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No hurricane named Harvey will ever again mess with Texas, as that unforgettable hurricane did exactly one year ago. We celebrate the birthdate of Alamo hero Davy Crockett by recalling a speech he made upon arriving in Texas.
Harvey has been retired from the rotating list of hurricane names by the World Meteorological Organization, as were Irma, Maria and Nate—all monster hurricanes in 2017. Harvey struck the Texas coast August 25 as a Category 4 storm with 132 mph winds, killing 68 people and dumping historic amounts of rain on the Houston area. It caused $126 billion in damage, second only to Katrina in U.S. history.
The retired names have been replaced with Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel. Nations hit hard by hurricanes can request the WMO retire names. Each hurricane season, which runs June 1–November 30, storms are named, in alphabetical order, based on lists that get recycled every six years.
The words of Davy Crockett, the American folk hero who died defending the Alamo, live on as a pointed message on coffee mugs, T-shirts and other knickknacks: “You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas.”
Consider the backstory of that comment on the anniversary of Crockett’s birth—August 17, 1786. Here’s an excerpt from the April 9, 1836, edition of Niles’ Weekly Register in Baltimore, which chronicled national history much as The New York Times does today:
“A gentleman from Nacogdoches, in Texas, informs us, that, whilst there, he dined in public with col. Crockett, who had just arrived from Tennessee. The old bear-hunter, on being toasted, made a speech to the Texians, replete with his usual dry humor. He began nearly in this style: ‘I am told, gentlemen, that, when a stranger, like myself, arrives among you, the first inquiry is—what brought you here? To satisfy your curiosity at once to myself, I will tell you all about it. I was, for some years, a member of congress. In my last canvass, I told the people of my district, that, if they saw fit to re-elect me, I would serve them as faithfully as I had done; but, if not, they might go to h__, and I would go to Texas. I was beaten, gentlemen, and here I am.’ The roar of applause was like a thunder-burst.”
Working cowboys test their skills at the Big Bend Ranch Rodeo, August 10–11 at Sul Ross State University in Alpine.
The rodeo, sanctioned by the Working Ranch Cowboys Association, provides participating cattle workers an opportunity to educate the public about the everyday work of a ranch. The rodeo includes ranch bronc riding, cattle sorting, cattle doctoring, wild cow milking and calf branding.
The Big Bend winner advances to the WRCA World Championship Ranch Rodeo in November in Amarillo. Proceeds from the Big Bend Ranch Rodeo go toward scholarships at Sul Ross State.
August 13 is International Left-Handers Day. Roughly 10 percent of people are left-handed, according to Chris McManus, a University College London researcher who wrote a book chapter on the history and geography of left-handedness.
“Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps and preside over the White House as the president’s spouse. I wish him well!”
—Former first lady Barbara Bush, who died April 17 in Houston