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

988 Saves Lives

People who need help or counseling in a crisis can now call or text 988 to reach the national suicide prevention lifeline from anywhere in the U.S. The hope is that the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline becomes synonymous with mental health care, just as 911 is with public safety.

Suicide rates in rural America were 18.9 per 100,000 people compared to 13.2 in urban areas in 2021, according to the National Institutes of Health. And the difference in suicide rates between rural and urban areas widened between 1999 and 2019.

Stress and anxiety from raising crops or livestock, depression from being in a remote setting, and the stigmatization of mental illness are factors that sometimes lead to suicidal thoughts, according to Rural Health Information.


Worth Repeating

“No man knows what he can do until he tries.”
–Carter G. Woodson, who dedicated his career to the field of African American history and lobbied extensively to establish Black History Month as a nationwide institution


Electrifying Fact

In 1935, when the Rural Electrification Administration was established, just 1 in 10 U.S. farms received electricity. By 1947, electrification had spread to more than half the farms in the country. Your electric cooperative continues a tradition that’s 88 years strong.

Corralling Cowgirls

Cowgirls banded together in Texas 75 years ago this month to form the oldest organization of women athletes in the U.S. The Girls Rodeo Association, forerunner of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, was created February 28, 1948, in San Angelo.


The dinosaur that left this footprint in the Paluxy River bottom would have stood 15 feet tall and weighed close to 7 tons as an adult.

Maegan Lanham | TPWD

Walk This Way

How’s this for a carbon footprint?

The state’s severe drought last summer mostly dried up the Paluxy River that runs through Dinosaur Valley State Park, exposing dinosaur tracks from around 113 million years ago.

Scientists say 15-foot-tall Acrocanthosaurus left tracks in sediment that hardened into what is now limestone in the park, about 60 miles southwest of Fort Worth.



Syndicated gossip columnist Liz Smith would have turned 100 this month. The Grand Dame of Dish was born February 2, 1923, in Fort Worth. She died in 2017.


High-Stakes Trial

Remember when the Texas cattle industry had a beef with Oprah Winfrey?

She declared on her popular TV show in 1996 that a heightened awareness of mad cow disease would stop her from ever eating another burger. U.S. beef prices plummeted, and outraged leaders in the Texas beef industry sued Oprah, alleging more than $10 million in damages.

So Oprah relocated to Amarillo for more than a month during the trial 25 years ago, even taking her show to the Panhandle. Soon Amarillo Loves Oprah T-shirts were seen all over town.

Amarillo’s jurors ended up loving her, too. On February 26, 1998, the jury voted unanimously in Oprah’s favor.