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Irish trader takes citizenship oath
May 19, 1829

On this day in 1829, George B. McKinstry took the oath of Mexican citizenship, required of all settlers in Texas at that time. McKinstry, born in Ireland in 1801, had arrived in Texas about a month before, probably by way of Georgia. In Stephen F. Austin's Register of Families McKinstry is listed as a trader, and in 1830 he was appointed the first postmaster of Brazoria. In 1833 Austin, deploring McKinstry's central role in the Anahuac Disturbances and the battle of Velasco, wrote that McKinstry had "done as much harm to Texas as any man in it." Ironically, Austin died at McKinstry's home in Columbia in December 1836. McKinstry himself died less than a year later, on December 10, 1837.

Halley's Comet drops meteorite in northeast Texas
May 19, 1910

On this day in 1910, a 500-pound meteorite fell to earth outside the northeast Texas community of Charleston during the passage of Halley's Comet. Delta County's most publicized event of the decade was not without precedent, however, as more than 230 meteorites have been catalogued in Texas. The earliest written record dates from 1772, when Athanase de Mézières learned of the Texas Iron from Tawakoni Indians near the Brazos River. Considered the largest preserved find from Texas, this 1,635-pound meteorite was venerated by several Indian cultures for its supposed healing powers and is currently housed at the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University. Other finds in Texas include the 500-foot- diameter Meteor Crater at Odessa, the third largest crater in the United States, and the Peña Blanca Spring meteorite, which plunged into a swimming pool on the Gage Ranch in Brewster County on August 2, 1946.

Indians take captives at Fort Parker
May 19, 1836

On this day in 1836, a large force of Comanche warriors, accompanied by Kiowa and Kichai allies, attacked Fort Parker, located on the headwaters of the Navasota River in what is now Limestone County. During the raid the Comanches seized five captives, including Cynthia Ann Parker. The other four were eventually released, but Cynthia remained with the Indians for almost twenty-five years, forgot white ways, and became thoroughly Comanche. She was perhaps the most famous Indian captive in Texas history. Her son Quanah became a celebrated Comanche chief.