Ann Richards was the 45th Governor of Texas, succeeding Governor Bill Clements. She was born Dorothy Ann Willis on September 1, 1933 to Robert Cecil and Mildred Iona Warren Willis. She grew up in the Lacy Lakeview area, just north of Waco, Texas. Her father worked as a truck driver for a pharmaceutical company. During World War II, the family briefly moved to San Diego, California before returning to live once more in Waco, Texas. She attended and graduated from Waco High School in downtown Waco. Her family was not wealthy, but she took piano and elocution lessons. Once when she was a senior at Waco High, she and classmate Marilyn Reese played a piano duet and took third place in a city-wide musical talent contest. Foreshadowing her later political career, Ann also was on the high school debate team and was selected to be a representative to Girls State, an American Legion Auxiliary leadership organization that mirrors each state’s government. She was attracted by the process and was selected as a representative to Girls Nation, a group select individuals from from among the Girls State representatives. Richards entered Baylor University in Waco after high school graduation on a debate scholarship. The future governor married her high school boyfriend, David Read Richards, in 1953 during her junior year in college, and Ann went on to graduate from Baylor University in Speech and Government the following year.
Dirk West was a cartoonist and illustrator whose name was well known to those who followed the old Southwest and Big 12 conferences in sports. Gerald Glynn “Dirk” West was born October 23, 1928 in Littlefield, Texas to James Marion and Ethel Raye Bennett West. The family moved to Lubbock shortly after he was born, so West grew up there and graduated from Lubbock High School, where he began drawing cartoons for the school newspaper, Westerner World.
The military reservation that would become Fort Bliss was initially established on the Rio Grande in the late 1840s shortly after the end of the Mexican-American War and was active from 1848 to 1851. At this time, it did not have an official name, and was referred to as the “Post Opposite El Paso del Norte.” There was already a sizeable civilian settlement on either side of the Rio Grande: American El Paso and Cuidad Juarez on the Mexican side. The fort was comprised of the Third Infantry and was commanded by Jefferson Van Horne. After this short period of two to three years, its troops were mostly removed to Fort Fillmore, New Mexico Territory.
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.
John Lapham Bullis was born in Macedon, New York to Abram R. and Lydia P. Lapham Bullis on April 17, 1841. His historical family faith was Quaker (now known as the Religious Society of Friends or simply just the Friends Church), historically known for their objection to war, their refusal to swear oaths, their teetotalism, their objection to slavery, their plain dress, pious living and more recently, their support of prison reform and social justice.
Christine Nix was hired in 1994 and became an officer with the Texas Rangers after serving in the military and as a police officer in Temple before moving to another state. She later returned to Texas, moving to Austin. She happened to live near the Texas Department of Safety office which helped to spark her interest in returning to law enforcement.
Charles Drake “Charlie” Ferris was the son of Warren Angus Ferris, a surveyor who laid out the first streets of the old city of Dallas, Texas. Back in 1917, Charlie Ferris was interviewed by a regional newspaper at his home near Capitan in Lincoln County, New Mexico. Among other things, Charlie talked about the capture of two Texas outlaws, James Pitts and Charles Yeager. According to his recollection, previously written up in the old Pennsylvania Grit, Ferris served as a Texas Ranger for about twenty years.