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For the Record

Some of the stuff we looked into while you were reading last month’s issue

First in a String

Legendary fiddler Alexander “Eck” Robertson, who was raised on a farm in the Panhandle, made musical history 100 years ago this month.

Robertson and Henry C. Gilliland recorded four fiddle duets June 30, 1922, at the Victor Talking Machine Co. in New York City. The tracks are regarded as the first commercial recordings of country music.

 

Barbara Jordan’s day as governor of Texas was marred when her father, the Rev. Benjamin Jordan, suffered a stroke. He died the next day.

Frank Wolfe | Courtesy LBJ Presidential Library.

Gov. Jordan

Among Barbara Jordan’s many accomplishments was becoming Texas governor for a day 50 years ago this month.

Months before her election to the U.S. House, her colleagues in the Texas Senate unanimously elected Jordan president pro tem. Gov. Preston Smith and Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes both made plans to be out of state June 10, 1972, enabling Jordan to step in as acting governor, making her the first Black woman in the U.S. to preside over a legislative body.

 

Despite the demise of the San Marcos gambusia, other species of gambusia thrive in Central Texas’ San Marcos River.

Sciencepics | Shutterstock.com.

Gambusia Is Gone

A tiny Texas fish is among 23 species that federal wildlife officials want to declare extinct.

The San Marcos gambusia, an inch-long fish found only in the San Marcos River in Hays County, was last collected in the wild in 1983. The Fish and Wildlife Service has recommended that it join 21 other animals and one plant in being removed from the endangered species list and declared extinct.

 

Co-ops Rule

Electric cooperatives dominated the 2021 J.D. Power rankings for customer satisfaction, with 14 co-ops—including Texas’ Magic Valley EC and CoServ—finishing among the top 20 U.S. residential power providers in the annual survey of electric customers.

The study is based on responses from 100,999 online interviews conducted from January through November. The survey targeted residential customers of the nation’s 145 largest electric utilities, representing more than 101 million households. Utility performance was measured in six areas: power quality and reliability, price, billing and payment, communications, corporate citizenship, and customer care.

 

 

Flash From the Past

The earliest known photograph of lightning was made by Thomas Martin Easterly using the daguerreotype process. That happened 175 years ago this month, June 18, 1847, in St. Louis.

 

Kovaleva_ka | Stock.adobe.com

Vegging Out … Way Out

June 17 is National Eat Your Vegetables Day, and we know gardens across Co-op Country produce bounties of amazing crops. But this month we spotlight folks who look beyond cultivated patches for wild edibles. See The Grazing Craze.

 

A Most Remarkable Event

Graduates of Prairie View A&M University experienced what the Houston Daily Post called “the most remarkable day in the history” of the young college when Booker T. Washington spoke at the commencement 125 years ago this month.

Washington, a leading intellectual and preeminent Black educator of the 19th century, addressed a packed hall at what was then called Prairie View Normal School on June 4, 1897.

Daily Post coverage of the event carried no quotes from Washington’s speech but described him this way: “Armed with striking wit, applicable anecdotes, allegories and parallels, coupled with hard sense and thorough understanding of his subject, he is simply a master of his throng.”