Governor John Bowden Connally, Jr. was born February 27, 1917 to John Bowden and Lela Wright Connally in Floresville, Wilson County, Texas, the third of seven children. In 1920, his father’s occupation was listed as being a stock farmer (rancher) in Floresville, which is located on the southeast side of San Antonio. By 1930, the family had moved into San Antonio for a time, as John, Sr. was operating a bus on a bus line. Governor Connally attended San Antonio Harlandale High School but graduated from high school in Floresville. After his graduation, he entered the University of Texas in Austin where he received his undergraduate degree and later earned a law degree.
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Judge Harold Barefoot Sanders was born on February 5, 1925 to attorney Harold Barefoot Sanders, Sr. and May Elizabeth Forrester Sanders in Dallas, Texas. Sanders told of growing up during the Depression, working odd jobs to raise money for the family. He and his father were both named for Dennie Barefoot, Judge Sanders’ paternal grandmother. She was the granddaughter of Daniel Barefoot, of Tennessee, who had settled in Montague County, Texas in the 1800s. Dennie’s father Jonathan Barefoot had served in the Civil War. Judge Sanders talked about the name Barefoot and explained in a 1971 newspaper article that it was not a nickname and was his grandmother’s maiden name. He also clarified that it was not a Native American name, as some might have supposed.
Dr. Marion Thomas Jenkins was the anesthesiologist who attended President John F. Kennedy at Parkland Hospital after the President was fatally wounded. He was born in 1917 to Dr. Homer Jenkins, a country doctor, and Mrs. Ella Brooks Keasler Jenkins. His father came from an unusually talented family of seven brothers, six of whom became doctors. “Pepper” was a boyhood nickname that stayed with him throughout his career.
Abraham Zapruder’s name became quite familiar to those of us who were old enough to remember the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Zapruder had been on the street at the exact time the attack occurred. He and his employees had stopped work to enjoy the presidential parade and had been filming the event with his personal home movie camera.
Sara Augusta Tilghman Hughes was a pioneer in the legal profession. She was born in 1896 in Baltimore, Maryland to James Cooke and Elizabeth Haughton Tilghman. Her father was a shipping clerk in the dry goods business. She grew up in Baltimore where she attended Western Female High School, Salem Academy in North Carolina and then Goucher College, graduating in 1917 with a degree in biology. After graduating from college, she taught school for two years before enrolling in night law school classes at George Washington School of Law. During the day, she worked as a police officer in Washington, D. C. and she received her law degree in 1922.
Dr. James Henry Duke, Jr. was more likely known to most of us as the charismatic Dr. “Red” Duke. He was born in Ennis, Ellis County, Texas to James Henry (Sr.) and Helen Marion Donegan Duke. He graduated from high school in Hillsboro, Hill County, and then received a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University in 1950. In connection with his degree at A&M, he did a two year tour of duty in the Army where he served as a tank officer in the 67th Medium Tank Battalion of 2nd Armored Division, spending some time in Germany. Dr. Duke then earned a divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. While at Southwestern Seminary, he read a book by the pioneer physician Albert Schweitzer that changed his life’s focus and inspired him to pursue a career in academic medicine. He then earned an M. D. from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1960 and served as an surgical intern in Dallas at Parkland Hospital until 1965.
John William Fritz was born on June 15, 1896 to Blake and Ada Hamilton Fritz in Dublin, Erath County, Texas. Will was the oldest of four boys. In 1900, Blake was a farmer in Erath County. By 1910, the family had moved to Chaves County, New Mexico in or near a small community by the name of Lake Arthur where Blake was trying to make a living as a horse and mule rancher. Lake Arthur was small back then. Even now, it is only about ten streets north to south and east to west. By all accounts, Will had a normal childhood for the son of a rancher and grew up around the ranch, acquiring cowboy skills from Blake and other workers.