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Texas Progressive Alliance June 25, 2012

June 25, 2012

The Texas Progressive Alliance is in search of a shady spot and a cold beverage as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff analyzes the Democratic DA primary and the race for HCDP Chair in Harris County.

WCNews at Eye on Williamson posts about striking janitors in Houston and tax payer give-aways to corporations, Texas is a cheap labor state, and it shows.

PDiddie at Brains and Eggs wonders out loud if the new chair of the Texas Democratic Party might have some explaining to do about the goings-on in Cameron County.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants everyone to know that tort reform didn’t lower health care costs.

At TexasKaos, Libby Shaw writes about what is obvious to everyone with half a brain. Sadly, it still has to be said: Voters voted for Jobs in 2010. The GOP Delivered Witchhunts.

Neil at Texas Liberal offered thoughts on the death of Rodney King.

Texas History, week of June 25

General Custer, once stationed in Texas, meets his Waterloo in Montana,  June 5, 1876

On this day in 1876, George Armstrong Custer and some 265 men of the Seventh U.S. Cavalry were annihilated on the Little Big Horn River. Custer had a Texas history. After an outstanding career in the Union Army during the Civil War, he had been assigned to duty in Texas as part of Gen. Philip H. Sheridan’s effort to prevent Confederate retrenchment in Mexico under the emperor Maximilian. During five months in Hempstead and Austin, he alienated many in his command by strict enforcement of regulations prohibiting foraging and other army predations, while winning the gratitude of many Texans. On the other hand, he also recommended that the army retain control of Texas until the government was “satisfied that a loyal sentiment prevails in at least a majority of the inhabitants.” Custer’s wife, Elizabeth (Bacon), included in her memoir Tenting on the Plains (1887) a charming account of their stay in Texas. Custer’s headquarters building in Austin, the Blind Asylum, located on the “Little Campus” of the University of Texas, has been restored.

Civil War skirmish at Las Rusias,  June 25, 1864

On this day in 1864, a skirmish between Confederate and Union forces was fought at Las Rusias, a colonia located one mile north of the Rio Grande in southwest Cameron County. Confederate officer Refugio Benavides of Laredo led a company and joined John Salmon (Rip) Ford to overrun Union forces. Ford, a colonel of the Second Texas Cavalry who engaged in border operations protecting Confederate-Mexican trade, praised Benavides for his gallant conduct during the battle. Las Rusias had also been the site of a skirmish on April 25, 1846, when Mexican troops ambushed an American patrol; the shedding of “American blood upon American soil” sparked the Mexican War.

Ma Ferguson dies, June 25, 1961

On this day in 1961, Ma Ferguson, the first woman governor of Texas, died of heart failure. Miriam Amanda Ferguson was born in Bell County in 1875. She married James Edward Ferguson in 1899 and served as first lady of Texas while he was governor from 1915 to 1917. After his impeachment, Miriam entered the race for the Texas governorship. She won an August run-off and the November general election, thus becoming the second woman governor in United States history. Political strife and controversy characterized her first administration. Mrs. Ferguson pardoned an average of 100 convicts a month, and she and “Pa” were accused of accepting bribes. Controversy helped Dan Moody defeat her in 1926. Ma ran again unsuccessfully in 1930, and in 1932 she narrowly won the Democratic nomination, then defeated the Republican nominee. Her second term as governor was much less controversial than her first; nonetheless, the Fergusons temporarily retired from politics in 1934. Ma Ferguson did declare for governor once again in 1940, alleging that she could not resist a “popular draft” for the nomination, but failed to unseat incumbent W. Lee O’Daniel. After her husband’s death in 1944, Miriam Ferguson retired to private life in Austin.

June 25
General Custer, once stationed in Texas, meets his Waterloo in Montana (1876)
Spurs are champions! (1999)
Civil War skirmish at Las Rusias (1864)
Ma Ferguson dies (1961)
June 26
Mexican garrison surrenders in prelude to Texas Revolution (1832)
WFAA radio goes on the air (1922)
Work Projects Administration establishes NYA (1935)
June 27
Indian raiders strike again at Adobe Walls (1874)
Suffragist leads the way in Harris County (1918)
Legendary Texas naturalist born in Illinois (1878)
June 28
Texas Senate ratifies women’s right to vote (1919)
Texas Jack Omohundro dies (1880)
Texas humorist wins record libel award (1962)
June 29
Democratic convention ends as split party agonizes over Catholic nominee (1928)
Sculptor Elisabet Ney dies (1907)
Residents of homestead community petition for incorporation (1949)
June 30
Henry Flipper is dismissed from the military (1882)
Historic Frontier Echo publishes first edition (1875)
Texas fiddler performs on first commercial country music recording (1922)

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