Texans You Should Know

Ep. 87- Texans You Should Know: Kenneth Threadgill

Austin is famous for its music scene.  Willie, Waylon, Jerry Jeff and so many others helped Austin become weird.  But before any of them there was Kenneth Threadgill.  A preacher’s son, Threadgill loved music.  He especially loved Jimmie Rogers and his yodel.  Threadgill opened a tavern that provided musicians a place to play, and college…

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Ep. 79: Dorie Miller–A Texas War Hero

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…

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Ep. 76: The Texas Cattle Queen

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…

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Ep. 75: Writing Texas History- An Interview with Author Stephen Harrigan

Award-winning author Stephen Harrigan visits Wise About Texas to discuss his new book–a history of Texas titled Big Wonderful Thing. Mr. Harrigan talks about how, as a journalist and novelist, he approached the colossal task of writing an entire history of Texas. Among other topics, he discusses his favorite Texas stories, the impact of our…

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EP. 69 Texans You Should Know: Bessie Coleman, Pilot & Pioneer

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…

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Ep 56: Texans You Should Know: Pamelia Mann

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…

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Ep. 52: Basil Muse Hatfield, The First Admiral of the Trinity

The Trinity River flows from roughly Fort Worth to Trinity Bay in Chambers County.  For several years boats navigated the river but never all the way.  Several attempts were made to promote the Trinity River as a commercial asset but none were more enthusiastic than the 2-year, 9000 mile, yes 9000 mile, journey of Basil…

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Ep 48: Texans You Should Know-Crazy Ben Dolliver the Pirate

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…

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Ep. 26: Texas Takes Flight

The first man to fly a powered aircraft was a Texan named Jacob Brodbeck.  History credits the Wright brothers but it’s time to correct the record!  Learn about German immigration, a fascinating Texan, and the first airplane flight in this episode of Wise About Texas.  

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Ep. 21: Texans You Should Know: Temple Lea Houston

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…

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Ep. 16: Texans You Should Know: Gen. Thomas Jefferson Chambers

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…

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