On December 7, 1941, Mess Attendant Doris “Dorie” Miller was doing laundry, one of the few jobs available to African American sailors in the U.S. Navy at the time. When his ship came under attack, Miller rushed to help his fellow sailors. Though not trained, and not allowed, he manned an anti-aircraft gun and engaged the attacking Japanese planes. For his bravery and his willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty, Miller was the first African American to be awarded the Navy Cross. But his heroism affected not only the Navy, but the entire military. Recently, the U.S. Navy announced yet another tribute to Dorie Miller, a Texas war hero. Learn more about this brave Texan in the latest episode of Wise About Texas.
Right after the civil war, women weren’t really expected (or even thought capable) to be in business. But of course, Texas women proved them wrong. Lizzie Johnson was a school teacher, but she was also a writer and discovered how lucrative the cattle business could be. So she became a cattle baroness and Austin real estate mogul. Learn more about the Texas Cattle Queen in the latest episode of Wise About Texas.
Born into poverty and raised in north central Texas, Bessie Coleman wanted to fly. But in the early 20th century, nobody in the United States would teach a black woman to fly an airplane. So Bessie Coleman learned a new language, traveled a world away, and realized her dream. A pioneer pilot, Coleman came home and became famous. She used her talent and her perseverance to show everyone what was possible. Learn more about a true pioneer aviator in this episode of Wise About Texas.
What is it about Texas women? Independent, smart, strong, spirited, they can do it all! Ask any Texas man and he’ll tell you, the ladies run the show! But this is nothing new. Back before the Texas revolution, the women of Texas formed the spirit of Texas. Some were because their husbands moved the family to this new land of opportunity. These women did their best to build a household in the harsh Texas frontier, and they did it well. But some came on their own, and brought their spirit with them. That was Pamelia Mann. She was a Houston entrepreneur, hotelier, rancher, businesswoman, forger, possibly a thief, and willing to be a killer. She was even sentenced to death…but slipped the noose. During the Texas revolution she handed Sam Houston himself the only defeat he would suffer in command of the Texas Army. Celebrate the spirit of Texas women in this latest episode of Wise About Texas.
Crazy Ben Dolliver was said to be touched. Sporting a 6 inch scar from an old sword fight, Crazy Ben circulated around Galveston in the 19th century barefoot, shirtless, and mostly drunk. He camped on the beach and fished for his sustenance. But Crazy Ben always paid for his drinks with Spanish Doubloons. Every now and then he’d sail away from the island and return with more Spanish gold. Where did the gold come from? Everyone knew Crazy Ben had served as one of Jean Lafitte’s crew as a pirate. Did he know the location of some treasure? Nobody figured it out, though they tried and tried. Then one day a ship arrived from New Orleans and Ben left….with some cargo. Hear a true pirate tale in this latest episode of Wise About Texas
Meet Temple Lea Houston, youngest son of Texas hero Sam Houston and one of Texas’s first great trial lawyers. He was known for his quick mind, a silver tongue, fancy dress and a fast gun. All of those were helpful in the early courtrooms of Texas. He turned down the chance for high political office in exchange for the excitement of frontier justice. He also delivered one of the greatest closing arguments in history. Come to court in frontier Texas and get Wise About Texas.
In the first episode of a periodic series on Texans you should know, learn about the interesting, active and controversial life of General Thomas Jefferson Chambers. Lawyer, surveyor, judge, land baron. Chambers had an entrepeneurial spirit and a nose for a deal. Was he a smart business man or an unscrupulous dealer? No matter what you conclude, he is certainly a Texan you should know!
180 years ago, every Alamo defender lost his life. But not everyone who was in the Alamo died. Learn some stories of the folks who survived the battle and a little about the effect of the defeat on the government of the young Republic of Texas.
This episode introduces two of the first judges of Texas–Josiah Hughes Bell and Benjamin Cromwell Franklin. Download this episode to hear stories of Austin’s Colony and how the provisional Texas government learned of the victory at San Jacinto. You’ll also hear about the time Texas engaged in an act of war against the United States!
Welcome to Wise About Texas, the podcast about Texas history and culture. This introductory episode tells you about the show, the host, and the goals of this podcast. Subscribe to the show and enrich your knowledge of the Texas history stories you know and learn some Texas history you don’t know!