After first asking for an extension to complete the census count, a sudden u-turn. The impact on Texas could last for a decade or more, we’ll have details. Also, more women are unemployed now than at any time since the late 1940’s, and women of color are among the hardest hit. What some are calling America’s first female recession, and what’s behind it. And residents along the gulf coast finding more effective ways to deal with an active hurricane season amid a pandemic. Plus a claim that 1 in 3 texans can’t access health insurance. A Politifact check and more today on the Texas Standard:
The state’s largest school district has plans to start the year online and could extend that a little more. Houston ISD’s interim superintendent joins us to talk about the weight of planning this school year. We’ll also hear from teachers who are frankly afraid for themselves and their families, but also love being in the classroom. And a Texas law expert joins us to parse out exactly what’s going on with federal agents arresting people in Portland. Plus a harrowing story about COVID-19 and Texas ICE detention centers. That and more today on the Texas Standard:
New York City: once considered the national epicenter in the fight against COVID-19, now health experts fear a Texas city has taken its place. Hospitals in Houston struggling to deal with the pandemic on a scale similar to that of New York City in late spring. Our conversation with New York Times reporter Dr.Sherri Fink. Also, a warning from climatologists about a coming drought that could reshape Texas for the long term. And getting schooled by Selena: a Texas University launches a first of its kind course. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:
The public part of the House impeachment inquiry is over. Did it have an impact? A former White House adviser says yes, in ways that may not be obvious, we’ll explore. Plus: 2020. It’s closer than you think, especially if you’re in the business of running an election. How much more secure are systems now, with less than a year to go before presidential balloting? Also, over objections of native americans, environmentalists and others, three new natural gas export facilities get the green light…What will it mean for texas and the economy? All of that and more today on the Texas Standard:
U.S. Soldiers coming home, but what are they leaving behind? We’ll have a closer look at the decision to get U.S. troops out of northern Syria and why that matters. Also, China calls foul: how Houston found itself at the center of an international incident over Hong Kong. And word from Corpus Christi that the Selena festival is being cancelled in her hometown. Plus the first Latina to create produce write and star in her own sitcom tells her story of coming of age in the Rio Grande Valley, she calls it her mixtape memoir. All of that and then some today on the Texas Standard:
How do you get the attention of state leaders? A federal judge proposes locking up Texas prison officials in their own overheated prisons. We’ll have more on the latest twist in a 5-year battle over Texas prisons where a judge says the heat constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Also, the Texas Attorney General is leading a multi-state charge against Google to investigate, are they violating antitrust laws? Plus, they say everything’s bigger in Texas. Now, so are the supercomputers. And a prescription for cutting the cost of a hospital visit in the Lone Star State. All that and then some on today’s Texas Standard.
How much does Texas stand to lose if president Trump’s emergency declaration holds? The Pentagon does the numbers. Projects at Fort Bliss, Fort Hood and Joint Base San Antonio all on the chopping block if money is diverted to a border wall. We’ll have details. Also, what could be the next hot ticket for career builders: as the Texas University launches a masters degree in dementia studies. And when it comes to fortune 500 companies, does a texas city really hold the top spot in the nation? A Politifact check and more today on the Texas Standard:
Another Presidential Tweetstorm, this time with a Texas twist: one suggesting widespread voter fraud. We’ll take a closer look at the claim and the source. Also, a Texas city won national attention for becoming the first to go with 100% renewable electricity. Now some are asking did the city pay too high a price? We’ll take a look. And chaos in Venezuela leading to uncertainty in Texas: we’ll hear why. Also, the Corpus Christi caller times warns: what you don’t know about a particular routine government procedure can hurt you. The paper’s opinion editor explains plus a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:
The latest Texas Lyceum Poll is focused on the mid-terms. Republican incumbents have big leads except for one. Texas Senator Ted Cruz has found a true challenger in Representative Beto O’Rourke, but will the two debate and will it matter? We’ll explore. Also, the Port of Corpus Christi has some big plans for some big ships to move a LOT of oil across the way from Port Aransas. We’ll take a look at what the people of Port A think about the proposal. And if you’ve got a kid in your life quick question: have they spent much time outside this summer? A guide to help parents navigate in a world full of tech. Plus will we finally unravel the mystery of the Marfa Lights? You’ll have to listen on today’s Texas Standard:
Some momentum behind tightened accountability for firearm background checks. The top Texas Republican who now seems to be at least partially on board. Also, early voting is underway. The first choice those heading to the polls will have to make is which party’s primary to vote in. Why crossover voting isn’t all that common. Plus, Texas coastal cities still cleaning up from Hurricane Harvey are also looking ahead to mitigating the damage of the next storm. Why folks in Corpus Christi are concerned. And it’s been 25 years since the siege at a Branch Davidian complex outside of Waco. What law enforcement learned from that deadly encounter. Plus a profile of a man known as “the Galveston Giant.” Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:
President Trump has set some ideas in motion: a budget proposal and an infrastructure plan. We’ll break down what it could all mean for Texas. Also tne issue leaders across Texas are trying to sort out – just how and where they’re supposed to get money needed to fulfill their end of an infrastructure bargain. We’ll get some perspective from the Gulf Coast. Plus, more women on the ballot all across the state this year. But not all of them get to take advantage of funds designed to support female candidates, we’ll explain. And could space tourism and private manufacturing soon take over the International Space Station? All of that and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:
Deal or no deal? As a Friday deadline approaches over Iran and concerns about nuclear weapons, we’ll have a Texas researcher explains what’s at stake. Also, black girls attending Texas schools are nearly 7 times as likely to get suspended from school than their white counterparts. One possible factor? What a Texas A&M researcher calls the “adultification” of black girls. We’ll hear what that means. And Texas based AT&T says no way to Huawei, nixing a deal to sell phones by the Chinese company. Some smell politics at the other end of the line. Plus funny man Cheech Marin is serious about Chicano art, we’ll hear why he’s sharing his collection with the lone star state. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:
As millions of Texans hit the highways for the start of holiday season, new signs that the bell may be tolling for toll roads. But with costs and complaints and traffic all up, are we nearing a tipping point when it comes to Texas’ free market philosophy for transportation? We’ll explore. And in a small Texas town turned upside down by a church shooting, Thanksgiving arrives early. Also, the homeless often get more attention this time of year, now the spotlight turns to what some say are laws that keep people homeless. And with miles of pipeline connecting oilfields to Corpus Christi, a plan to pipe something back west, and maybe around the world, too. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:
Texas is bracing for hurricane Harvey. With forecasters warning of a life threatening storm, we’ll fill you in on what you need to know. Plus, with Houston expecting major flooding, we’ll hear how unregulated development could be making matters worse. That plus the week in politics, the boy scouts considering brining in girls, and a really book by a Texas author you might want to check out. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:
Should women be required to buy separate insurance for abortions? The Texas lawmakers behind the emotional debate explain their positions. Also the ballot measure never said anything about ‘sports.’ That’s the argument attorneys for a historic El Paso neighborhood are making to fight a proposed activity center. And crude exports from the the Permian Basin are injecting new life into the port of Corpus Christi whose economy took a hit during the energy downturn. Also the misuse and addiction of opioids kill as many as one hundred Americans every day. The new task force in San Antonio to combat the crisis. And a team at Texas A&M is working to keep the lights on across the state. A look at the vulnerability of the power grid. That’s all ahead on The Texas Standard:
The assassination of a symbol of the old order. The rise of populist nationalism. Can history help us, or are we kidding ourselves? We’ll explore. Also events in the US, Turkey and Germany this week have millions turning to the past to help make sense of the future. A Texas-based scholar will try to help us make sense of the search for historic parallels. Plus deja vu in Corpus Christi. The latest water ban and by no means the first. As the taps reopen, out come the lawsuits and recriminations. We’ll have the latest. And charitable giving for political access. A Texas based group with ties to the future President comes under fire…those stories and a whole lot more, today on the Texas Standard:
There are two detention centers for undocumented families in South Texas. Someone’s pushing for a third, but who and why? We’ll explore. Also: what’s in a name? A lot, if you’re a licensed psychologist. But now it appears the very term psychologist may be up for grabs in Texas. We’ll hear why. Plus, they’re not exactly the best of friends, so what could possibly bring Ted Cruz and John Cornyn together? It appears, a legacy of the Third Reich. And the most overrated tech in Texas, and how to survive killer bees. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:
You know the saying, “where there’s smoke?” Alarms over policies for fire inspections in the nation’s 4th largest city. That story today on the Texas Standard
Tempers boiling over among residents of the real windy city, now in day eleven of a water safety alert.
You’ve heard about the nursing shortage. One big reason, a shortage of nursing teachers…and Texas is in worse shape than most.
And spark up the smoker, the barbecue kid is taking on the competition. We’ll meet the 12 year old grill master who can cook rings around the rest of us.
He was 22 years old, riding his horse south of Corpus Christi in the vicinity of what would one day be called the King Ranch. But that wouldn’t happen for another twenty years.
This vast stretch of sandy prairie was still known as “The Wild Horse Desert.”
In some ways it was a spooky place – ghostly. You would see horse tracks everywhere, but no people. There were plenty of worn trails, but the population was merely equestrian.
Folks reckoned that these horses were the descendants of the ones that arrived with Cortez, when he came to conquer the Aztecs. Some had escaped, migrated north, and bred like rabbits (if you can say that about horses).
Our young man – actually a newly minted second lieutenant from West Point – was riding with a regiment of soldiers under the command of General Zachary Taylor. They were under orders to establish Fort Texas on the Rio Grande and enforce that river as the southern border of the U.S. Fort Texas would shortly become Fort Brown, the fort that Brownsville, Texas would take its name from.
The young lieutenant, who had excelled as a horseman at West Point, was so impressed with the seemingly infinite herds of wild horses in South Texas that he made a note of it in his journal. He said:
“A few days out from Corpus Christi, the immense herd of wild horses that ranged at that time between the Nueces and the Rio Grande was directly in front of us. I rode out a ways to see the extent of the herd. The country was a rolling prairie, and from the higher ground, the vision was obstructed only by the curvature of the earth. As far as the eye could reach to the right, the herd extended. To the left, it extended equally. There was no estimating the number of animals in it; I doubt that they could all have been corralled in the State of Rhode Island, or Delaware, at one time. If they had been, they would have been so thick that the pasture would have given out the first day.”
Both General Taylor and his Second Lieutenant would distinguish themselves on that journey.
Zachary Taylor had no idea that this Wild Horse Desert would lead to him on to victory in Mexico and to political victory back home. He would become the 12th President of the United States.
His dashing second lieutenant would also ascend to the presidency, 20 years after him.
The young man on high ground, surveying the primordial scene of thousands of mustangs grazing before him, would become the hero of many battles in the years ahead. He would ultimately lead the union forces to victory in the Civil War – and become the youngest president of the U.S. His presidential memoirs would become a runaway bestseller – a book Mark Twain would publish and call “the most remarkable work of its kind since Caesar’s Commentaries.” It is that book that gives us this story.
It was written by Hiram U. Grant. Well that was his birth name. But when he entered West Point, due to a clerical error, the name Hiram was dropped and his middle name became his first name, the name you know him by: Ulysses. Ulysses S. Grant.
Listen to the full audio in the player above.
W.F Strong is a Fulbright Scholar and professor of Culture and Communication at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. And at Public Radio 88 FM in Harlingen, Texas, he’s the resident expert on Texas literature, Texas legends, Blue Bell Ice Cream, Whataburger (with cheese) and mesquite smoked brisket.