Pease River

Texas History

Texas History |
October 23, 2013

Henry Gonzales’s Letter to Jackie Kennedy

P.O. Box 9652El Paso, Texas 79986Dec. 8, 1963Mrs. J.F. KennedyWashington, D.C.Dear Mrs. Kennedy:I am but a humble postman and I realize the many letters you have received, which is but deserving to you, throughout this wide world. We at our house have continued to mourn the great loss to all

Texas History |
October 23, 2013

Claudine Skeat’s Letter to Jackie Kennedy

Mrs. John F. KennedyWhite HouseWashington, D.C. Dear Mrs. Kennedy,You and President Kenney were in my office a week ago yesterday.I am secretary to General Bedwell at Brooks Air Force Base, and I will forever be haunted by how handsome and healthy and happy you two looked – and how gracious you

News & Politics |
October 23, 2013

Suzan Lane’s Letter to Jackie Kennedy

Dec. 6, 1963Houston, TexasDear Mrs. Kennedy,I am ten years old. When I saw them moving President Kennedy’s rocking chairs out of the White House, a great sadness entered my heart.You made such a beautiful collection of treasures from other Presidents of the United States. Do you think you could find

Texas History |
October 23, 2013

Marcy Wentworth’s Letter to Jackie Kennedy

5509 Dalwood DriveAustin, Texas 78723November 25, 1963Dear Mrs. Kennedy,There are no words in any language to express truly our grief and the sympathy we wish to extend to you and your family on the death of your husband, the President – our President. We Texans pride ourselves in our state,

Texas History |
October 15, 2013

The Assassination at 50

In November 1973, Texas Monthly, which was still in its first year of existence, marked the tenth anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy with a profile of Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother, Marguerite; the cover, however, went to Tom Landry. Two years later, in November 1975, the

Texas History |
August 20, 2013

The Genesis of the Barbecue Joint

Sifting through old Texas newspapers, I found the first mention of commercial smoked meat from the Brenham Weekly Banner, which announced that a Bastrop butcher "keeps on hand at his stall a ready stock of barbecued meats and cooked sausages."

Texas History |
January 23, 2013

The Walking Deadline

For decades, the state’s big urban newspapers helped bind together the inhabitants of our major cities. Now those papers are threatened by a rapidly evolving (some might say collapsing) business model. Is there hope for daily journalism in Texas?

Texas History |
January 21, 2013

People We’ll Miss

Big Tex will be back. Sadly, we cannot the say same of Larry Hagman, Darrell Royal, Amarillo Slim, Leslie, and the many other Texans we lost in 2012. 

Texas History |
January 21, 2013

The Children of Texas

I was never certain how to explain the importance of the state to my three daughters. Now that I have two grandsons—named Mason and Travis, no less—I’ve realized something that I should have known all along. 

Texas History |
January 21, 2013

When the Sky Ran Dry

Bad as the current drought is, it has yet to match the most arid spell in Texas history. Nearly two dozen survivors of the fifties drought remember the time it never rained.

Texas History |
January 21, 2013

The Most Trusted Freshman in America

Long before Walter Cronkite was the voice of the news, he was just a kid from Houston at the University of Texas, chasing girls, acting in school plays, and drinking cheap beer. Yet Douglas Brinkley, whose new biography of Cronkite will be released this month, argues that it was in

Texas History |
January 21, 2013

The Paper Chase

Houston attorney Bill Kroger and state Supreme Court chief justice Wallace Jefferson are on a mission to rescue thousands of crumbling, fading, and fascinating legal documents from district and county clerks’ offices all over the state. Can they save Texas history before it’s too late?

Texas History |
January 20, 2013

Ring of Fire

On November 18, 1999, at 2:42 a.m., the most passionately observed collegiate tradition in Texas—if not the world—came crashing down. Nearly sixty people were on top of the Texas A&M Bonfire when the million-pound structure collapsed, killing twelve, wounding dozens more, and eventually leading to the suspension of the ninety-year-old

Texas History |
January 20, 2013

“Oh, My God! It’s Our Children!”

On March 18, 1937, the residents of New London, southeast of Tyler, endured the worst small-town tragedy in U.S. history: an explosion at the combined junior-senior high school that killed some three hundred students and teachers.

Feature |
January 20, 2013

The Slow Life and Fast Death of DJ Screw

He was one of the most influential cultural figures in Texas—–a generous godfather to a generation of rappers, an entrepreneur of Houston's mean streets, the master of a scene fueled by codeine cough syrup and hip-hop beats. When he overdosed in November at the age of 29, it was easy

Music |
January 20, 2013

Birthplaces of the Blues

Want to see the Texas of Leadbelly, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Mance Lipscomb, and other pioneering musicians of the twentieth century? Your trip through time begins near Washington-on-the-Brazos.

Texas History |
January 20, 2013

You Aren’t Here

The very spot where William Barrett Travis wrote his famous “victory or death” letter is a Ripley’s Haunted Adventures. And other ways gross commercialization has desecrated the Alamo’s sacred battleground site.

Texas History |
January 20, 2013

Lyndon Johnson on the Record

Working on his memoir one day in 1969, LBJ spoke more frankly into a tape recorder about the Kennedys, Vietnam, and other subjects than he ever had before. The transcript of that tape has never been published—until now. Michael Beschloss explains its historical significance.

News & Politics |
January 20, 2013

The Man Who Saved LBJ

Who deserves credit for Lyndon Johnson's newly burnished reputation? Harry Middleton, the director of the LBJ presidential library, who made hours and hours of White House audiotapes public—and in doing so, remade history.

Texas History |
January 20, 2013

The Aggie Bonfire Tragedy

What’s so important about a stack of wood? Every Aggie knows that the answer is tradition—which is why, after a catastrophe that took the lives of twelve young men and women, the decision of whether to continue, change, or call a halt to the bonfire looms so large at Texas

Texas History |
January 20, 2013

O Sister, Where Art Thou?

History makes no mention of what was one of the most popular all-female country acts ever. Yet the story of the Goree Girls-inmates who banded together in the forties at Texas' sole penitentiary for women—is worth a listen.