Texas Almanac, 1992-1993 Page: 54
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54 TEXAS ALMANAC 1992-1993
hospitals, at its peak serving more than 5,000 patients. It
became a Veterans Administration hospital at the close
of the war.
Camp Mabry in Austin, originally established in the
19th century and transformed into a federal facility dur-
ing World War I, was reactivated during World War II
as a supply and replacement depot.
U.S. Army Air Force stations in Central Texas in-
cluded the Bryan, Hondo, San Marcos and Waco army
air fields, Bergstrom Field at Austin and Blackland in
San Antonio was home to the largest collection of
armed services posts in the state, including the army's
Fort Sam Houston, Fort Bullis, the San Antonio Arsenal,
the San Antonio Army Service Forces and Adjutant
General depots and Brooke General Hospital. Military
aviation facilities in San Antonio included Brooks, Kel-
ly, Randolph and Stinson fields and the San Antonio Avi-
ation Cadet Center, which became Lackland Army Air
Field in 1946.
About a million and a quarter men trained for mili-
tary service in Texas during World War II: 20 combat di-
visions had been trained in Texas by the end of 1944.
About 750,000 Texas men served in the military. More
than 8,000 Texas women enlisted in the Women's Army
Corps (WACs), and 4,200 served in the WAVES (Women
Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service). Smaller
numbers signed up for the SPARS (women's branch of
the Coast Guard) and the women's branch of the Ma-
Twenty-one prisoner-of-war base camps and more
than 20 branch camps were established in Texas during
the war, housing German, Japanese and Italian prison-
ers, and several were in Central Texas (see article,
World War II brought full employment, high wages
and high prices. It also brought austerity, with govern-
ment-imposed rationing of sugar, meats, fats, canned
goods, coffee, shoes, gasoline, tires - everything
needed to keep the military services supplied. Scrap-
metal drives were organized in towns all across the
state to collect metal of all kinds to be recycled into sup-
plies and equipment vital to the war effort. Rents and
wages were frozen during the war, and price increases
were discouraged. War-bond drives and air-raid drills
were experienced by all Texans.
After the war's end in 1945, Texas' prosperity contin-
ued into the 1950s and 1960s. Peacetime saw Central
Texas, as well as the rest of the state, enjoying relative-
ly prosperous times, although per capita income was
below the national average. The Texas economy ex-
panded, ensuring the continuation of high employment,
wages and prices. Those returning from World War II
found jobs in the expanding industrial sector.
Lyndon Baines Johnson, a Central Texas native, was
elected to the U.S. Senate in 1948 in one of the most con-
troversial elections in Texas history. Johnson, who was
born near Stonewall, Gillespie County, in 1908, attended
Southwest Texas State Teachers College (now South-
west Texas State University) in San Marcos. He first
went to Washington as a congressman in 1937, elected to
fill the unexpired term of the late James Paul Buchan-
an. His squeaker of a victory over Coke Stevenson in
1948, an 87-vote margin out of almost 1 million cast,
earned Johnson the nickname of "Landslide Lyndon."
Selected as John F. Kennedy's running mate in 1960, he
succeeded to the presidency upon Kennedy's assassina-
tion in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Johnson was elected to
his own four-year term in 1964. He retired to his ranch
outside Stonewall in 1968, where he died of a heart
attack on Jan. 22, 1973.
Texas was forced to take a reluctant giant step to-
ward integration in 1950 when a black student, H. M.
Sweatt, was admitted to the University of Texas law
school because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Howev-
er, even though they had gained the right to attend
classes on the University campus by the mid-1950s,
blacks could not share living space there with white stu-
dents. They had to live many blocks away in dormi-
tories at predominantly black Huston-Tillotson College.
In 1954, the Supreme Court declared public-school
segregation unconstitutional, and, though it was slow
and sometimes painful, integration in Central Texas
schools was accomplished over the next decade.
Nature struck Central Texas with a vengeance on
May 11, 1953. A tornado ripped through Waco, killing 114
and injuring 597. It was one of the two most disastrous
tornadoes ever to hit the state. The twister destroyed
150 homes and 185 other buildings; 900 houses and 500
other structures in the city were damaged. The cost of
the destruction was estimated at more than $41 million.
The number of state agencies increased rapidly in
the 1950s and 1960s, along with state expenditures. In
1965 alone, the Legislature added 17 agencies to the 70
already existing. State spending increased from more
than $103 million in 1930 to almost $2 billion in 1966 and
$15 billion in 1986.
in honor of its 250th anniversary in 1968, San Antonio
held a world's fair, called the HemisFair. Ninety-two
acres of slums were virtually razed near the Alamo and
replaced by fair buildings centered by the Tower of the
Americas, a 750-foot-high structure topped by a revolv-
ing restaurant and observation deck. Some of the
neighborhood's older buildings were incorporated into
the fairgrounds. Today the site includes museums, the
Institute of Texan Cultures, a branch of the National
University of Mexico, a convention center and many
During the 1970s, Austin became a major western
music center. Singer Willie Nelson's move from Nash-
ville to Austin in 1972 brought such music spots as the
Armadillo World Headquarters to international promi-
Although the bulk of Texas' oil production and re-
lated industry is in East and West Texas, the oil "tail"
tends to wag the entire state. Beginning in the late
1950s, the United States imported more and more oil.
When the Arab-dominated Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) began flooding the mar-
ket with cheap Middle-Eastern crude, the price of do-
mestic oil dropped. Then OPEC instituted an embargo
in 1973 on shipments to the United States and several
other countries that supported Israel, and the value of
Texas crude increased dramatically. Wildcatters were
soon drilling anything that didn't move.
The embargo was lifted in 1974, but oil prices contin-
ued to rise. Lending institutions supported the boom
with generous infusions of cash. But the nation's eco-
nomic slump of the early 1980s could not be ignored for
long. The petroleum industry was most directly
affected, but the economy of the entire state eventually
suffered the effects of lower oil prices. Banks and sav-
ings-and-loan associations across the state collapsed as
the oil patch's problems became everyone's problems,
and the real estate market began a parallel nosedive.
High technology joined the twin economc mainstays
of government and the University in Austin in the 1980s.
Already home to several semiconductor-based com-
panies, Austin beat out more than 50 other U.S. cities in
attracting Microelectronics and Computer Technology
Corporation (MCC) in 1983. The private research con-
sortium, which comprised 21 companies by mid-1986,
was established to bring the brightest scientific minds
of the member companies together to solve common
electronic problems in competition with the Japanese.
Fields in which research was being conducted in 1986 in-
cluded semiconductor packaging, software technology,
computer-aided design (CAD), artificial intelligence,
parallel processing and human factors technology.
Austin followed the MCC coup with another, when in
early 1988 Sematech, a semiconductor-manufacturing
joint research venture, chose Austin for its headquar-
ters also. Unlike privately funded MCC, Sematech de-
pends on the federal government for about half its
budget and on its private-business members for the bal-
ance. As of early 1988, there were 12 industry members.
The presence of MCC and Sematech has persuaded
more private firms in semiconductor and related fields
to locate in Austin. There has also been high growth in
the Bryan-College Station area in high-technology
industry during the 1980s.
The population of Central Texas cities has mush-
roomed since the end of World War II: 132,459 residents
in 1950 to 507,462 in 1988; San Antonio more than doubled
from 408,442 in 1950 to 994,292 in 1988. Bryan tripled from
18,102 to 58,120 in the same time period; Temple almost
doubled from 25,467 to 50,373, and Waco increased more
than 30 percent from 84,706 to 112,861.
As the decade of the 1980s ended, water problems in
Central Texas were once more of concern. This time the
problem was not too much water in the flooding Brazos
and Colorado rivers, it was the diminishing quality and
quantity of water in the Edwards Aquifer, which under-
lies much of the Central Texas area. Serious studies of
how to keep a safe, plentiful water supply for the in-
creasing population of Central Texas will probably con-
tinue well into the next-to-last decade of the 20th
TEXAS ALMANAC 1992-1993
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Kingston, Mike. Texas Almanac, 1992-1993, book, 1991; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth279642/m1/58/: accessed December 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.