After the success of the book and film Hidden Figures which generated much deserved recognition for NASA employees Katherine Jonson, Dorothy vaughan and Mary Jackson, the book with the eye catching title of Hidden Genius: Frank Mann, the Black Engineer Behind Howard Hughes came to our attention. It is the story of Frank Calvin Mann, as told by H. T. Bryer.
In an article under the column “Domestic Intelligence” the Galveston Daily News reported on March 3, 1871 that the Texas Pacific Railway when it was granted a federal charter to operate. The company was authorized to build a railroad via the most direct and eligible route along the 32nd Parallel from Marshall, Texas to El Paso and on to San Diego, California. With the railroad grant came a federal land grant of twenty sections of land per mile in California and Texas and forty sections of land in the territories of New Mexico and Arizona. Why Marshall, Texas? A Louisiana company, New Oleans, Baton Rouge and Vicksburg Railway Company already had been granted a charter to connect to the line at Marshall.
The Hoodoo War was the common name for the Mason County War, which took place in the middle 1870s in the area and arose over the killing and rustling of cattle. This was typified by attacks from vigilantes wearing masks to conceal their identities and to generate terror. These vigilantes essentially took the law into their own hands in an effort to defend against the alleged perpetrators.
Wiley Hardeman Post was born November 22, 1898 near Grand Saline, Van Zandt County, Texas to William Francis and Mae Quinlan Post. His family were cotton farmers and moved to Oklahoma when Wiley was five years old, finally settling close to Maysville. He was exposed to flying at a local county fair when he was about twenty years old. It inspired him to take flying lessons, though he did not begin flying on his own until later but took a construction job.
Dolph Briscoe, Jr. was the 41st governor of Texas. He was born April 23, 1923 in Uvalde County, Texas to Leigh Adolphus (Dolph) and Georgia M. Garvey Briscoe. His grandparents were Leigh Adolphus (the first of his Briscoe ancestors to be born in Texas) and Lucy A. Briscoe. Going further back on the Briscoe side, his great grandfather was Robert Permenias Briscoe and his great grandfather was Andrew Briscoe, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and a settler in the old Fort Bend area.
(Image credit: FreddyFender.com)
Freddy Fender was born Baldemar Garcia Huerta in San Benito, Cameron County, Texas on June 4, 1937. His parents were Serapio and Margarita Garcia Huerta, who were migrant farm workers. Huerta was the oldest of four children and was raised around music, including lively “conjunto,” a traditional style of music that includes a blend of Tejano and references to German polka, including the use of an accordion. He performed as early as the age of ten on a Harlingen, Texas radio station. He dropped out of high school and lied about his age to join the United States Marine Corps. He served from 1954 to 1956. Huerta married in 1957 as he began to perform as “El Be-Bop Kid” and other stage names, doing covers of popular American hits of artists like Elvis Presley but singing them in Spanish. He and his wife Evangelina had five children. They divorced and remarried at one point, but otherwise were married for about forty-five years.
World War II had gripped the country for the better part of the last five years. This was the first peacetime July Fourth celebration in many years and for some cities, the first celebration of any kind since 1940 or 1941. Around the state, newspapers reported how it was observed: