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For Electric Cooperative Members

Good as Gold

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

Texas Co-op Power magazine covers and 80th anniversary logo

Co-op Roots

With flowery language, Texas Co-op Power announced in its debut issue 80 years ago this month that “there will no longer exist that vacant, uncultivated space within the garden of printed and published facts.”

The magazine itself was unflowery in July 1944—just four plain pages of newsprint. But it had strong roots: messaging that informed and unified members of newly formed electric cooperatives.

Here’s what readers learned in that first issue:

In 1936, less than 3% of Texas farms had electricity, compared to 30% in 1944.

A farm in Dublin, Texas, increased its production 70% with the help of electricity. And, of course, there was a notice of an annual meeting.

By the August issue, with a circulation of 14,000, the publication had grown to eight pages and ran the first of what has become a beloved string of recipes—for fruit-stuffed spareribs.

Those strong roots today sustain a communications platform that includes nearly 1.9 million slick magazines every month and a website, plus social media access that’s just a click away on any device.


Charley Paddock, second from right, an Olympic star from Gainesville, was the first person labeled as the “fastest man alive.”

Bettmann | Getty images

Seeking Gold in France

Texas will be well-represented among American athletes when the Summer Olympics kick off July 26 in Paris—as it was the last time the French capital hosted the Games, 100 years ago.

Charley Paddock of Gainesville, a track star in 1924, was the first person labeled as the “fastest man alive.” That was in 1919, a year before he starred in the 1920 Olympics, winning gold in the 100 meters and silver in the 200.

Paddock again won silver in the 200 in 1924. Chariots of Fire, the 1981 Oscar-winning film, captured the religious tensions of members of the British track team at those Games.

Paddock was portrayed as a brash American in the movie.


Jordan’s Eloquence

U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan entered the national consciousness 50 years ago this month when she made her case for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.

The Texan spoke at a House Judiciary Committee hearing July 25, 1974. Her zealous speech included these words:

“My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total. And I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution.”