Texas Almanac, 1992-1993 Page: 52
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52 TEXAS ALMANAC 1992-1993
Central Texas: Camp MacArthur in Waco and Camp
Travis in San Antonio. In addition, the Leon Springs
First Officers Training Camp was built at Leon Springs,
Bexar County, in May 1917. About 1,500 volunteers grad-
uated from the Leon Springs camp and were commis-
sioned with ranks from lieutenant to major.
Construction also began at Kelly Field, first called
Camp Kelly, in San Antonio in May 1917; within five
months it was the largest flight training school in the
world. Kelly Field was named for George E. M. Kelly,
the first army aviator to lose his life while piloting a mil-
itary aircraft. The fatal crash occurred at Fort Sam
Houston in May 1911. Virtually all air force command-
ers who won their pilot wings before World War II
trained at Kelly. Jimmy Doolittle was stationed at Kelly
when he made his "dawn to dusk" flight in 1922, the first
to span the continent during daylight hours. Such avi-
ation luminaries as Billy Mitchell and Hap Arnold were
Kelly alumni. Kelly Air Force Base is today the oldest
continuously used military aviation base in Texas.
At the outbreak of World War I, San Antonio offered
an 873-acre tract of land south of the city for a pilot-
training facility. Brooks Field, which opened in Decem-
ber 1917, was named for Cadet Sidney J. Brooks Jr.,
who was killed earlier in 1917 in a training flight origi-
nating at Kelly Field. Brooks was the site, on April 28,
1929, of the first mass parachute drop in the world.
Among those training at one time or another at Brooks
Field, later Brooks Air Force Base, were Charles Lind-
bergh; Elwood Quesada, who pioneered mid-flight re-
fueling and was later chief administrator of the Federal
Aviation Administration; and Hoyt Vandenberg,
Nathan Twining, Thomas D. White and Curtis LeMay,
all later chiefs of staff of the Air Force. One of the flight
instructors at Brooks was Claire Chennault, leader of
the famed World War II Flying Tigers.
Camp Mabry in Austin, which had been a Texas Vol-
unteer Guard summer encampment since 1890, was
converted into a federal military post for the duration
of the hostilities.
Those Central Texans who stayed home did their
parts for the war effort by buying Victory and Liberty
bonds and War Savings Stamps. Wheatless Mondays
and Wednesdays, meatless Tuesdays and porkless
Thursdays and Saturdays aided the wartime food con-
servation effort. War gardens were popular.
Patriotism during the period reached new heights in
some cases, new depths in others. Anti-German propa-
ganda fueled hate and mistrust of all Germans, at times
even German-Texans who were loyal citizens. Gov. Wil-
liam P. Hobby even vetoed appropriations for the Ger-
man Department at The University of Texas in 1919.
The war ended in November 1918, allowing Central
Texans to turn their concentration once more to the di-
verse problems at home.
Between the Wars
Public spending in Texas had increased greatly dur-
ing the war - from $13 million in 1913 to $27 million in
1919. The movement toward woman suffrage also grew
during the early 1900s. Although the Legislature allowed
women to vote in primaries beginning in 1918, Texas
voters rejected a woman suffrage amendment to the
state constitution in 1919. However, the Legislature rati-
fied the 19th amendment to the Constitution of the Unit-
ed States, which provided for woman suffrage, effective
Farmers sought greater control over their economic
and physical lives in the 1920s and 1930s. The Texas
Farm Bureau was organized in 1920 as the state arm of
the national Farm Bureau Federation, which was estab-
lished in 1919. The Farm Bureau worked for better rural
living conditions and for the improvement of agricultu-
ral education and research and of animal health laws.
They lobbied for better farm-to-market roads, for bet-
ter and more efficient production and distribution of
farm products, for eventual phase-out of crop controls
and price supports, and against minimum wage for
farm workers. The Texas Farm Bureau grew rapidly to
about 40,000 members in 1922; the failure of a cotton
pool among it members wiped it out in 1926. However,
the Farmer's Protective Committee organized in 1933,
later becoming the Texas Agricultural Association,
which affiliated in 1936 with the American Farm Bureau
Federation. The resurrected Texas Farm Bureau is still
The Ku Klux Klan reappeared in Texas about 1921. It
was a new organization tailored on and using the same
name as one that formed in the Southern states during
Reconstruction, and it resurfaced first in Atlanta, Ga.,
about 1915. On a wave of anti-foreign agitation that
grew out of the World War, KKK members terrorized,
sometimes lynched, anyone who believed or looked dif-
ferent from themselves - usually blacks, Catholics and
Jews. The white-sheeted night riders also targeted any-
one appearing to be friendly to those groups. The burn-
ing crosses of the Klan symbolized hate and bigotry, not
Christianity. The excesses of the Klan disgusted those
who had joined the organization in support of its politi-
cal activities. Anti-Klan sentiment grew among the gen-
eral public, spurred by the Klan's increasing terrorism
and violence, during the political campaigns of 1922 and
1924. After the Klan's candidate for governor was de-
feated in 1924, the organization began to decline, and
Klan terrorists were vigorously prosecuted by a num-
ber of district attorneys across the state. The Klan fi-
nally died out except for a few lunatic-fringe white
supremacists who, using the name of the Klan, still oc-
casionally parade around in their sheets.
Waco lawyer Pat Neff, a graduate of the University
of Texas law school, served two terms as Texas' gover-
nor from 1921 to 1925. Neff had been a state legislator,
and he served as Speaker of the Texas House of Rep-
resentatives from 1903 to 1905. Neff was president of
Baylor University from 1932 to 1947.
Air passenger service in the state began in 1928
when Texas Air Transport initiated service linking Dal-
las, San Antonio, Fort Worth and Galveston. Air service
expanded rapidly with additional lines and routes.
The Great Depression started with the stock market
crash on Oct. 29, 1929. But the effects were felt well be-
yond Wall Street. The federal government inaugurated
the most ambitious social and economic programs in
U.S. history. In an unemployment census in 1933, Texas
listed 105,045 families on relief statewide, or 7.1 percent,
which, though unacceptably high, was not as severe as
the national rate of 10.3 percent. During Gov. Miriam
"Ma" Ferguson's second administration (1933-1935),
voters approved $20 million in "bread bonds" to aug-
ment federal relief efforts. They also approved a $3,000
homestead exemption to protect property owners who
risked losing their homes because they could not pay
their taxes. Unfortunately, these actions also worsened
the state's financial troubles.
The Civilian Conservation Corps, inaugurated by
the federal government in 1933, provided jobs by con-
structing 510 public buildings, laying 998.7 miles of new
highway pavement and making improvements in 135
parks and playgrounds across the state. President
Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration spawned many
other agencies, such as the National Youth Adminis-
tration and the Works Projects Administration, that
were designed to employ as many out-of-work Ameri-
cans as possible.
One such agency, the Treasury Section of Painting
and Sculpture, employed out-of-work artists to paint
decorative murals in post offices. Central Texas post
offices that were decorated with New Deal art included
Elgin, Gatesville, Lampasas, Lockhart, Rockdale, San
Antonio and Smithville.
One of the projects assigned to the National Youth
Administration in 1939 was the renovation of La Villita,
an area of San Antonio containing early Spanish build-
ings, into an arts-and-crafts center. The San Antonio
missions were restored with WPA funds. Also undertak-
en about the same time was the beautification of the
banks of the San Antonio River through the middle of
San Antonio. This project marked the beginnings of to-
day's charming and popular Paseo del Rio, also called
the River Walk. Earlier, some San Antonio businessmen
wanted to convert the downtown section of the river
into a sewer and build a street on top of it.
Bastrop State Park was constructed as a Civilian
Conservation Corp project. The Tower of The Universi-
ty of Texas at Austin was also made possible by New
Deal employment programs.
When cotton prices dropped from 18 cents a pound
TEXAS ALMANAC 1992-1993
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Kingston, Mike. Texas Almanac, 1992-1993, book, 1991; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth279642/m1/56/: accessed December 11, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.