Texas on This
by Gary C. Vliet
500 Years of History
(CreateSpace, 2015; Second printing, 2018)
Reviewed by Dr.
September 5, 2020
| This superb
reference work, written by Lone Star history enthusiast Dr. Gary C.
Vliet, Emeritus Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University
of Texas-Austin, belongs in the collection of every reader fascinated
by our state's storied past. Vliet's informative volume discusses
"important events pertinent to Texas: historical, political, sporting,
artistic, criminal, tragic, celebrative and amusing, which occurred
in the past on the various days of the year." The author pays special
attention to the events of the Revolution (1835-36), "the most interesting
period in Texas history."
Consider, for example, three such dates:
On January 2, the town of Abilene
was incorporated (1883); singer Roger Miller, known for such hits
as "King of the Road" and "England Swings," was born in Fort
Worth (1936); the T.C.U. Horned Frog football team defeated Carnegie
Tech 15-7 in the Sugar Bowl, thus becoming National Champions for
the 1938 season (1939); and entertainer and Panola
County native Tex
Ritter passed away (1974).
On May 15, the town of Laredo
was founded (1755); rodeo star Coy "Toots" Mansfield was born in Bandera;
the brutal lynching of African American Jesse Washington, often referred
to as the "Waco Horror," took place (1916); Joseph D. Sayers, Texas
governor from 1899 to 1903, died in Bastrop
(1929); and Refugio
native and California Angel Nolan Ryan pitched his first no-hitter
On October 14, Dwight D. Eisenhower, military hero and future
president of the United States, was born in Denison
(1890); Marcellus Foster founded the Houston Chronicle (1901); and
Texas Aggie shot putter Randy Matson won gold and set a new Olympic
record while Texas Southern sprinter Jim Hines won gold and set a
new world record at the Mexico City Olympics (1968).
You get the picture. In short, readers interested in the Lone Star
heritage, whether educators, students, or lay historians, will find
Professor Vliet's thoroughly researched publication a useful and compelling