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Liberty Gazette announces Shakespeare reading by Ada Bertha Théodore
October 08, 1855

On this day in 1855, the Liberty Gazette carried an advertisement announcing that Ada Bertha Théodore would be giving readings of Shakespeare. As Adah Menken she went from poetry readings in Texas to a minor stage career in the South and on to fame and controversy for her daringly suggestive performance in Mazeppa; or The Wild Horse of Tartary on the city stages of the Midwest, the East Coast, and Europe.

Filibusters captured at La Bahía
October 08, 1821

On this day in 1821, a filibustering army under James Long surrendered at La Bahía to Mexican forces commanded by Colonel Juan Ignacio Pérez. The Long expedition was an early attempt by Anglo-Americans to wrest Texas from Spain. The expedition was mounted by citizens in the Natchez, Mississippi, area who were opposed to the boundary of the Louisiana Purchase as set up in the Adams-Onís Treaty. After initial successes in 1819, the filibusters were driven out by Pérez in October of that year. Long regrouped and joined forces with José Félix Trespalacios, who was organizing an expedition in New Orleans to support the Mexican liberals. Long established his headquarters at Point Bolivar, where he was joined by his wife, Jane Long, the "Mother of Texas." He later broke with Trespalacios, and the expedition led an uncertain existence at Fort Las Casas on Point Bolivar until September 1821, when Long and fifty-two men sailed to capture La Bahía. The town fell easily, but four days later Long was forced to surrender to Pérez. Long was taken prisoner and sent to Mexico City, where about six months later he was shot and killed by a guard. With Long's defeat and capture at La Bahía the early filibustering era in Texas came to an end.

Witte Memorial Museum opens
October 08, 1926

On this day in 1926, the Witte Memorial Museum opened in San Antonio. The museum was largely the brainchild of Ellen D. Schulz Quillin, who helped start the San Antonio Museum Association and raised $5,000 to purchase Henry Philemon Attwater's collection of natural history specimens. She initially stored the collection at Main Avenue High School, where she was a science teacher, but successfully petitioned the city for a site and funds for a museum to showcase the collection and others like it. The building was constructed with public funds and a $65,000 bequest to the city from local businessman Alfred G. Witte, who stipulated that a museum be built in Brackenridge Park in memory of his parents. The facility was known as the Witte Memorial Museum until 1984, when the name was simplified to Witte Museum. The San Antonio Museum of Art, which opened with much fanfare in 1981 in a former brewery, was originally an outgrowth of the Witte.