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"John Henry Faulk Show" debuts on WCBS
December 17, 1951

On this day in 1951, WCBS debuted the "John Henry Faulk Show," which featured music, political humor, and listener participation. Faulk, a native Austinite and an accomplished story-teller, had broken into radio with the help of Texas folklorist Alan Lomax. Faulk's radio career ended in 1957, a victim of the Cold War and the blacklisting of the 1950s. AWARE, Incorporated, a for-profit corporation that investigated the political attitudes of entertainers, branded Faulk a Communist. The charge cost him his contract with CBS. He filed suit against AWARE in 1957. On June 28, 1962, the long-drawn-out case ended when a jury awarded Faulk the largest libel judgment in history to that date, $3.5 million. In 1974 CBS broadcast a version of Faulk's book Fear on Trial, which described his battle against AWARE. In later years he toured the country urging university students to be ever vigilant in protecting their constitutional rights. Faulk died in Austin in 1990.

J. J. Schott opens Galveston pharmacy
December 17, 1867

On this day in 1867, Justus Julius Schott opened a drugstore in Galveston. Schott, born in Germany in 1846, came to Galveston with his family in 1851 and was orphaned two years later when both his parents died of yellow fever. He was just twenty-one when he opened the J. J. Schott Drug Company, which became the main conduit of medical supplies from Europe to other drugstores and physicians in Galveston and throughout Texas. In 1869 Schott began to experiment with chicle, and for several years he imported and sold chewing gum wholesale to druggists throughout the country, until the Adams Chewing Gum Company sued him for infringement of patent. Schott won the case, but did not pursue his rights further. In 1885 he ventured into another enterprise with Moxie, a carbonated drink popular in the North, which he distributed throughout the state. Its popularity made Schott one of Galveston's major manufacturers. He died in 1928.

Mexican governor born in San Antonio
December 17, 1778

On this day in 1778, Juan Martín de Veramendi, future Mexican governor of Coahuila and Texas, was born in San Fernando de Béxar (San Antonio). Veramendi, an early friend to Anglo-American colonists, and Juan José Erasmo Seguín met Stephen F. Austin at Natchitoches, Louisiana, in 1821 and accompanied him to Bexar. In 1822-23 Veramendi served in Bexar as collector of foreign revenue, from which office he was elected as alternate deputy of the Texas Provincial Deputation to the Mexican National Constitutional Congress. Veramendi was the first alcalde of Bexar in 1824 and 1825. He was elected vice governor of Coahuila and Texas in 1830, whereupon he moved with his family from Bexar to Saltillo. In April 1831, his daughter, Ursula María de Veramendi, married James Bowie. Bowie and Veramendi formed a partnership to establish cotton mills in Saltillo, and Veramendi began to divide his time between Texas and Coahuila. He assumed the office of governor upon the death of José María Letona in 1832 and served until 1833. His administration was favorable to the Anglo-American colonists and therefore unpopular with many Mexicans. In the summer of 1833, while at his summer home at Monclova, he died in a cholera epidemic.