The Politics of Personality Part 1, 1915-1927
Born: August 31, 1871 near Salado, Bell County, Texas
Early career: Ferguson's father died in 1876, and as soon as Ferguson was able, he helped out on the family's farm. He entered Salado College at 14, attending for two years. For the next two years, Ferguson worked his way west, taking a variety of jobs. He returned to Texas and worked on the railroads until 1895 when he began studying law. Ferguson was admitted to the bar in 1897 and began his practice in Belton. He developed interests in real estate, insurance, banking, and politics. In 1914 he won the governorship and was reelected in 1916.
Accomplishments: During his first term, legislation regarding state aid to rural schools, the establishment of the Austin State School, college building programs, and large appropriations for education were passed.
During Ferguson's second term in office, a quarrel with the University of Texas administration grew into a controversy. Resultant charges against him precipitated impeachment proceedings. The Senate, sitting as a court of impeachment, by the vote of 25 to 3, convicted Ferguson on ten charges, which included the misapplication of public funds, and failing to respect and enforce the banking laws of the state. Although he resigned on August 25, 1917, the day before the judgment was announced, the court of impeachment's judgment was sustained, preventing Ferguson from holding public office in Texas.
Later years: Ferguson continued to be politically active. In 1924 and 1932 he conducted the successful campaigns of his wife for the governorship. Ferguson married Miriam Amanda Wallace on December 31, 1899, and they had two daughters. He died on September 21, 1944.
Campaign material opposing Ferguson
Einstein presents theory of relativity
D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation
The Perils of Pauline
Chaplin's The Tramp
Margaret Sanger jailed for proposing birth control
Battle of the Somme
Sinking of the Lusitania
Ku Klux Klan revived in Georgia
Tommy gun invented
1916 Pancho Villa stages murderous raids along border; U.S. sends 6000 troops
U.S. and Mexico submit to arbitration
U.S. enters World War I
Women's suffrage movement becomes militant
Morton's "Jelly Roll Blues"
Cohan's "Over There"
Jun 21 1917 Humble Oil company (Exxon) incorporated
4.8 million cars in the U.S.
Aug 5 1917 Goose Creek Oil Field strikes it big
Aug 23 1917 Camp Logan race riot in Houston
Born: March 26, 1878 at Moscow, Polk County, Texas
Early Career: In 1892 Hobby's family moved to Houston. Later, Hobby quit high school to take a job with the circulation department of the Houston Post, and eventually was promoted to managing editor. In 1904 Hobby helped organize the Young Men's Democratic Club, and was its first president. He attended the 1904 Democratic state convention as chairman of the delegation for the Sixteenth Congressional District, and later became secretary of the State Democratic Executive Committee. In 1907 Hobby moved to Beaumont to become editor and proprietor of the Beaumont Enterprise. He was selected president of the Chamber of Commerce in February 1912.
Hobby was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 and reelected in 1916. He became acting governor on August 25, 1917 and governor on September 25, 1917, when James Ferguson resigned.
Accomplishments: While filling Ferguson's term, Hobby agreed to the proposal allowing women to vote during the primary, and supported legislation banning alcohol sales within ten miles of military installations. Hobby was elected governor in 1918, and supported a generous appropriation for education, state assistance in obtaining home loans, and tax levies on oil and gas products. The Eighteenth Amendment regarding prohibition was passed by the legislature and approved by the voters while Hobby was in office.
Later years: Hobby married Willie Cooper of Beaumont on May 15, 1915 at New Orleans; she died in 1929. Hobby married Oveta Culp on February 23, 1931. Two children were born to this marriage: William Pettus Hobby, Jr., who was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1972, and Jessica Oveta. Hobby died on June 7, 1964 in Houston.
Letter from Hobby to his father-in-law on women's suffrage
Oct 21 1917 "Roaring Ranger" oil field discovered in West Texas
Civil War in Russia
Feb 28 1918 Texas ratifies Prohibition
Mar 1918 Women win right to vote in Texas
Worldwide influenza epidemic kills 500,000 Americans, 20 million worldwide
Flying aces become heroes
Allied offensive breaks German line
Nov 11 1918 World War I ends; 5.1 million dead, 126,000 Americans
Father Divine and Marcus Garvey attract millions of African American followers
Nov 1919 Texas voters pass prohibition amendment
"Red Menace" scare leads to hundreds of arrests
1920 Large-scale irrigation begins in High Plains
Lofting's The Story of Dr. Doolittle
Sandburg's Smoke and Steel
19th Amendment gives the vote to women nationwide
Chicago "Black Sox" baseball scandal
Adolf Hitler founds Nazi Party in Germany
Radio broadcasting begins
Born November 26, 1871, near McGregor, Texas
Early Career: Neff worked on his father's farm and ranch, attended a country school when time would allow, and then went to McGregor High School. Neff graduated from Baylor University in 1894. He taught school in Arkansas for two years and then entered the University of Texas Law School, receiving a degree in 1897. Neff began practicing law at Waco in 1897 while pursuing a Master of Arts degree at Baylor University. He was McLennan County representative from 1899 to 1905, and was speaker of the house for the 28th Legislature. From 1906 to 1912, Neff was prosecuting attorney of McLennan County. From 1912 to 1919, he practiced law in Waco and worked on civic, religious, and educational projects.
Accomplishments: In 1920 and 1922 Neff won the gubernatorial elections. The first day Neff was in office, he abolished the Board of Pardon Advisors. He called for economy in government, lower taxes, and improved education. Although he had problems with the legislature, he worked for sizable appropriations for conservation, helped develop a State Parks Board, and recommended the creation of a State Historical Board. During his administration Neff also helped develop medical facilities, including the American Legion Hospital, and advanced education in rural areas.
Later years: When Neff completed his service as governor, he resumed his law practice in Waco. President Calvin Coolidge appointed Neff to the United States Board of Mediation (1927-1929). In 1929, Governor Dan Moody asked Neff to be chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission. He was replaced as chairman in 1931, but remained a member of the Railroad Commission until 1932, when he became president of Baylor University. He served in that post from from 1932 to 1947. Neff married Myrtie Mainer on May 31, 1899 at Lovelady, Texas. They had two children. Pat Neff died on January 19, 1952.
Message to the legislature on establishing the park system
Mass industry layoffs; average work day 12-14 hours
Reader's Digest begins publication
Sacco and Vanzetti trial
Knee-length skirts become the fashion
King Tut's tomb discovered in Egypt
13.3 million automobiles in U.S.
Mar 22 1922 Oil well blowout preventer invented
Time magazine begins publication
May 28 1923 Santa Rita No. 1 struck, brings vast fortune to University of Texas
July 30 1923 Last legal public hanging in Texas
Teapot Dome scandal
Mar 14 1924 Charles Lindbergh begins pilot training in San Antonio
Bootlegging leads to rise of the gangsters
Leopold and Loeb "thrill killing" trial
2.5 million radios in U.S.
Ku Klux Klan gains political power across South and Midwest
Born: Miriam Amanda Wallace was born in Bell County in 1875.
Early Career: Miriam Wallace attended Salado College and Baylor Female College. In 1899 she married James E. Ferguson, with whom she had two daughters. Her political involvement was minor during her husband's terms in office (1915-1917). But in 1924, after "Pa" Ferguson was denied a place on the ballot, "Ma" Ferguson announced her own candidacy. Her campaign, under the slogan "Two governors for the price of one," was fiscally conservative, anti-Klan, anti-prohibition, and aimed at the vindication of James Ferguson's reputation. Ferguson was the first woman to be elected state governor, but the second woman governor to be inaugurated (after Wyoming's Nellie T. Ross) in the United States.
Accomplishments: Her first administration was noted for the unusually large number of pardons granted (averaging one hundred per month), the prohibiting of wearing masks in public (aimed at the Ku Klux Klan), and the frequent charges that she was open to graft and corruption. In 1926 she was defeated in the primary by Dan Moody.
Proclamation of "Child Health Day"
1925 Texas Technological College (later Texas Tech University) opens in Lubbock
Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby
Scopes "monkey" trial in Tennessee
The "Charleston" is popular dance
Crossword puzzles become popular
Hitler publishes Mein Kampf
Chaplin's The Gold Rush
Richard Byrd flies over the North Pole
Chiang Kai-shek leads reunification movement in China
Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises
Georgia O'Keefe's Black Iris
Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me"
First liquid-fueled rocket
Gertrude Ederle swims the English Channel