Texas history | KERA News

Texas history

Texas State Archives

Texas was a very different place two centuries ago. It was home to roaming tribes and just a few permanent settlements. Researcher Sam Haynes of UT Arlington says it was the most diverse place in North America.

National Air and Space Museum / Wikimedia

A native Texan, Bessie Coleman escaped poverty and discrimination to soar to new heights as the first female aviator of African American and Native American descent. That’s why today — her 125th birthday — she takes the illustrative honor as Google’s homepage doodle.

Christopher Connelly / KERA

William Madison McDonald is far from a household name these days, but he was a legend in his day. Born 150 years ago, McDonald is widely believed to have been the first black millionaire in Texas.

How Slavery Built Texas

Sep 22, 2016
Shutterstock

If you grew up in Texas, you were probably taught about how we fought for independence from Mexico – and later traded sovereignty for U.S. statehood. Why our Texas ancestors made those decisions, though, is sometimes glossed over. Today on Think, Krys Boyd talked with UNT history professor Andrew Torget about how slavery fueled the Texas Revolution.

How Textbooks Can Teach Different Versions Of History

Jul 14, 2015

This summer there's been an intense debate surrounding the Confederate flag and the legacy of slavery in this country.

In Texas that debate revolves around new textbooks that 5 million students will use when the school year begins next month.

The question is, are students getting a full and accurate picture of the past?

Eleventh-grade U.S. history teacher Samantha Manchac is concerned about the new materials and is already drawing up her lesson plans for the coming year. She teaches at The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, a public school in Houston.

On a recent episode of KERA's "Anything You Ever Wanted to Know," a listener new to Texas asked for suggestions of books that would help him to learn about the Lone Star state. So we polled the smartest audience in radio, and here are the 12 books listeners recommended the most.

Jimmy Emerson / flickr.com/photos/auvet/

Hitting the road anytime soon?

Across Texas, you’ll pass through scores of towns. Some are poetic – Glen Rose, Pecan Plantation, Enchanted Oaks.

Maybe you’ll drive through the trio of sisters in Collin County – Melissa, Anna and Josephine.

There’s Sunrise and Sunset. A place called Paradise. There’s even Elmo and Kermit!

But you’ll also pass through Texas towns with some strange names.