Combat operations during World War II occurred far away from the United States, mostly on distant Pacific isles or in European villages. However, a piece of World War II history did happen right here in East Texas. The United States held nearly half…

During World II, Nazis not only threatened Europe, but held some influence in East Texas where thousands of prisoners of war (POWs) were held. During the war, the United States held nearly half a million Axis POWs and Texas housed roughly ten percent…

Two months after the Battle of the Alamo, another massacre took place on the Texas frontier. On May 19, 1836, hundreds of Native Americans ambushed Fort Parker near present day Mexia, Texas. In 1833, a group of Predestinarian Baptists left Illinois…

Oscar De Priest was the first black congressman from Illinois. In 1933, De Priest introduced an amendment to ban racial discrimination in the new Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Throughout the history of the CCC, black enrollment was capped at…

Slavery was abolished in the United States in 1865, but for many the plantation was merely replaced by the chain gang. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many southern states participated in convict lease programs. Texas was no…

During the 1930s, many farmers in East Texas noticed that their crop yields were steadily decreasing. Some of the problem was caused by the fact that farmers insisted on planting their crops in straight rows, producing the perfect environment for…

Davy Crockett may not have killed a bear at three years old as he claimed, but he still was the “King of the Wild Frontier.” Therefore, it is not surprising that in 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt named a new national forest after the…