July Local Tales By Local Folks - Author and Historian Melinda Ray will be speaking on one of Granbury's most prominent early citizens, A.P. Gordon at the Gordon House. Tickets are free but required since seating capacity is limited so reserve your seat now! bshc.ticketleap.com/apgordon/... See MoreSee Less
Audie Murphy …One of the most decorated military heroes of modern history was born in Hunt County, near Kingston, on this day in 1925. Just 20 years later, that soldier—Audie Murphy—performed the actions that earned him the Medal of Honor.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Murphy was moved to join the military. Using documents that his sister falsified for him with a 1924 birth year, he enlisted while underage.
Murphy fought in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany with the 3rd Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. His most extraordinary actions took place near Holtzwihr, France, in January 1945.
Second Lieutenant Murphy was in command of Company B, 15th Infantry Regiment, when it was attacked by six tanks and about 250 German infantrymen. He ordered his men to fall back while he directed artillery fire over a field telephone. He also fired the machine gun atop a burning tank destroyer to halt advancing troops. Alone and exposed to enemy fire from three sides, he kept up the fight for an hour.
Murphy was recognized for his war actions with all of the available U.S. Army awards for valor in combat. In addition to his 33 commendations from the U.S. military, he also received awards from France and Belgium.
After the war, Murphy went on to be an actor, songwriter, quarter horse breeder, and advocate for the treatment of what is now called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Historical markers in Celeste and near Kingston commemorate his birthplace, and another in Farmersville marks his homecoming from war.
The JA Ranch - Ranch history is fascinatingThe JA Ranch is the oldest private ranch in the Panhandle. It was created on June 18, 1876, when John Adair (whose initials gave the ranch its name) signed a contract with Charles Goodnight.
The original five-year contract specified up to 2,500 acres and 1,500 cattle. Over time, the ranch—located around and inside Palo Duro Canyon—grew to more than 1 million acres, which provided grazing for over 100,000 head of cattle.
Goodnight managed the ranch with a firm hand and instructions from Cornelia Adair to hire men who obeyed the law and didn’t gamble or fight. After her husband’s death in 1885, Cornelia became a partner in the JA Ranch; she also contributed to local community projects such as a church, YMCA, hospital, and Boy Scouts.
The JA Ranch remains a private operation run by Cornelia’s descendants. It is a National Historic Landmark.
To experience Panhandle cattle industry history, visit the THC’s Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight Ranch State Historic Site or the Armstrong County Museum, Inc in Claude.
📷: Headquarters of the JA Ranch, Palo Duro, Armstrong County ... See MoreSee Less
SWC - SMUEric Dickerson and Craig James aka "The Pony Express" circa 1983. The two played for the SMU Mustangs and terrorized opponents. I tell you what: the old Southwest Conference was wild. ... See MoreSee Less
Preservation…. 1939 Fire HouseWe have acquired the 1939 Linden Firehouse from the City of Linden in Cass County. We’ll share more in the weeks ahead about our plans to save this National Register-eligible New Deal-era building. It was included on our 2016 Most Endangered Places list. #texas #historicpreservation #endangeredplaces #texasarchitecture #vernaculararchitecture #lindentx #preservationtexas #firehouse #easttexas ... See MoreSee Less
Deaf Smith …ERASTUS "DEAF" SMITH "Deaf Smith was one of the most celebrated patriots in the Texas fight for independence. His greatest contribution in the war was his skill as a scout and spy that would influence the battles at Conception, the Grass Fight and most importantly, the Battle at San Jacinto. Ironically, this soldier, who became the eyes and ears of the Texas Army was going blind and was nearly deaf. Smith came to Texas in 1817 for his health, which improved in the Texas climate but his hearing and eyesight was affected. In 1822, he married a widow with three children, Guadalupe Reyes de Duran and the union enabled him to move easily between both cultures. His expertise in the Texas terrain and knowledge of Tejano culture would prove invaluable to Sam Houston. At the outbreak of the hostilities at Gonzales, Smith planned to remain neutral. However, during the siege at San Antonio, the Mexican Army occupying the town had clamped down on security while he was out hunting. Upon returning he was forbidden from re-joining his family. He joined the Texans declaring indignantly, the Mexicans had treated him "rascally." After the Battle of the Alamo, Houston dispatched him to report on the fate of the defenders. Smith then escorted Mrs. Almeron Dickenson and the others to meet with Houston. Just before the battle of San Jacinto, Houston sent Smith and a group of hand-picked soldiers to remove and burn Vince's Bridge thereby cutting off any reinforcements coming to the aid of Santa Anna's army and blocking any chance for El Presidente from escaping. The Texans knew this also kept them from retreating. The message was clear, "Victory or Death." On the afternoon of April 21st, 1836 a grinning Houston told his men, "Victory is certain. Trust in God and fear not. The victims of the Alamo and the names of those who were murdered at Goliad cry out for vengeance. Remember the Alamo. Remember Goliad." At 3:30 PM, a small rag-tag band struck up a risque Irish tune, "Will you come to the Bower I have shaded for you?' The Texans; tired, hungry, dirty, angry and vastly outnumbered, routed Santa Anna's army. In eighteen minutes his entire army was killed, captured or wounded. The Texans only lost six men and had twenty-five wounded. Before Smith's death in 1837, he raised a company of Texas Rangers and defeated a larger force of Mexican soldiers on the Rio Grande, nearly a year after Santa Anna had surrendered at San Jacinto. He died at the age of fifty, some nine months later. Today a county in Texas is named for him: Deaf Smith county. But mostly Deaf Smith is remembered as a hero from the storied Battle of San Jacinto and as one of the Lone Star Republic's greatest patriots." Written for the True West magazine, April 12, 2016, by Marshall Trimble. Photograph of portrait of Deaf Smith circa-1836 by noted Welsh American artist Thomas Jefferson Wright (1798-1846)--from the collection of the University of Houston Libraries. ... See MoreSee Less
Battleship TexasBattleship Texas is the last surviving Dreadnought battleship and one of only a few remaining ships to have served in both world wars.
The battleship—more formally USS Texas or BB-35—was commissioned in 1914 and served in the Atlantic Fleet during World War I.
During the late 1920s, the ship was modernized by converting the coal-fueled burners to oil. In 1939, it received the first commercial radar in the U.S. Navy.
When the United States entered World War II, the three-decade-old ship again answered the call. USS Texas was a flagship at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944, and in 1945 supported the invasion of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
In 1948, Battleship Texas was decommissioned. It became the nation’s first battleship memorial museum. The ship is also a National Historic Landmark and a National Mechanical Engineering Landmark.
USS Texas, which is owned by Texas Parks and Wildlife and operated by the Battleship Texas Foundation , is preparing for extensive rehabilitation and is closed to the public. It can presently be seen from San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site .