corruption charges, stepped down as
House majority leader.
2006 Jan 8, Wildfires in the
southwest US spread to Arkansas and Colorado destroying 9 more
homes. Over the last 2 weeks the fires in New Mexico, Oklahoma and
Texas have destroyed 475 homes and left 5 people dead.
(SFC, 1/9/06, p.A3)
2006 Jan 12, Houston became the
largest school district in the country to adopt a merit pay plan for
teachers that focuses on students' tests scores.
2006 Jan 24, At least 10 men in
Mexican military-style uniforms crossed the Rio Grande into the
United States on a marijuana-smuggling foray, leading to an armed
confrontation with Texas law officers near Neely's Crossing, Texas.
The three sport utility vehicles made a quick U-turn and headed
south toward the border, a few miles away.
2006 Jan 27, Police in Houston,
Texas, said they had arrested 8 gang members from New Orleans as
suspects in 11 slayings.
(SFC, 1/28/06, p.A3)
2006 Jan, Arthur Mumphrey was
released from prison in Texas after his lawyer found DNA evidence
clearing him in the rape of a 13-year-old girl. Mumphrey had been
sentenced in 1986 to 35 years in prison. He awarded more than
$450,000 after spending 18 years in prison for a sexual assault
conviction. His brother, Charles, confessed to the rape while
serving time in jail for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle,
shortly after his brother's release.
2006 Feb 11, Vice President
Dick Cheney accidentally shot Harry Whittington (78), a hunting
companion, during a weekend quail hunting trip at the 50,000-acre
Armstrong ranch in Texas. Whittington, peppered with bird shot, was
in stable condition.
2006 Feb 14, In Texas lawyer
Harry Whittington, who was accidentally injured 3 days earlier by
birdshot fired by VP Cheney, suffered a minor heart attack.
(SFC, 2/15/06, p.A1)
2006 Apr 7, Dena Schlosser,
charged with murder for cutting off her baby daughter Margaret's
arms in what her lawyers portrayed as a religious frenzy, was found
not guilty by reason of insanity by a judge in McKinney, Texas.
2006 Apr 22, In Spring, Texas 2
white teenagers severely beat and sodomized a Hispanic boy (16) who
had tried to kiss a Hispanic girl (12). David Henry Tuck and
17-year-old were later charged with aggravated sexual assault. The
beaten boy was in critical condition.
(SFC, 4/28/06, p.A8)
2006 May 9, Tornadoes swept
through two North Texas towns after dark, reducing houses to bare
concrete slabs in a path of destruction that left three people dead
and 10 injured.
2006 May 23, Lloyd Bentsen
(b.1921), former Texas senator, died at his home in Houston. In 1988
Michael Dukakis picked him as his vice-president candidate. In 1993
he became Bill Clinton’s first treasury secretary.
(SFC, 5/24/06, p.A2)(Econ, 6/3/06, p.84)
2006 May 25, In Texas a jury
found former Enron chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling guilty of
fraud and conspiracy in the collapse of the energy giant. Mr. Lay
died on July 25 and in October a judge vacated the conviction;
Skilling was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
(WSJ, 10/18/06, p.A1)(AP, 5/26/07)
2006 Jun 1, Texas Gov. Rick
Perry announced a plan to use night-vision Webcams along the border
and let Internet users serve as volunteer sentinels.
(http://tinyurl.com/k7z7a)(WSJ, 6/9/06, p.A1)
2006 Jun 7, In Houston, Texas,
Gabriel Granillo (14) was beaten by about a dozen gang members with
baseball bats and tire irons. A teenage girl in the group stabbed
him to death.
(SFC, 6/8/06, p.A3)
2006 Jun 27, Railroad Killer''
Angel Maturino Resendiz, linked to 15 murders, was executed in Texas
for the slaying of physician Claudia Benton in 1998.
2006 Jun 30, US prosecutors
asked a federal judge to force former Enron chief executives Ken Lay
and Jeffrey Skilling to forfeit $183 million for their crimes at the
collapsed energy company.
2006 Jul 5, Kenneth Lay (64).
Enron Corp. founder and chief executive, died of a heart attack at
his vacation home in Colorado. He was convicted in May for his role
in the in the Houston-based company's downfall.
(Reuters, 7/5/06)(Econ, 7/8/06, p.81)
2006 Jul 24, It was reported
that Jeff Bezos (42), founder of Amazon.com, planned to develop a
private spaceport at his private ranch in West Texas. A draft
environmental review was filed with the FAA and a timetable set
commercial flights to begin in 2010.
(SFC, 7/24/06, p.A2)
2006 Jul 26, In a dramatic
turnaround from her first murder trial, a jury in Houston found
Andrea Yates not guilty by reason of insanity in the drowning of her
children in the bathtub; she was committed to a state mental
2006 Aug 11, In Michigan 3
Palestinian American men from Texas were arrested after buying
dozens of cell phones at a Wal-Mart store. They were found with a
1000 cell phones and later charged with federal fraud conspiracy and
money laundering. Initial terrorism charges were dropped.
(SFC, 8/17/06, p.A3)
2006 Sep 5, Dan Rather said he
has donated $2 million to his alma mater, Sam Houston State
University, the largest single monetary gift in the school's
2006 Sep 13, Ann Richards
(b.1933), former Texas Gov. (1990-1994), died after a battle with
cancer. As governor, Richards appointed the first black University
of Texas regent, the first crime victim on the state Criminal
Justice Board, the first disabled person on the human services board
and the first teacher to lead the State Board of Education. Under
Richards, the fabled Texas Rangers pinned stars on their first black
and female officers.
(AP, 9/14/06)(Econ, 9/30/06, p.96)
2006 Sep, Irving, Texas, a city
of some 200,000 people, signed up for the US government’s Criminal
Alien Program (CAP), run by the Immigration and Customs agency. By
the end of 2007 some 1,700 people from Irving were handed over for
(Econ, 12/15/07, p.36)
2006 Oct 14, Freddy Fender
(b.1937), Tex-Mex singer born as Baldemar Huerta, died in San
Benito, Texas. His hit songs included “Wasted Days and Wasted
Nights" and “Before the Next Teardrop Falls" (1975).
(SFC, 10/16/06, p.B6)
2006 Oct 16, In southeast Texas
heavy rains and a tornado left 3 people dead.
(WSJ, 10/17/06, p.A1)
2006 Oct 19, In Texas a
death-row inmate slit his own throat with a makeshift knife,
committing suicide about 15 hours before he was scheduled to be
executed. Michael Dewayne Johnson (29) was on death row for the 1995
killing of a convenience store clerk near Waco. Johnson had denied
gunning down Jeff Wetterman (27), who helped pump gas at the family
store off Interstate 35 near Waco. Johnson blamed his companion,
David Vest, for the killing. Vest blamed the shooting on Johnson,
took an eight-year prison term in a plea deal and testified against
his friend. Vest is now free.
2006 Oct 25, Texas executed
Gregory Summers (48), a man convicted in the stabbing deaths of his
parents and an uncle. He paid a hit man to kill his parents in 1990
in an attempt to collect their life insurance and an inheritance.
2006 Nov 5, Rockwall County,
Texas, prosecutor Louis "Bill" Conradt Jr. killed himself as police
tried to serve him with an arrest warrant alleging he had solicited
sex with a minor online.
2006 Nov 26, In Mexico bands of
youths rampaged through downtown Oaxaca, torching buildings and cars
hours after federal police used tear gas to drive off a violent mob
of leftists in the latest spasm of protests against the state
governor. 30 to 40 armed men entered the La Barranca hunting ranch
near the US border and kidnapped five men including 3 Texans.
Librado Pina Jr. (49), owns the popular deer-hunting ranch near
Hidalgo, was released on Dec 18. His son and 2 others had been
released earlier. There was no word on the ranch's Mexican cook,
(AP, 11/26/06)(AP, 11/29/06)(AP, 12/18/06)
2006 Nov 7, Dan Patrick,
conservative talk show host from Houston, was elected to the state
Senate. He planned to continue broadcasting from Austin.
(Econ, 12/16/06, p.33)
2006 Dec 4, Truck driver Tyrone
Williams was convicted in Houston of the deaths of 19 illegal
immigrants crammed into a sweltering tractor-trailer in May 2003.
2006 Dec 12, In Texas former
Congressman Ciro Rodriguez defeated seven-term Republican Henry
Bonilla in a runoff election, adding another Democrat to Congress.
2006 Dec 26, A 21,000 gallon
oil spill off the Texas coast resulted when a ship anchor hit an oil
(WSJ, 12/27/06, p.A1)
2007 Jan 8, In Texas police
shut down 10 blocks of businesses in the heart of downtown Austin
after dozens of birds were found dead.
2007 Jan 17, In Texas James
Waller, who spent 10 years behind bars for the rape of a boy, became
the 12th person in Dallas County to be cleared by DNA evidence.
2007 Jan 17, A US snow and ice
storm was blamed for at least 64 deaths in nine states. These
included 20 deaths in Oklahoma, 9 in Missouri, 8 in Iowa, 4 in New
York, 5 in Texas, 4 in Michigan, 3 in Arkansas, and 1 each in Maine
(AP, 1/17/07)(SFC, 1/18/07, p.A3)
2007 Jan 18, Truck driver
Tyrone Williams was spared the death penalty and sentenced in
Houston to life in prison for his role in the deaths of 19 illegal
immigrants crammed in a sweltering tractor-trailer.
2007 Jan 31, Molly Ivins
(b.1944), political columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, died
of breast cancer.
(SFC, 2/1/07, p.B7)
2007 Feb 2, Gov. Rick Perry
issued an order making Texas the 1st state to require schoolgirls
get vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes
(SFC, 2/3/07, p.A3)
2007 Feb 14, The Milton
Friedman Foundation said each high school dropout costs Texas $3,168
a year in lost revenue, plus Medicaid and prison expenses.
(WSJ, 2/15/07, p.A1)
2007 Feb 26, Texas' largest
electricity producer, said it has agreed to be sold to a group of
private-equity firms for about $32 billion in what would be the
largest private buyout in US corporate history if shareholders go
2007 Mar 5, John Baugh
(b.1916), founder of SYSCO Corp., the restaurant supply giant, died
in Texas. Mr. Baugh published a book about the company, "The SYSCO
Story ... Thus Far!" in 2003.
2007 Mar 10, In Texas Valerie
Lopez (19), the mother of two young children whose decomposing
bodies were found wrapped in plastic bags beneath a house this week,
was arrested and charged with capital murder.
2007 Mar 11, Halliburton CEO
Dave Lesar announced that his oil services company will soon shift
its corporate headquarters from Houston to the Mideast financial
powerhouse of Dubai.
2007 Mar 21, In Texas
investigators said Timothy Wayne Shepherd (27) confessed to
strangling Tynesha Stewart (19) because he was angry she had begun a
new relationship. Shepherd had dismembered and burned her body on a
2007 Mar 27, Texas Governor
Rick Perry's office said that he had signed a new law that expands
Texans' existing right to use deadly force to defend themselves
"without retreat" in their homes, cars and workplaces. The new law
takes affect on September 1.
2007 Mar, Some 47 bodies of
bottlenose dolphins washed up on the shores near Galveston, Texas.
Toxins off the Louisiana coast were suspected.
(SFC, 3/19/07, p.A2)
2007 Apr 20, William Phillips,
a NASA contract worker, shot and killed David Beverly, a NASA civil
servant, and then killed himself at the Johnson Space Center in
(SFC, 4/21/07, p.A3)
2007 Apr 24, A tornado in the
Texas border town of Eagle Pass killed at least 10 people and
destroyed two schools and more than 20 homes. The storm killed 2
more people in Arkansas and Louisiana.
(AP, 4/25/07)(SFC, 4/26/07, p.A3)
2007 May 8, A federal judge in
El Paso, Texas, dismissed immigration fraud charges against Luis
Posada Carriles (79), a former CIA operative accused of
masterminding a 1976 bombing of a Cuban civilian airplane along with
1997 bombings in Havana.
(SFC, 5/10/07, p.A6)
2007 May 12, Voters in Farmers
Branch, a suburb of Dallas, Texas, became the first in the nation to
prohibit landlords from renting to most illegal immigrants. Texas
courts quickly issued a restraining order against the city to
prevent the ordnance from taking effect.
(AP, 5/13/07)(Econ, 6/16/07, p.35)
2007 May 25, In central Texas
two days of storms and flooding left 5 people dead and one missing.
2007 May 29, In Hudson Oaks,
Texas, Gilberta Estrada (25) was found hanged by suicide along with
3 of her 4 children. A 9-month-old infant survived her noose.
(SFC, 5/30/07, p.A8)
2007 Jun 11, In Texas 3
National Guardsmen were arraigned on charges of conspiring to
transport illegal immigrants.
(SFC, 6/12/07, p.A5)
2007 Jun 12, In Texas Sgt.
Lawrence G. Sprader (25), an experienced soldier who lost contact
during a training exercise on the sprawling Fort Hood Army base, was
found dead after four days.
2007 Jun 14, The San Antonio
Spurs won their fourth NBA title in nine years as they defeated the
Cleveland Cavaliers 83-82 in Game 4.
2007 Jun 14, Abel Diaz Lucas,
also known as Jorge Guevara-Perez, was arrested in El Paso, Texas.
The next day he was handed to Mexican authorities, who had been
trying to find Diaz for five years. They accused him of running a
central Mexico gang notorious for cutting off the fingers and ears
of their victims and sending them to their families to demand ransom
2007 Jun 18, Torrential
overnight rainfall flooded a handful of North Texas towns killing at
least 4. People and their pets were stranded on the roofs of their
homes awaiting rescue.
(AP, 6/18/07)(WSJ, 6/19/07, p.A1)
2007 Jun 19, In Austin, Texas,
3-4 people beat a man to death after the car he was riding in
apparently struck and injured a child.
(AP, 6/20/07)(SFC, 6/22/07, p.A5)
2007 Jun 26, Patrick Knight was
executed in Huntsville, Texas, for the 1991 murder of a couple from
the Amarillo area.
(SFC, 6/27/07, p.A2)
2007 Jun 27, Torrential storms
flooded parts of central Texas, stranding people on roofs, in trees
and in vehicles. Constant downpours claimed 11 lives in the last 11
(AP, 6/27/07)(AP, 6/28/07)
2007 Jul 11, Lady Bird Johnson
(b.1912), widow of former US Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969),
died in Austin, Texas.
(SFC, 7/12/07, p.A2)(Econ, 7/21/07, p.85)
2007 Jul 12, HM Capital
Partners LLC, a leading, Dallas-based private equity firm, and Booth
Creek Management Corporation sold Swift & Company to Brazil’s
JBS S.A., the largest beef processor in South America and one of the
largest worldwide beef exporters. Swift was the 3rd largest
processor of beef and pork in America and the biggest processor of
beef in Australia.
2007 Jul 18, NYC and New Jersey
claimed $170.2 million in anti-terrorism funds, LA and Long Beach,
Ca., claimed $72.6 million, DC claimed $61.7 million, Chicago got
$47.3 million, the SF Bay Area got $34.1 million and Houston got $25
(SFC, 7/19/07, p.B3)
2007 Jul 20, Kevin Andre Smoot
(43), a former executive of Eagle Global Logistics’ freight
forwarding station in Houston, a company that shipped military cargo
to Iraq, pleaded guilty to lying about a fraud scheme that bilked
the government out of more than a million dollars. Smoot admitted
that he lied to federal investigators who questioned him about a
scheme to inflate invoices by adding a "war risk surcharge" of 50
cents for each kilogram of freight transported to Baghdad.
2007 Jul 24, Riley Ann Sawyers
(2) died after being whipped with belts and flung across a room like
a rag doll. On October 29 her body, dubbed Baby Grace, was found
inside a plastic box in Galveston Bay. In 2009 a jury convicted
Riley's mother, Kimberly Dawn Trenor (20), of capital murder. The
conviction brought an automatic sentence of life in prison without
parole. Her husband, Royce Clyde Zeigler II (25), was convicted of
capital murder on Nov 6, 2009, and was also expected to receive a
(AP, 2/3/09)(SFC, 11/7/09,
2007 Aug 19, Fierce storms from
the upper Mississippi to Texas since last week left 22 people dead.
Six people died in floodwaters across Oklahoma after heavy rains
from the remains of Tropical Storm Erin drenched the state. As much
as 9 inches of rain fell across a wide swath of Oklahoma, leaving
roadways under 5 feet of water. 8 people were reported dead in Texas
and 6 dead in Minnesota.
(Reuters, 8/20/07)(SFC, 8/21/07, p.A6)(AP,
2007 Aug 22, The Texas Rangers
became the first team in 110 years to score 30 runs in a game,
setting an American League record in a 30-3 rout of the Baltimore
Orioles in the first game of a doubleheader.
2007 Aug 22, The death toll
across the Upper Midwest and from the remnants of Tropical Storm
Erin that swept Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri over the past week rose
to at least 26. Three people were electrocuted by lightning at a bus
stop in Madison, Wis.
2007 Aug 27, Police arrested
Paul Devoe III (43) in Shirley, NY, following 5 recent murders in
Texas and one in Pennsylvania. On December 19, 2007, the Texas
Travis County District Attorney announced his office's intention to
pursue the death penalty. In 2009 Devoe was sentenced to death for
the 2007 slaying of two Jonestown, Texas, teenage girls.
2007 Sep 8, In Odessa, Texas, 2
police officers responding to a domestic disturbance were killed and
a third was critically wounded by a gunman who led authorities on an
hours-long standoff. Gunman Larry White (58) was shot in the abdomen
but was in stable condition.
2007 Sep 13, Humberto, the
first hurricane to hit the US Gulf Coast in two years, sneaked up on
southeast Texas overnight and crashed ashore with heavy rains and 80
mph winds. One man died when a carport collapsed on him.
2007 Sep 25, NRG Energy of
Princeton, NJ, submitted permission to build 2 nuclear reactors in
(SFC, 9/25/07, p.A3)
2007 Sep 27, The US Supreme
Court halted the execution of Carlton Turner Jr. (28), a man
convicted of killing his parents in Texas, after already agreeing to
review lethal injection procedures in Kentucky. Turner was 19 when
he shot Carlton Turner Sr., (43) and Tonya Turner (40) several times
in the head. Turner was executed on Jul 10, 2008.
(AP, 9/28/07)(SFC, 7/10/08, p.A4)
2007 Oct 9, In Texas Ronald
Taylor (47), who spent a dozen years in prison for a rape he didn't
commit, was freed based on DNA evidence. He became the third inmate
to be released because of problems with the Houston Police
Department's crime lab.
2007 Oct 22, A federal judge in
Dallas declared a mistrial for former leaders of the Texas-based
Holy Land Foundation, a Muslim charity accused of funding terrorism.
2007 Nov 14, In Texas Joe Horn
(62) shot and killed two suspected burglars, with bags in hand,
crawling out of windows from his neighbor's home in the Houston
suburb of Pasadena. In 2008 a jury acquitted Horn of murder.
2007 Dec 5, It was reported
that the world’s largest helium reserve near Amarillo, Texas, was
expected to run out by 2015. The Bush Dome, begun as a reserve by
the government in 1925, supplied 35% of the world’s current usage.
(WSJ, 12/5/07, p.B1)
2007 Dec 12, Three British oil
executives pleaded guilty in a Houston court to price-fixing. They
were accused of conspiring from 1999-2007 to fix the prices of
millions of dollars worth of marine hoses used to transfer oil
between tankers and storage facilities. They were permitted to
return to Britain and to plead guilty to charges there.
2007 Dec 23, High wind and ice
coated power lines blacked out tens of thousands of people in the
Midwest. The storm was blamed for at least 22 deaths. At least 8
people in Minnesota, 5 in Wisconsin, 3 each in Indiana and Wyoming
and one each in Michigan, Texas and Kansas were killed in traffic
(AP, 12/23/07)(WSJ, 12/24/07, p.A1)(SFC,
2007 Texas voters approved a
bond measure for the creation of the Cancer Prevention Research
Institute of Texas.
(SSFC, 10/14/12, p.A16)
2008 Jan 1, By state law strip
clubs in Texas began imposing a $5 surcharge, dubbed the “pole tax,"
providing the state with an estimated $40 million in annual revenue.
Most of the proceeds were to go to programs supporting victims of
(Econ, 1/5/08, p.28)
2008 Jan 4, In Texas Jana
Shearer (21), the girlfriend of Christopher Lee McCuin (25), was
taken by McCuin from her home and killed. McCuin was arrested Jan 5
after police found that he had cooked parts of her body and may have
tried to eat them. On Dec 7 McCuin was found dead in his jail cell.
(AP, 1/7/08)(AP, 12/8/08)
2008 Jan 15, A US District
judge ordered the border city of Eagle Pass, Texas, to surrender 233
acres to the federal government for the construction of a border
fence by the Homeland Security Dept.
(SFC, 1/17/08, p.A5)
2008 Jan 16, Texas was ranked
as the biggest polluter in the US, making it the 7th worst in the
world if it were its own nation.
(WSJ, 1/17/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 17, A US federal judge
struck down Texas laws barring out-of-state retailers from shipping
wine to consumers.
(WSJ, 1/18/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 30, Fr. Marcial Maciel
Degollado (b.1920), Mexican Roman Catholic priest who founded the
Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi movement (1941), died in
2008 Feb 12, A US federal
appeals court has overturned a statute outlawing sex toy sales in
Texas, one of the last states, all in the South, to retain such a
2008 Feb 22, In Texas 3 British
bankers were sentenced to just over three years in prison for their
roles in a fraudulent scheme with former Enron Chief Financial
Officer Andrew Fastow, and they're hoping to serve some of that time
2008 Mar 1, In Emory, Texas, a
teenage girl joined her boyfriend and two others to help kill her
mother and 2 brothers (8,13). Her parents had demanded that she
break up with her boyfriend. Terry Caffey, the father, survived with
(SFC, 3/3/08, p.A4)
2008 Mar 4, John McCain
clinched the Republican nomination. Hillary Clinton won primaries in
Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island, halting Barack Obama's winning streak.
Obama won in Vermont. Obama came away with a large share of
delegates, too, in counting that continued.
2008 Mar 7, Texas oilman David
Chalmers was sentenced to two years in prison after admitting to
paying millions of dollars in kickbacks to Iraq in connection with
the UN oil-for-food program.
2008 Mar 28, The US
Transportation Security Administration said it will change they way
its officers search passengers with body piercings after a Texas
woman complained she was forced to remove a nipple ring with pliers
in order to board an airplane.
2008 Mar, Ahmed Muhammed
Dhakane of Somalia was arrested on immigration charges in
Brownsville, across the Rio Grande from Matamoros, Mexico. In 2011
Dhakane (25) was sentenced to 10 years in prison for failing to
acknowledge ties to two global terrorist groups.
2008 Apr 4, Child welfare
officials scrambled to find foster homes for dozens of girls removed
from a secretive West Texas religious retreat built by polygamist
leader Warren Jeffs after a 16-year-old living there complained of
physical abuse. By April 8 Texas had taken 416 children into
protective custody. Some 140 women came along voluntarily. It was
later reported that over half of the teenage girls from the Yearning
for Zion Ranch had children or were pregnant. The number of 14-17
year old girls with children was later reduced as ages became
confirmed. On May 22 a state appeals court ruled that authorities
had no right to take children from the polygamist compound. In 2009
jurors convicted sect member Raymond Jessop (38) of sexually
assaulting a girl, who became pregnant at age 16. By 2012 legal
costs associated with the case approached $20 million.
(AP, 4/5/08)(Econ, 4/12/08, p.36)(WSJ, 4/29/08,
p.A1)(SFC, 5/17/08, p.A2)(SFC, 5/23/08, p.A2)(SFC, 11/6/09,
p.A6)(SFC, 4/4/12, p.A6)
2008 Apr 6, In Texas Erick
Daniel Davila (21) opened fire at a child’s birthday party killing
Annette Stevenson (48). Her granddaughter (5) died the next day.
Davial was executed in 2018.
(SFC, 4/9/08, p.A4)(SFC, 4/26/18, p.A4)
2008 Apr 10, Powerful storms
brought hail, heavy rain and possible tornadoes to Arkansas, Texas,
and Oklahoma, causing flooding and power outages for thousands of
customers and at least one death.
2008 Apr 11, Crystle Stewart
(26), of Missouri City, Texas, was named Miss USA, besting 50 other
beauty queens for the coveted crown in Las Vegas.
2008 Apr 29, James Woodward
(55) walked out of a Dallas court after DNA testing overturned his
conviction over 27 years ago for the murder and rape of his
2008 Apr, In Lufkin, Texas,
nurse Kimberly Saenz (34) injected 10 patients at a dialysis clinic
with bleach killing five of them. In 2009 she was charged with
murder and assault. In 2012 Saenz was sentenced to life in prison
with no chance for parole.
(SFC, 4/2/09, p.A7)(SFC, 4/3/12, p.A7)
2008 Jun 8, In Texas a medical
helicopter crashed on an isolated ranch in Sam Houston National
Forest, killing a patient and three crew members.
2008 Jun 8, In the Gulf of
Mexico 4 college students from Texas and a safety officer were
rescued after spending some 26 hours in choppy seas following the
sinking of their 38-foot Cynthia Woods, which was competing in the
Regatta de Amigos. Safety officer Roger Stone died in the capsized
(SFC, 6/9/08, p.A3)
2008 Jun 16, It was reported
that Texas businessman Bassam Nabulsi had a federal lawsuit against
Sheik Issa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a son of the late UAE president and
brother of Abu Dhabi's crown prince. Nabulsi said he safeguarded the
sheik's most important documents: financial records, investment
documents, and videotapes showing the sheik torturing people with a
cattle prod and a spiked plank.
2008 Jun 26, US Air Force Col.
Samuel Lofton III was sentenced to 9 years in prison and kicked out
of the military for assaulting a woman and other crimes at Sheppard
Air Force Base, Texas.
(SFC, 6/27/08, p.A3)
2008 Jun 27, In Piedras Negras,
Mexico, Chad Foster, the mayor of Eagle Pass, Texas, attended a tree
planting ceremony for the first of 400,000 trees which will form a
"green wall" in protest of the fence the US is building along the
border with Mexico.
2008 Jul 8, T. Boone Pickens,
energy baron, announced his “Pickens Plan" for installing wind
turbines in parts of four Texas Panhandle counties. The plans were
scrapped in 2009 due to lack of transmission lines.
2008 Jul 18, In Houston, Texas,
one of the nation's largest mobile cranes collapsed at
LyondellBasell refinery, killing four workers. An additional 7
workers were injured when the crane collapsed during routine
maintenance at the chemical plant.
2008 Jul 21, The US FDA issued
an advisory for consumers to avoid eating uncooked jalapeno peppers
after it found a jalapeno grown in Mexico in a Texas border town
warehouse that tested positive with the same strain of salmonella
that was earlier associated with tomatoes.
(SFC, 7/22/08, p.A10)
2008 Jul 23, Hurricane Dolly
toppled trees and sent billboards flying in the Mexican city of
Matamoros, and authorities south of the US border warned of possible
flooding. Dolly also hit south Texas, but by evening it had weakened
to a tropical storm.
(AP, 7/24/08)(SFC, 7/24/08, p.A3)
2008 Jul 25, Texas nurse Chere
Lyn Tomayko, wanted by the FBI for international parental
kidnapping, was awarded refugee status in Costa Rica and cannot be
extradited to the US. In December 1996, a US judge gave joint
custody of a daughter, Alexandria Camille Cyprian, to Tomayko and
her ex-boyfriend Robert Cyprian, with the condition that Alexandria
live in Tarrant County, Texas. Tomayko said she moved to Costa Rica
because she had been physically abused by Cyprian.
2008 Aug 5, Texas executed Jose
Medellin (33) for the 1993 rape and killing of two teenage girls in
Houston. Mexico protested the execution, which took place despite a
world court ruling for a new hearing, and expressed concern for the
rights of other Mexicans detained in the US. On Jan 19, 2009, the
International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled that the US defied
its order when authorities in Texas last year executed a Mexican
convicted of rape and murder.
(AP, 8/6/08)(AP, 1/19/09)
2008 Aug 8, In Texas a charter
bus carrying Vietnamese worshippers on a pilgrimage ran off a
highway overpass north of Dallas and plunged onto a roadway below.
15 people were killed and 40 injured. In 2014 Angel de la Torre, the
owner of the Houston bus company charged after the crash that killed
17 passengers, avoided prison after a federal judge sentenced him to
three years of probation in a plea agreement.
(AP, 8/8/08)(AP, 10/29/14)
2008 Aug 9, Mahmoud Darwish
(67), a Palestinian poet, died, died in Houston. His poetry
eloquently told of his people's experiences of exile, occupation and
2008 Aug 15, In Texas store
clerk Mindy Daffern (46) was abducted in the north Texas town of
Scotland. Wallace Bowman Jr. (30) was identified by a security
camera and led investigators to her body the next day.
2008 Sep 3, Albert J. Stanley
(65), former Halliburton executive, pleaded guilty in Houston to
orchestrating over $180 million in bribes to senior Nigerian
government officials from 1995-2004 for the construction of
liquefied natural gas facilities. The bribes began when Stanley
worked for M.W. Kellogg, a unit of Dresser Industries that was
acquired by Halliburton in 1998, when Dick Cheney served as CEO.
Stanley also pleaded guilty to taking $10.8 million in kickbacks
from a consortium of construction firms involved in the LNG
contracts between 1992-2003. Stanley was sentenced to 7 years in
prison and ordered to repay Halliburton $10.8 million.
(WSJ, 9/4/08, p.A1)(WSJ, 9/5/08, p.B1)
2008 Sep 3, In Pasadena, Texas,
a suburb of Houston, Dannette Gillespie (38) orchestrated her
daughter (15) and Vanessa Anne Ocampo (19) in the robbery and
killing of Eugene Palma (75), which netted them $15. On Sep 7 all
three were charged with murder.
2008 Sep 9, San Antonio, Texas,
unveiled a deal that will make it the first US city to harvest
methane gas from human waste on a commercial scale and turn it into
2008 Sep 13, Hurricane Ike
ravaged the Texas coast with 110 mph winds, flooding thousands of
homes and businesses, shattering windows in Houston's skyscrapers
and knocking out power to millions of people. Ike left at least 37
people dead in Texas, including 5 on Galveston Island, and 35 more
dead across 10 states. Galveston later requested $2.2 billion in
disaster relief. This amounted to about $36,000 per resident.
Officials later estimated that damages from Ike could exceed $50
(SFC, 9/15/08, p.A6)(SFC, 9/17/08, p.A8)(SFC,
9/23/08, p.A3)(SFC, 10/13/08, p.A2)(Econ, 10/4/08, p.34)
2008 Sep 16, In Texas the torn
apart body of Brandon McClelland (24), a black man, was found
on a rural road near Paris. He had crossed the border to Oklahoma
the previous evening with friends Finley and Charles Ryan Crostley
(27) to buy beer. In 2009 murder charges were dropped against Finley
and Crostley due to lack of evidence.
(SFC, 10/25/08, p.A5)(SFC, 6/5/09, p.A6)
2008 Oct 3, United States
Protection and Investigations, a Houston security company, was
indicted on charges of defrauding the US government for work done
during the Afghanistan war and rebuilding efforts.
2008 Oct 14, Reymundo Guerra,
sheriff of rural Starr County, Texas, next to the Mexican border,
was arrested at his office after being indicted on charges alleging
he was involved in a large-scale cocaine and marijuana smuggling
2008 Nov 17, Vice President
Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales were
indicted on state charges involving federal prisons in a South Texas
county that has been a source of bizarre legal and political battles
under the outgoing prosecutor. Cheney was charged with engaging in
an organized criminal activity related to the vice president's
investment in the Vanguard Group, which holds financial interests in
the private prison companies running the federal detention centers.
It accuses Cheney of a conflict of interest and "at least
misdemeanor assaults" on detainees because of his link to the prison
companies. The indictment accused Gonzales of using his position
while in office to stop an investigation in 2006 into abuses at one
of the privately-run prisons. On Dec 1 a Texas judge dismissed the
indictments against Cheney and Gonzales.
(AP, 11/19/08)(SFC, 12/2/08, p.A8)
2008 Nov 19, Germany chemical
company BASF SE said it is temporarily closing 80 plants worldwide
due to slumping demand and cutting production at 100 more, including
facilities in Texas and Louisiana. Some 20,000 workers are affected.
2008 Nov 24, The US government
won a terrorism conviction against Texas-based Holy Land, what had
been the nation's largest Muslim charity, and five of its leaders
for funneling millions of dollars to the Palestinian militant group
Hamas. Holy Land supporters accused the government of politicizing
the case as part of its war on terrorism, while attorneys for the
foundation said Holy Land's mission was philanthropy and providing
aid to the Middle East.
2008 Nov 27, A sport utility
vehicle carrying 8 people from Texas plunged off an unfinished
bridge into a river in northern Mexico, causing the death of three
adults and four children.
2008 Dec 22, In Texas a gunman
in pickup truck killed two people and injuring another in a series
of rush hour shootings on Dallas-area roads. The next day police
identified Brian Smith (37), a former Utah state trooper, as the
shooter. Smith died Dec 24 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
(AP, 12/23/08)(SFC, 12/24/08, p.A3)(SFC,
2009 Jan 14, Trammell Crow
(b.1914, Texas real estate developer, died. His projects included
the Dallas Decorative Center (1955) and the 10-million square foot
Dallas Market Center. In the 1970s and 1980s Crow was the nation’s
biggest real estate developer. In 1981 he founded Wyndham Co., which
became one of the nation’s largest hotel chains.
(WSJ, 1/17/09, p.A5)
2009 Jan 19, President George
W. Bush In his final acts of clemency granted early prison releases
to Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, two former Texas-based US
Border Patrol agents whose convictions for shooting a Mexican drug
dealer in 2005 fueled the national debate over illegal immigration.
(AP, 1/20/09)(SFC, 1/20/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 28, President Barack
Obama signed requests from Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and Arkansas
Gov. Mike Beebe for federal emergency declarations as crews worked
around the clock to resurrect power lines downed by thick ice in
both states. Since the storm began building on Jan 26, the weather
has been blamed for at least six deaths in Texas, four in Arkansas,
three in Virginia, six in Missouri, two in Oklahoma, and one each in
Indiana and Ohio.
2009 Feb 17, The US federal
government said Texas financier R. Allen Stanford's investment
businesses were too good to be true, and shut his companies down.
The SEC charged Stanford (58) with an $8 billion fraud. On Feb 19
Stanford was tracked down in Virginia, where FBI agents served him
with civil complaint legal papers.
(AP, 2/17/09)(WSJ, 2/18/09, p.A1)(AP, 2/19/09)
2009 Feb 18, In Antigua panicky
depositors were turned away from Stanford International Bank and
some of its Latin American affiliates, unable to withdraw their
money after US regulators accused Texas financier R. Allen Stanford
of perpetrating an $8 billion fraud against his companies'
2009 Feb, A Texas grand jury
returned a 106-count indictment against the former Montague Sheriff
Bill Keating and 16 others. It revealed that inmates had the run of
County Jail, having sex with their jailer girlfriends, bringing in
recliners, taking drugs and chatting on cell phones supplied by
friends or guards.
2009 Mar 4, In Texas Kenneth
Wayne Morris was executed for killing a Houston man in a botched
burglary nearly 18 years ago.
(SFC, 3/5/09, p.A6)
2009 Mar 12, Texas Gov. Rick
Perry announced that he turned down $555 million of federal stimulus
funding that would expand the state's unemployment benefits, saying
the money would have required the state to keep paying for the
expanded benefits after the stimulus money ran out.
2009 Mar 16, In northern Mexico
a tractor-trailer slammed into a bus carrying Canadian and US
tourists, killing 11. The bus was carrying a group of Texas retirees
from McAllen, Texas, to the northern Mexican state of Zacatecas when
a drunken driver lost control of his tractor-trailer outside the
city of Saltillo.
(AP, 3/17/09)(WSJ, 3/18/09, p.A10)
2009 Mar 27, The Texas Board of
Education approved a science curriculum opening the door for
teachers and texts to raise doubts about evolution.
(WSJ, 3/28/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 4, In Texas Jorge
Alberto Mendez (42) was arrested while trying to cross into Mexico
from El Paso, where he lived. He was arrested for allegedly raping
19 women across the border in the northern Mexican city of Ciudad
2009 Apr 7, In Texas Jon Dale
Jones (46), a former Army hospital nurse, pleaded guilty to assault
and theft. He was accused of infecting 15 patients with hepatitis C.
Jones was arrested on federal charges in March of 2008 for using
dirty needles to administer anesthesia, and accused of stealing
painkillers for himself.
2009 Apr 12, In Texas 2
firefighters were killed while battling a house fire in Houston.
(SFC, 4/13/09, p.A4)
2009 Apr 17, A US federal judge
sentenced John Philip Hernandez of Houston to 8 years in prison for
buying military-style firearms and that ended up in the hands of
Mexico’s drug cartels. Prosecutors said Hernandez led a group that
purchased 339 weapons over 15 months.
(SFC, 4/18/09, p.A4)
2009 Apr 18, In Texas 5 Houston
children died after their sedan slid into a rain-swollen ditch when
driver Chanton Jenkins (32) lost control while trying to answer a
cell phone. Police the next day filed intoxication manslaughter
charges against Jenkins, the father of 3 of the victims.
(AP, 4/19/09)(AP, 4/20/09)(WSJ, 4/20/09, p.A7)
2009 Apr 29, The WHO raised its
alert for swine flu from level 4 to level 5, its 2nd highest alert
level. Austria and Germany confirmed cases of swine flu, becoming
the third and fourth European countries hit by the disease. US
health officials reported that a 23-month-old child in Texas has
died from the disease. The World Health Organization called an
emergency meeting to consider its pandemic alert level.
(AP, 4/29/09)(SFC, 4/30/09, p.A8)
2009 Apr 30, In Texas Derrick
Lamone Johnson was executed for the 1999 rape and murder of LaTausha
Curry (25) abducted while she trying to make a call at a pay phone.
He was the 14th Texas prisoner executed this year.
(SFC, 5/1/09, p.A8)
2009 May 1, In south Texas
Reymundo Guerra, former sheriff of Starr county, pleaded guilty to a
drug trafficking charge for sharing law enforcement information with
a Mexican drug ring.
(SFC, 5/2/09, p.A4)
2009 May 11, US District Judge
Samuel Kent was sentenced to 3 years in prison for lying to
investigators about sexually abusing 2 female employees at his
Galveston, Texas, courthouse. Kent had pleaded guilty to obstruction
of justice as his trial was about to start in February. This was the
first sex abuse case ever against a sitting federal judge.
(SFC, 5/12/09, p.A5)
2009 May 20, Eric Yang (13),
Singapore-born Texas student, won the National Geographic Bee and
took home a $25,000 college scholarship.
(SFC, 5/21/09, p.A7)
2009 May 26, Russia's uranium
export company signed a groundbreaking $1 billion package of
contracts to supply three US utilities with enriched fuel for
nuclear power plants. Tenex signed contracts to provide enriched
uranium fuel to San Francisco, California-based Pacific Gas &
Electric Company; St. Louis, Missouri-based AmerenUE; and Dallas,
Texas-based Luminant. Tenex will supply fuel to the US utilities
from 2014 through 2020 under the contracts, which provide the option
2009 May 27, In Texas
authorities indicted 51 defendants on state charges in Fort Bend
County, while 22 were indicted on federal charges for distributing
anabolic steroids, human growth hormones and other drugs.
2009 May 27, In Texas Shukri
Abu Baker (50) and Ghassan Elashi (55), founding members of the
Holyland Foundation for Relief and Development, were sentenced to 65
years in prison for funneling millions of dollars to the Palestinian
militant group Hamas. They were among 5 members of the group
sentenced to prison.
(SFC, 5/28/09, p.A5)
2009 May 29, In Texas a Houston
jury convicted Philippe Padieu (53) of Houston to 45 years in prison
for knowingly infecting 6 women with the AIDS virus.
(SFC, 5/30/09, p.A4)
2009 Jun 19, The US House
impeached imprisoned US District Judge Samuel Kent of Texas
for lying about sexual assaults of two women. Kent (59) entered a
federal prison in Massachusetts on June 15 to serve a 33-month
sentence. He pleaded guilty last month to lying to judicial
investigators about sexual assaults of two female employees. Kent
was refusing to resign until next year so he can continue to draw
his $174,000 a year salary. If he is convicted of the impeachment
charges in the Senate, he will be forced off the bench.
2009 Jun 19, Federal
prosecutors in Virginia indicted Texas financier Allen Stanford (59)
and 4 others on fraud and other charges in connection with a
multi-billion Ponzi scheme.
(SFC, 6/20/09, p.C2)
2009 Jun 26, In Texas security
guard Jesse William McGraw (25), head of the Elecktronik Tribulation
Army, was arrested for hacking into computers at a Dallas medical
clinic in hopes of launching a massive computer attack around July
(SFC, 7/1/09, p.A4)
2009 Jun, Sludge containing
PCBs, released into the Hudson River between 1946-1977 by 2 General
Electric plants, began to be shipped for disposal to West Texas. The
sludge along 197 miles had been declared a Superfund site. Cleanup
of the Hudson River began in 2009 at an estimated cost of $750
million, to be paid by GE.
(SFC, 11/29/00, p.A10)(SFC, 5/16/09, p.A5)(SFC,
2009 Aug 14, Lynette “Squeaky"
Fromme (60), the Charles Manson follower convicted of trying to
assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975, was released from a Texas
prison hospital after more than three decades behind bars.
2009 Aug 21, Guaranty Bank
became the 2nd-largest US bank to fail this year after the Texas
lender was shut down by regulators and most of its operations sold
at a loss of billions of dollars for the US government to a major
Spanish bank. Guaranty's failure, along with those of three small
banks in Georgia and Alabama, brought to 81 the number of US bank
failures this year.
2009 Sep 3, Sergio Saucedo
(30), a drug trafficker, was taken from his home in Horizon City,
outside of El Paso, Texas. He was murdered and mutilated in Ciudad
Juarez in retaliation for the loss of 700 pounds (315 kilos) of
marijuana seized by border patrol agents. His body was found on Sep
8. On April 1, 2011, the West Texas Federal Court jury found Cesar
Obregon-Reyes and Rafael Vega guilty of abducting Sergio Saucedo
from his home.
2009 Sep 16, Brazil JBS company
announced that Texas-based chicken processor Pilgrim’s Pride has
agreed to be taken over for $800 million. This and a pending
acquisition with Bertin, another Brazilian firm, would make JBS the
world’s largest processor of meat.
2009 Sep 23, In Texas Maria
Refugia Camarillo (72), a Fort Worth grandmother, was sentenced to
nearly 4 years in prison for running a scheme in which her family
members married scores of foreigners seeking to stay in the US.
(SFC, 9/24/09, p.A7)
2009 Sep 24, In Texas Hosam
Maher Husein Smadi (19) parked what he thought was an explosive
laden truck in a parking garage beneath the 60-story Fountain Place
office tower in Dallas. FBI agents had provided Smadi with the
truck. Smadi was indicted the next day.
(SFC, 9/26/09, p.A6)
2009 Oct 5, Don Hill, a former
Dallas Mayor Pro Tem, was convicted in a bribery and extortion
scheme that prosecutors called the largest in Dallas history.
(SFC, 10/6/09, p.A5)
2009 Oct 9, Stephen Pechenik
(78), the president of a San Antonio company, pleaded guilty to
charges that he conspired to receive and sell petroleum stolen from
Mexico's oil giant, Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex. He was the 4th
Texas oil executive to plead guilty to felony charges of conspiring
to receive and sell stolen petroleum condensate. Much of the Mexican
oil rustling was traced to the Zetas, a criminal group founded by
former military commandos.
2009 Oct 22, US authorities
arrested over 300 people in 38 cities in a sting against Mexico’s La
Familia drug operations in the US. At least 84 were arrested in
Dallas as part of Operation Coronado.
(SFC, 10/23/09, p.A12)(SFC, 12/12/09, p.A4)
2009 Oct 30, US banking
regulators closed nine banks in California, Illinois, Texas and
Arizona. They were all divisions of privately held FBOP Corp. based
in Oak Park, Ill.
(SSFC, 11/1/09, p.A15)
2009 Nov 5, At Fort Hood,
Texas, Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan (39) shot 13 people dead. Hasan,
a psychiatrist, was among 30 people wounded in the shooting spree
and remained hospitalized on a ventilator. Kimberly Munley (34), a
civilian police officer, shot at Hassan and was herself shot in both
thighs and the wrist. Sgt. Mark Todd shot at Hasan and brought him
down. Soldiers reported that the Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar!" — an
Arabic phrase for "God is great!" — before opening fire. Hasan was
apparently set to deploy soon and had expressed some anger about the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
(AP, 11/6/09)(SFC, 11/7/09, p.A10)(AP, 11/13/09)
2009 Nov 18, In Texas Danielle
Simpson (30) was executed by lethal injection for the Jan, 2000,
abduction and slaying of Geraldine Davidson (84). Simpson became the
22nd prisoner executed in Texas this year.
2009 Nov 19, Texas executed
Robert Lee Thompson (34), for his role in a fatal store holdup 13
years earlier. Triggerman Sammy Butler had gunned store clerk
Mansoor Bhai Rahim but received a life sentence. Thompson was the 23
inmate executed in Texas this year.
(SFC, 11/20/09, p.A7)
2009 Dec 12, Houston became the
largest US city to elect an openly gay mayor, with voters handing a
solid victory to City Controller Annise Parker (53) after a hotly
2009 Dec 17, John Hummel
stabbed his wife, Joy Hummel, 35 times, then beat to death his
5-year-old daughter Jodi Hummel and wheelchair-bound father-in-law
Clyde Bedford with a baseball bat in the Fort Worth suburb of
Kennedale. On June 30, 2021, Hummel was executed by lethal injection
at the Texas state penitentiary in Huntsville.
(https://tinyurl.com/fev5uxwh)(SFC, 7/2/21, p.A4)
2009 Bryan Burrough authored
“The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil
Fortunes." It entered on H.L Hunt, Sid Richardson, Clint Murchinson
and Hugh Roy Cullen, known as the Big Four of Texas oil.
(WSJ, 2/4/09, p.A11)
2009 In Dallas, Texas, the new
Bill and Margot Winspear Opera House, designed by Norman Foster,
opened on Flora Street in the Dallas Arts District. Across the
street the new Dee and Charles Wyly Theater, designed by Joshua
Prince-Ramos and Rem Koolhaas, also opened.
(Econ, 10/31/09, p.42)
2009 A lawyer for the US Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission won a suit against Texas-based
Henry's Turkey Service in Iowa for lost pay, abuse and
discrimination involving 32 workers with mental disabilities. The
$240 million verdict was the largest ever for the EEOC, but it was
subsequently reduced to $50,000 per person. The case was made into a
documentary "The Men of Atalissa" (2014).
2010 Jan 12, Texas-based Apache
Corp. said it made its sixth oil and gas discovery in the Faghur
Basin play in Egypt's far Western Desert near the Libyan border.
2010 Jan 17, In Texas 5 people
were gunned down in a small home in Bellville. A man (20) who lived
with them was arrested after trying to break into a nearby house.
(SFC, 1/19/10, p.A6)
2010 Jan 23, In Texas an
800-foot oil tanker and towing vessel collided spilling oil in the
southeast port of Port Arthur. The spill, estimated at 462,000
gallons, was contained to a 2-mile area along the Sabine Neches
(AP, 1/24/10)(SSFC, 1/24/10, p.A10)(SFC, 1/26/10,
2010 Jan 29, In Mexico a Texas
man and his girlfriend were sentenced to nine years in prison for
recruiting Mexican women to give birth in the US and sell their
babies to couples there. Amado Torres, of Harlingen, Texas, and
Maria Isabel Hernandez, of Mexico, had allegedly paid women up to
$3,000 for their newborns.
2010 Feb 4, A US federal judge
declared a mistrial in the case of Gerardo Castillo Chavez, an
alleged drug cartel hit man, after a jury in the Texas-Mexico border
town of Laredo acquitted him on a gun charge and deadlocked on other
charges. Chavez, also known as "Cachetes" or "Cheeks" in Spanish,
was accused of being a member of the Mexican Gulf Cartel's hit
squads that killed and kidnapped people in Laredo in 2005 and 2006.
2010 Feb 10, Charlie Wilson
(b.1933), former Texas congressman (1973-1996), died. His
deal-making funneled millions of dollars in weapons to Afghanistan
to back rebels fighting the Soviet Army. He was also known as “Good
Time Charlie" for his reputation as a hard-drinking womanizer. In
2003 George Crile authored “Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary
Story of How the Wildest Man in Congress and a Rogue CIA Agent
Changed the History of Our Times." In 2007 the film “Charlie
Wilson's War" starred Tom Hanks as Charlie Wilson.
(SFC, 2/11/10, p.A8)(Econ, 2/20/10, p.84)
2010 Feb 18, In Texas Joe Stack
(b.1956), a software engineer, committed suicide by slamming his
single-engine Piper PA-28 into an Austin office building that houses
the IRS. One person was missing and 13 were injured. Stack felt the
federal government, especially its tax code, had robbed him of his
savings and destroyed his career while allowing corrupt executives
to walk away with millions.
(AP, 2/19/10)(SFC, 2/19/10, p.A6)
2010 Feb 24, In Texas Osiel
Cardenas-Guillen, a drug kingpin who once headed the extensive
Matamoros-based Gulf cartel, one of Mexico's most notoriously
violent cartels, was sentenced to 25 years in prison and ordered to
forfeit $50 million, following a closed hearing in Houston.
Cardenas-Guillen was the first cartel leader to employ a
paramilitary group, former Mexican special forces soldiers who
called themselves the Zetas.
2010 Feb 25, In Texas a copy of
the 1939 comic book, Detective Comics No. 27, in which Batman makes
his debut, sold at a Dallas auction for more than $1 million,
breaking a record set just three days earlier by a Superman comic. A
copy of the first comic book featuring Superman, a 1938 edition of
Action Comics No. 1, sold on Feb 22 for $1 million.
2010 Mar 16, In Texas a tour
bus headed for Mexico crashed and killed 2 people.
2010 Mar 18, US federal and
state agents swept across the El Paso area to round up and question
members of the Barrio Azteca gang, which is believed to be behind
the recent murder of US consular workers in neighboring Ciudad
Juarez. Seven people were arrested.
2010 Mar 23, In Texas 4 police
officers were captured on videotape beating burglary suspect Chad
Holley (16). The 4 officers were fired. In 2012 former officer
Andrew Blomberg was found not guilty of official oppression.
(SFC, 5/17/12, p.A8)(http://tinyurl.com/75oebn2)
2010 Apr 11, In Texas more than
20,000 people gathered at tailgate parties and other spots to watch
fireworks go off one last time over Texas Stadium before a ton of
dynamite lit up the Dallas Cowboys' longtime home and brought it to
the ground. The Cowboys played 38 seasons in Texas Stadium, winning
five Super Bowls during that time.
2010 Apr 24, The Texas Rangers
filed for bankruptcy. Hicks Sports Group, the holding company that
owns the Rangers, stopped paying interest on its $525 million of
debts last year.
(Econ, 5/29/10, p.64)
2010 Apr 27, A Texas inmate,
Samuel Bustamante (40), was executed evening for fatally stabbing an
illegal immigrant during an attempted robbery a dozen years ago.
Bustamante was convicted of the 1998 slaying of Rafael Alvarado
(27), a Mexican national in Fort Bend County, southwest of Houston,
who became a target of what Bustamante and some of his friends
called "shopping trips" where they would hunt illegal immigrants,
then beat and rob them.
2010 May 1, Elisabeth Mandala
(18), a Texas high school student, and two Mexican men were found
dead in a crashed pickup truck near Mina, in the northeastern state
of Nuevo Leon. Autopsies revealed that all three died from severe
blows to the head and body. Mandala, a senior at Kempner High School
in Sugar Land, Texas, was last seen April 27 leaving her mother's
home. The two men killed were taxi driver Luis Angel Estrella
Mondragon (44) and merchant Dante Ruiz Siller (38).
2010 May 3, Rabbi David Forman,
founder of Rabbis for Human Rights, a prominent group defending
Palestinians, died in Dallas, Texas. Forman founded Rabbis for Human
Rights in 1988 and led it until 1992. He served as its chairman
again from 2002-2003.
2010 May 21, The Texas State
Board of Education adopted a social studies and history curriculum
that amended or watered down the teaching of civil rights, slavery,
America’s relationship with the UN and hundreds of other items.
(SFC, 5/22/10, p.A6)
2010 May 25, The US EPA barred
Texas from issuing an operating permit to a refinery on Corpus
Christi and said it would do the same to dozens in other cases in
which it believes the state is violating the Clean Air Act.
(SFC, 5/26/10, p.A4)
2010 Jun 7, On the Mexico-US
border Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca (15) was shot and killed by
US Agent Jesus Mesa Jr. at the base of the Paso Del Norte
international bridge. The FBI said the agent had been under attack
by rock-throwing migrants attempting to cross into El Paso, Texas.
2010 Jun 7, A natural gas
explosion in northern Texas killed one member of a crew installing
utility poles. Authorities the next day were trying to determine if
the gas line had been marked before digging started.
2010 Jun 21, In Texas David
Brown Jr. (27), the son of Dallas Police chief David Brown, was
killed by police after he killed Jeremy McMillan (23) and Officer
Craig Shaw (37) as police arrived on the scene of the McMillan’s
(SFC, 6/22/10, p.A6)
2010 Jun 23, The Obama
administration announced that it will station an unmanned aerial
drone in Texas as part of its stepped-up surveillance of criminal
trafficking along the Mexican border.
(SFC, 6/24/10, p.A6)
2010 Jun 29, Strengthening
Tropical Storm Alex was expected to become a hurricane as it swirled
toward the Gulf coast of northern Mexico and southern Texas, where
authorities were readying emergency shelters and distributing
2010 Jul 1, In Texas Michael
James Perry (28) was executed by lethal injection for gunning down a
nurse and stealing her car in 2001. He was the 14th Texas prisoner
executed this year.
(SFC, 7/1/10, p.A6)
2010 Jul 4, In Texas an air
ambulance crashed after takeoff in Alpine killing all 5 people on
board including a patient and his wife.
(SFC, 7/5/10, p.A4)
2010 Aug 16, The US Justice
Dept. dropped its 6-year investigation of former US House majority
leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex) and his interactions with lobbyist Jack
(SFC, 8/17/10, p.A4)
2010 Aug 17, Texas executed
Peter Anthony Cantu (35), a former gang member, for taking part in
the rape and murder of 2 teenage girls in 1993.
(SFC, 8/18/10, p.A4)
2010 Aug 17, In Texas Patrick
Gray Sharp (29) was killed in a shootout with police after he towed
a trailer full of explosives in front of suburban Dallas police
station and opened fire in an apparent attempt to lure people out to
2010 Sep 8, Tropical Storm
Hermine swept north through Texas and into Oklahoma swamping city
neighborhoods and killing 6 people, 5 in Texas and 1 in Oklahoma.
(SFC, 9/9/10, p.A7)(SFC, 9/11/10, p.A4)
2010 Sep 19, In Texas 3
children were found shot dead at a Houston apartment building. Their
father, Muhammed Goher (47), was charged with their murder and was
hospitalized after surviving an apparent suicide attempt.
(SFC, 9/20/10, p.A5)
2010 Sep 24, The Texas State
Board of Education adopted a resolution that seeks to curtail
references to Islam in Texas textbooks, as social conservative board
members warned of what they describe as a creeping Middle Eastern
influence in the nation's publishing industry.
2010 Oct 10, Norwegian oil firm
Statoil is expanding further its shale gas operations in the United
States, saying it has created a joint venture with Canada's Talisman
to acquire acreage on the Eagle Ford prospect in Texas for $1.325
2010 Oct 19, In Texas Hosam
Smadi (20), a Jordanian national, was sentenced to 24 years in
prison. In May he had pleaded guilty to attempted use of a weapon of
mass destruction. An FBI sting in 2009 had caught him trying to blow
up a Dallas skyscraper.
(SFC, 11/3/10, p.A5)(http://tinyurl.com/2ac44d8)
2010 Oct 20, In northern Mexico
Marisol Valles Garcia (20) was sworn in as the police chief of the
township of Praxedis G. Guerrero, a township of 8,500 on a drug
trafficking route along the Texas border. Soldiers battled gunmen in
two cities across the border from Texas, prompting panicked parents
to pull children from school and factories to warn workers to stay
inside. In Nuevo Laredo 5 gunmen were killed and 3 soldiers
were wounded during shootouts. Assailants in a third city threw a
grenade at an army barracks. In Ciudad Juarez a Texas National Guard
soldier (21) was reportedly one of two men killed.
(SFC, 10/21/10, p.A4)(AP, 10/20/10)(AP, 10/21/10)
2010 Oct 27, The SF Giants
battered the Texas Rangers 11-7 in Game 1 of the World Series.
2010 Oct 28, The SF Giants at
home won game 2 of the world series, 9-0, over the Texas Rangers.
(SFC, 10/29/10, p.A1)
2010 Oct 28, The
Washington-based nonprofit, the National Association of Clean Air
Act Agencies, surveyed the states on whether they would be ready to
comply with the new EPA rules by the Jan 2, 2011, deadline. In a new
report the association said 49 states have either changed their laws
to allow regulation of greenhouse gases or will allow the EPA to
issue permits. Texas is doing neither.
2010 Oct 30, In Texas the SF
Giants lost game 3 of the World Series 4-2 to the Texas Rangers
leaving SF up 2 games to 1.
(SFC, 11/1/10, p.A1)
2010 Oct 31, In Texas the SF
Giants won game 4 of the World Series 4-0 against the Texas Rangers
putting them up 3 games to 1.
(SFC, 11/1/10, p.A1)
2010 Oct, In Texas Anthony
Graves was released from death row after spending nearly 20
years in prison. He had been charged in 1992 with helping another
man murder a family of 6. The other man had admitted lying just
before he was executed in 2000.
(Econ, 4/9/11, p.34)
2010 Nov 1, The SF Giants won
the Baseball World Series beating the Texas Rangers 3-1 in Game 5 in
San Francisco. Edgar Renteria blasted his second home run of the
2010 Fall Classic, a three-run shot, to win the championship.
Renteria had the game-winning hit in the 11th inning of Game 7 in
the 1997 World Series for the Florida Marlins.
2010 Nov 10, Hewlett-Packard
agreed to pay $16.25 million to settle allegations that it showered
public school officials in Dallas with gifts to win contracts funded
by the government’s E-rate program.
(SFC, 11/11/10, p.A8)
2010 Nov 13, In Texas Manny
Pacquiao, boxer and Filipino congressman, cemented his claim to
being the best fighter in the world by dominating the bigger but
slower Antonio Margarito of Mexico. Pacquiao earned a guaranteed $15
2010 Nov 19, Texas businessman
Samir Mahmoud Itani (51), head of American Grocers ltd., agreed to
pay $15 million to settle allegations of defrauding the government
by selling old relabeled food to the military to supply soldiers in
(SFC, 11/20/10, p.A5)
2010 Nov 24, Former US House
Majority Leader Tom DeLay, once one of the most powerful and feared
Republicans in Congress, was convicted on charges he illegally
funneled corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.
2010 Nov 28, In Cleveland,
Texas, a girl (11) was gang raped in an abandoned trailer home.
Authorities were notified of the alleged rape after a student from
Cleveland ISD found a video of the assault. Four assaults on the
young girl had begun in September. By March 24, 2011, 19 young men
and teenage boys were charged with participating in the rape. On Aug
30, 2012, Eric McGowen, who fled free on bail, was convicted and
sentenced to 99 years in prison.
p.A5)(http://tinyurl.com/4cbmd2c)(SFC, 3/25/11, p.A5)(SFC, 8/31/12,
2010 Dec 12, The Washington
Post reported that 8 out of the 12 top US gun dealers whose products
fuel Mexico's drug violence are located in the state of Texas. 3
others were in Arizona, and one was in California. There are 3,800
gun retailers in Texas, 300 in Houston alone.
2010 Dec 16, A federal
indictment said a Texas couple, Najmeh Vahid and Dr. Hossein Lahiji,
and the head of an Oregon charity secretly sent millions of dollars
to an Iranian bank and to a contact in Iran for nine years,
violating a US embargo. The head of the charity, Mehrdad Yasrebi,
allegedly funneled money that was meant for food and other
assistance to his cousin and to a bank controlled by the Iranian
2010 Dec 28, Hailey Dunn (13)
vanished from her Texas home. Her body was found three years later.
In 2021 police arrested Shawn Adkins, her mother’s boyfriend at the
time of Hailey’s disappearance.
2010 Texas Gov. Rick Perry
authored “Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington."
(Econ, 7/23/11, p.32)
2011 Jan 4, Cornelius Dupree
Jr., a Texas man, was declared innocent after 30 years in prison. He
had at least two chances to make parole and be set free, if only he
would admit he was a sex offender. Dupree refused to do so, doggedly
maintaining his innocence in a 1979 rape and robbery. In the process
he serving more time for a crime he didn't commit than any other
Texas inmate exonerated by DNA evidence.
2011 Jan 10, In Texas Tom
DeLay, former US House Majority Leader, was sentenced to 3 years in
prison for a scheme to influence elections.
(SFC, 1/11/11, p.A7)
2011 Jan 10, Texas authorities
heralded the capture of Billie Joe Harris (53), a suspected serial
rapist believed to have attacked a dozen elderly women in the past
(SFC, 1/11/11, p.A6)
2011 Jan 26, Nancy Davis (59)
died in a South Texas hospital about 90 minutes after her husband
drove the couple's truck against traffic across the Pharr
International Bridge. US missionary Sam Davis said gunmen in a
pickup truck had shot her in the head about 70 miles south of the
Mexican border city of Reynosa.
2011 Feb 6, In Dallas, Texas,
Wisconsin’s Green Bay packers won Super Bowl XLV 31-25 win over the
2011 Feb 9, US federal
prosecutors announced charges against 41 alleged gang members for
activities ranging from racketeering conspiracy to drug and gun
trafficking and murder in four states and Washington D.C. Some 29
defendants were arrested and more arrests are expected in connection
with the separate cases from Los Angeles; McAllen, Texas; Kansas
City; Washington D.C.; and Las Vegas.
2011 Feb 15, A former U.S.
Customs inspector (58) dressed in a postman's uniform was nabbed as
he allegedly tried to smuggle a Mexican woman (38) into Texas on
2011 Feb 17, US Federal
authorities said police have arrested nine people and seized 300
firearms, including assault rifles, in a raid targeting an arms ring
that allegedly sold weapons to Mexican drug traffickers. Operation
Too Hot to Handle netted a haul of around 300 guns, mostly
Kalashnikov-type rifles and semi-automatic pistols, seized in
Arizona, Texas and Mexico.
2011 Feb 23, In Texas Khalid
Ali-M Aldawasari (20), a native of Saudi Arabia and student at South
Plains College, was arrested on a federal charge of attempted use of
a weapon of mass destruction in connection with purchases of
chemicals and equipment necessary to make an improvised explosive
device. His potential targets included the home of George W. Bush in
Dallas and at least 12 reservoir dams in California and Colorado.
(SFC, 2/25/11, p.A7)
2011 Feb 24, In Texas a fire at
a Houston home used for daycare killed 4 children. Jessica Tata
(22), accused of leaving the children unattended while a stovetop
burner was on, was later charged with reckless injury to a child.
She fled to her native Nigeria. On March 19 Tata was arrested in
Nigeria and was returned to the US on March 21. On Nov 20, 2012,
Tata was sentenced to 80 years in prison.
3/22/11, p.A5)(SFC, 11/21/12, p.A8)
2011 Feb 28, In Texas 3 people
suspected of smuggling guns to Mexico were arrested in a Dallas
suburb after federal investigators traced the gun used in the
killing of a US agent in Mexico to one of them.
2011 Mar 3, In Texas Rev. Clint
Dobson (28) was killed during a robbery at his Arlington church. A
church employee was severely beaten in the attack Steven Lawayne
Nelson (24), a distant relative was arrested and faced a charge of
(SSFC, 3/6/11, p.A10)
2011 Mar 6, In Texas a fire
following a late night party left 6 people dead in Granbury.
(SFC, 3/7/11, p.A6)
2011 Mar 9, The 5-day SXSW
Interactive festival opened in Austin, Texas. Attendees awarded
GroupMe the festival’s Breakout digital Trend award.
2011 Mar 23, A grand jury in
Dallas indicted 3 Texas men on federal gun and conspiracy charges
after officials linked them to a gun used in the Feb 15 shooting
death of US agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico. Ranferi Osorio (27), a
veteran of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, his brother Otilio Osorio
(22), and their neighbor Kelvin Leon Morrison (25), all residents of
the southern Dallas suburb of Lancaster were in custody.
2011 Apr 8, In Texas Luis
Posada Carriles (83), a Cuban native and former CIA agent, was
acquitted of allegations that he lied during US immigration
hearings. He had worked for decades to destabilize communist
governments throughout Latin America and was often supported by
2011 Apr 11, In San Francisco
the annual Goldman Environmental prize was awarded 6 people from
around the world. The winners included Hilton Kelly for his efforts
to cut pollution in Port Arthur, Texas; Francisco Pineda for
resisting mining in El Salvador; Ursula Sladek of Germany for
creating for reducing her community’s reliance on nuclear power;
Prigi Arisandi for her efforts to protect Indonesia’s Surabaya
River; Dmitry Lisitsyn for his efforts to protect the Russia’s
Sakhalin island; and Raoul du Toit for defending wildlife in
(SFC, 4/11/11, p.A12)
2011 Apr 23, In Texas sheriff’s
deputy Clifton Taylor (34) was fatally shot after responding to a
domestic disturbance call. Gunman Wesley Davis was killed in a
(SFC, 4/25/11, p.A4)
2011 May 3, In Texas Cary Kerr
became the 13th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in the
USA and the 1247th overall since the nation resumed executions on
January 17, 1977. Texas used a new three-drug combination to execute
Kerr for the 2001 rape and murder of Pamela Horton (34) in Haltom
City near Fort Worth.
2011 May 4, In Texas Jacob
Gonzalez (21) fatally shot three women riding with him in a car in
Corpus Christi. Gonzalez fled on foot after his vehicle smashed into
a pole and was tackled by a bystander.
(SFC, 5/7/11, p.A4)
2011 May 12, In Texas a judge
freed a Dallas man who spent 27 years in prison for aggravated
sexual assault before DNA evidence cleared him. Johnny Pinchback
became the 22nd person to be exonerated through DNA testing in
Dallas County since 2001. He was found to have been wrongly
convicted of raping two teenage girls in a Dallas field in 1984.
2011 May 18, Texas officials
said the worst state drought in decades has cost $1.5 billion in
(SFC, 5/19/11, p.A6)
2011 May, Texas approved
legislation requiring voters to show government-issued photo
identification, such as a driver's license, military identification
card, birth certificate with a photo, current U.S. passport, or
concealed handgun permit. In March, 2012, the US Dept. of Justice
rejected the law.
2011 Jun 11, Texas Gov. Rick
Perry’s proclamation, issued on June 6, continued to evoke
controversy. The governor, who declared that August 6th should be a
“day of prayer and fasting for our nation’s challenges," invited
other governors to join him at an evangelical Christian prayer
service, sponsored by groups that include the American Family
Association, known for its opposition to gay rights and its
condemnation of homosexuality.
(NYT, 6/12/11, p. A31)
2011 Jun 12, In the
National Basketball Association finals, the underdog Dallas
Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat four games to two, to capture
their first ever NBA championship.
(Houston Chronicle, 6/12/11)(Reuters, 6/12/11)
2011 Jun 13, The Center for
Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit against a New Texas law,
effective Sep 1, requiring doctors to conduct a sonogram and
describe a fetus’ features before performing an abortion.
2011 Jun 20, Texas Gov. Rick
Perry signed into law a measure, effective Sep 1, that gives the
state’s teachers more access to criminal information about their
students. It was prompted by the 2009 fatal stabbing of a teacher in
Tyler, Texas, by a 16-year-old who had been released from the Texas
2011 Jun 25, George C. Ballas
Sr. (85), Houston entrepreneur and inventor of the weed whacker,
(SFC, 6/30/11, p.A6)
2011 Jul 7, In Texas Humberto
Leal (38), a Mexican national, was executed for the rape-slaying of
a teenager after the US Supreme Court turned down an appeal to spare
him that was supported by Mexico and the White House. He was
sentenced to death for the 1994 murder of 16-year-old Adria Sauceda.
2011 Jul 23, In Texas Tan Do
(35) opened fire at a child's birthday celebration at the Forum
Roller World in Grand Prairie, killing five people, wounding four
others and then killing himself as the private party turned to panic
and some fled screaming in their skates. The dead included Do’s
estranged wife, two of her sisters, her brother and her
(AP, 7/24/11)(SSFC, 7/24/11, p.A5)
2011 Jul 27, Pfc. Naser Abdo
(21) was arrested at a Texas motel about three miles from Fort
Hood's main gate. The AWOL infantry soldier was caught with weapons
and a bomb inside a backpack and admitted planning what would have
been Fort Hood's 2nd terrorist attack in less than two years. He had
spoken out against the 2009 Fort Hood shootings last year as he made
a public plea to be granted conscientious objector status to avoid
serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
2011 Aug 4, A Texas jury
convicted polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs (55) of child sexual
assault, in a case stemming from two young followers he took as
brides. Prosecutors used DNA evidence to show Jeffs fathered a child
with a 15-year-old girl and played an audio recording of what they
said was him sexually assaulting a 12-year-old. On Aug 9 Jeffs was
sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting two underage
girls he claimed as "spiritual" brides.
(AP, 8/4/11)(Reuters, 8/9/11)
2011 Aug 7, Texas billionaire
and philanthropist Charles Wyly (77) died after a car accident in
western Colorado. His family has donated millions of dollars to
Republican causes and Dallas arts projects. Charles Wyly had helped
his brother run their startup computer software company, University
Computing, and later founded and led several other companies
including arts and crafts retail chain Michaels Stores Inc., which
was sold in 2006. He also was a former member of a White House
Advisory Council for Management Improvement. Last summer, the SEC
accused Wyly and his brother of using offshore havens to hide more
than a half-billion dollars in profits over 13 years of insider
2011 Aug 11, Texas Gov. Rick
Perry confirmed that he is running for the US presidency as 8 other
Republican candidates debated in Iowa.
(SFC, 8/12/11, p.A10)
2011 Aug 17, Texas Gov. and GOP
presidential candidate Rick Perry told New Hampshire voters that he
does not believe in manmade global warming, calling it a scientific
theory that has not been proven.
2011 Aug 30, A US federal judge
temporarily blocked key provisions of a Texas abortion law that
would require women seeking the procedure to view a sonogram and
listen to the heartbeat of their fetus. On Jan 10, 2012, a federal
appeals court restored the law.
(Reuters, 8/30/11)(SFC, 1/11/12, p.A7)
2011 Sep 6, In central Texas
calmer winds helped firefighters battling a wildfire that forced
thousands of residents to evacuate to shelters. 4 deaths were linked
to the fire. Some 122 wildfires continued to overwhelm the state. By
Sep 12 at least 1554 homes were incinerated in and around the city
(AP, 9/6/11)(SFC, 9/8/11, p.A11)(SFC, 9/12/11,
2011 Sep 9, Mexico's state oil
company said it was searching for 10 workers from a Texas-based
company who evacuated from a platform in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of
Tropical Storm Nate. On Sep 11 seven of the 10 oil workers were
found alive 51 miles (82 km) off the coast of the gulf state of
(AP, 9/9/11)(AP, 9/11/11)
2011 Sep 15, The US Supreme
Court issued a stay for Duane Buck (48) who had been scheduled to be
put to death at 6 p.m. local time in Huntsville, Texas, for a pair
of shotgun murders on July 30, 1995. Buck was convicted in 1997 of
capital murder in connection with the deaths of his former
girlfriend, Debra Gardner, and Kenneth Butler, who were shot to
death with a shotgun at her Houston home. Lawyers for Buck had
appealed to the Supreme Court and said he had been unfairly
sentenced because a psychologist testified that black men were more
likely than other races to be repeat offenders after their release
2011 Sep 21, In Texas white
supremacist and gang member Lawrence Russell Brewer (44) was
executed for the infamous June 7, 1998, dragging death slaying of
James Byrd Jr.
2011 Oct 12, A Texas appeals
court formally exonerated Michael Morton, who spent nearly 25 years
in prison for his wife's 1986 fatal beating, reaffirming a judge's
decision to set him free last week after DNA tests linked the
killing to another man.
2011 Oct 16, Houston-based
Kinder Morgan agreed to buy El Paso Corp. for $21.1 billion. This
will make Kinder the nation’s largest operator of natural gas
(SFC, 10/17/11, p.A5)
2011 Oct 30, Dozens of
protesters at economic inequality demonstrations in Austin, Texas,
and Portland, Oregon were arrested peacefully over allegedly failing
to comply with rules in each city.
2011 Nov 1, The US federal
government sued Houston-based Allied Home Mortgage Corp., one of the
nation's largest privately held mortgage brokers, saying its
decade-long fraudulent lending practices cost the government
hundreds of millions of dollars and forced thousands of American
homeowners to lose their homes. The suit named as defendants founder
Jim Hodge and Jeanne Stell, the company's executive vice president
and director of compliance.
2011 Nov 4, Texas mother
Julianne McCrery (42) pleaded guilty to killing her 6-year-old son
in New Hampshire and disposing of his body in rural Maine. A
prosecutor said the woman smothered her son with motel room pillows
and the child struggled against her for "about three minutes" before
he died. On Jan 13, 2012, McCrery was sentenced to 45 years in
(AP, 11/4/11)(AP, 1/13/12)
2011 Nov 7, Dynegy, a
Houston-based energy firm, announced bankruptcy in which bondholders
and other lenders would lose 10% while shareholders, including Carl
Icahn, retain full control of the firm.
(Econ, 11/12/11, p.76)
2011 Nov 14, In Texas Barry
Walter Bujol Jr., accused of attempting to sneak out of the US with
restricted military documents, money and equipment in order to join
Al-Qaida, was convicted in federal court in Houston.
(SFC, 11/15/11, p.A10)
2011 Nov 28, In Texas Dakota
Meyer, a former US Marine and Medal of Honor recipient, sued BAE
Systems claiming he was defamed and ridiculed after expressing
concerns in an e-mail over the possible sale of a high-tech sniper
scope to Pakistan.
(SFC, 12/1/11, p.A10)
2011 Dec 5, Rachelle Grimmer
(38), Texas woman who for months was unable to qualify for food
stamps, pulled a gun in a state welfare office and staged a 7-hour
standoff with police that ended with her shooting her two children
before killing herself. The children, a 10-year-old boy and a
12-year-old girl, remained in critical condition. Both children died
of their wounds.
(AP, 12/6/11)(AP, 12/8/11)
2011 Dec 15, Christopher
Hitchens (62), the author, writer and Vanity Fair contributing
editor, died in Houston. had been battling esophageal cancer since
2011 Dec 16, It was reported
that US presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (61) was
collecting $7,700 a month in state pension in addition to his nearly
$133,000 annual salary as governor. State coded permitted the double
(SFC, 12/17/11, p.A10)
2011 Dec 19, Fierce winds and
snow that caused fatal road accidents and shuttered highways in
Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The storm was blamed
for at least six deaths.
2011 Dec 22, The US Justice
Dept. unsealed a suit against AseraCare Hospice of Texas for
fraudulently certifying patients as terminally ill to illegally
collect Medicare payments since at least 2007. AseraCare is a
subsidiary of Golden Living, which was 99% owned by the Washington
State Investment Board, whose investments are managed by Fillmore
(SFC, 1/6/12, p.A8)(http://tinyurl.com/7ewsnhv)
2011 Dec 22, Francisco Morales
(52) was arrested in Brownsville, Texas, for posing as a physician
and performing procedures using stem cells on patients in Mexico.
Three other were later charged in the operation.
(SFC, 12/29/11, p.A9)
2011 Dec 25, In Texas 7 people
were shot to death in a suburban apartment. A man in a Santa Claus
suit shot 6 relatives and himself. They had apparently opened their
Christmas gifts and started cleaning up the wrapping paper when they
were killed in Grapevine, a suburb of Fort Worth.
(AP, 12/25/11)(SFC, 12/27/11, p.A7)
2012 Jan 4, In Texas Jaime
Gonzalez (15) was shot 3 times by police in a hallway at Cummings
Middle School in Brownsville after he refused to drop a pellet gun.
2012 Jan 16, Gelareh
Bagherzadeh (30), a Texas medical student well-known in her
community as an Iranian activist, was mysteriously shot and killed
in her car around midnight, just yards from her home in Houston.
2012 Jan 19, Texas Gov. Rick
Perry ended his presidential campaign and endorsed Newt Gingrich's
candidacy for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
2012 Jan 26, In Texas Rodrigo
Hernandez (38) was executed for the abduction, rape and
strangulation of Susan Verstegen (38) 18 years ago.
(SFC, 1/27/12, p.A6)
2012 Feb 8, In Texas Antonio
Pena-Arguelles, an alleged cartel money-launderer, was arrested in
San Antonio. A 13-page DEA affidavit accused him of using US bank
accounts to funnel millions to Tomas Yarrington, who served as
governor of Tamaulipas state in 1999-2004, from leaders of the Gulf
and the Zetas. In 2004-2005 alone, it says, Pena-Arguelles and his
brother received $4.5 million from the No. 2 leader of the Zetas,
Miguel-Angel Trevino Morales.
2012 Feb 27, WikiLeaks said it
was publishing a massive trove of leaked emails from the U.S.
intelligence analysis firm Stratfor, shedding light on the inner
workings of the Texas-based think tank.
2012 Feb 28, In Texas Dr.
Jacques Roy of Rockwell and 6 associates were arrested and charged
with recruiting homeless people, among other, as part of a $375
million home health care fraud scheme.
(SFC, 2/29/12, p.A6)
2012 Mar 6, A US federal court
in Houston convicted R. Allen Stanford (61) of running a $7 billion
investor fraud scheme that snared investors from 113 countries. He
was first indicted in June, 2009.
(SFC, 3/7/12, p.A6)(Econ, 3/10/12, p.86)
2012 Mar 12, The Obama
administration blocked a new law in Texas requiring voters to show
photo identification before they can cast a ballot, citing a concern
that it could harm Hispanic voters who lacked such documents.
2012 Apr 3, About a dozen
tornadoes rumbled across the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, leveling
homes and tossing big-rigs around like toy trucks.
2012 Apr 13, The Texas Medical
Board approved controversial new rules on the use of adult stem
(SFC, 4/14/12, p.A8)
2012 Apr 17, In Texas a newborn
boy was abducted from Kayla Marie Golden (28), his dying mother,
after she was repeatedly shot outside a suburban Houston pediatric
center. The suspected female shooter sped off with a man and the
infant in a blood-stained Lexus. Verna McClain (30) was arrested
hour later and confessed to killing Golden.
(AP, 4/17/12)(SFC, 4/19/12, p.A5)
2012 Apr 29, Thomas Preston
(83), Texas gambler also known as Amarillo Slim, died in Amarillo.
His 1972 win in the fledgling World Series of Poker in Las Vegas
helped make him an ambassador for the game.
(Econ, 5/12/12, p.98)(http://tinyurl.com/8xlfd8l)
2012 Apr 30, In Texas two men
who spent nearly 30 years in prison for a brutal sexual assault and
attempted murder were declared innocent after DNA evidence pointed
to other men. James Curtis Williams (54) and Raymond Jackson (67)
had been sentenced to 99 years in prison for the November 1983
assault of a Canadian woman who identified them in a lineup as her
attackers. Two other men who were connected to the crime through DNA
testing have been charged with attempted capital murder.
2012 May 10, Carroll Shelby
(b.1923), legendary car designer and champion auto racer, died in
(SFC, 5/12/12, p.A6)
2012 May 18, In Dallas, Texas,
a jury sentenced John Fiala (53), a Roman Catholic priest, to 60
years in prison for plotting the death of a man who accused him of
(SFC, 5/19/12, p.A5)
2012 Jun 12, Texas authorities
said they arrested seven members of one of Mexico's largest drug
cartels and accused them of laundering money in the United States by
buying, breeding and racing American racehorses. On July 3 Jose
Trevino Morales, the brother of two alleged cartel leaders, was
among 15 people charged in what federal prosecutors said was a
money-laundering scheme centered on an Oklahoma horse ranch.
(Reuters, 6/12/12)(AFP, 7/4/12)
2012 Jun 14, A federal judge
sentenced former jet-setting Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford to 110
years in prison for bilking investors out of more than $7 billion
over two decades.
2012 Jun 23, In Texas 2 women
were found lying in "knee-deep" grass in a park in Portland. Mollie
Judith Olgin (19) was pronounced dead at the scene. Her girlfriend,
Mary Christine Chapa (18), was hospitalized with a single gunshot
wound to the head.
2012 Jul 7, The US Border
patrol said agents had opened fire along the Rio Grande border after
being pelted by rocks. A Mexican citizen was fatally shot at the Los
Tomates-Veterans int’l. bridge in Brownsville, Texas.
(SFC, 7/10/12, p.A4)
2012 Jul 11, In Texas Dr.
Joseph Sonnier III was killed. On July 16 police announced the
arrests of Dr. Thomas Dixon of Amarillo and David Shephard. Dixon
had paid Shepherd 3 bars of silver for the killing because Sonnier
was dating Dixon’s ex-girlfriend. On Sep 16, 2013, Shepherd (52) was
sentenced to life in prison.
(SFC, 7/17/12, p.A8)(SFC, 9/17/13, p.A5)
2012 Jul 18, In Texas Yokamon
Hearn, convicted of carjacking and shooting a stockbroker, became
the first person to be executed in the state with one lethal drug
(pentobarbital) instead of a 3-part mixture that had included the
(SFC, 7/18/12, p.A6)
2012 Jul 20, In Texas
instructor Staff Sgt. Luis Walker was found guilty on all 28 charges
he faced including rape and sexual assault. He was among 12 Lackland
Air Force Base instructors investigated for sexual misconduct toward
at least 31 female trainees. The next day Walker was sentenced to 20
years in prison.
(SFC, 7/21/12, p.A5)(AP, 7/21/12)
2012 Aug 7, In Texas Marvin
Wilson (54), convicted of killing a police informant, was executed
after the US Supreme Court rejected arguments that he was too
mentally impaired to qualify for the death penalty. Wilson was
convicted of murdering Jerry Williams (21) in November 1992, several
days after police seized 24 grams of cocaine from Wilson's apartment
and arrested him.
2012 Aug 10, US Army Pfc. Naser
Jason Abdo, a Muslim, was sentenced to life in federal prison for
collecting bomb-making material to carry out an attack on a Texas
restaurant full of Fort Hood troops.
(SFC, 8/11/12, p.A4)
2012 Aug 13, In Texas Thomas A.
Caffall III (35), a man facing eviction, opened fire on police
officers and bystanders near the Texas A&M University campus,
killing two and wounding four before being shot to death by police.
Constable Brian Bachmann was shot dead while trying to serve a court
(AP, 8/13/12)(SSFC, 8/19/12, p.A12)
2012 Aug 13, British energy
group BP said that it has agreed to sell its Carson refinery in
California to US peer Tesoro Corporation for $2.5 billion (2.02
billion euros) as part of its ongoing restructuring. BP also said
that Eagle Rock Energy Partners is paying $227.5 million in cash for
the Sunray and Hemphill gas processing plants in Texas.
2012 Aug 15, Texas authorities
said the state is battling an outbreak of the West Nile virus, with
17 deaths blamed on the mosquito-borne disease.
2012 Aug 17, Brittni Nicole
Colleps (28), a former North Texas high school teacher, was
convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for having sex with
five 18-year-old students at her home in 2011. Three former
students, who testified a day earlier, said that they did not
consider themselves victims and did not want to see their former
English teacher prosecuted.
2012 Aug 30, A federal court
rejected a Texas law that would require voters to present photo IDs
to election officials before being allowed to cast ballots in
2012 Sep 5, Texas health
officials said at least 43 people have died this year in Texas of
West Nile virus. Nationwide 87 deaths have been reported to the CDC.
(SFC, 9/6/12, p.A10)
2012 Sep 9, In Carrolton,
Texas, Franklin Davis (30) was charged with murder after confessing
to the death of Shania Gray (16). Police believe he killed her to
prevent her testimony at an upcoming sexual assault trial.
(SFC, 9/11/12, p.A5)
2012 Sep 20, In Texas Robert
Wayne Harris (40) was executed by lethal injection. He had confessed
to killing 5 people at a Dallas-area car wash in March 2000.
(SFC, 9/21/12, p.A7)
2012 Sep 25, In Texas Cleve
Foster (48), a former Army recruiter, was executed for the
slaying of Nyaneur Pal (30) in 2002. He was also charged but never
tried for the rape slaying of Rachel Urnosky in Fort Worth.
(SFC, 9/26/12, p.A5)
2012 Oct 3, A US federal
indictment filed in Brooklyn named Alexander Fishenko, an immigrant
from Kazakhstan, as a secret agent for the Russian military.
Fishenko had made millions off his Texas export firm, Arc
Electronics Inc., which shipped about $50 million worth of
technologies to Russia between 2002 and 2012. He was among 11
defendants named in the indictment. On July 21, 2016, Fishenko was
sentenced to 10 years in prison.
(SFC, 10/4/12, p.A6)(SFC, 7/22/16, p.A7)
2012 Oct 10, In Texas Jonathan
Green (44) was executed for killing a 12-year-old girl over a decade
ago. Lawyers had argued that he was mentally ill.
(SFC, 10/11/12, p.A4)
2012 Oct 12, In Texas Elizabeth
Escalona of Dallas was sentenced to 99 years in prison after she
pleaded guilty beating her daughter (2) and gluing the girl’s hands
to a wall as she struggled with potty training.
(SFC, 10/13/12, p.A4)
2012 Oct 18, In Portland,
Oregon, the Boy Scouts of America some 4,500 pages of secret
"perversion files" released by order of the Oregon Supreme Court,
their maneuvers protected suspected sexual predators while victims
suffered in silence. The new files from Scout headquarters in Texas
dated back to the 1920s.
(AP, 10/19/12)(SFC, 10/19/12, p.A1)
2012 Oct 24, The final 41-mile
stretch of Texas Highway 130 opened with a speed limit of 85 mph. A
50-mile stretch was already open on the toll road costing drivers
about 15 cents per mile.
(SFC, 10/25/12, p.A7)
2012 Oct 25, A Texas state
trooper fired on a pickup truck from a helicopter and killed two
illegal immigrants from Guatemala during a chase through the desert.
He was trying to disable the vehicle and suspected it was being used
to smuggle drugs. Eight people in the truck were arrested. No drugs
2012 Nov 8, Texas lawyer Marco
Antonio Delgado, a former Carnegie Mellon Univ. trustee, pleaded not
guilty to laundering over $600 million for a Mexican drug cartel.
Homeland Security Investigations linked him to the Guadalajara-based
Milenio cartel, active until 2010.
(SFC, 11/9/12, p.A19)
2012 Nov 9, In Texas a federal
indictment named 34 members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas for
crimes that included murder, kidnapping, arson, gambling and drug
trafficking. Dozens of members were arrested.
(SFC, 11/10/12, p.A4)
2012 Nov 15, In Midland, Texas,
4 people died and 17 others were taken to a hospital when a train
crashed into a parade float honoring veterans.
(SFC, 11/16/12, p.A6)
2012 Nov 16, An oil platform of
Texas-based Black Elk Energy caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico
critically injuring 4 men with left 2 missing. A body of one of the
missing was recovered the next day. In 2017 Houston-based Wood Group
PSN was ordered to pay $9.5 million in penalties in cases arising
from the fire that left three workers dead.
(SFC, 11/17/12, p.A7)(SSFC, 11/18/12, p.A11)(SFC,
2012 Nov 22, In Southeast Texas
2 people died and more than 80 people were hurt when at least 140
vehicles collided in a pileup under foggy conditions that left
trucks twisted on top of each other and authorities rushing to pull
survivors from the wreckage.
(AP, 11/22/12)(SFC, 11/23/12, p.A10)
2012 Nov 23, Larry Hagman
(b.1931), who created one of American television's most supreme
villains in the conniving, amoral oilman J.R. Ewing of "Dallas"
(1978-1991), died in Dallas.
2012 Nov 12, In Texas Coty
Beavers (b.1984) was found shot to death at his home in Harris
County. In 2018 Shmou Alrawabdeh told a court that her conservative
Jordanian-born Muslim husband, Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan, believed he
had to kill Beavers to recover his honor. Irsan was also accused of
the 2012 killing Iranian women's rights activist Gelareh
Bagherzadeh, who encouraged his daughter to marry Beavers.
2012 Dec 8, Dallas Cowboys
defensive tackle Josh Brent was arrested for drunk driving and
charged with manslaughter after a car he was driving crashed and
killed teammate Jerry Brown Jr, in the second tragedy involving NFL
players in a week.
2012 Dec 31, A Texas state
judge ruled that Texas can cut off funding to Planned Parenthood’s
family planning programs for poor women if they advocate for
(SFC, 1/1/13, p.A4)
2012 Jan Reid authored “Let the
People In: The Life and Times of Ann Richards." The Texas governor
lost her re-election bid in 1994.
(Econ, 11/3/12, p.85)
2013 Jan 12, Three men from
Utah died when their plane went down near Paris, Texas.
(SFC, 1/14/13, p.A5)
2013 Jan 21, In Texas Max
Shatto (3), an adopted boy born in Russia as Maxim Kuzmin, died in
Gardendale. Russian authorities alleged “inhuman tratement" as the
cause of death. Laura Shatto told authorities that Max and his
half-brother were playing outside the family's home. Shatto said she
came out and found the boy unconscious on the ground. A medical
examiner later determined that the boy’s death was not intentional.
(SFC, 2/19/13, p.A4)(AP, 2/22/13)(SFC, 2/2/13,
2013 Jan 22, Ryan Walker Grant,
a co-owner of a now closed Texas strip club, was sentenced to 10
years in prison for a failed plot to hire hit men to kill Arlington
Mayor Robert Cluck and a Dallas lawyer.
(SFC, 1/23/13, p.A6)
2013 Jan 31, In Texas
prosecutor Mark Hasse (57) was shot and killed in the parking lot
behind the Kaufman County Courthouse.
(SFC, 2/1/13, p.A7)(SSFC, 3/31/13, p.A12)
2013 Feb 2, In central Texas a
shooting at a gun range at the Rough Creek Lodge, west of Glen Rose,
killed former Navy SEAL and "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and
his friend. Eddie Ray Routh (25) of Lancaster was arraigned on two
counts of capital murder. On Feb 24, 2015, Routh was convicted for
the two slayings and received an automatic life sentence without
(AP, 2/3/13)(SFC, 2/24/15, p.A9)
2013 Feb 16, Alberto Morales
(42), the Florida prisoner who escaped in Texas after stabbing a
detective with his eyeglasses was fatally shot after refusing to
cooperate with officers and lunging at them. Morales had escaped on
Feb 11 from a Wal-Mart parking lot after attacking the Miami-Dade,
2013 Feb 27, Pianist Van
Cliburn (b.1934) died at his home in Fort Worth, Texas. He won the
1958 Tchaikovsky Intl. Competition in Moscow and became an overnight
(SFC, 2/28/13, p.D5)
2013 Mar 16, In Texas Air Force
Staff Sgt. Eddy Soto was sentenced to a dishonorable discharge and 4
years in prison for raping a female trainee. Over 30 Lackland
instructors have been investigated in the military sex scandal. Soto
was the 9th trainer convicted and sentenced.
(SFC, 3/18/13, p.A5)
2013 Mar 21, Paroled Colorado
inmate Evan Spencer Ebel (28), who may be linked to the slaying of
the state's prison chief, led Texas deputies on a 100 mph car chase
that ended after he crashed into a semi and then opened fire before
being shot down by his pursuers.
2013 Mar 30, Kaufman County,
Texas, District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were
found shot to death in their home.
(SSFC, 3/31/13, p.A12)
2013 Apr 2, In Texas inmates
Brian Allen Tucker and John Martin King, both with long criminal
histories, escaped a jail in Sulphur Springs.
(SFC, 4/3/13, p.A4)
2013 Apr 9, In Texas Dylan
Quick (20), a student at the Cypress campus of Lone Star College,
went on a stabbing spree wounding at least 14 people before being
subdued and arrested.
(SFC, 4/10/13, p.A4)
2013 Apr 9, Google said it has
chosen Austin, Texas, as the 2nd location for Google Fiber, an
ultra-fast broadband network. It began connecting Kansas City last
(Econ, 4/13/13, p.64)
2013 Apr 16, In Texas Kim Lene
Williams, the wife of a former judge, was arrested. She confessed to
being involved in the shooting deaths of Kaufman County
District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife, Cynthia, and one of his
prosecutors, Mark Hasse.
2013 Apr 17, In Texas a fiery
explosion hit the West Fertilizer Co. 12 first responders were
killed along with 2 residents in an apartment building. A nursing
home resident died during an evacuation in West, about 20 miles
north of Waco. Damages to the area were later estimated at $100
million. The company had $1 million in liability insurance. In 2016
federal officials said the fire had been intentionally set.
(AP, 4/18/13)(SFC, 4/20/13, p.A6)(SFC, 4/25/13,
p.A5)(SSFC, 5/5/13, p.A7)(SFC, 5/13/16, p.A10)
2013 Apr 18, Authorities said a
former Texas justice of the peace seeking revenge for a theft
conviction that ended his judicial career carried out a plot with
his wife to kill the men who prosecuted him. Eric Lyle Williams
(46), and his wife, Kim Williams, were charged with capital murder
in the slayings of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland,
his wife, Cynthia, and assistant prosecutor Mark Hasse.
(SFC, 4/19/13, p.A7)
2013 Apr 24, The Czech Republic
said it plans to donate 4 million koruna (some $200,000) to help the
Texas town of West recover from a devastating fertilizer plant
explosion. The government decided to the provide aid in solidarity
because a significant number of people in the town of 2,700 have
2013 Apr 25, The George W. Bush
presidential library was dedicated in Dallas, Texas.
(SFC, 4/26/13, p.A16)
2013 Apr 25, Texas executed
Richard Cobb (29) for shooting Kenneth Vandever, one of three people
abducted during a convenience store robbery on Sep 2, 2002. Two
women were also shot and one was raped.
(SFC, 4/26/13, p.A6)
2013 May 2, In Texas Carnell
Moore fired a gun inside the ticketing area of Bush Int’l. Airport
after being confronted by a law enforcement official. Moore was
killed as a Homeland Security agent fired at him and as Moore turned
his gun on himself.
(SFC, 5/3/13, p.A6)(http://tinyurl.com/caq3jyo)
2013 May 9, A federal jury in
Texas found Jose Trevino Morales (46) guilty of conspiracy to commit
money laundering. His older brothers were said to be leaders of the
Zetas, a Nuevo Leon based criminal group that has become the largest
(SFC, 5/10/13, p.A8)
2013 May 14, Billie Sol Estes
(88), convicted Texas swindler, died at his home in Granbury, Texas.
He had created a $150 million empire of real and illusory farming
enterprises. In 1963 he was convicted on federal charges and served
6 years of a 15 year sentence. In 1979 he was convicted of tax fraud
and served 4 more years.
(SFC, 5/16/13, p.D5)
2013 May 15, In North Texas at
least 6 people were killed in an outbreak of spring tornadoes.
(SFC, 5/16/13, p.A6)
2013 May 23, In Texas local
leaders of the Boy Scouts of America voted to open their ranks to
openly gay boys for the first time in 103 years. They retained a ban
on adults serving as leaders.
(AP, 5/23/13)(SFC, 5/24/13, p.A1)
2013 May 25, In San Antonio,
Texas, torrential rains swamped the city killing 3 people.
(SSFC, 5/26/13, p.A12)(SFC, 5/28/13, p.A)
2013 May 26, In central Texas
Esteban Smith (23) was killed in an exchange of gunfire with state
troopers after he opened fire on several vehicles killing 2 people
in the Eden area.
(SFC, 5/28/13, p.A4)
2013 May 28, It was reported
that TrackingPoint, a startup tech company in Austin, Texas, has
started selling the most advanced long-distance rifle available on
the civilian market. Its laser and computer technology allowed a
user to hit moving targets 500 yards away.
(SFC, 5/28/13, p.D1)
2013 May 31, In Texas 4
firefighters died in a 5-alarm blaze at a restaurant in Houston.
(SFC, 6/1/13, p.A4)
2013 Jun 3, Jasper, Texas, a
town with a history of racial unrest on fired two white police
officers recently captured on video slamming a black woman’s head
into a countertop and wrestling her to the ground.
2013 Jun 7, In Texas Shannon
Guess Richardson (35), a pregnant Texas actress, was arrested and
charged with orchestrating a ricin letter scheme. She had told FBI
agents that her husband had sent ricin-tainted letters to President
Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. On Dec 10 she
pleaded guilty in a deal to cap her prison time at 18 years. On July
16, 2014, Richardson was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
(AP, 6/7/13)(SFC, 12/11/13, p.A8)(SFC, 7/17/14,
2013 Jun 9, In Texas Alf Stefan
Andersson (59), a University of Houston professor and researcher,
was stabbed to death. His girlfriend Ana Trujillo (45) was later
accused of stabbing Andersson in the face at least 25 times with a
platform pump stiletto heel. On April 8, 2014, a jury found Trujillo
guilty. On April 11 Trujillo was sentenced to life in prison.
2013 Jun 13, Texas Gov. Rick
Perry signed a law protecting Christmas and other holiday
celebrations in state public schools from legal challenges.
2013 Jun 21, In Texas a US
district judge signed off on an agreement to allow former Enron CEO
Jeff Skilling‘s prison sentence to be reduced from 24 to 14 years in
exchange for dropping all appeals.
(SFC, 6/21/13, p.A4)
2013 Jun 23, In Texas more than
800 women's rights protesters crowded into the Austin Capitol to
watch Democrats try a series of parliamentary maneuvers to stop the
Republican majority from passing some of the toughest abortion
restrictions in the country.
2013 Jun 24, Texas Republicans
used their majority to cut short debate and give preliminary
approval early today to some of the toughest abortion restrictions
in the country as time was running out on the Texas Legislature's
2013 Jun 25, Texas state Sen.
Wendy Davis staged an 11-hour filibuster to prevent passage of a law
that would limit women’s access to abortion. A raucous crowd of
shouting demonstrators effectively took over the state Capitol and
blocked the bill that abortion rights groups warned would close most
abortion clinics in the state.
(AP, 6/26/13)(Econ, 6/29/13, p.29)
2013 Jul 12, The Texas Senate
passed sweeping abortion restrictions sending them to Gov. Rick
Perry to sign.
(SFC, 7/13/13, p.A7)
2013 Aug 21, Former south Texas
Judge Abel Limas (59) was sentenced to six years in prison and three
years of supervised release for collecting bribes and kickbacks in
his Brownsville courtroom totalling $257,000.
(SFC, 8/22/13, p.A5)
2013 Aug 22, The US Justice
Dept. said it will sue Texas over the state’s voter ID law and seek
to intervene in a lawsuit over the state’s redistricting laws.
(SFC, 8/23/13, p.A4)
2013 Aug 23, In Texas a jury of
military officers convicted Major Nidal Hasan (42) for the deadly
Nov 5, 2009, shooting rampage at Fort Hood. On Aug 28 Hasan was
sentenced to death.
(SFC, 8/24/13, p.A6)(AFP, 8/29/13)
2013 Sep 5, Leaders of San
Antonio, Texas, approved antibias protections for gay and
transgender residents despite the disapproval of top Texas
Republicans and religious conservatives.
(SFC, 9/6/13, p.A6)
2013 Sep 10, In Louisiana local
and federal law officials said they have arrested Van Draylan Dixson
(38), a neighborhood watch volunteer, on suspicion of raping four
women in Dallas.
(SFC, 9/11/13, p.A4)
2013 Oct 9, In the US 2 men
were executed, one in Arizona and the other in Texas, with a drug
not yet approved by federal authorities, after the Supreme Court
denied one of the inmate's final appeal.
2013 Oct 28, A US federal judge
determined that new Texas abortion restrictions place an
unconstitutional burden on women seeking to end a pregnancy, a
ruling that keeps open dozens of abortion clinics across the state
while officials appeal.
2013 Oct 28, In Texas 5 people
were killed during a rapid series of attacks in Terrell. Charles
Everett Brownlow Jr. (36), the son of one of the victims, was
arrested early the next day.
(AP, 10/29/13)(SFC, 10/30/13, p.A6)
2013 Oct 31, A US federal
appeals court ruled that most of Texas’ tough new abortion
restrictions can take effect immediately.
(SFC, 11/1/13, p.A7)
2013 Oct 31, In central Texas
flash floods following heavy rains killed two men in the Austin
(SFC, 11/1/13, p.A10)
2013 Nov 9, In Texas at least
two people were killed and 22 hurt in a shooting at a house party
packed with young adults in Cypress, a suburb of Houston. On Nov 11
Willie Young (21) and Randy Stewart (18) were arrested in relation
to the shootings.
(AFP, 11/10/13)(SFC, 11/12/13, p.A4)
2013 Nov 11, In Texas 3 people
were killed when their single-engine plane crashed into a lakebed
(SFC, 11/12/13, p.A4)
2013 Nov 16, In Texas Franklin
Davis of the Dallas area was sentenced to death for the killing his
children’s babysitter, Shania Gray (16), to prevent her from
testifying that he had raped her.
(SSFC, 11/17/13, p.A8)
2013 Nov 24, US media reported
that a major winter storm that has dumped freezing rain and snow in
the US southwest has killed at least 13 people in Arizona (1),
California (3), Oklahoma (4), New Mexico (1) and Texas (4).
2013 Nov 28, Doctors in Texas
declared Marlise Munoz (33) brain dead due to a blood clot suffered
two days earlier. She was 14-weeks pregnant at the time and the
hospital said it could not withdraw life sustaining treatment due to
a 1999 state law. Life support was withdrawn on Jan 26, 2014,
following an order by a Fort Worth judge.
(Econ, 1/25/14, p.25)
2013 Dec 3, In Texas inmate
Jerry Martin (43) was executed after waiving his right to appeal. He
had killed a prison guard during a botched jailbreak in 2007.
2013 Dec 6, In Texas Jerald
Cobbs, a former top executive of the Cancer Prevention and Research
Institute of Texas (CPRIT), was indicted over an improperly awarded
$11 million taxpayer funded grant.
(SFC, 12/7/13, p.A7)
2013 Dec 6, A winter storm that
some forecasters say is the worst to hit the United States in years
slammed the nation's midsection early today, snarling travel and
knocking out power for hundreds of thousands. At least two deaths
were reported on roads in Texas and Missouri.
2013 Dec 7, A cold snap in the
US led to at least 6 weather-related deaths in traffic accidents.
Over 100,000 people in the Dallas area were without power as were
thousands in other states.
(SSFC, 12/8/13, p.A12)
2013 Dec 28, Harold Simmons
(82), Dallas billionaire and major GOP political donor, died. He had
made his fortune in buying drugstores and as an investor in publicly
(SFC, 1/1/14, p.E5)
2013 Dec 30, The US FAA
selected six states (Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas
and Virginia) to test how drones can be more widely used in US
airspace. 24 states had competed for selection.
(SFC, 12/31/13, p.A6)
2014 Jan 11, A permit to hunt a
black rhino in Namibia sold for $350,000 at an auction in Dallas
with proceeds going to protect the endangered animals despite
protests from animal rights groups that saw the sale as immoral
2014 Jan 22, Texas executed
Edgar Tamayo Arias (46), a Mexican convicted of killing a policeman,
despite a diplomatic outcry and pressure from the US federal
government to further review his case.
2014 Jan 22, TransCanada began
delivering oil from Cushing, Oklahoma, to customers in Nederland,
Texas, through the southern portion of the proposed Keystone XL
(SFC, 1/23/14, p.A6)
2014 Feb 5, Texas executed
Suzanne Basso (59) for the 1998 slaying of Louis Musso (59), a
mentally disabled man, to rob him of his cash and collect insurance.
(SFC, 2/6/14, p.A6)
2014 Mar 7, In Fort Hood,
Texas, Army Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen, a coordinator of the
post’s sexual assault and harassment program, was charged with 21
counts of pandering, conspiracy and maltreatment of a subordinate.
(SSFC, 3/9/14, p.A9)
2014 Mar 10, The office of
Switzerland's attorney general said its criminal investigation into
former Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford's massive Ponzi scheme has
concluded that some of the victims' money was laundered in Swiss
2014 Mar 13, In Texas Rashad
Charjuan Owens (21) drove drunk into a crowd at the South by
Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin leaving 2 people dead and
23 injured. 9 remained hospitalized in critical condition. A 3rd
person died of her injuries on March 17.
(AFP, 3/13/14)(SFC, 3/15/14, p.A11)(SFC, 3/18/14,
2014 Mar 13, US border agent
Esteban Manzanares (32) committed suicide. He was accused of
kidnapping and assaulting an immigrant woman, her daughter and
another girl a day earlier in Mission, Texas.
(SFC, 3/15/14, p.A10)(AP, 3/17/14)
2014 Mar 22, In Texas a barge
began leaking oil into the Houston Ship Channel after colliding with
a bulk carrier near Texas City at the mouth of Galveston Bay.
2014 Mar 24, Major Texas
shipping channels that deliver crude oil for more than one-tenth of
the nation's refining capacity were shut for a third day, as the
cleanup from a spill threatened to last through the week.
2014 Mar 25, The US Coast Guard
partially reopened the Houston Ship Channel following the March 22
collision between an oil barge and a bulk carrier near Texas City.
170,000 gallons of tar-like coal were spilled.
(SFC, 3/26/14, p.A6)
2014 Apr 2, In Texas soldier
Ivan Lopez gunned down 3 people before
killing himself at the Fort Hood Army base. He was under psychiatric
care but had showed no signs of violence or suicidal tendencies.
2014 Apr 3, The state of Texas
executed Tommy Lynn Sells after the US Supreme Court refused to
issue an 11th hour stay to allow lawyers time to investigate the
source and quality of the lethal drugs used put their client to
death. Mr. Sells was on death row for 13 years following his
conviction for killing a 13-year-old Texas girl on New Year’s Eve
2014 Apr 3, Texas-based
Anadarko Petroleum said it has agreed to pay the US government over
$5.1 billion to thousands of sites polluted by toxins and compensate
thousands of personal-injury claimants. The case originated with
claims against Kerr-McGee, an Oklahoma energy company that went
bankrupt and was bought by Anadarko nearly a decade ago.
(SFC, 4/4/14, p.A6)
2014 Apr 9, In Texas Ramiro
Hernandez-Llanas (44) was executed for the 1997 slaying of Glen Lich
(49) a former Baylor Univ. history professor.
(SFC, 4/10/14, p.A6)
2014 Apr 16, In Texas Jose
Villegas (39) was executed for fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend,
her young son and her mother 13 years earlier in Corpus Christi.
(SFC, 4/17/14, p.A5)
2014 May 10, The City Council
of Hearne, Texas, voted unanimously to fire police officer Stephen
Stem for the May 6 shooting of Pearlie Golden (93), who was armed
with a handgun, during a confrontation at her home.
(SSFC, 5/11/14, p.A16)
2014 May 27, Congressman Ralph
Hall (91) of Texas, the oldest ever member of the US House, lost his
Republican re-election bid to US Attorney John Ratliff (48).
(SFC, 5/28/14, p.A8)
2014 Jun 15, The body of
Gilberto Francisco Ramos Juarez (15), a teenager from Guatemala, was
found in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. He had likely died
from exposure as he made his way north.
(SSFC, 7/13/14, p.A7)
2014 Jun 22, The US Border
Patrol said it will fly nearly 300 Central American migrants from
south Texas to California for processing, as the government seeks to
ease the workload on agents at the nation's busiest corridor for
2014 Jul 9, In Texas Ronald Lee
Haskell (33) killed 2 adults and their 4 childrent a suburban
Houston home. A girl (15) was wounded. Haskell was estranged from a
woman related to the couple and soon surrendered following a police
(SFC, 7/10/14, p.A9)(SFC, 7/11/14, p.A7)
2014 Jul 25, A Texas judge
recommended that Michael Phillips (57) of Dallas be exonerated based
on recent DNA evidence that absolved him of a 1990 rape for which he
served 12 years in prison.
(SFC, 7/26/14, p.A7)
2014 Jul 27, A tanker carrying
crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan was cleared by the US Coast Guard to
unload its cargo at sea off Texas. Iraq's central government, in a
court filing the next day, laid claim to the cargo that it says was
sold by the regional government of Kurdistan without permission from
Baghdad. In response a US judge signed an order telling the US
Marshals Service to seize the cargo. On July 29 federal magistrate
Nancy K. Johnson said that because the tanker was some 60 miles (100
km) offshore, and outside territorial waters, an order she issued to
seize the cargo could not be enforced.
(Reuters, 7/28/14)(Reuters, 7/29/14)
2014 Aug 3, In southern Texas
US Border Patrol agent Javier Vega was killed during an attempted
robbery while fishing with his family. Mexican nationals Gustavo
Tijerina-Sandoval and an accomplice were soon arrested.
(http://tinyurl.com/ydcz454b)(SFC, 5/14/18, p.A4)
2014 Aug 14, Texas Gov. Rick
Perry deployed some 1,000 National Guard troops to the border with
2014 Aug 15, Texas Governor
Rick Perry, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, was
indicted over allegations he abused his power, prompting calls for
him to resign. A state grand jury in Austin indicted Perry on two
felony charges -- abuse of official capacity and coercion of a
public servant -- for his alleged threat to veto $7.5 million in
state funding to an anti-corruption unit run by Travis County
District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, a democrat.
2014 Aug 23, Michael Pimente,
the police chief of Elmendorf, Texas, was shot dead during a traffic
stop. Joshua Manuel Lopez, 24, was taken into custody on charges of
capital murder of a police officer.
2014 Sep 4, Texas teenager
Tyler Lane Holder (18) was sentenced to life in prison for killing
Alanna Gallagher (6), wrapping her body in a tarp and leaving it on
the side of a road. DNA evidence linking him to the 2013 crime when
he was 17. Holder also pleaded guilty to arson for setting fire to
the home of the victim's family and with attempted capital murder
for shooting at a police officer trying to arrest him.
2014 Sep 10, In Texas Willie
Trottie (45) was executed for killing his former common-law wife and
brother in 1993. This was the state’s 8th execution by lethal
injection this year.
(SFC, 9/11/14, p.A6)
2014 Sep 17, In Texas Lisa
Coleman (38) was executed for the 2004 starvation and torture death
of Davontae Williams, the son of her girlfriend, Marcella Williams.
Marcella (33) took a plea bargain in 2006 and accepted a life
(SFC, 9/18/14, p.A7)
2014 Sep 26, In Oklahoma 4
women’s softball players from North Texas Central College were
killed when an 18-wheel truck crashed into the side of their team
(SSFC, 9/28/14, p.A15)
2014 Sep 29, A Texas jury
sentenced Dr. Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo (43) to ten years in prison
for poisoning Dr. George Blumenschein in 2013 with ethylene glycol
after he spurned her in favor of his longtime girlfriend.
(SFC, 9/29/14, p.A7)
2014 Sep 30, The first case of
the deadly Ebola virus was diagnosed in the United States after
Thomas Eric Duncan, who flew from Liberia to Texas, tested positive
for the disease. Duncan died on Oct 8.
(Reuters, 10/1/14)(Econ, 10/11/14, p.34)
2014 Oct 4, In Texas a medical
helicopter crashed near Wichita Falls killing a patient it was
transporting from Waurika, Oklahoma.
(SSFC, 10/5/14, p.A12)
2014 Oct 11, A health worker in
Texas at the hospital treating the first person diagnosed with Ebola
in the United States tested positive for the deadly virus, raising
fresh worries about the spread of the disease beyond West Africa.
2014 Oct 13, In Mexico armed
men seized Erica Alvarado Rivera (26), her boyfriend, and her
brothers, Alex (22) and Jose Angel (21) in El Control, a small town
near the Texas border west of Matamoros. The three siblings from
Progreso, Texas, were visiting their father. Erica was the mother of
four children aged 3-9. The armed men had identified themselves as
part of Grupo Hercules, a recently formed police security unit for
Matamoros city officials.
2014 Oct 14, The US Supreme
Court blocked Texas from enforcing key parts of a 2013 law that
would close all but eight of the state’s abortion clinics.
(SFC, 10/15/14, p.A9)
2014 Oct 14, In Texas a federal
appeals court temporarily rein stated the state’s voter ID law.
(SFC, 10/15/14, p.A9)
2014 Oct 15, Texas Department
of State Health Services said a second healthcare worker who treated
the first patient to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States
has tested positive for the disease.
2014 Oct 18, A divided Supreme
Court let stand a new Texas voter identification law.
(SSFC, 10/19/14, p.A8)
2014 Oct 31, Three US soldiers
stationed at the Fort Hood Army post in central Texas pleaded guilty
to smuggling immigrants into the US.
2014 Nov 4, Texas voters
approved a ban on hydraulic fracturing in the town of Denton, making
it the first city in the Lone Star State to outlaw the oil and gas
extraction technique behind the US energy boom. Texas voters also
agreed to steer $1.7 billion of oil and gas production taxes toward
the highway fund.
(Reuters, 11/5/14)(Econ, 11/22/14, p.27)
2014 Nov 26, In Texas a Harris
County judge indicted investigators Lonnie Blevins (39) and Dustin
Deutch (41) for stealing rare comic books valued at hundreds of
thousands of dollars from a storage unit in 2012.
(SFC, 11/27/14, p.A6)
2014 Nov 28, In Texas Larry
McQuilliams (49) attempted to set the Mexican Consulate in Austin
ablaze and fired more than 100 rounds at downtown buildings before
he was fatally shot by police.
(AP, 11/28/14)(SFC, 11/29/14, p.A5)
2014 Nov 29, The Dallas Morning
News reported that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials
took Margarita Del Carmen Orellana Rivas (25) to El Salvador this
week where she's wanted on suspicion of aggravated murder and has
warrants accusing her of solicitation or conspiracy in other
2014 Dec 1, Mexico’s gas market
plugged into the rest of North America for the first time as gas
began to flow from Texas to Los Ramones along stage one of the Los
(Econ, 11/15/14, p.65)
2014 Dec 28, In Texas 5 people
died after a fire broke out at a senior living apartment building in
the San Antonio suburb of Castle Hills.
(SFC, 12/29/14, p.A7)
2014 Robert Wuthnow authored
“Rough Country: How Texas Became America’s Most Powerful Bible-Belt
(Econ, 8/23/14, p.78)
2015 Jan 6, In west Texas a
gunman opened fire at the El Paso Veterans Affairs Health Care
System’s clinic killing one person. The gunman was also killed.
(SFC, 1/7/15, p.A6)
2015 Jan 10, A male camel in
rut trampled two people to death at the Camel Kisses farm in north
2015 Jan 15, George Abbott
(b.1957), former Texas Attorney General, was sworn in as the 48th
governor of Texas. Abbott was wheelchair bound and became a
paraplegic when an oak tree fell on him while he was running
following a storm in 1984.
2015 Jan 20, Schlumberger Ltd.
said it will spend about $1.7 billion for a minority stake in a big
Russian energy company at a time when that country's relations with
the West are under strain and as energy prices hit multiyear lows.
2015 Jan 20, In Texas Greg
Abbott (57) took the oath of office as the state’s 48th governor.
(SFC, 1/21/15, p.A6)
2015 Jan 29, Texas executed
Robert Ladd (57) for killing a woman (38) nearly 20 years ago while
on parole for a triple slaying years earlier.
(SFC, 1/30/15, p.A8)
2015 Feb 4, Texas executed
Donald Newbury (52), for killing Dallas police officer Aubrey
Hawkins (29), who interrupted a gang robbery on Christmas Eve 2000.
He had helped engineer the biggest prison break in state history 11
days earlier. Newbury was the 3rd gang member to be executed.
(SFC, 2/5/15, p.A5)
2015 Feb 4, In Texas Samantha
Dean (29) was found shot to death behind a vacant building. An
autopsy indicated she was seven months pregnant. Boyfriend and
suspect VonTrey Jamal Clark fled to Indonesia and was arrested there
on July 30. On Sep 2 Clark, a former Austin police officer, (32) was
extradited to the US.
2015 Feb 12, The US multi-state
$564.1 Powerball lottery was won by ticket holders in North
Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico.
(SFC, 2/12/15, p.A7)
2015 Feb 16, A judge in Texas
granted a temporary injunction on an Obama order that would have
protected about four million undocumented foreigners from
deportation and was due to come into effect from Feb 18.
2015 Feb 20, In Texas inmates
at the Willacy County Correctional Center refused work duty and
breakfast. A lockdown was ordered after inmates broke out of Kevlar
tent housing units and entered a recreation yard. Tear gas was
deployed and 2 officers and 3 inmates sustained minor injuries.
(SSFC, 2/22/15, p.A12)
2015 Feb 23, An ice storm hit
wide parts of Texas and neighboring states knocking out power to
thousands of people and leading to hundreds of traffic accidents and
caused more than 1,300 flight cancellations nationwide. In Tennessee
at least 22 people have been killed in the past few days due to icy,
winter conditions. Officials said 11 people have died in Kentucky
due to the snow and ice that began pummeling the state on Feb. 16.
2015 Feb, In Texas Matthew
Cisneros (13) was found dead with a fatal gunshot wound at his
family's home in Garland, with a pistol near the body. On March 23 a
12-year-old boy was taken into police custody for the homicide.
2015 Mar 4, In Texas Ahmed
Al-Jumaili (36), an Iraqi man, was shot in Dallas as he took photos
of his first ever snowstorm. He died the next day. Police on March
13 announced an arrest in the shooting of Al-Jumaili.
(AP, 3/10/15)(AP, 3/13/15)
2015 Mar 11, In Texas Manuel
Vasquez, a Mexican mafia hitman, was executed at the Huntsville
state prison for strangling a woman in San Antonio because she
didn’t pay a gang’s 10% tax on her illegal drug sales.
(SFC, 3/12/15, p.A8)
2015 Mar 19, In China Sandy
Phan-Gillis of Texas was detained while attempting to cross from the
southern city of Zhuhai to Macau. She was arrested the next day on
suspicion of spying and stealing state secrets from 1996-1998. Her
husband later said she is a hard working businesswoman who spends
huge amounts of time on non-profit activities that benefit
Houston-China relations. On July 11, 2016, the Nanning Intermediate
People's Court accepted the case against Phan "Sandy" Phan-Gillis.
(Reuters, 9/22/15)(AP, 8/30/16)
2015 Apr 3, Xue Feng (50), a
Chinese-born American geologist was released from prison in China
and returned home to Houston after serving more than eight years on
charges of procuring state secrets. Xue was detained in November
2007, and sentenced in 2010 on charges of illegally gathering
information on China's oil industry.
2015 Apr 9, Texas prison
officials executed Kent Sprouse (42) for the slaying of a
Dallas-area police officer in 2002. This was the state’s 5th
execution this year.
(SFC, 4/10/15, p.A6)
2015 Apr 21, The US Center for
Disease Control (CDC) said they are now aware of ten cases of
listeria linked to ice cream and other products produced by Blue
Bell Creameries of Texas since 2010. The outbreak killed three
people. Blue Bell has recalled all of its products. In 2020 Blue
Bell pleased guilty to distributing contaminated goods. Former CEO
Paul Kruse was charged with conspiracy and attempted wire fraud.
(SFC, 4/22/15, p.A9)(SSFC, 5/3/20, p.A4)
2015 Apr 30, Blue Origin, a
private space company founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, launched an
unmanned spaceship. Its New Shepard capsule reached 58 miles and
landed in the west Texas desert.
(SFC, 5/1/15, p.C2)
2015 May 3, Texas police shot
dead two suspected Islamist extremists who opened fire outside an
exhibition of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed staged by an
anti-Muslim group in Garland. One of the gunmen was identified as
Elton Simpson. Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem (43) of Phoenix was arrested
on June 11 for helping orchestrate the shootout.
(AFP, 5/4/15)(SFC, 6/17/15, p.A5)
2015 May 7, Residents of
Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and northern Texas cleaned up after
overnight storms spawned 51 tornadoes that left at least one person
(SFC, 5/8/15, p.A8)
2015 May 11, The governors of
Arkansas and Texas declared disasters in parts of their states
following tornadoes and flooding that left at least 5 people dead.
2015 May 12, In Texas Derrick
Dewayne Charles (32) was executed by lethal injection at the
Huntsville prison for killing his girlfriend (15), her mother and
her grandfather nearly 13 years ago in Houston. This was the state’s
7th execution this year.
(SFC, 5/13/15, p.A5)
2015 May 17, In Texas a
shootout among rival motorcycle gangs at a popular restaurant in
Waco left 9 bikers dead and 18 injured. At least five rival gangs
gathered at Twin Peaks for a meeting that he said focused on turf
and recruitment. The next day 177 gang members were arrested and
more than 150 were eventually charged.
(AP, 5/18/15)(SFC, 5/19/15, p.A6)(SSFC, 11/12/17,
2015 May 18, Texas Gov. Greg
Abbott signed a law preventing cities from banning fracking.
(Econ, 5/30/15, p.30)
2015 May 24, In Texas a
five-year drought came to a dramatic end, as a straight month of
rain built into a torrent that destroyed more than 1,000 homes. At
least 21 people were killed, including 5 in Houston, as spectacular
flash flooding hit Texas and Oklahoma.
(AFP, 5/25/15)(Reuters, 5/27/15)(SFC, 5/28/15,
2015 May 29, President Barack
Obama signed a disaster declaration late for areas in Texas hammered
by severe weather that killed at least 21 people, caused massive
flooding and prompted evacuations this week.
2015 Jun 3, Texas executed
Lester Bower, one of the longest-serving inmates on the state's
death row who had said he was wrongly convicted of killing four men
in 1983 and had spent three decades trying to halt his capital
2015 Jun 4, Texas Gov. Rick
Perry announced his 2nd bid for the Republican presidential
(SFC, 6/5/15, p.A7)
2015 Jun 5, In Texas a pool
party for teens in the Dallas suburb of McKinney turned into a
confrontation with police and video soon emerged of Cpl. Eric
Casebolt drawing a gun and throwing a black bikini-clad girl (14) to
(SFC, 6/9/15, p.A6)
2015 Jun 9, A US federal
appeals court upheld parts of Texas’s strict antiabortion law. The
decision could leave as few as seven abortion clinics operating in
(SFC, 6/9/15, p.A8)
2015 Jun 9, Texas police
officer Eric Casebolt, videotaped pulling a gun out at a teen pool
party, resigned in the latest racially-charged incident involving
alleged excessive force by US law enforcement.
2015 Jun 13, In Texas bombs
were planted outside Dallas Police headquarters in an attack early
today that may have involved as many as four gunmen firing automatic
weapons. Snipers shot and killed James Boulware in a standoff by the
Dallas police headquarters.
(Reuters, 6/13/15)(AFP, 6/13/15)
2015 Jun 18, Texas death row
inmate Gregory Rousseau (45) was executed by lethal injection for
the 2001 slaying of repair shop owner James Syvertson (75).
(SFC, 6/19/15, p.A8)
2015 Jun 25, The US Supreme
Court embraced a broad interpretation of the type of civil rights
allegations that can be made under the landmark Fair Housing Act by
ruling 5-4 that the law allows for discrimination claims based on
seemingly neutral practices that may have a discriminatory effect.
The case concerned whether Texas violated the Fair Housing Act by
disproportionately awarding low-income housing tax credits to
developers who own properties in poor, minority-dominated
2015 Jul 2, The US Department
of Justice said BP Plc has reached a settlement with US authorities
and will pay about $18.7 billion in damages for water pollution
caused by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The agreement settles
claims against BP by the government and the states of Louisiana,
Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida.
2015 Jul 2, Whataburger, a
Texas restaurant chain with 780 locations in ten states, published
an open letter on its website saying it will not allow the open
carrying of guns in its restaurants.
(http://tinyurl.com/pzbhwwq)(SFC, 7/13/15, p.A6)
2015 Jul 5, The UNESCO World
Heritage Committee approved the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, as a
world heritage site. Four other Spanish Roman Catholic sites were
(SFC, 7/6/15, p.A5)
2015 Jul 13, In Texas Sandra
Bland (28) died in jail three days after she was arrested in a
traffic stop in Waller County. Police alleged that she had hanged
herself using a plastic liner taken from a garbage can. On Jan 6,
2016, Trooper Brian Encinia was indicted for perjury and faced
(SFC, 7/22/15, p.A5)(SFC, 7/23/15, p.A5)
2015 Aug 3, Texas Attorney
General Ken Paxton (52) was booked on securities fraud charges
accusing him of misleading investors in a tech startup before he
took office in January.
(SFC, 8/4/15, p.A4)
2015 Aug 7, Dallas police
Officer Brad Miller shot and killed Christian Taylor (19), who was
found roaming inside a car dealership in the early hours of the
morning. The FBI was called in to investigate the shooting. Miller
was fired on August 10.
(SSFC, 8/9/15, p.A7)(SFC, 8/12/15, p.A5)
2015 Aug 8, Texas police found
the bodies of 6 children and 2 parents in a Houston-area home after
a standoff that ended with a man's surrender. David Conley (48) was
arrested and charged with the murders. Conley had an earlier
relationship with the mother Valerie Jackson, and was believed to be
the father of one of the children.
(AFP, 8/9/15)(SFC, 8/10/15, p.A6)
2015 Aug 12, Texas executed
Daniel Lee Lopez (27) for fatally striking a police lieutenant with
an SUV during a chase in 2009.
(SFC, 8/13/15, p.A6)
2015 Aug 28, In Texas Darren
Goforth (47), a white sheriff’s deputy for Harris County, was shot
and killed while pumping gas for his patrol car. Shannon Miles (30),
a black man, was soon arrested and charged with murder.
(SSFC, 8/30/15, p.A8)
2015 Aug 30, In Texas a statue
of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy during the US
Civil War, was taken down from its pedestal outside the clock tower
of the Univ. of Texas campus in Austin. It was to be relocated to
the Briscoe Center for American History on the university campus.
(SFC, 8/31/15, p.A6)
2015 Sep 2, In Dallas, Texas,
pediatric dentist Kendra Hatcher was shot to death in a
murder-for-hire. Crystal Cortes (23), accused of driving the shooter
to the garage, was arrested Sep 5 and charged with capital murder.
Kristopher Love (31) was later identified as the shooter and was
charged with capital murder. Brenda Delgado (33), who reportedly
planned the killing, remained a fugitive. Delgado was reported
arrested in Torreon, Mexico, on April 8, 2016.
(AP, 10/3/15)(SSFC, 4/10/16, p.A4)
2015 Sep 14, In Texas
Ahmed Mohamed (14), was arrested at MacArthur High School in Irving,
Texas, for bringing an alleged hoax bomb to school. He had
repackaged an electronic clock in a pencil box and brought it to
school to show his teachers. On Nov 23 a law firm sent letters
demanding $10 million from the city of Irving and $5 million from
the city’s school district.
2015 Sep 24, In south Texas an
SUV crammed with at least 15 people rolled during a police chase
leaving 6 people dead in Edna.
(SFC, 9/25/15, p.A9)
2015 Oct 6, Texas executed
convicted killer Juan Martin Garcia (35) for the 1998 shooting and
robbery of Hugo Solano, a Christian missionary who had just moved
with his family from Mexico. The robbery netted $8.
(SFC, 10/7/15, p.A7)
2015 Oct 9, In Texas a student
was killed and another person was wounded during a shooting outside
a Texas Southern University student-housing complex. Police detained
two men for questioning.
2015 Oct 14, Texas executed
Licho Escamilla (33) for the 2001 fatal shooting of Dallas police
officer Christopher Kevin James. This was the state’s 12 execution
this year and the 24th in the US.
(SFC, 10/15/15, p.A7)
2015 Oct 23, US FDA authorities
said they have confiscated shipments of the lethal-injection
chemical sodium thiopental that Arizona and Texas tried to bring in
from abroad, saying such imports are illegal.
(SFC, 10/24/15, p.A4)
2015 Oct 30, In Texas storms
and suspected tornadoes left at least 2 people dead and flooded I-35
between San Antonio and Austin.
(SFC, 10/30/15, p.A5)
2015 Oct 31, Texas authorities
said at least six people have died in storms that lashed parts of
the state with heavy rains.
2015 Nov 9, The US Court of
Appeals in New Orleans upheld a Texas judge’s injunction blocking
the Obama administration’s immigration initiative until legal
challenges to the program are resolved.
(SFC, 11/10/15, p.A5)
2015 Nov 10, A Texas grand jury
returned sweeping indictments for all 106 cases brought before them
on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity following the
deadly shootout between biker gangs outside a Waco Twin Peaks
restaurant in May.
2015 Nov 15, In Texas 2 bodies
were found at a campsite in Anderson County near the home of suspect
William Hudson (33). 4 more bodies were found a day later in a pond
on Hudson’s property.
(SFC, 11/16/15, p.A6)
2015 Nov 18, Texas executed
Raphael Holiday (36) for setting a fire that killed his 18-month-old
daughter and two half sister 15 years ago. This made him the 13th
convicted killer put to death by the state this year.
(SFC, 11/19/15, p.A5)
2015 Nov 24, A rocket from Jeff
Bezos’ Blue Origin private space company landed upright following a
test flight in West Texas.
(SFC, 11/25/15, p.C1)
2015 Dec 2, Texas sued the US
government in an effort to block six Syrian refugees from resettling
in Dallas this week. On Dec 4 Texas stopped trying to block
Syrian refugees from resettling in the state.
(SFC, 12/2/15, p.A8)(AP, 12/5/15)
2015 Dec 26, In Texas at least
11 people were killed in the Dallas area from a storm system packing
torrential rains and unleashing a string of tornadoes that toppled
homes, cut power lines and snarled transport for people returning
from the Christmas holidays.
2015 Dec 28, Authorities in
Mexico detained a wealthy Texas teenager sought in the United States
after he disappeared while serving probation for killing four people
in a high-profile drunk-driving case. Ethan Couch (18) and his
mother Tonya were arrested in the Pacific resort city of Puerto
Vallarta. On April 13, 2016, Couch (19) was sentenced to 180 days in
jail for each of the four deaths in the June 2013 crash. In 2018
Couch was released after serving nearly two years.
(AFP, 12/29/15)(SFC, 4/14/16, p.A10)(SFC, 4/3/18,
2015 Dec, In Texas three former
officials at Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) pleaded guilty
under seal to conspiracy to commit money laundering. They were
charged with violating the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.