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Self-styled Baron de Bastrop born in Dutch Guiana
November 23, 1759

On this day in 1759, Philip Hendrik Nering Bögel, one of the most important and colorful figures in the history of the colonization of Texas, was born in Dutch Guiana. Bögel moved to Holland with his parents in 1764, and in 1779 enlisted in the cavalry of Holland and Upper Issel. He claimed to have left the Netherlands in 1793 due to the French invasion of Holland, but actually left to avoid trial on charges of embezzlement of tax funds. Bögel decamped to Spanish Louisiana, where he adopted the title Baron de Bastrop and represented himself as a Dutch nobleman. After Louisiana was sold to the United States in 1803, Bastrop moved to Spanish Texas and was permitted to establish a colony between Bexar and the Trinity River. In 1806 he settled in San Antonio, where he had a freighting business and gained influence with the inhabitants and officials. In 1820, Bastrop convinced Governor Antonio María Martínez to approve Moses Austin's project to establish an Anglo-American colony in Texas. Bastrop also served as intermediary with the Mexican government for Stephen F. Austin. Beginning in 1824, Bastrop served in the state legislature of Coahuila and Texas. He died in 1827 and was buried in Saltillo. Though his pretensions to nobility were not universally accepted at face value even in his own lifetime, he earned respect as a diplomat and legislator.

Houston surgeon performs first successful coronary artery bypass
November 23, 1964

On this day in 1964, Dr. Michael DeBakey and his team performed the world's first successful coronary artery bypass graft surgery in Houston. DeBakey, Denton Cooley, and many others in Houston revolutionized cardiovascular surgery by developing new techniques for the treatment of patients with congenital anomalies, aneurysms, and vascular-occlusive diseases. Cooley and his associates performed the first heart transplant in the United States in 1968. The patient lived 204 days. By 1987, 80 percent of patients lived at least one year. Some patients have survived more than ten years with new hearts. Heart transplantation is no longer experimental. More than 3000 transplants are performed each year worldwide.

Park with seventy-foot-high sand dunes opens to public
November 23, 1957

On this day in 1957, Monahans Sandhills State Park officially opened. It is located on Park Road 41 near Interstate Highway 20 in northeast Ward and southeast Winkler counties, six miles northeast of Monahans. It comprises 3,840 acres of sand dunes that are a part of a dune field stretching north into New Mexico. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department operates the park. It has a visitor and interpretive center, as well as camping, equestrian, and recreation facilities.

Sid Richardson Collection of Western Art opens in Fort Worth
November 23, 1982

On this day in 1982, the Sid Richardson Collection of Western Art opened in Fort Worth with sixteen paintings by Frederic Remington and thirty-four by Charles M. Russell on exhibit. The Fort Worth oilman and philanthropist Sid W. Richardson began collecting western art in the 1940s. His complete collection is owned by the Sid W. Richardson Foundation. The collection had previously been on long-term loan to the Amon Carter Museum, where it was first exhibited in January 1964. Because lack of space prevented many of the paintings from being exhibited, the collection was moved to its own museum, where fifty-six paintings are now on permanent exhibit. The museum and foundation offices are located in a replica of an 1895 building in Sundance Square.