Texas Almanac, 1943-1944 Page: 26
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And Associated Enterprises
In the two years since the Texas
Almanac was last issued the war which
was then raging in Europe and the Far
East has become truly global. Plunged
into World War II, our country has been
brought face to face with the greatest
crisis in our history. Texans and Texas
institutions have been among the first to
rally to the common cause. The Texas
Almanac, like the larger journalistic
enterprise of which it is a part, is pledged
above all to that concentration of
thought and action which alone can
The News-as this larger journalistic
enterprise is known throughout Texas
and the Southwest-has long since un-
dergone the baptism of fire. The firm
which publishes The Dallas News and
the Texas Almanac and operates radio
stations WFAA and KGKO is Texas' old-
est business institution. Now more than
a century old, The News as a publishing
organization was born in Galveston on
April 11, 1842. Texas at that time was
an independent republic. During its first
100 years The News has lived through
five of its country's major wars and its
own centennial in 1942 fell in the midst
of the mightiest and most far-reaching
conflict modern man has yet been called
upon to face.
In War and Peace.
Mere survival, it has been said, cannot
explain the value or prestige of an in-
stitution. That is the result of its ability
to adapt itself to changing conditions and
to achieve under even the most adverse
circumstances. In war as in peace The
News has evinced these qualities.
Through more than a century of public
service the organization has acquired and
refined those skills and traditions which
make survival not only possible but sig-
nificant as well.
In spite of its sovereign independence,
Texas was a poor, almost a bankrupt
country with a population of less than
125,000 when The News began publica-
tion on Galveston Island in April of 1842.
The United States had spurned the first
offer of Texans to annex their land and
rather than fall once more into the hands
of Mexican tyranny under Santa Anna,
Texans were prepared to ask for mem-
bership in the British Empire.
Galveston in 1842 was the chief sea-
port of Texas but a small village in fact,
with less than 1,000 inhabitants. The
settlement in the northern part of Texas
which was to be known as Dallas had
been started by John Neely Bryan, but
its existence was virtually unknown even
in South Texas. With trails for roads and
no railroads or telegraph lines, the great-
er part of the domain of the Republic
still was held by the Indian, the mustang
and the buffalo.
The first enterprise of The News was
a daily newspaper started by Samuel
Bangs, the pioneer Texas printer. His
brother-in-law, George H. French was
nominally editor of The Daily News.
Business on the island did not justify
continuation of a daily edition, however,
and shortly The News fell back into
weekly issue-the form through which
the paper gained its strength and reputa-
tion from 1842 until 1865.
The name of Willard Richardson is
rightly associated with the founding and
formative period of the publishing insti-
tution. But for his timely entry into the
destiny of the institution in 1844, The
News might well have expired in the
first few years of its existence. A native
of New England but reared in South
Carolina, Richardson was the directing
head of The News through the Mexican
War and the War Between the States.
By the time of his death in 1875 he had
seen Texas triumph over the worst ex-
cesses of Reconstruction.
Under Richardson The News estab-
lished its tradition for leadership. It was
the leading voice for annexation to the
American Union, which it saw consum-
mated in 1845. The paper backed the
total war effort when fighting became
inevitable between the United States and
Mexico. As the "irrepressible conflict"
between the North and the South loomed
ahead, The News counseled secession
and approved Texas' withdrawal from
the Union. As a part of the Confederacy,
Texas was attacked by Federal forces
who at first blockaded Texas ports. The
News was early forced to withdraw from
Galveston to inland Houston where the
enterprise functioned on shortened ra-
tions and dwindling supplies until the
end of the war. During Reconstruction
The News became the leading spokesman
of the conservatives of Texas who finally
redeemed the state from political bond-
age imposed by extremists and scalawags.
The economic and social betterment of
Texas has been uppermost in the heart
and mind of The News from the start.
The founder of the organization success-
fully led the movement for railroad
building, highway improvement, exten-
sion of telegraph facilities, the progress
of both secondary and higher education
and all other major measures designed to
create and prosper a modern common-
wealth in the former southwestern wil-
The second chief personality in the
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Texas Almanac, 1943-1944, book, 1943; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117165/m1/28/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.