Texas now and then

This week in the Hill Country

Spectrum Woodwind Quintet, Fredericksburg, Sunday January 17
Spectrum Winds – Woodwind Quintet – January 17, 2016

Spectrum Winds, a component of the United States Air Force Band of the West, brings the highest standards of musical excellence to its audiences with a passion to honor our past heroes, inspire the  present generation, communicate the Air Force story, and recruit future generations of Airmen. Composed of six world-class musicians, Spectrum Winds explores the diverse world of chamber music for winds and percussion, exposing audiences to traditional woodwind quintet literature, Latin, jazz, Celtic and more.

Paint Night at Maggie Mae’s, every Monday

Grab your friends or come alone for drinks and paint party like no other! There is no experience required and our artist brings zen vibes, good music and down to Earth attitude to the experience.

Yesterday’s news

1871    Gov. E.J. Davis declared martial law in the Texas Hill Country and sent the State Militia to rescue some state troopers who had been jailed in Hillsboro county. You’re thinking, like I did, that the evil Governor was repressing some free spirits, but we’re wrong. This is during Reconstruction. A freedman and his wife were murdered by some reactionaries in neighboring Bosque County. One of the murderers was the son of the largest landowner in the area. When the state police tried to arrest the son, the father roused a mob and imprisoned the troopers. The rich white criminals were fined $3,000, but they got it back from Gov. Richard Cooke 4 years later.

1954    The US Supreme Court heard arguments in the first and only Mexican-American civil-rights case  heard and decided by the SCOTUS during the post-World War II period, Hernández v. the State of Texas. In 1950 Pete Hernández, a migrant cotton picker, was accused of murdering Joe Espinosa in Edna, Texas, a small town in Jackson County, where no person of Mexican origin had served on a jury for at least twenty-five years. The defendants pleaded that class should be considered in balancing a jury, as well as race, because Hispanics were considered white. Espinosa’s lawyers presented comprehensive evidence of discrimination against Mexican-Americans, proving that they were treated as a class apart. 

Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered the unanimous opinion of the court in favor of Hernández and ordered a reversal of conviction. The Supreme Court accepted the concept of distinction by class, that is, between “white” and Hispanic, and found that when laws produce unreasonable and different treatment on such a basis, the constitutional guarantee of equal protection is violated. The court held that Hernández had “the right to be indicted and tried by juries from which all members of his class are not systematically excluded.” This decision was a major triumph for the “other white” concept, the legal strategy of Mexican-American civil-rights activists from 1930 to 1970.

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