On this day in 1931, the state legislature passed the Texas Cotton Acreage Control Law of 1931-32. The Great Depression had hit the Texas economy, in which "Cotton [was] King," hard; cotton prices had already begun to slump during the late 1920s due to reduced consumption and steady production. The law restricted the amount of cotton planted in 1932 and 1933 to no more than 30 percent of the land in cultivation during the preceding year, and barred farmers from planting cotton on the same land for two successive years after 1933. Many large cotton farmers, especially in South Texas, feared that enforcement of the law would force them to lay off many tenant farmers, seriously increasing unemployment in that region. Planters were also angry that legislators failed to address the need to find alternative crops and jobs for displaced workers. Many cotton farmers planned to evade or even openly disregard the cotton acreage act. A few other southern states passed similar but weaker acreage laws, but collectively they had little effect. A federal judge declared the Texas Cotton Acreage Control Law unconstitutional in February 1932.
On this day in 1964, the Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg bought the Nimitz Hotel. The hotel, a unique building, was built in the late 1840s or early 1850s. Charles H. Nimitz, grandfather of Admiral Nimitz, bought it in 1855. The hotel was remodeled many times. Its remarkable steamboat superstructure was added sometime after 1888. Over the years many notable persons stayed there, including President Rutherford B. Hayes and Robert E. Lee. In 1964 it was renovated and reopened on Admiral Nimitz's birthday as a museum. The Admiral Nimitz Museum is now part of the National Museum of the Pacific War, a seven acre site dedicated to retelling the story of World War II in the Pacific Theater.
On this day in 1920, soprano Josephine Lucchese of San Antonio made her operatic debut with the San Carlo Grand Opera as Olympia in Offenbach's Tales of Hoffman at the Manhattan Grand Opera House. She was born in San Antonio in 1893, the daughter of bootmaker Sam Lucchese, and received her musical training entirely in the United States and primarily in San Antonio. During the 1920s and 1930s Mme. Lucchese toured in the United States and Europe, giving both opera and concert performances and singing opposite such leading tenors as Tito Schipa and Giovanni Martinelli. Known in Europe as the "American Nightingale," Lucchese was an operatic success at a time when it was considered impossible to achieve an international reputation without having first studied in Italy. Lucchese returned to Texas at the close of her operatic and concert career and taught voice at the University of Texas from 1956 to 1968. After her retirement from the faculty, she continued to give private lessons to a few select students. She died in San Antonio in 1974.