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Austin and Wharton engage the Moctezuma and the Guadaloupe
May 16, 1843

On this day in 1843, two ships of the Texas Navy--the sloop-of-war Austin and the brig Wharton--won a decisive victory in a return engagement with two Mexican ships off the coast of the Yucatán. The Austin and the Wharton chased the powerful new Mexican steam warship Moctezuma and steam frigate Guadaloupe some fourteen miles before the Austin, having sustained seventeen hits to hull and rigging, withdrew to Campeche. The Austin, commanded by Edwin Ward Moore, and the Wharton, under John T. K. Lothrop, had sailed from New Orleans in April hoping to engage the Moctezuma and to break up a rumored amphibious assault on Galveston Island. The two Texas ships had first engaged the Moctezuma and the Guadaloupe on April 30. Their second encounter, a little more than two weeks later, was a clear victory for the Texans and was immortalized in an engraving on the cylinder of the famed Colt Navy revolver.

Hispanic students stage historic walkout
May 16, 1968

On this day in 1968, 400 students at Edgewood High School in San Antonio held a walkout and demonstration, and marched to the district administration office. Ninety percent of the students in the Edgewood district were of Mexican origin. Among the students' grievances were insufficient supplies and the lack of qualified teachers. On July 10 of the same year, Demetrio Rodríguez and seven other Edgewood parents filed suit on behalf of Texas schoolchildren who were poor or resided in school districts with low property-tax bases. The resulting class action, Rodríguez v. San Antonio ISD, was a landmark case in which a federal district court declared the Texas school-finance system unconstitutional

Shooting starts bloody feud between ranchers and rangers
May 16, 1902

On this day in 1902, Texas Ranger Anderson Yancey Baker killed suspected cattle rustler Ramón de la Cerda, thus touching off a feud that cost the lives of several more men. Ramón, his brother Alfredo, and their father owned the Francisco de Asís Ranch, which bordered the famous King Ranch. Their father was killed in 1900 by a Brownsville policeman. In 1901 the brothers were arrested and charged with rustling cattle from the King Ranch and changing the King brand from "W" to "Bar-W." In May 1902 Ramón was in the process of branding cattle on King's El Saenz pasture when Baker killed him in an exchange of gunfire. The incident provoked newspaper charges of abuse on the part of the rangers, and led to a series of gunfights that left one ranger and two Mexican Americans dead and one ranger wounded. In the final episode of the feud ranger Baker was acquitted of the murder of the Cerda brothers in 1903. He went on to become the political boss of Hidalgo County.