151 | Texas A&M is founded
Old Main, northeast of Legett Hall; College Station | October 4, 1876

152 | Aggies light the first Bonfire
Simpson Drill Field, College Station | 1909

Courtesy of Cushing Library/Texas A&M University

Texas A&M’s first on-campus Bonfire was a modest affair: just a small pile of scrap wood and trash. No photographs of the blaze exist (the picture above is from 1925), but David Chapman, the university’s archivist, believes that it was held on or near Simpson Drill Field. “According to Ernest Langford, class of 1913, the Bonfire burned ‘the night before we went to Austin,’ ” Chapman says. “One could logically assume that it was specifically lit for the Texas game.” Not until World War II did the Bonfire grow in stature, both literally and figuratively. It remained at Simpson Drill Field until 1954, when it moved to Duncan Field. In 1992 the Bonfire was relocated once again, to the Polo Fields, where it remained until the campus tradition was ended by the Bonfire collapse of 1999. —PC

153 | Texas declares independence
Along FM 1155, Washington-on-the-Brazos | March 2, 1836

154 | Brenham Creamery Company opens
First and Church, Brenham | August 26, 1907

155 | The Chicken Ranch opens for business
Rocky Creek Road and Texas Highway 71 frontage road, La Grange | 1915

156 | Charles Whitman’s day of terror begins
906 Jewell, Austin | August 1, 1966

157 | @Twitter explodes at #SXSW
500 East Cesar Chavez, Austin | March 9–14, 2007

158 Bush-Cheney campaign strategizes for the recount
301 Congress Avenue, Austin | November 8, 2000

159 | O. Henry’s career takes a twist
Northwest corner of Sixth and Congress Avenue, Austin | 1894

160 | Karl Rove starts his direct-mail firm
807 Brazos, Austin | October 1981

Courtesy of Bob Daemmrich

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican, a Democrat, or a Communist. It’s hard to argue with the fact that Karl Rove is a political genius. He helped transform Texas from a blue state to a red one, and he propelled George W. Bush to the Governor’s Mansion and the White House. But his career in Texas truly began in suite 402 of the Vaughn Building in downtown Austin, where Rove + Company changed the way direct mail was used in campaigns and to solicit money. Rove was part of a long tradition. Over the years the Vaughn, built in 1958 by Harry Whittington and his partner, Jack Vaughn, has been home to the offices of a who’s who of politicos: George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, John Sharp, Jake Pickle, Elizabeth Ames Jones, John Cornyn, Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Michael Williams, among others. And though Whittington (who found national fame in 2006 as Dick Cheney’s unlucky hunting partner) fondly remembers all of his old tenants, the newer ones are just as special: Today the fourth floor is home to Governor Rick Perry’s political office. —BDS

161 | Whole Foods opens
914 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin | September 20, 1980

162 | Richard Linklater films the final scene of Slacker
3800 Mount Bonnell Drive, Austin | 1989

163 | Armadillo World Headquarters opens
525 ½ Barton Springs Road, Austin | August 7, 1970

164 | Farrah Fawcett is named one of the ten most beautiful coeds at UT
503 West Twenty-seventh, Austin | 1966

165 | Stevie Ray Vaughan tapes the first “Don’t Mess With Texas” commercial
2504-B Whitis Avenue, Studio 6A | December 1985

166 | Ronnie Dugger launches the Texas Observer
504 West Twenty-fourth, Austin | December 13, 1954

167 | The Humanities Research Center opens
2400 Inner Campus Drive, Austin | 1957

168 | Helen Corbitt creates Texas Caviar
2600 San Jacinto Boulevard, Austin | 1940

169 | Michael Dell rebuilds computers in his dorm
2021 Guadalupe, Austin | May 1984

170 | Billy Lee Brammer drinks beer at Scholz Garten
1607 San Jacinto, Austin | 1955

171 | Heman Sweatt rejects makeshift UT Law School
104 East Thirteenth, Austin | 1950

172 | Sam Houston wrestles with the future of Texas—and his own
1010 Colorado, Austin | March 15, 1861

173 | Arsonist attacks Governor’s Mansion
1010 Colorado, Austin | June 8, 2008

174 | The Constitutional Convention convenes
1100 Congress Avenue, Austin | 1875

175 | Governor Rick Perry is sworn in for a historic third full term
1100 Congress Avenue, Austin | January 18, 2011


Read the entire story of 175 moments and places on our list.

To visit every place on our list—or tell us what we missed—go to our Terquasquicentennial Blog.

Check out videos from six locations, including the Capitol in Austin.