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75th Anniversary

75th Anniversary Timeline: Society

Highlighting events and milestones through the years that coincide with Texas Co-op Power’s 75 years of publication

In the 75 years since Texas Co-op Power debuted in July 1944, folks like Audie Murphy and Walter Cronkite became household names, and Leonards Department Store and the National Women’s Conference helped change society.

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1945: Audie Murphy of Kingston receives the Medal of Honor. He later becomes the most decorated U.S. soldier of World War II.

1945: Adm. Chester Nimitz of Fredericksburg signs the peace treaty with Japan that ends World War II.

1948: The Crystal City Family Internment Camp in South Texas, which detained thousands of American families of Japanese, German and Italian descent during World War II, is closed.

1955: Using the August 22, 1949, Life magazine cover of Panhandle rancher Clarence Hailey Long as its inspiration, Philip Morris creates the Marlboro Man, an advertising campaign that increased the brand’s cigarette sales by 3,241%.

1958: Philanthropist Ima Hogg donates the Varner-Hogg Plantation to the state.

1960: Leonards Department Store in Fort Worth becomes the first major retailer in that city or Dallas to take down all segregationist signs and welcome African Americans.

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1962: Legendary oil field firefighter Red Adair of Houston leads a team that extinguishes an oil well fire that had been raging in an Algerian desert for six months.

1962: Newscaster Dan Rather of Wharton begins his four-decade career at CBS.

1966: A shooter atop the University of Texas tower commits what is widely considered the first public mass shooting in U.S. history, ultimately killing 17 people.

1968: HemisFair, the first officially designated international exposition in the southwestern U.S., opens in San Antonio.

1971: The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, which houses more than 45 million pages of historical documents, opens on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.

1973: Tom Bradley, a grandson of slaves born in Calvert, is elected Los Angeles’ first black mayor.

1975: The Houston GLBT Political Caucus, the oldest Southern LGBT rights organization, is founded.

1975: Gloria Dean Randle Scott of Houston becomes the first black president of the Girl Scouts of America.

1977: The National Women’s Conference takes place in Houston.

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1987: More than 700 music fans attend Austin’s inaugural South by Southwest festival, which has evolved into a major annual tech, music and media event.

1990: Marguerite Ross Barnett becomes president of the University of Houston and the first black woman to lead a major American university.

1992: Gov. Ann Richards buys the first Texas Lottery ticket, a Lone Star Millions scratch-off, at an Austin feed store.

1993: West Texas A&M University in Canyon, which previously went under several different names, adopts its current name.

2009: Annise Parker is elected mayor of Houston as one of the first openly gay mayors of a major city in U.S. history.

2012: Big Tex, the 52-foot-tall mechanical cowboy that towered over the State Fair of Texas for 60 years, catches fire and is destroyed. His replacement debuted the next year.

2017: Hurricane Harvey strikes the Texas coast, killing 68 people, dumping historic amounts of rain on the Houston area and causing damage and outages at 15 electric co-ops. Its $126 billion in damage is second only to Katrina in U.S. history.

2019: A U.S. Census Bureau report shows that five of the 10-fastest growing cities in the U.S. with populations of 50,000 or more are in Texas: New Braunfels, Frisco, McKinney, Georgetown and Rowlett.