What happened today in Texas history? October 23 | Arts & Culture
Today in the history of our wonderful state, we had several interesting events take place.
For example, on this day in 1863, the First Texas Cavalry left New Orleans for South Texas. This was an effort on the part of the Union in Texas to interfere with the lucrative trade business between the Confederates in Texas with Mexico. Of course, most Texans were Confederates, with many thousands serving the Confederacy during the Civil war. Fewer than 2,000 Texans served the Union during the war.
On this day in 1883, Abilene replaced Buffalo Gap as the county seat of Taylor County. This was pushed for by several businessmen who approached the Texas and Pacific Railway executives and asked them to consider planning to have the new railroad bypass Buffalo Gap, sending it instead across the northern part of the county where they themselves owned land. The town of Abilene was then established. By the way, Abilene was named after a Kansas cattle town of the same name.
According to The Handbook of Texas online, on this day in 1970, the lower Rio Grande Valley town of San Juan made international headlines when Francis B. Alexander smashed a rented single-engine plane into the Virgen de San Juan del Valle Shrine. In 1949 Father Joseph Azpiazu brought to his San Juan parish a replica of the image of Our Lady of San Juan, venerated at San Juan de Los Lagos in Jalisco, Mexico. The image is a statue about three feet high, clothed in traditional robes. Soon the church became a place of pilgrimage for many Mexican Americans in Texas; on weekends hundreds of pilgrims would come to San Juan to pray.
On this day in 1904, golfer Harvey Penick was born. He coached the UT golf team for free to twenty-two Southwest Conference titles.
And sadly, on this day in 1989, 23 people were killed in Pasadena in an explosion in a Phillips Petroleum-owned plastics manufacturing plant. The initial blast registered 3.5 on the Richter Scale. In addition to the dead, 314 were injured.
Today's Texas quote: "There is a special mystique to Texas. Texans represent many things to the uninitiated: We are bigger-than-life in our boots and Stetsons, rugged individualists whose two-steppin' has achieved world-wide acclaim, and we were the first to define hospitality." ~ attributed to former Texas Governor Ann Richards.
Today's Texas music: Voted one of the top 100 songs of all time by Texas Monthly: San Antonio Rose (Live 40s) Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys.
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