A Preponderance of Orthographers
Young Texans have proven masterful at spelling words that seemingly come from a jostled Scrabble board. They have pretty much owned the Scripps National Spelling Bee in recent years.
Three of the eight co-champions in 2019 came from Texas. Sohum Sukhatankar of Dallas dazzled with his winning word, pendeloque.
Abhijay Kodali of Flower Mound spelled palama. And Rohan Raja of Dallas aced odylic.
They followed in the footsteps of 2018 champion Karthik Nemmani of McKinney, who hoisted the trophy after spelling koinonia.
Nihar Janga of Austin shared the title in 2016 after spelling Gesellschaft.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of the 2020 bee. The 2021 finals are scheduled for July 8.
Care To Dance?
Texas Dance Hall Preservation donated $262,520 to assist 32 historic dance halls with expenses in 2020.
Dance halls across the state were shut down for most of 2020, unable to hold dances, weddings, festivals and fundraisers because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 1,000 dance halls, built mostly by European immigrants, once dotted parts of Texas. Today, fewer than 400 remain. Read Hail the Halls from February 2019 to learn more.
May 5, National Astronaut Day
An etymology dictionary cites 1880 as the earliest use of the word “astronaut.” That’s when English writer Percy Greg coined it for a fictional spaceship.
“Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing.”
LBJ Archives at 50
The LBJ Presidential Library at the University of Texas at Austin turns 50 on May 22. It was the first presidential library to be located on a college campus and the first anywhere in Texas.
The First Five Presidential Libraries
Opened June 30, 1941
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Hyde Park, New York
July 6, 1957
Harry S. Truman
May 1, 1962
Dwight D. Eisenhower
August 10, 1962
West Branch, Iowa
May 22, 1971
Lyndon B. Johnson