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Texas History Timeline

c. 38,000 BP — America’s first settlers probably begin to cross a land bridge connecting Siberia and Alaska.

c. 10000-9000 BP — Clovis hunters search for mammoth, bison and other game.

c. 9000-8000 BP — Folsom people flourish throughout Southwest toward end of the last Ice Age.

A.D. 1-1300 — Anasazi culture develops into Chaco Civilization.

A.D. 300-1400 — Mogollon culture produce highly artistic pottery and early architecture in the form of pit houses.

A.D. 1200-1500S — Along the Rio Grande and its tributaries Pueblo Indians establish villages.

1492 — Columbus lands in the Bahamas.

1521 — Cortés plunders Aztec empire.

1534-36 — Shipwrecked on Texas coast near Galveston since 1528, Cabeza de Vaca, Estevan the Moor, and two others begin journey across Texas. Cabeza de Vaca reaches Culiacán, Mexico, after possibly crossing Texas and what is now southern New Mexico and begins rumors of the Seven Cities of Cibola.

1540s — Francisco Vasquez de Coronado explores Southwest.

Late 1600s — Navajos, Apaches, and Comanches begin raids against Pueblo Indians.

1821 — Mexican Independence achieved. Iturbide grants Moses Austin land on the Brazos River in Texas. Mexico declares independence from Spain.

1836 — Texas declares independence from Mexico at convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos (March 2), fall of the Alamo (March 6), and Battle of San Jacinto (April 21).

1845 — Texas is annexed by the US.

1846 — Mexican-American War begins.

1848 — Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends Mexican-American War. Discovery of gold in California begins the gold rush.

1854 — The Gadsden Purchase from Mexico adds 45,000 square miles to the territory.

1861 — Texas secedes from the Union and enters the Confederacy. Confederates invade New Mexico from Texas.

1865 — Black Texans learn of their emancipation on “Juneteenth” (June 19).

1886 — Geronimo surrenders; Indian hostilities cease in the Southwest.

1900 — Galveston is devastated by hurricane (September 8).

1901 — Oil is discovered on Spindletop.

1916 — Pancho Villa raids Columbus, New Mexico. Georgia O’Keeffe first encounters Southwest, teaching at West Texas State Normal College in Canyon, Texas.

1926-31 — Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) attends and graduates from Southwest Texas State Teachers College, now known as Texas State University-San Marcos.

1930-43 — During the Great Depression, federal New Deal funds provide employment for many and cause construction of numerous public buildings.

1939 — Katherine Anne Porter publishes Pale Horse, Pale Rider; J. Frank Dobie wins first Texas Institute of Letters Award for Apache Gold and Yaqui Silver.

1941-45 — World War II. John Graves was injured at the Battle of Saipan, which was a battle of the Pacific campaign on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands (June 15 to July 9, 1944).

1945 — First atomic bomb detonated at Trinity Site in southern New Mexico after its development at Los Alamos.

1948 — Lyndon Johnson wins Democratic Senate primary over Coke Stevenson by 87 votes in controversial election; Johnson becomes know as "Landslide Lyndon." Roy Bedichek publishes Adventures with a Texas Naturalist.

1949 — Heman Sweatt, first African American, admitted to University of Texas Law School.

1950-56 — Severe drought hits most of Texas, ends with spring 1956 rains.

1957 — John Graves takes canoe trip down Brazos River; Buddy Holly records “Peggy Sue” at Norman Petty Studio in Clovis, New Mexico.

1959 — Small plane crash kills Buddy Holly, Big Bopper, and Richie Valens (February 3).

1961 — Billy Lee Brammer publishes The Gay Place, arguably Texas' most important political novel, based partially on Brammer's days as an assistant to LBJ.

1963 — John F. Kennedy assassinated in Dallas (November 22); Texas Governor John Connally wounded. Lyndon Johnson sworn in as President.

1964 — Lyndon Johnson defeats Barry Goldwater and is elected President; J. Frank Dobie dies.

1966 — Barbara Jordan becomes first Black woman elected to Texas Senate; Charles Whitman kills 17 people, shooting from the Tower Observation Deck at the University of Texas at Austin (August 1). Farm workers strike in Texas Rio Grande Valley and march on state capitol. Bonnie and Clyde released.

1968 — Johnson announces that he will not run for reelection; Richard Nixon wins Presidency.

1970 — Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin opens (August 7); Janis Joplin dies of drug overdose (October 4).

1973 — Lyndon Johnson dies of a heart attack at the LBJ Ranch near Stonewall, Texas, at age 64.

1981 — Oil prices peak; Texas state economy booms.

1985 — Oil prices plunge; Texas state recession ensues. Larry McMurtry publishes Lonesome Dove, wins Pulitzer Prize.

1988 — George H. W. Bush of Texas elected President.

1993 —Federal agents storm Branch Davidians led by David Koresh at Mount Carmel near Waco, resulting first in the deaths of four agents and 86 Branch Davidians later in a fire that ends the siege.

1995 — District court in Texas Hopwood case rules against affirmative action admission system.

1996 — John Sayles’ film Lone Star released.

1997 — Townes Van Zandt dies (January 1).

2000 — Texas governor George W. Bush elected President

2003 — Space shuttle Columbia crashes over East Texas (February 1).

2005 — Hurricane Katrina pounds New Orleans and surrounding areas (August) resulting in more than 1,800 deaths and estimated $125 billion in damage; residents evacuated, thousands into Texas. Hurricane Rita slams Southeast Texas and Louisiana (September) causing estimated $11 billion in damage.

2006 — Former Texas governor Ann Richards dies (September 14).

2007 — Famed Texas journalist Molly Ivins dies in Austin (January 31).

— Mark Busby

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