On this day in 1680, the first Catholic Mass on soil that eventually became a part of Texas was celebrated at a site near that of present Ysleta. The service took place at one of the three camps in the area established by Spaniards and Indians fleeing New Mexico in the wake of the Pueblo Revolt of August 1680. New Mexico governor Antonio de Otermín, with the assistance of Fray Francisco de Ayeta, took charge of the almost 2,000 refugees and decided not to attempt the reconquest of New Mexico until receiving further aid from the viceroy. Otermín's unsuccessful entrada in November 1681 convinced the Spanish that the reconquest would take much longer than originally expected, and that therefore the temporary settlements at the pass should be given a much greater degree of permanence. At least five communities in the area--Ysleta, El Paso del Norte, San Lorenzo, Senecú, and Socorro--remained for the rest of the Spanish colonial period.
On this day in 1874, fifteen-year-old George B. Dealey went to work as an office boy for the Galveston News. He worked for this publishing concern the rest of his life. Dealey was born in England but moved to Galveston with his family in 1870. He rose steadily at the News, whose founder A. H. Belo sent him to Dallas to found the Dallas Morning News in 1885; the two papers, which shared a network of correspondents, heralded the beginning of "chain journalism." Dealey became a board member of both newspapers in 1902, vice president and general manager of the corporation in 1906, and president in 1919. In 1926 he bought the company from the Belo family. He was instrumental in the adoption of George E. Kessler's plan for the city of Dallas in 1910 and was president of the Philosophical Society of Texas and founder and lifetime president of the Dallas Historical Society. The man the New York Times called the dean of American publishers died at his Dallas home in 1946.
On this day in 1944, during one of the most notorious quarrels over academic freedom in Texas history, University of Texas president Homer Rainey made a dramatic public statement of grievances against the UT Board of Regents before a general faculty meeting. Some regents had loudly sought the dismissal of pro-New Deal and pro-union-labor faculty and the censorship of leftist authors. The regents seized on Rainey's public statement as an opportunity to fire him on November 1. Regent Marguerite Fairchild cast the sole dissenting vote. The students went on strike, and 8,000 marched in mute mourning from the campus to the Capitol and the Governor's Mansion.