Columns/Opinions

Thu
22
Sep

Defense secretary promotes new hub to partner with tech startups

By Ed Sterling
 
Thu
22
Sep

Santa Fe pioneers tricked into surrendering

By Bartee Haile
 
Just as the Mexican officer repeated his request on Sep. 24, 1841 that the 97 Texans lay down their guns, a missing comrade mysteriously appeared and insisted the wild goose chase into New Mexico was not worth the loss of a single life. The blood had hardly dried on the battlefield at San Jacinto, when the new Republic declared the Rio Grande to be its western boundary.   
 

 

Thu
15
Sep

Paxton says subpoena violated First Amendment

By Ed Sterling
 
AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Sept. 9 announced he had filed a friend-of-the-court brief “in defense of the First Amendment.” The brief, he said, explains that Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Tracy Healey “exceeded her constitutional authority by attempting to shut down a viewpoint on an issue of scientific debate — climate change.”
 
 
Thu
15
Sep

Record casualties for Texas Rebs at Antietam

By Bartee Haile
 
Texans died in record numbers on Sep. 17, 1862 at the Battle of Antietam or Sharpsburg, bloodiest of the Civil War. Never one to rest on his laurels, Gen. Robert E. Lee invaded Maryland six days after winning the rematch at Bull Run. His objectives, endorsed by President Jefferson Davis, were to bring the border state into the Confederacy and the enemy, whose morale was at an alltime low, to the bargaining table.
 
 
Thu
08
Sep

Education chief announces fines assessed to testing service

By Ed Esterling
 
AUSTIN — Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath on Aug. 23 announced the Texas Education Agency will fine the company that delivers and administers STAAR® — the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness — with $5.7 million in liquidated damages. Morath also directed the company, Austin-based Educational Testing Services, to invest $15 million for a total of $20.7 million. The $20.7 million, according to the TEA, “addresses various logistical issues encountered by students and school systems during statewide STAAR administration in the 2015-2016 school year.”
 
Thu
08
Sep

Texans survive first U-boat sinking of WWII

By Bartee Haile
 
A Houston judge learned on Sep. 8, 1939 that his daughter not only had survived the U-boat sinking of the British passenger ship Athenia but also had been hailed as a heroine by the American ambassador. In her last letter before leaving Europe, Helen Hannay told her parents not to worry. “There may be a delay, but we will get out all right. We aren’t in the least afraid.” The teenaged traveler closed on a prophetic note: “I am certainly glad to have had this lovely trip and to have seen all the beautiful things before they are blown up.”
 
Thu
01
Sep

D.A. Henderson and the triumph of science

At a time when Hillary Clinton gets applause by declaring, “I believe in science,” it’s worth taking a moment to remember the life and achievements of Donald Ainslee Henderson. All he did with science was eradicate smallpox. Dr. Henderson died Friday at age 87 in Towson, Md., not far from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, where he had been dean emeritus. In the early 1960s, while working for the Centers for Disease Control, he and his team began an ambitious program to eliminate smallpox in 18 African countries. 
 
 
Thu
01
Sep

Tap-dancing teenager knocked ’em dead

By Bartee Haile 
 
 
In a Sep. 2, 1939 review of George White’s “Scandals of 1939,” a Broadway critic reserved his highest praise for a teenager from Texas named Ann Miller, who stopped the show every night with her high-energy tap dance. The future fixture of Hollywood musicals in the 1930’s and 1940’s was born Lucille Ann Collier at her grandparent’s place near Nacogdoches. The year was 1923, and that is important because she would later change it to find work in Tinsel Town.  
 
Thu
25
Aug

Diplomat defies own government to end Mexican War

By Bartee Haile

 

A lowly state department functionary, whose only claim to fame was his marriage to Thomas Jefferson’s granddaughter, opened negotiations with Mexico on Aug. 27, 1847 to finally bring an end to the war that had dragged on long enough. By February 1847, the Mexicans’ intransigence was giving President James K. Polk fits. Though badly beaten in every battle, the hopelessly outclassed opponent refused to concede defeat and showed not the slightest interest in stopping the carnage.  

 

Thu
25
Aug

Texan diagnosed with Zika after returning from trip

By Ed Sterling

 

AUSTIN — A Texas resident who recently traveled to Miami, Florida, has tested positive for Zika virus disease, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported on Aug. 15. The traveler, an El Paso County resident, sought testing after becoming ill. This is the first Texas case to be linked to travel within the continental United States. The case will be classified as “travel-associated” and is being investigated for more details, the DSHS said.

 

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