Texas then and now

This week in the Hill Country

The Texas Book Festival is this weekend, Oct. 17-18, on the Capitol Grounds in Austin. 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Saturday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm Sunday.

I will be there along with my Sisters in Crime from the Heart of Texas  and North Dallas chapters. We’ll have lots of books from over a dozen Texas mystery authors. I’ll be there most of the weekend with all my books, including the latest Francis Bacon mystery, The Widows Guild.

Come do your Christmas shopping early! What could be more delightful than a signed copy of good book!

 

Yesterday’s news

1945        The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library was established in Alamo Hall, a building southeast of the Alamo in San Antonio. The collection contained over 2,000 Texas books, documents, manuscripts, and paintings. When the library began its first year of operation, it was open three days a week and employed a single librarian. By 1984 its staff had increased to seven. (Sigh.)

 

1919        Doris (Dorie) Miller, first African-American hero of World War II was born in Willow Grove. He was named by the midwife, who was certain he was going to be a girl (and was apparently too stubborn to change her mind! Inspiration for the song, A boy named Sue?) On December 7, 1941, Mess Attendant Second Class Doris Miller was collecting soiled laundry just before 8:00 A.M. When the first bombs blasted his ship at anchor in Pearl Harbor, Miller went to the main deck, where he assisted in moving the mortally wounded captain. He then raced to an unattended deck gun and fired at the attacking planes until forced to abandon ship. It was Miller’s first experience firing such a weapon because black sailors serving in the segregated steward’s branch of the navy were not given the gunnery training received by white sailors. Navy officials conferred the Navy Cross upon Miller on May 27, 1942, in a ceremony at Pearl Harbor. In Houston, Texas, and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, elementary schools have been named for him. An auditorium on the campus of Huston-Tillotson College in Austin is dedicated to his memory. In Chicago the Doris Miller Foundation honors persons who make significant contributions to racial understanding.

 

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