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William Brann, publisher of Iconoclast, is killed in Waco
April 01, 1898

On this day in 1898, controversial journalist William Cowper Brann was fatally shot in the back by Tom E. Davis on a Waco street. Brann managed to pull his own gun and kill Davis. Earlier in the decade Brann's newspaper, the Iconoclast, had launched a series of vitriolic attacks, especially on Baptists, Episcopalians, blacks, women, and anything British. He also went after nearby Baylor University, which he called "that great storm-center of misinformation." Brann was subsequently kidnapped on one occasion and beaten on another, and his supporters had a deadly gunfight with Baylor partisans. Davis, who killed Brann, was an irate supporter of Baylor.

Mexican revolutionary captures San Antonio
April 01, 1813

On this day in 1813, Spanish governor Santísima Trinidad de Salcedo surrendered the city of San Antonio to forces under José Bernardo Maximiliano Gutiérrez de Lara, commander-in-chief of the filibustering Gutiérrez-Magee expedition. Gutiérrez intended to set up a republican government in Texas and use Texas as a base for operations designed to liberate Mexico from Spanish rule. The scheme ended in August with the defeat of Gutiérrez's successor as head of the provisional government, José Álvarez de Toledo, but the indefatigable Gutiérrez went on to become involved with such filibusters and revolutionaries as Louis Michel Aury, Francisco Xavier Mina, and James Long, among others.

State population surges as minority percentages grow
April 01, 2000

The U.S. Census Bureau showed the population of the state of Texas at 20,851,820 as of April 1, 2000. This figure represents an increase of 22.8 percent, or almost four million, since the 1990 census, and means that Texas has passed New York as the second most populous state in the nation (behind California). The population of Texas grew much faster than that of the nation as a whole, which increased 13.1 percent between 1990 and 2000 to a total of 281,421,906. During those ten years, the number of Hispanics in Texas grew from 4,339,905 (25.5 percent of the state's population) to 6,669,666 (32.0 percent). The number of Texans defining themselves as wholly or partly black or African American grew from 2,021,632 (11.9 percent) to 2,493,057 (12.0 percent). The number of Texans of American Indian descent increased from 65,877 (0.4 percent) to 118,362 (0.6 percent). Females represented a slightly lower percentage of the state's population in 2000 (10,498,910, or 50.4 percent) than in 1990 (8,620,547, or 50.9 percent).