On this day in 1969, students from the University of Texas at Austin demonstrated against the environmental desecration of Waller Creek, which flows through the campus. The creek is named for pioneer Austinite Edwin Waller. Notable persons who have lived on or near Waller Creek include Elisabet Ney, George Armstrong Custer, Edmund J. Davis, and J. Frank Dobie. By the 1960s the university occupied both banks of the main branch from Twenty-sixth Street to Nineteenth Street and smaller portions on the west branch and to the south of Nineteenth. The Waller Creek Riot was touched off when the UT board of regents decided to bulldoze several hundred feet of Waller Creek to expand Memorial Stadium. In an unsuccessful attempt to stop the bulldozing, student protesters chained themselves to trees; the chancellor of the board of regents, Frank Erwin, complete with hard hat and bullhorn, personally oversaw their arrests. Rapid and often unplanned development, both institutional and domestic, has taken its toll on Waller Creek. Dense urban development on the watershed of this small but easily flooded stream has necessitated careful monitoring of its flow by two gauging stations and continued study by hydrologists, making it a prototype of the small urban stream in the United States.
On this day in 1836, the ad interim government ended with the inauguration of Sam Houston as president of the Republic of Texas. The Convention of 1836 had declared independence and framed a constitution for Texas, but the advance of the Mexican army made immediate ratification and establishment of constitutional government impossible. The last act of the convention was the selection of an ad interim government on March 16 with David G. Burnet, president; Lorenzo de Zavala, vice president; Samuel P. Carson, secretary of state; Bailey Hardeman, secretary of treasury; Thomas J. Rusk, secretary of war; Robert Potter, secretary of the navy; and David Thomas, attorney general. This temporary government, without any legislative or judicial departments, fled with the people in the Runaway Scrape, and was located successively at Washington-on-theBrazos, Harrisburg, Galveston Island, Velasco, and Columbia.
On this day in 1960, Thomas Jefferson Taylor II died in Marshall, Texas. He was the father of Claudia Alta Taylor, who married Lyndon B. Johnson in 1934. After moving from his native Alabama to Texas in the 1890s, Taylor opened a store in Karnack. By the 1930s he was one of the largest landowners and businessmen in Harrison County, called "Cap'n Taylor" by his business associates. Taylor donated to the state about two-thirds of the land in Caddo Lake State Park. His most lasting, though indirect, influence came from his financial backing of his son-in-law when LBJ ran for Congress in 1937.