2006

The First Pitch

William Howard Taft started the tradition of the Presidential “first pitch” of baseball season. The event took place on April 4, 1910, during an opening day game between the Washington Senators and the Philadelphia Athletics. Since Taft’s first pitch , every President but one has opened at least one baseball season during their tenure. The Read More

Micajah Autry

Micajah Autry had made his choice. Once he’d entered the Alamo his fate had pretty much been sealed. Outnumbered and outgunned, he and the band of rebels that occupied the mission were waiting for the inevitable attack they knew would come. He had volunteered for militia duty during the War of 1812 and, following the Read More

“In Event of Moon Disaster”

Nixon speech writer William Safire wrote a proposed speech in the event that disaster struck the Apollo 11 lunar lander and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin couldn’t get off of the Moon and return to Earth. It’s kind of creepy to think of it in a “what if” kind of way. Fortunately it didn’t have Read More

The Floating Capitol of Texas

For 11 days in April of 1836, the capital of Texas was the steamboat Cayuga. The 80-ton side-wheeler had been hauling cargo on the Brazos River during 1834 and 1835. After their victory at the Alamo on March 6, 1836, Mexican Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna and his troops began moving toward Harrisburg (today Read More

Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death

The Year Without a Summer took place in 1816 when freakishly bizarre climatic changes took place because of a large amount of volcanic activity in the recent years leading up to 1816. The eruptions believed to have caused the anomaly were – The 5 April – 15 April 1815 volcanic eruptions of Mount Tambora on Read More

The La Réunion Experiment

La Réunion was a socialist Utopian community founded in 1855 by French, Belgian, and Swiss colonists approximately three miles west of the present Reunion Arena and Reunion Tower in downtown Dallas, and near the forks of the Trinity River. The commune was led by the French philosopher Francois Marie Charles Fourier whose followers and associates Read More

Dallas’ Nazi POW Camp

I live in Dallas, and as far as I can tell, other than the first 7-11 and, of course, the JFK assassination, Dallas doesn’t have a lot of tales, but by gum we did have our very own Nazi POW camp towards the end of WWII. The 3 and a half acre camp, which was Read More

The Crash at Crush

The publicity stunt known as the “Crash at Crush” happened on Sept. 15, 1896 . It took place at the short-lived (one day, to be exact) town of Crush, TX., near Waco. A locomotive crash staged several months earlier by the Columbus and Hocking Valley Railroad near Cleveland, Ohio, had been a great success, attracting Read More

Creatively Paranoid

There is a film that premiered at Cannes this year called Shortbus. I don’t expect you to have heard about it or John Cameron Mitchell, the director of the film, but I read about this stuff, hence my knowledge of its existence. The film is pretty much political porn, at least that’s what Mitchell says Read More

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