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The Many Lives of the Texas Clipper

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(Image credit: Navsource.com)

The ship last known as the Texas Clipper began her life as a Windsor Class Attack Transport.  One of a class of seven ships, her hull was laid down March 2, 1944 in Sparrows Point, MD and she was launched September 12, 1944 for the United States Maritime Commission.  The United States was three years into World War II.  The Maritime Commision was a government agency created in 1936 to see to the creation of 500 merchant cargo ships to replace the aging World War I era fleet that made up the Merchant Marine.  It offered a subsidy system to support some of the building costs.  She was transferred to the United States Navy on December 16, 1944 and commissioned the USS Queens (APA-103) and went on to serve eighteen months in World War II, mostly for service in the Far East.  She was not named for royalty, but rather the burrough of New York by the same name.

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Posted by on December 7, 2017 in history, texas

 

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Buffalo Soldiers in Texas

The concept of all-black regiments had originated during the Civil War when northern states organized regiments of free blacks from the north and former slaves from the south.  This concept was met with resistance in the north, which resistance is generally accepted to have been racially oriented in nature.  However, by 1863 the U. S. Colored Volunteers had been organized into a cavalry regiment, an artillery regiment and almost two dozen infantry regiments.  It is estimated that about one out of ten Union soldiers serving in the American Civil War were black.

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Posted by on November 30, 2017 in black history, history, texas

 

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Fort Concho

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(Image credit: Fort Concho National Historical Landmark)

Fort Concho was one of the later forts established in the frontier system, opened in 1867 after the Civil War.  It took its name from the nearby branches of the Concho River, the water system that was a critical resource in the area.  It was positioned as a replacement for Fort Chadbourne that was located about 45 miles to the north northeast.  Fort Chadbourne’s water supply had failed prior to the Civil War.

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Posted by on November 23, 2017 in forts, history, texas

 

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Goddess of Liberty

Standing on the dome of the beautiful Texas Capitol Building in Austin is a statue known as the Goddess of Liberty.  Installed in 1888, she carries a sword in her right hand and her upright left hand holds a star.  The figure which stands 15 feet 7 1/2 inches tall and weighs one and one half tons was designed by the architect of the Capitol, Elijah E. Myers.  Texans were proud to boast that the statue made the Texas Capitol Building several feet taller than the United States Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

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Posted by on November 16, 2017 in history, texas, texas women

 

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The Flying Stinsons

Eddie Stinson had begun his career in aviation in San Antonio, Texas and was the brother of pioneer aviatrix, Katherine Stinson.  Katherine was a prodigy in the new world of aviation.  The youngest of four children, she had been captivated by the lure of airplanes, so much so that she sold her piano to raise the money for flying lessons.  The year was 1912, only a few short years after the Wright Brothers made their first powered flight in 1903.  Her first solo flight was in a similar-looking aircraft to the Kitty Hawk plane, which more nearly resembled a box kite than what we know as an aircraft.  She said that at the time, it was supposed to take 250 minutes of flying lessons to learn how to fly.  Katherine quickly took to it and indeed soloed after four hours of flying lessons.  Licensing requirements were not as strict back then.  Katherine said that all she had to do was climb to 800 feet, do some figure-eights, glide with the power off and make a smooth landing.  She was the fourth woman ever to obtain a pilot’s license.

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Posted by on November 9, 2017 in biography, history, texas, texas women

 

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Petrolia, a Texas Boom Town

Petrolia is one of several Texas towns that sprang up during the Texas oil boom.  Petrolia took its name from an oil town in Pennsylvania.  It is located due east of Wichita Falls in Clay County, and succeeded a nearby settlement that was named Oil City.

PetroliaGusher1900

(Image credit: UNT Portal to Texas History)

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Posted by on November 2, 2017 in history, oil and gas, texas, town names

 

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Fort Belknap

Fort Belknap was founded in the summer of 1851 by Brig. Gen William Belknap, then commander of the Department of Texas, to provide support for the settlers against the Comanche and Kiowa tribes.  It also served to protect traditionally friendly tribes like the Tonkowa against attacks from settlers and other area tribes.  Belknap was also a waypoint on the Butterfield Overland Stage line that carried the United States Mail for a few years.  It was the northern outpost in a string of forts established from the Rio Grande to the south to the Red River to the north.  Located in Young County, it served the area for about 8 years.

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Posted by on October 26, 2017 in forts, history, texas

 

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