On this day in 1969, Heartland, the last horse trained by Texas trainer Maximilian Justice Hirsch, won at Aqueduct. Hirsch died the next day. The Fredericksburg native had run away from home at age twelve to become a jockey. After riding 123 winners in 1,117 races, he trained horses from 1902 until his death, working with such famous racers as Grey Lag, Sarazen, Dawn Play, and High Gun. At the King Ranch stables he trained three Kentucky Derby winners, Bold Venture, Assault, and Middleground. Assault went on to capture the Triple Crown. Hirsch was elected to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1970.
On this day in 1995, legendary golf instructor Harvey Penick died in Austin at the age of ninety. In the 1930s Penick began recording his observations about the game in a red Scribbletex notebook. Though it was intended strictly as a teaching aid, he decided to confide its contents to writer Bud Shrake. The result was Harvey Penick's Little Red Book (1992), the all-time best-selling sports book that remained on the New York Times best-seller list for fifty-four weeks. There followed two more books with Shrake, instructional tapes, a teaching facility named in Penick's honor, and three lines of golf clubs. He was inducted into both the Texas Golf Hall of Fame (1979) and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame (1984), was the PGA's first National Teacher of the Year (1989), and received a posthumous resolution in the Texas House of Representatives (1995).
On this day in 1840, the slave smuggler Monroe Edwards was convicted of having forged a bill of sale from his partner, Christopher Dart. Although Edwards retained two distinguished lawyers, John C. Watrous and John W. Harris, the forgery was discovered during a civil trial in Brazoria. Edwards was found liable for more than $89,000 plus interest and court costs. He was also indicted and jailed. After making bond on the criminal charge, he fled to Europe, where he posed as a wealthy veteran of San Jacinto and an abolitionist. He left Europe after a threat of exposure by the Texas envoy to England and returned to the United States, where he engaged in several large-scale forgeries. He was finally arrested and incarcerated in the Tombs prison in New York. His trial was a celebrated one, with lengthy reports of each day's testimony printed in the New York Daily Tribune and other newspapers. Edwards again retained celebrated lawyers but was found guilty and sentenced to Sing Sing prison. After an escape attempt in 1847 he was severely beaten by prison authorities and died.