Texas History

Laura Jesse

In the 17th and 18th centuries the Spanish sought to extend their colonies by settling in what is now Bexar County.  An exhibit opening this week in San Antonio’s former Federal Reserve Building helps tell the story of how the Spanish first came to the area.

The notion of a “serial killer” hadn’t been thought up yet in 1885. But that year in Austin, there was one on the loose. It’s one of the greatest unsolved mass murders in Texas history – and except for enthusiasts of the bizarre – it's been all but forgotten.

According to legend -- and a Texas historical marker -- early in the morning on April 17, 1897, something strange happened in the small town of Aurora, about 30 miles northwest of Fort Worth.

It took just 62 days for Wilbert Lee O'Daniel to go from being a hillbilly flour salesman on the radio to the most powerful politician in Texas. While O'Daniel never achieved any major historic accomplishments while in office, he was fantastically talented at generating controversies and winning elections.

A new film by a Houston director is examining a dark period of Texas history. “The Example” is a fictional story, set during the 1943 race riots in Beaumont, a small city in southeast Texas.

The movie tells the hypothetical story of a black family trying to flee the riots and having a nearly tragic encounter with a couple of white policemen on a quiet country road after dark.