Today in Texas History – December 7

From the Annals of the Curators –  In 1955, the board of trustees of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts proclaimed that the museum would “exhibit and acquire works of art only on the basis of their merit as works of art.”  The proclamation was in response to what was known as the “Red Art” controversy.  In March 1955 the Public Affairs Luncheon Club, a local women’s group, had accused DMOFA and its director, Jerry Bywaters, of the dreadful sin of exhibiting the work of artists with communist affiliations and neglecting the work of Dallas artists.  The PALC reflected the incredibly conservative thinking of Dallas’ power elite.  In response, DMOFA removed works by acclaimed artists such as Pablo Picasso and Diego Rivera. The attempt at censorship generated a strong response from the artistic community and the trustees’ statement and the support of the Dallas Morning News helped quell the controversy. .

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Today in Texas History – December 6

From the Annals of the Gridiron – In 1896, Texas Christian University played its first football game.  It was an 8-6 victory over Toby’s Business College of Waco.  At the time, the school was called the AddRan Male & Female College and was located near Waco.  The school changed its name to TCU in 1902 and relocated to Waco in 1910.  The storied program has had its ups and downs, but the Horned Frogs are ranked as the 5th best private college football program of all-time behind such notables as Notre Dame, USC and Miami.  TCU has won two National Championships (both in the 1930s), numerous conference championships and has played in all of the major bowl games.

Quote for the Day

“I think they’re afraid I’m going to take Alabama values to Washington, and I want to tell you, I can’t wait.”

Roy Moore, twice removed Alabama Supreme Court Justice, GOP candidate for U.S. Senate and accused pedophile.

Just what are your Alabama values Roy?  Abuse of young girls? Disregard for the Constitution?  Failing to follow the supreme law of the land because you know better? Belief that the U.S. should be a Christian theocracy?  Hatred of gays and lesbians? Denial of protected rights to Muslims?  Love of money? Worship of guns? Bolstering your manhood by waiving a pistol at a public event?

Red hopes that the good people of Alabama – and there certainly are many of those – don’t believe in your warped “Alabama Values.”

And don’t worry – Roy we are not afraid.  If you lose, those “Alabama Values” of yours are already on near full display in the White House.

SI Names Jose Altuve and J.J. Watt as Co-Sportspersons of 2017

Sports Illustrated has name two Houston legends – Jose Altuve and J.J. Watt as its Co-Sportspersons of the Year for 2017.  They were bestowed the award for entirely different reasons.

Altuve had one of the most magical seasons imaginable winning the American League batting title, MVP and Silver Slugger awards.  Oh, and yeah – winning the World Series for the first time in Astros history after the city was devastated by Hurricane Harvey.  Altuve carried the team at times during the post-season recording a record 17 hits, 6 home runs and batting .472 at Minute Maid.  Other than Mike Trout he is probably the best baseball player alive right now.  And by all signs a credit to his community for charitable works and tremendous attitude.

Watt on the other hand, had a miserable 2017 on the field.  He played in 4 games with zero sacks and was lost for the season early in the Chiefs game .  All of this coming after losing most of the 2016 season to injury as well.  Whether he ever returns to the greatness he showed during his first 5 years in the league is questionable at this point.  But in the face of Harvey, Watt determined to raise some money for relief.  He set his goal at $200,000 and ended up raising $37 million and it appears that almost all of that money has gone or will go to actual relief efforts.

So two Houston athletes get well-deserved kudos from SI.

Today in Texas History – December 5

BEXAR, SIEGE OF | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)

From the Annals of the Revolution – In 1835, the Texas revolutionary army launched their first major assault on the Mexican Army units encamped at San Antonio de Bexar under the command of Gen. Martin Perfecto de Cos.  Cos had gathered his troops at Bexar following the defeat at Gonzales and was cut off from the coast.  By early December, the siege of Bexar had been under way for several weeks with action at the Espada Mission and elsewhere.  Morale was low on the Texian side with winter approaching.  However, reports from a captured Mexican soldier and escaped Texian prisoners alerted Maj. Gen. Edward Burleson of the Texian Volunteer Army that Mexican morale was just as low.  Burleson ordered a two-column attack. One attack was to be carried out by troops under the command of Ben Milam, and the other was to be carried out by those of Colonel Francis W. Johnson. On December 5, Milam and Johnson launched a surprise attack and seized two houses in the Military Plaza (one of the houses seized belonged to the in-laws of Jim Bowie). The Texians were unable to advance any further that day, but they fortified the houses and remained there during the night, digging trenches and destroying nearby buildings.  The Battle for Bexar continued with house-to-house fighting until December 10 when the besieged Mexican troops surrendered.

Map of Siege of Bexar from The Handbook of Texas Online.

Trump’s Wall is Worse than We Imagined

The Texas Observer reports that Trump’s Wall will disrupt businesses, retirees, families and wildlife on the Texas border.

A map produced in May by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows where the administration expects to build 33 miles of wall in 15 different segments, including portions that would tear through three wildlife areas. The documents also reveal a rating system the administration is using to rank the difficulty of building each segment, based on the topography and the legal difficulty of taking over the land.

“Nice RV park, many retirees live there permanently,” reads the entry for a nearly 2-mile segment that would cut off the Chimney Park RV Resort, the historic La Lomita Chapel and the Riverside Club, a popular hangout for winter Texans. “Western half of segment will impacts [sic] upward of 100 homeowners.” The Army Corps rates building the section as “most challenging.”

According to the documents, the wall would bisect the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, a 797-acre preserve that’s one of the top birding destinations in North America. Walls would also run through the neighboring National Butterfly Center, a private nature sanctuary that recently announced it would sue the government to stop construction, as well as the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. The Army Corps of Engineers rates the Santa Ana refuge as an “easy” location, because the land is already owned by the federal government.

Red’s NFL Picks – Week 14

Only 4 more weeks of the regular season grind for Red.  It may not look like it, but more than a bit of thought goes into doing this every week.  For Week 13 Red was 5-1 and is 48-30 for the year – setting him up for a possible all time regular season record.  On the money line, Red stunk it up – so the rule is layoff the bets this week.

Answer to Last Week’s Trivia:  The Lions and Giants combined for a net total of zero points on November 7, 1943 in a game played before 16,992 at Detroit’s Briggs Stadium. The teams generated a total of 214 yards and missed 4 field goals.

This Week’s Trivia: What other non-football award did NFL Hall of Famer Walter Payton almost win?

Your Soulful Pick of the Week: Falcons over Saints –  Falcons could muster all of 3 field goals against a game Vikings defense last week – after averaging 28 points per game in November.  Is it time for a December swoon?  If so, then give the division to the Saints on a silver platter.  Meanwhile, the Saints are good for 30 points a game just about every time out.  If Falcons eke out a win, they are still in striking distance and in the thick of the playoff hunt.   Atlanta 31 New Orleans 30.

Your Do the Hustle Pick of the Week: Jaguars over Seahawks – Red likes picking against the Seahawks led by Pete the Cheat.  It hasn’t worked out very well for Red as yet, but he keeps trying.  The Jags have the top ranked scoring defense in the league and Seattle is very respectable in averaging almost 25 ppg so far.  They haven’t faced a defense like the Jags yet.  Jags need win to keep pace with Titans who have slightly more difficult schedule.  AFC South is probably going to come down to the Jags/Titans matchup in Week 17.  Red is looking forward to that one.   Jacksonsville 20 Seattle 17

Your Footloose Pick of the Week:  Raiders over Chiefs –  Chief are in free fall since the Raiders beat them 31-30 in Week 6.  Other than that game, Raiders have not beaten a good team all season.  Chiefs are not a good team anymore.  Red likes the repeat here. Oakland 31 KC 30

Your Motown Pick of the Week: Buccaneers over Lions – Lions could have been somebody, they could have been a contender – instead of a bum which is what they are.  Bucs had pretensions but are also pretenders at this point.  Red’s gotta pick someone to win.  Oh well.  Tampa Bay 23 Detroit 20

Your Hollywood Pick of the Week: Eagles over Rams  – Your NFL Game of the Week has the 10-2 Eagles taking on the Resurgent Rams.  Eagles clinch NFC East with win.  Rams could put some distance between themselves and S’hawks with win and S’Hawks loss.  This is the showdown of the season between the top two hot young quarterbacks in Wentz and Goff.  Red thinks this might just be a preview of the NFC title game.  This will be fun.  Philadelphia 33 Los Angeles 25

Your Dirty Dancing Pick of the Week: Texans over 49ers – The Texans have sunk to Shit Bowl status with yet another last minute drive to win floundering near the goal line.  Tom “the Turnover Machine” Savage has looked better of late and will probably land a back up job somewhere next season.  The Texans were essentially down to DeAndre Hopkins and some guy who had caught one pass at wide receiver on Sunday and Savage still kept completing passes.  Back in California, Jimmy Garapolo finally got a start and looked decent in beating the barely there Bears.  Red anticipates at least 25,000 loyal fans will show up at NRG for this one.  Red won’t be among them.  So turn off the big 72 incher after the CBS Sunday Morning show lest ye be tempted to empty your 38 Special into the plasma in the third quarter of this beastly bowel battle.  Houston 20 Santa Clara 19