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Texas History

Texas History |
January 1, 2003

Two Wings and a Prayer

Legend has it that an East Texas preacher's homemade flying machine took off in late 1902, nearly a year before Kitty Hawk. Are the history books wrong about who was first in flight—or are they right, brothers?

Texas History |
November 1, 2002

Lights Out

Most of the lighthouses that once kept watch over the Texas Gulf Coast have vanished, victims of time and the modern world. Yet a few romantic relics remain.

Texas History |
June 30, 2002

Dead Line

Indians slain by settlers and vice versa. Lynchings and shoot-outs. Poisonings and dismemberings. Assassinations and massacres. Our past three hundred years or so have been, uh, colorful. A fond look back at the murder and mayhem.

Texas History |
April 1, 2002

Our Towns

What's the story behind "Bug Tussle"? "Old Dime Box"? "Frognot"? It turns out there's more to a name than I ever expected.

Texas History |
December 1, 2001

Tex Education, Part 4

Can you keep up with the state's most famous Joneses? Get to the bottom of this burning question—and 21 others—by taking the final installment of my Texas literacy test.

Music |
December 1, 2001

A Long, Strange Trip

The life of Roky Erickson——one of the most influential Texas rock and rollers of all time——has been one calamity after another. His family and friends have taken care of him with the best of intentions, but you know what they say about the road to hell.

Texas History |
September 30, 2001

Tex Education, Part 3

What tall Texan dated top actress during Hollywood's heyday? Find out the answer-and other Lone Star lore-by taking the penultimate installment of my literacy test.

Texas History |
May 31, 2001

Tex Education, Part 2

In 1883, being caught with what everyday object could have gotten you killed? Find out the answer, along with 24 other equally fascinating tidbits, in the second installment of my Texas-literacy test.

Texas History |
April 30, 2001

The Second Battle of Goliad

In March 1836, 342 men fighting for Texas independence surrendered to Mexican general José de Urrea. A week later they were shot on orders of Santa Anna. Was it a massacre, as generations of schoolchildren have been taught, or an execution? The question has divided a historic Texas town.

Texas History |
February 1, 2001

The Whole Shootin’ Match

The most famous bank-robbing lovers of all time weren't nearly as glamorous as Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. Although the fragile, pretty Bonnie Parker had her good points, Clyde Barrow was a scrawny, two-timing psychopath. They were straight out of a country and western ballad. And when they died in

Texas History |
January 1, 2001

Return to Padre

For years my relatives have claimed that they were robbed of oil and gas royalties on Padre Island. Last May a Brownsville jury agreed, vindicating—for now—the family’s proud heritage and proving that, sometimes, the little guy does win.

Music |
April 30, 2000

A Great Day In Austin

Together for the first time: Two Tommys (Hancock and Shannon), two Montes (Montomery and Warden), two Hubbards (Blues Boys and Ray Wylie) and two Clarks (Carrie and W.C.), plus a Butthole Surfer, three Gourds, six Bells of Joy, a Tailgator, and 87 others who give their all, creatively speaking, to

Music |
April 30, 2000

Gotta Lubbock

Buddy Holly. Waylon Jennings. Carolyn Hester. The Hancocks. The Flatlanders. An oral history of the state's most storied music scene.

Politics & Policy |
July 31, 1999

Alone Together

No one denies that there was love at the center of Lady Bird Johnson’s marriage to LBJ. But like Hillary Clinton, she endured quite a bit, spousally speaking, as her husband’s star was on the rise.

Texas Primer |
May 31, 1999

Américo Paredes

Which Américo Paredes book was made into a movie starring Edward James Olmos?

Texas History |
January 1, 1999

Case Study

ALL OUR LIVES—our beliefs, our government, our history—changed that day [“The Assassination at 35,” November 1998]. I was thirteen when President Kennedy was killed, and I have always believed it was a conspiracy. After this issue, I don’t. Sis Hoskins Cedar Creek A PRISTINE PRIMER. Remarkable writing, editing, and photo

November 1, 1998

Conspiracy Dearies

It took a couple of seconds for the president to be killed, 35 years for mountains of conflicting evidence to pile up, and two months for associate editor Michael Hall and assistant editor Pamela Colloff to sift through it all and compile a sort of highlight reel of Kennedy assassination

Texas History |
April 30, 1998

The Newton Boys

UNTIL A STAR-STUDDED FILM SHOT THEM BACK into the spotlight, the Newton Boys had faded from public memory. Famous during the twenties, the four brothers—Jess, Willis (below left), Doc, and Joe (right)—were part Western desperadoes, part newfangled gangsters. They pulled off dozens of bank and train robberies but, unlike more-notorious

Texas History |
April 1, 1998

Forget the Alamo

Sorry, T. R. Fehrenbach: the new Texas historians don’t care about Davy Crockett or other old icons. To them, the real heroes are women, blacks, and yes, Mexican Americans.

Texas History |
April 1, 1998

Is Waco Wacko?

After the latest standoff there�by an armed UFO cultist�you might think so. But on the fifth anniversary of the Branch Davidian siege, the Central Texas community is doing just fine, thank you.

Film & TV |
March 1, 1998

Joan Crawford

All her life, Joan Crawford raised other people’s eyebrows as often as she reapplied her own. From the time she arrived in Hollywood, the temperamental Texan provoked hostility and gossip, and her wide-eyed flapper persona soon hardened into that of a sleek, steely sophisticate. But the arrogance accompanied a massive talent;

Texas History |
July 31, 1997

Alamo Tome

This month Eakin Press will publish The Alamo Almanac and Book of Lists. Among the interesting items compiled by author William R. Chemerka is one that has nothing to do with history—not really, anyway: It’s the Top Twenty Most Frequently Asked Questions at the Alamo.1. “Where’s the bathroom?”2. “Is this

Texas History |
July 31, 1997

Judge Roy Bean

WEST OF THE PECOS THERE IS NO LAW; west of El Paso there is no God.” So went the saying in unsettled West Texas—until the day in 1882 when Roy Bean became a justice of the peace in dusty little Langtry, where the sign over the Jersey Lilly, his combination

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