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Texas History Lessons

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Texas History Lessons is a slow walk through Texas history that takes the time to learn about the many exciting and important things that are usually ignored.. Join me as I time travel back to visit the amazing people and events that helped shape modern Texas.

Texas History Lessons is a slow walk through Texas history that takes the time to learn about the many exciting and important things that are usually ignored.. Join me as I time travel back to visit the amazing people and events that helped shape modern Texas.


United States


Texas History Lessons is a slow walk through Texas history that takes the time to learn about the many exciting and important things that are usually ignored.. Join me as I time travel back to visit the amazing people and events that helped shape modern Texas.




Czech Texans and the National Polka Festival with Payton Matous

Let's go to Polkafest on Memorial Day Weekend! In this episode Payton Matous joins the podcast to talk about the history and heritage of Czech Texans with a special focus on the National Polka Festival in Ennis. Make plans to visit Ennis, Texas in Memorial Day weekend this year and in the future for a great time. Payton is a talented musical artist and graces the show with two unreleased songs. His EP Prayers to a Lesser God was released on May 11, 2022 and the title track ends this episode....


Daily Dose of Texas History - May 5, 1718 The San Antonio de Bexar Presidio

On May 5, 1718, Martin de Alarcon founded the San Antonio de Bexar Presidio on the west side of the San Antonio River, about a quarter league from the San Antonio de Valero Mission that had been established on May 1. Settlement did not happen immediately but the presidio and the mission were the foundation of the Villa de Bexar, the most important town in Spanish Texas. A lot of history has happened in this very special site near San Pedro Springs. What began as a village of Payaya...


Daily Dose of Texas History - May 4, 1847

On May 4, 1847, Pope Pius IX established the Catholic Diocese of Galveston. From 1847 until 1874 the diocese covered all of Texas and parts of modern day Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming. The Diocese of San Antonio and the Vicariate Apostolic of Brownsville were carved out of it 1874. Jean Marie Odin was named the Diocese of Galveston’s first bishop and with twelve priests he served 20,000 Catholics that were spread out over about 360,000 square miles. The Diocese included...


Daily Dose of Texas History - May 3, 1968 Houston Heart Transplant

On May 3, 1968, a major medical advance occurred at Houston’s St. Luke’s Hospital. Surgeon Denton Cooley and his associates transplanted the heart donated by a fifteen year old girl to Everett Thomas. Cooley and Houston doctor Michael E. DeBakey had been working on developing heart surgery to the point that they could do heart transplantation. Cooley got there first and DeBakey and he would have a strange competition for years to come. Despite the odd rivalry, or maybe because of it, as...


Lesson 17: Al-Andalus and the Reconquista

In lesson 17 we take a look at al-Andalus, Islamic Spain, and the Reconquista. The Texas History Lessons Theme song, Walking Through History, was written and recorded by Derrick McClendon. Listen to his new album, Interstate Daydreamer! Available everywhere you find good music. Thank you Derrick! Twitter: @dmclendonmusic The song at the end of the episode is by Texas History Lessons new spotlight artist, Jason Harrell. The song, Free is on his More Than I Was album.. If you are enjoying...


Daily Dose of Texas History - May 2, 1874 - John B. Jones given command of the Frontier Battalion

On May 2, 1874, Texas Governor Richard Coke, who was originally from Virginia, gave a man named John B. Jones command of the recently created Frontier Battalion of Texas Rangers. John B. Jones is one of those interesting characters that fill the pages of Texas history. He’d been born in South Carolina in 1834 and came to Texas with his family in 1838, while Texas was still in its early phase of being an independent republic. He lived in Travis County at first and over the years moved to land...


Daily Dose of Texas History - May 1, 1718 San Antonio is founded

We celebrate May 1, 1718 as the day that San Antonio had its beginnings. The site had already been a very important one for a very long time. For the Coahuiltecans it was home and a sacred site. San Pedro Springs and the San Antonio river were sacred waters for the Coahuiltecans. Spanish explorers had visited the area several times before, but it was in 1718 that the governor of Coahuila y Tejas, Martín de Alarcón, received instructions to found a mission, presidio, and settlement on the San...


Daily Dose of Texas History - April 30, 1926 - Bessie Coleman

On April 30, 1926, Bessie Coleman, the first black person in the world to obtain a pilot’s license, died during a test flight before a Negro Welfare League sponsored air show in Jacksonville, Florida. An amazing person, Bessie Coleman had been born in Atlanta, Texas on January 26, 1892. It was in Chicago during the First World War that she heard stories about the aviators exploits overseas and she began to dream of flying herself. A nice dream, and a dream it would have stayed had she not...


Daily Dose of Texas History - April 29, 1554 Padre Island Shipwreck and Survival

On April 29, 1554 a severe storm blasted a convoy of four Spanish treasure ships. Three sank and one escaped. Four ships, the Espiritu Santo, the San Esteban, the Santa Maria de Yciar and the San Andreas set sail from San Juan de Ulúa, down near Veracruz, Mexico, on April 9, 1554, with Antonio Corzo as captain-general. The combined cargoes of the four ships had an estimated value of a little over two million pesos. This equaled more than $9.8 million in value in 1975, which means today the...


Daily Dose of Texas History - April 28 - A Wondrous Variety

On April 28, well a lot of things have happened on April 28th. I have a confession to make. Usually I have a hard time narrowing it down to the one historical event that I want to cover in the Daily Dose of Texas History, and after doing that I have a hard time making it short enough to justify being called a daily dose. Well…April 28th is not that kind of day. A lot of cool things can be remembered about this day but I haven’t found the one quite yet that gets me into digging much deeper....


Daily Dose of Texas History - April 27, 1950 The Barker Texas History Center

On April 27, 1950, the Barker Texas History Center opened on the University of Texas at Austin Campus. Today it is known as the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Collection. It was named in honor of Eugene C. Barker, a very distinguished professor at UT and one of the major Texas historians of all time. Born in Walker County, Texas, on November 10, 1874, Barker first entered the University of Texas in 1895. He spent the rest of his life there. He received the B.A. degree in the spring of 1899...


Daily Dose of Texas History - April 26, 1854 The Texas Indian Reservations

On April 26, 1854 the United States War Department ordered Randolph B. Marcy to assist Indian Agent Robert S. Neighbors in locating and surveying land for reservations in unsettled territory. Marcy and Neighbors did their job and after consulting with the Native American groups that the reservations were being created for, the chose a site of four leagues of land on the Brazos River near Fort Belknap, near modern Newcastle in Young County. This would be home for the Caddos, Wacos and others....


Daily Dose of Texas History - April 25, 1875 The Black Seminole Indian Scouts

On April 25, 1875 three Black Seminole Scouts performed acts of bravery that earned them the Medal of Honor. If you want a little more information on the history of the Black Seminoles and the Black Seminole Scouts then go check out the full episode I did on Johanna July and the Black Seminoles. After living in Mexico since 1850, several Black Seminoles crossed the Rio Grande in 1870 with hopes of someday returning to Indian Territory. With that goal in mind, many of them agreed to serve as...


Daily Dose of Texas History - April 24, 1931

On April 24, 1931, O.P. DeWalt was assassinated. You might not have heard of Mr. DeWalt before so let’s fix that right now. I had some trouble finding out a lot about Mr. DeWalt, and that’s sad, but I’ll do my best. Olen P. DeWalt, usually referred to as O.P. was born near Livingston in Polk County, Texas around the year 1890 to John and Caroline DeWalt. After getting educated in a rural area school, DeWalt entered Prairie View College in 1907 and graduated with honors in 1910. He moved to...


Daily dose of Texas History - April 23, 1936 - Roy Orbison

On April 23, 1936, Roy Kelton Orbison was born in Vernon, Texas. For y’all that don’t have the map of Texas tattooed on your brain, Vernon is up in Wilbarger County near the Red River, about 50 miles west of Wichita Falls. One of my favorite history professors, Hunt Tooley, was from Vernon too. Not sure when his birthday is. Whether Dr. Tooley was an Orbison fan or not is not known, but I can pretty confidently say that Mr. Orbison was one of the great singers and songwriters to hail from...


Daily Dose of Texas History - April 22, 1836 - The Capture of Santa Anna

On April 22, 1836, the day after the Battle of San Jacinto, modern Harris County near the city of Houston, Texian soldiers captured Santa Anna. The day before, on April 21, Sam Houston’s rag tag army attacked Santa Anna’s larger army at about 3:30 in the afternoon. Santa Anna was asleep when the Texas soldiers launched the attack. Santa Anna awoke to a chaotic scene of the Texans savagely routing his army. There was nothing to do to change the course of the battle. He chose to escape rather...


Daily Dose of Texas History - April 21, 1836- The Battle of San Jacinto

On April 21, 1836, after a lot of miserable experiences, constant retreating, and a lot of questions about Sam Houston’s decision making and nerve, the Texas Army routed the Mexican Army led by General Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón, usually just called Santa Anna here in Texas, at the Battle of San Jacinto. The victory came at a very good time because people all over Texas were in a panic and the future for them looked grim. Houston was constantly...


Daily Dose of Texas History - April 20, 1842- The Adelsverein

On April 20, 1842, twenty-one German noblemen met at Biebrich on the Rhine river, near Mainz and organized the Verein zum Schutze deutscher Einwanderer in Texas, or in words most of you will understand the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas. Most often you’ll see it referred to as the Adelsverein. Adelsverein means Society in German. The creation of the Adelsverein marked the beginning of the very significant German impact on Texas history and heritage. Why would these...


Daily Dose of Texas History - April 19, 1875 - White Horse Surrenders

On April 19, 1875, Tsen-tainte, or White Horse, led his followers to Fort Sill in Indian Territory and surrendered after years of waging war against his enemies. The end had come to the way of life that they had struggled to maintain against the constant westward flow of settlers onto their lands. White Horse for a very long time had been considered by white Texans to be the most dangerous man in a nation of fierce warriors, the Kiowa. Now his years of terrorizing settlers had reached an...


Daily Dose of Texas History - April 18, 1931 - Harley Sewell

On April 18, 1931, Texas Sports Hall of Fame member and hometown son of Saint Jo, Texas, Harley Sewell was born. After growing up in Montague County, the Saint Jo Panther football star attended the University of Texas in Austin. Standing 6 feet 1 inch and weighing in at 230 pounds, Harvey Sewell was a dominant defensive player and was a 1952 All American. He was the Defensive Most valuable player at the 1953 Cotton Bowl against Tennessee. The UT defense, thanks in large part to Mr. Sewell,...