Tag Archives: Texas

Quote for the Day

“I got cussed out by my mom this morning because she’s been dying to meet Pop. She told me today that I better make sure that she gets to meet him.”

Demar DeRozan – San Antonio Spurs guard on his mother wanting to meet legendary Spurs Coach Greg Popovich.

Today in Texas History – December 7

From the Annals of the Death House –   In 1982, Texas became the first state to use lethal injection to execute prisoners. The lethal dose was an intravenous injection of sodium pentathol – a barbiturate that is known as a “truth serum” when administered in lesser doses. Texas adopted the lethal injection procedure as a supposedly more humane method of executing those convicted of capital crimes.  Over the next few years, 32 other states, the federal government, and the U.S. military all began using various forms of lethal injection to execute prisoners.

Charlie Brooks Jr., convicted for the murder of David Gregory, was the first prisoner in the U.S. to be executed by injection at the Walls Unit in Huntsville.  Gregory, an auto mechanic at a used car lot, accompanied Brooks on a supposed test drive of a car.  However, Brooks took Gregory back to a motel where he was hanging out and shooting heroin with Woody Lourdes and his girlfriend Marlene Smith after engaging in a shoplifting spree.  Brooks shot and killed Gregory in an almost absurdly amateurish manner.  Lourdes had informed the hotel manager that they had a man in the room who was bound and gagged and that they were going to have to kill him while pointing a revolver at the manager and telling her that he would kill her too if she talked.  As such, the crime was easily discovered and solved.  Brooks was sentenced to death.  Lourdes was also sentenced to death but his conviction was reversed and he reached a plea deal to serve 40 years.   David Gregory left behind a wife and young son.

Today in Texas History – February 2

From the Annals of Thievery –  In 1848, the United States and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the Mexican-American War and redrawing the international boundary.  Under the terms of the treaty, Mexico lost approximately a third of its national territory including New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, California and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.  Mexico also gave up any claim to the former Republic of Texas.   In return, the U.S. paid Mexico a paltry $15,000,000 and assumed responsibility of all claims against Mexico by American citizens.  The MAW was clearly a war of territorial aggression waged against a weaker opponent and justified by questionable claims.  Still many of the major battles were relatively close affairs, but luck was not on the side of the Mexicans.   Mexico should have built a wall.

Today in Texas History – September 15

From the Annals of Emancipation –   In 1829, Mexican President Vicente R. Guerrero issued the Guerrero Decree. The decree abolished slavery in the Republic of Mexico.  It would be another 46 years before Mexico’s northern neighbor would do the same via the 13th Amendment.  With the Decree, Mexico enacted what Padre Hidalgo had originally decreed with El Grito in 1810—the abolition of slavery in Mexico.

Guerrero’s hatred for slavery was probably linked to his own Mestizo origins.  Being of mixed race – including African heritage – Guerrero refused to identify himself with as being of a particular ethnicity.  He referred to himself as an “Americano” and his only loyalty was to his patria and not with any caste or class of the Mexican nation.

The Guerrero Decree was not well received among the freedom-loving, slave-owning, Anglo residents of Texas who were determined to hang onto their slaves despite what decrees might be issued in Mexico City.  Anglo resistance to the abolition of slavery was a major cause of the Texas Revolution only six years later.

A Translation of the Guerrero Decree

The President of the United States of Mexico, know ye: That desiring to celebrate in the year of 1829 the anniversary of our independence with an act of justice and national beneficence, which might result in the benefit and support of a good, so highly to be appreciated, which might cement more and more the public tranquility, which might reinstate an unfortunate part of its inhabitants in the sacred rights which nature gave them, and which the nation protects by wise and just laws, in conformance with the 30th article of the constitutive act, in which the use of extraordinary powers are ceded to  have thought it proper to decree:

 1st. Slavery is abolished in the republic.

2nd. Consequently, those who have been until now considered slaves are free.

3rd. When the circumstances of the treasury may permit, the owners of the slaves will be indemnified in the mode that the laws may provide. And in order that every part of this decree may be fully complied with, let it be printed, published, and circulated.

 Given at the Federal Palace of Mexico, the 15th of September, 1829.

Vicente Guerrero To José María Bocanegra