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The Best From Helen Corbitt's Kitchens

The Best From Helen Corbitt's Kitchens

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Date: August 15, 2000
Creator: MacDonald, Patty Vineyard
Description: Stanley Marcus declared Helen Corbitt "the Balenciaga of Food." Earl Wilson described her simply as "the best cook in Texas." Lyndon B. Johnson loved her stroganoff and wished she would accompany him—and Lady Bird—to the White House to run the dining room.
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Bloody Bill Longley: the Mythology of a Gunfighter

Bloody Bill Longley: the Mythology of a Gunfighter

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Date: March 15, 2011
Creator: Miller, Rick
Description: William Preston “Bill” Longley (1851-1878), though born into a strong Christian family, turned bad during Reconstruction in Texas, much like other young boys of that time, including the deadly John Wesley Hardin. He went on a murderous rampage over the last few years of his life, shotgunning Wilson Anderson in retribution for Anderson’s killing of a relative; killing George Thomas in McLennan County; and shooting William “Lou” Shroyer in a running gunfight. Longley even killed the Reverend William R. Lay while Lay was milking a cow. Once he was arrested in 1877, and subsequently sentenced to hang, his name became known statewide as an outlaw and a murderer. Through a series of “autobiographical” letters written from jail while awaiting the hangman, Longley created and reveled in his self-centered image as a fearsome, deadly gunfighter—the equal, if not the superior, of the vaunted Hardin. Declaring himself the “worst outlaw” in Texas, the story that he created became the basis for his historical legacy, unfortunately relied on and repeated over and over by previous biographers, but all wrong. In truth, Bill Longley was not the daring figure that he attempted to paint. Rick Miller’s thorough research shows that he was, instead, a ...
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Inside John Haynie's Studio: a Master Teacher's Lessons on Trumpet and Life

Inside John Haynie's Studio: a Master Teacher's Lessons on Trumpet and Life

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Date: February 15, 2007
Creator: Haynie, John & Hardin, Anne
Description: “This wonderful collection of essays is a treasure of insight into the mind and heart of one of our great American performers and teachers. If the Arban book is the trumpet player’s ‘Bible,’ then I’d have to say Inside John Haynie’s Studio is the trumpet teacher’s ‘Bible.’”–Ronald Romm, founder, Canadian Brass and Professor of Trumpet, University of Illinois “The essays in this remarkable volume go far beyond trumpet pedagogy, providing an exquisite portrait of the studio practices of one of the first full-time single-instrument wind faculty members in an American college or university setting. John’s concern for educating the whole person, not just cramming for the job market, emanates from every page. This book showcases a teaching career that has become legendary.”–James Scott, Dean of the College of Music, University of North Texas “The principle that pervades my entire educational philosophy did not come from education or psychology classes; it did not come from the many sermons preached by my Dad and hundreds of other pulpiteers. It came from John Haynie’s studio.”–Douglas Smith, Mildred and Ernest Hogan Professor of Music, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary “I read a book like this and I come out the other end asking, ‘Why didn’t ...
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A Texas Baptist Power Struggle: the Hayden Controversy

A Texas Baptist Power Struggle: the Hayden Controversy

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Date: November 15, 2005
Creator: Early, Joseph E. Jr.
Description: The Hayden Controversy was one of the most bitter feuds in Baptist history. In the nineteenth century, Protestant denominations in Texas endured difficult transitions from a loosely organized frontier people to a more cooperative and organized body capable of meeting the needs of growing denominations. The Methodists, Churches of Christ, and Baptists all endured major splits before their survival was certain. Of all the Protestant bodies, however, the Hayden Controversy was the fiercest and most widespread, with repercussions that continue to affect current Baptist life. Joseph E. Early, Jr., tells the story of how one man, Samuel Augustus Hayden, almost destroyed the newly organized Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) before it could take root. In the final decades of the nineteenth century, Hayden caused such unrest among Texas Baptists that after a failed attempt to take over the BGCT, he was expelled from the state body. In turn, he created a rival organization, the Baptist Missionary Association (BMA), which continued to fight perceived oppression by the BGCT. While trying to take over the BGCT, Hayden, through his newspaper, accused his enemies of embezzlement, heresy, arson, and strong-arm tactics. Haydens high-profile opponents included some of the most powerful and well-known ...
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Roadside Crosses in Contemporary Memorial Culture

Roadside Crosses in Contemporary Memorial Culture

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Date: October 15, 2002
Creator: Everett, Holly
Description: A fifteen-year-old high school cheerleader is killed while driving on a dangerous curve one afternoon. By that night, her classmates have erected a roadside cross decorated with silk flowers, not as a grim warning, but as a loving memorial. In this study of roadside crosses, the first of its kind, Holly Everett presents the history of these unique commemoratives and their relationship to contemporary memorial culture. The meaning of these markers is presented in the words of grieving parents, high school students, public officials, and private individuals whom the author interviewed during her fieldwork in Texas. Everett documents over thirty-five memorial sites with twenty-five photographs representing the wide range of creativity. Examining the complex interplay of politics, culture, and belief, she emphasizes the importance of religious expression in everyday life and analyzes responses to death that this tradition. Roadside crosses are a meeting place for communication, remembrance, and reflection, embodying on-going relationships between the living and the dead. They are a bridge between personal and communal pain–and one of the oldest forms of memorial culture. Scholars in folklore, American studies, cultural geography, cultural/social history, and material culture studies will be especially interested in this study.
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Tips, Tools, and Techniques to Care for Antiques, Collectibles, and Other Treasures

Tips, Tools, and Techniques to Care for Antiques, Collectibles, and Other Treasures

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Date: April 15, 2012
Creator: Caraway, Georgia Kemp
Description: What common baking ingredient can conceal white rings on furniture? (Crushed pecans.) How do you detect a repair in a pottery vase you want to buy? (Look at it under a black light.) What’s the best way to remove water damage from your great-grandfather’s Bible? (Put it in your freezer.) Answers to these questions and many more are included in this convenient handbook by long-time antiques expert Dr. Georgia Kemp Caraway. Organized alphabetically, Tips, Tools, and Techniques is easy to consult about the cleaning and maintenance of common antique and collectible objects, including metal advertising signs, glassware, clothing, and jewelry. Addenda provide information such as how to get a good deal at auction, the dates of Chinese dynasties, and U.S. patent numbers. An especially handy pronunciation guide helps the monolingual among us speak with confidence about the provenance of Gallé ware and Schlegelmilch porcelain. Compact yet authoritative, this handbook will appeal to both dealers and buyers, as well as everyone with something from Grandma in the attic.
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Minding the Store: a Memoir

Minding the Store: a Memoir

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Date: August 15, 2001
Creator: Marcus, Stanley
Description: “‘There is never a good sale for Neiman Marcus unless it’s a good buy for the customer.’ That was one of the first declarations of business philosophy I heard my father, Herbert Marcus, make soon after I came to work at Neiman Marcus in 1926.” Thus began the 1974 edition of Minding the Store. Reprinted in hardcover in 1997 to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Neiman Marcus, it is now available for the first time in paperback and ebook. Mr. Marcus has spent most of his life not only in helping to create a retailing enterprise renowned throughout the world as the epitome of quality, but also in setting high standards for the level of taste of all who desire "the better things in life." In doing so he has played a key role in making Dallas itself a success. "Mr. Stanley," as he is affectionately called by all his Neiman Marcus friends and associates, has made The Store a legendary success. Although he retired from active involvement in Neiman Marcus in 1977, the influences of the philosophies of business he developed remain an important part of the training of Neiman Marcus personnel. Those basic principles—best exemplified by his belief ...
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The Bridges of Vietnam: From the Journals of U.s. Marine Intelligence Officer

The Bridges of Vietnam: From the Journals of U.s. Marine Intelligence Officer

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Date: May 15, 2001
Creator: Edwards, Fred L., Jr.
Description: As an intelligence officer during the Vietnam War, Fred L. Edwards, Jr., was instructed to visit every major ground unit in the country to search for intelligence sources—long range patrols, boats, electronic surveillance, and agent operations. “Edwards found time to keep a journal, an extremely well-written, sharply observed report of his adventures. Along with contemporary postscripts and a helpful historical chronology, that journal is a significant improvement on most Vietnam memoirs. It is the record of a Marine’s on-the-job education.”—Proceedings
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The Deadliest Outlaws: the Ketchum Gang and the Wild Bunch

The Deadliest Outlaws: the Ketchum Gang and the Wild Bunch

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Date: August 15, 2009
Creator: Burton, Jeffrey
Description: After Tom Ketchum had been sentenced to death for attempting to hold up a railway train, his attorneys argued that the penalty was “cruel and unusual” for the offense charged. The appeal failed and he became the first individual—and the last—ever to be executed for a crime of this sort. He was hanged in 1901; in a macabre ending to his life of crime, his head was torn away by the rope as he fell from the gallows. Tom Ketchum was born in 1863 on a farm near the fringe of the Texas frontier. At the age of nine, he found himself an orphan and was raised by his older brothers. In his mid-twenties he left home for the life of an itinerant trail driver and ranch hand. He returned to Texas, murdered a man, and fled. Soon afterwards, he and his brother Sam killed two men in New Mexico. A year later, he and two other former cowboys robbed a train in Texas. The career of the Ketchum Gang was under way. In their day, these men were the most daring of their kind, and the most feared. They were accused of crimes that were not theirs, but their ...
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American Voudou: Journey Into a Hidden World

American Voudou: Journey Into a Hidden World

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Date: November 15, 1999
Creator: Davis, Rod
Description: Voudou (an older spelling of voodoo)—a pantheistic belief system developed in West Africa and transported to the Americas during the diaspora of the slave trade—is the generic term for a number of similar African religions which mutated in the Americas, including santeria, candomble, macumbe, obeah, Shango Baptist, etc. Since its violent introduction in the Caribbean islands, it has been the least understood and most feared religion of the New World—suppressed, out-lawed or ridiculed from Haiti to Hattiesburg. Yet with the exception of Zora Neale Hurston's accounts more than a half-century ago and a smattering of lurid, often racist paperbacks, studies of this potent West African theology have focused almost exclusively on Haiti, Cuba and the Caribbean basin. American Voudou turns our gaze back to American shores, principally towards the South, the most important and enduring stronghold of the voudou faith in America and site of its historic yet rarely recounted war with Christianity. This chronicle of Davis' determined search for the true legacy of voudou in America reveals a spirit-world from New Orleans to Miami which will shatter long-held stereotypes about the religion and its role in our culture. The real-life dramas of the practitioners, true believers and skeptics of ...
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Out of Time: Stories

Out of Time: Stories

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Date: November 15, 2011
Creator: Schmidt, Geoff
Description: A sweet slipstream stew, a call and response to Hemingway’s In Our Time, Geoff Schmidt’s debut collection Out of Time is a meditation on meaning and mortality, and the ways that story and the imagined life can sustain us. In these stories, vengeful infants destroy and rebuild the world, rivalrous siblings and their mother encounter witches and ghosts and the possessed, Barack Obama and Keith Richards smoke their last cigarettes, men and women with cancer variously don gorilla suits or experience all time simultaneously. Time is running out for all of the people in these stories, yet the power of language, the human ability to tell, to imagine and invent, is a redemptive force. “The stories in Out of Time chase after the secrets and sorrows of families, revealing the lengths people will go, and the harm they will do, to keep their worlds together. These characters are not crazy, they are in love and afraid. Geoff Schmidt writes a lucid, new mythology in prose that's limned with fear and awe. To read these stories is to feel the force and urgency of a new and vital literary voice.”—Ben Marcus, author of Age of Wire and String, and judge
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Warriors and Scholars: a Modern War Reader

Warriors and Scholars: a Modern War Reader

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Date: August 15, 2005
Creator: Lane, Peter B. & Marcello, Ronald E.
Description: Few works of military history are able to move between the battlefield and academia. But Warriors and Scholars takes the best from both worlds by presenting the viewpoints of senior, eminent military historians on topics of their specialty, alongside veteran accounts for the modern war being discussed. Editors Peter Lane and Ronald Marcello have added helpful contextual and commentary footnotes for student readers. The papers, originally from the University of North Texas's annual Military History Seminar, are organized chronologically from World War II to the present day, making this a modern war reader of great use for the professional and the student. Scholars and topics include David Glantz on the Soviet Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945; Robert Divine on the decision to use the atomic bomb; George Herring on Lyndon Baines Johnson as Commander-in-Chief; and Brian Linn comparing the U.S. war and occupation in Iraq with the 1899-1902 war in the Philippines. Veterans and their topics include flying with the Bloody 100th by John Luckadoo; an enlisted man in the Pacific theater of World War II, by Roy Appleton; a POW in Vietnam, by David Winn; and Cold War duty in Moscow, by Charles Hamm.
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This Corner of Canaan: Essays on Texas in Honor of Randolph B. Campbell

This Corner of Canaan: Essays on Texas in Honor of Randolph B. Campbell

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Date: February 15, 2013
Creator: McCaslin, Richard B.; Chipman, Donald E. & Torget, Andrew J.
Description: Randolph B. “Mike” Campbell has spent the better part of the last five decades helping Texans rediscover their history, producing a stream of definitive works on the social, political, and economic structures of the Texas past. Through meticulous research and terrific prose, Campbell’s collective work has fundamentally remade how historians understand Texan identity and the state’s southern heritage, as well as our understanding of such contentious issues as slavery, westward expansion, and Reconstruction. Campbell’s pioneering work in local and county records has defined the model for grassroots research and community studies in the field. More than any other scholar, Campbell has shaped our modern understanding of Texas. In this collection of seventeen original essays, Campbell’s colleagues, friends, and students offer a capacious examination of Texas’s history—ranging from the Spanish era through the 1960s War on Poverty—to honor Campbell’s deep influence on the field. Focusing on themes and methods that Campbell pioneered, the essays debate Texas identity, the creation of nineteenth-century Texas, the legacies of the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the remaking of the Lone Star State during the twentieth century. Featuring some of the most well-known names in the field—as well as rising stars—the volume offers the latest scholarship ...
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Bill Jason Priest, Community College Pioneer

Bill Jason Priest, Community College Pioneer

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Date: February 15, 2004
Creator: Whitson, Kathleen Krebbs
Description: There are few things that are purely American. On that short list are baseball and the two-year community college. Bill Jason Priest possessed skill and acumen for both. The better part of his life was spent developing and defining the junior college into the comprehensive community college. His contributions earned him a prestigious place in the annals of higher education, but his personality was not one of a stereotypical stodgy educator, nor is the story of his life a dry read. After working his way through college, Priest played professional baseball before serving in Naval Intelligence during World War II. His varied experiences helped shape his leadership style, often labeled as autocratic and sometimes truculent in conservative convictions. The same relentless drive that brought him criticism also brought him success and praise. Forthright honesty and risk-taking determination combined with vision brought about many positive results. Priest’s career in higher education began with the two-year college system in California before he was lured to Texas in 1965 to head the Dallas County Junior College District. Over the next fifteen years Priest transformed the junior college program into the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) and built it up to seven colleges. ...
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Savage Frontier: Rangers, Riflemen, and Indian Wars in Texas, Volume I, 1835 - 1837

Savage Frontier: Rangers, Riflemen, and Indian Wars in Texas, Volume I, 1835 - 1837

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Date: September 15, 2007
Creator: Moore, Stephen L.
Description: This first volume of the Savage Frontier series is a comprehensive account of the formative years of the legendary Texas Rangers, focusing on the three-year period between 1835 and 1837, when Texas was struggling to gain its independence from Mexico and assert itself as a new nation. Stephen L. Moore vividly portrays another struggle of the settlers of Texas to tame a wilderness frontier and secure a safe place to build their homes and raise their families. Moore provides fresh detail about each ranging unit formed during the Texas Revolution and narrates their involvement in the pivotal battle of San Jacinto. New ranger battalions were created following the revolution, after Indian attacks against settlers increased. One notorious attack occurred against the settlers of Parker's Fort, which had served as a ranger station during the revolution. By 1837 President Sam Houston had allowed the army to dwindle, leaving only a handful of ranging units to cover the vast Republic. These frontiersmen endured horse rustling raids and ambushes, fighting valiantly even when greatly outnumbered in battles such as the Elm Creek Fight, Post Oak Springs Massacre, and the Stone Houses Fight. Through extensive use of primary military documents and first-person accounts, Moore ...
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A Sniper in the Tower: the Charles Whitman Murders

A Sniper in the Tower: the Charles Whitman Murders

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Date: March 15, 1997
Creator: Lavergne, Gary M.
Description: On August 1, 1966, Charles Joseph Whitman ascended the University of Texas Tower and committed what was then the largest simultaneous mass murder in American history. He gunned down forty-five people inside and around the Tower before he was killed by two Austin police officers. During the previous evening he had killed his wife and mother, bringing the total to sixteen people dead and at least thirty-one wounded. The murders spawned debates over issues which still plague America today: domestic violence, child abuse, drug abuse, military indoctrination, the insanity defense, and the delicate balance between civil liberties and public safety. "An outstanding job of chronicling one of the most significant cases in the annals of American crime. . . . Lavergne skillfully researched, documented, and analyzed a case that in many ways defined the concept of ‘mass murder’ . . . will likely become a classic in anyone’s library of true crime editions."--James Alan Fox, Dean of Criminal Justice, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, and an authority on mass murder
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Hell in an Loc: the 1972 Easter Invasion and the Battle That Saved South Viet Nam

Hell in an Loc: the 1972 Easter Invasion and the Battle That Saved South Viet Nam

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Date: November 15, 2009
Creator: Lâm, Quang Thi
Description: In 1972 a North Vietnamese offensive of more than 30,000 men and 100 tanks smashed into South Vietnam and raced to capture Saigon. All that stood in their way was a small band of 6,800 South Vietnamese (ARVN) soldiers and militiamen, and a handful of American advisors with U.S. air support, guarding An Loc, a town sixty miles north of Saigon and on the main highway to it. This depleted army, outnumbered and outgunned, stood its ground and fought to the end and succeeded. Against all expectations, the ARVN beat back furious assaults from three North Vietnamese divisions, supported by artillery and armored regiments, during three months of savage fighting. This victory was largely unreported in the U.S. media, which had effectively lost interest in the war after the disengagement of most U.S. forces. Thi believes that it is time to set the record straight. Without denying the tremendous contribution of the U.S. advisors and pilots, this book is written primarily to tell the South Vietnamese side of the story and, more importantly, to render justice to the South Vietnamese soldier.
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Through Animals' Eyes, Again: Stories of Wildlife Rescue

Through Animals' Eyes, Again: Stories of Wildlife Rescue

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Date: August 15, 2006
Creator: Cuny, Lynn Marie
Description: From the author of Through Animals’ Eyes come more true stories from the rare perspective of someone who not only cares for the animals she treats, but also has never wanted nor tried to tame or change them. Lynn Cuny founded Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation (WRR) in 1977 in her backyard in San Antonio. It has since grown to 187 acres and now rescues more than 7,000 animals annually and maintains an emergency hotline 365 days a year. Native animals are released back into the wild, and those non-native or severely injured animals that cannot be released become permanent Sanctuary residents. Through her stories, Lynn hopes to dispel the belief that animals do not reason, have emotions, or show compassion for each other. Lynn’s stories cover the humorous and the tragic, the surprising and the inevitable. The animals she describes range from the orphaned baby Rhesus monkey who found a new mother in an old monkey rescued from a lab, to the brave red-tailed hawk who was illegally shot, but healed to soar again. The stories will touch your heart and help you see “through animals’ eyes.” “These true accounts, as amazing as some of them are with their unlikely ...
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Pride of Place: a Contemporary Anthology of Texas Nature Writing

Pride of Place: a Contemporary Anthology of Texas Nature Writing

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Date: January 15, 2006
Creator: Taylor, David
Description: Since Roy Bedichek's influential Adventures with a Texas Naturalist, no book has attempted to explore the uniqueness of Texas nature, or reflected the changes in the human landscape that have accelerated since Bedichek's time. Pride of Place updates Bedichek's discussion by acknowledging the increased urbanization and the loss of wildspace in today's state. It joins other recent collections of regional nature writing while demonstrating what makes Texas uniquely diverse. These fourteen essays are held together by the story of Texas pride, the sense that from West Texas to the Coastal Plains, we and the landscape are important and worthy of pride, if not downright bravado. This book addresses all the major regions of Texas. Beginning with Roy Bedichek's essay "Still Water," it includes Carol Cullar and Barbara "Barney" Nelson on the Rio Grande region of West Texas, John Graves's evocative "Kindred Spirits" on Central Texas, Joe Nick Patoski's celebration of Hill Country springs, Pete Gunter on the Piney Woods, David Taylor on North Texas, Gary Clark and Gerald Thurmond on the Coastal Plains, Ray Gonzales and Marian Haddad on El Paso, Stephen Harrigan and Wyman Meinzer on West Texas, and Naomi Shihab Nye on urban San Antonio. This anthology will ...
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The Light Crust Doughboys Are on the Air: Celebrating Seventy Years of Texas Music

The Light Crust Doughboys Are on the Air: Celebrating Seventy Years of Texas Music

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Date: September 15, 2002
Creator: Dempsey, John Mark
Description: Millions of Texans and Southwesterners have been touched over the years by the Light Crust Doughboys. From 1930 to 1952, fans faithfully tuned in to their early-morning and, later, noontime radio program, and turned out in droves to hear them play live. The Doughboys embodied the very essence of the “golden era” of radio—live performances and the dominance of programming by advertising agencies. Their radio program began as a way to sell Light Crust Flour. Their early impresario, W. Lee “Pappy” O'Daniel, quickly learned how to exploit the power of radio to influence voters, and he put that lesson to good use to become a two-time Texas governor and the model for Pappy O'Daniel in the movie, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? But the group was more than a way to push flour; the talented musicians associated with them included Bob Wills and Milton Brown, each of whom receive credit for founding western swing. With the demise of their regular radio program, the Light Crust Doughboys had to remake themselves. Trailblazers in western swing, the Doughboys explored many other musical genres, including gospel, for which they were nominated for Grammys in 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2002. They continue to play ...
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Pacific Blitzkrieg: World War II in the Central Pacific

Pacific Blitzkrieg: World War II in the Central Pacific

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Date: October 15, 2013
Creator: Lacey, Sharon Tosi
Description: Pacific Blitzkrieg closely examines the planning, preparation, and execution of ground operations for five major invasions in the Central Pacific (Guadalcanal, Tarawa, the Marshalls, Saipan, and Okinawa). The commanders on the ground had to integrate the U.S. Army and Marine Corps into a single striking force, something that would have been difficult in peacetime, but in the midst of a great global war, it was a monumental task. Yet, ultimate success in the Pacific rested on this crucial, if somewhat strained, partnership and its accomplishments. Despite the thousands of works covering almost every aspect of World War II in the Pacific, until now no one has examined the detailed mechanics behind this transformation at the corps and division level. Sharon Tosi Lacey makes extensive use of previously untapped primary research material to re-examine the development of joint ground operations, the rapid transformation of tactics and equipment, and the evolution of command relationships between army and marine leadership. This joint venture was the result of difficult and patient work by commanders and evolving staffs who acted upon the lessons of each engagement with remarkable speed. For every brilliant strategic and operational decision of the war, there were thousands of minute actions ...
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Fort Worth Characters

Fort Worth Characters

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Date: October 15, 2009
Creator: Selcer, Richard F.
Description: Fort Worth history is far more than the handful of familiar names that every true-blue Fort Worther hears growing up: leaders such as Amon Carter, B. B. Paddock, J. Frank Norris, and William McDonald. Their names are indexed in the history books for ready reference. But the drama that is Fort Worth history contains other, less famous characters who played important roles, like Judge James Swayne, Madam Mary Porter, and Marshal Sam Farmer: well known enough in their day but since forgotten. Others, like Al Hayne, lived their lives in the shadows until one, spectacular moment of heroism. Then there are the lawmen, Jim Courtright, Jeff Daggett, and Thomas Finch. They wore badges, but did not always represent the best of law and order. These seven plus five others are gathered together between the covers of this book. Each has a story that deserves to be told. If they did not all make history, they certainly lived in historic times. The jury is still out on whether they shaped their times or merely reflected those times. Either way, their stories add new perspectives to the familiar Fort Worth story, revealing how the law worked in the old days and what ...
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The Mason County "Hoo Doo" War, 1874-1902

The Mason County "Hoo Doo" War, 1874-1902

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Date: February 15, 2006
Creator: Johnson, David D.
Description: Post-Reconstruction Texas in the mid-1870s was still relatively primitive, with communities isolated from each other in a largely open-range environment. Cattlemen owned herds of cattle in numerous counties while brand laws remained local. Friction arose when the nonresident stockmen attempted to gather their cattle, and mavericking was common. Law enforcement at the local level could cope with handling local drunks, collecting taxes, and attending the courts when in session, but when an outrageous crime occurred, or depredations in a community were at a level that severely taxed or overwhelmed the local sheriff, there was seldom any other recourse except a vigilante movement. With such a fragile hold on civilization in these communities, it is not difficult to understand how a “blood feud” could occur. During 1874 the Hoo Doo War erupted in the Texas Hill Country of Mason County, and for the remainder of the century violence and fear ruled the region in a rising tide of hatred and revenge. It is widely considered the most bitter feud in Texas history. Traditionally the feud is said to have begun with the intention of protecting the families, property and livelihood of the largely agrarian settlers in Mason and Llano counties. The ...
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The Johnson-sims Feud: Romeo and Juliet, West Texas Style

The Johnson-sims Feud: Romeo and Juliet, West Texas Style

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Date: August 15, 2010
Creator: O'Neal, Bill
Description: In the early 1900s, two families in Scurry and Kent counties in West Texas united in a marriage of fourteen-year-old Gladys Johnson to twenty-one-year-old Ed Sims. Billy Johnson, the father, set up Gladys and Ed on a ranch, and the young couple had two daughters. But Gladys was headstrong and willful, and Ed drank too much, and both sought affection outside their marriage. A nasty divorce ensued, and Gladys moved with her girls to her father’s luxurious ranch house, where she soon fell in love with famed Texas Ranger Frank Hamer. When Ed tried to take his daughters for a prearranged Christmas visit in 1916, Gladys and her brother Sid shot him dead on the Snyder square teeming with shoppers. One of the best lawyers in West Texas, Judge Cullen Higgins (son of the old feudist Pink Higgins) managed to win acquittal for both Gladys and Sid. In the tradition of Texas feudists since the 1840s, the Sims family sought revenge. Sims’ son-in-law, Gee McMeans, led an attack in Sweetwater and shot Billy Johnson’s bodyguard, Frank Hamer, twice, while Gladys—by now Mrs. Hamer—fired at another assassin. Hamer shot back, killed McMeans, and was no-billed on the spot by a grand ...
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