Politics, Texas

Texas has been the home of four former US presidents. However, there have also been several other famous faces from the political arena. We take a look at five famous politicians who came from Texas.

Lloyd Bentsen

Born in February 1921, Bentsen was a US Senator who served under the Bill Clinton presidency. He was the country’s 69th secretary of the treasury in a short term between 1993 and 1994. He served as senator for four terms between 1971 and 1993. He was the Democrats nominee for vice-president in 1988 when Michael Dukakis ran for president. Apart from that period in office, Bentsen also served as chairman of the US Senate’s finance committee during President Clinton’s first two years in office. He graduated with an LL. B degree from the University of Texas in the year 1942, got admitted to the bar but went on to join the military in the World War II period.

Barbara Jordan

Barbara became the first woman elected to the Texan senate in 1966 and was also the first Africa-American elected after the events of the civil war. She represented the state in the USA house of representatives and went on to become the first black woman to be buried in the Texas state cemetery.

Barbara was born in 1936 and went on to become a lawyer, educator, civil rights activists and politician. She is also perhaps best remembered for a quite eloquent opening statement during court hearings to determine the impeachment of then president Nixon. She has received a presidential medal of freedom.

George W Bush

Bush will probably be best remembered for his term as the 43rd president of the USA and perhaps too as the 46th governor of Texas. He was born in 1946 to Barbara and H W Bush. Bush graduated from Yale and Harvard Universities. Bush was elected president in a rather controversial election and victory over the Democrats’ Al Gore who received more popular votes than him.

His tenure as president will be remembered for the 9/11 attacks that happened barely 8 months into his presidency. His response is now famously known as the Bush Doctrine and was an all-out launch on terror that began with war on Afghanistan and Iraq later in 2003. In his re-election, Bush defeated Democrat John Kerry in yet another hotly contested election.

Charlie Wilson

Born Charlie Nesbitt Wilson in 1933, he as a twelve-term US representative from Texas. Charlie is best known for influencing congress to support operation cyclone. This was the CIA’s largest covert operation that basically involved supply of military equipment to the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan during the period of the Soviet war. He even had a book and a film created to document his contribution to the covert op.

Wilson came from the Texan town of Trinity and attended Sam Houston University. He was later admitted to the naval academy in Maryland. He also served in the Pentagon as part of a unit designed to run evaluations on Russia’s nuclear plans.

Ann Richards

She was the 45th governor of Texas serving from 1991 through 1995. She started off as the State’s treasurer. She ran for re-election to the governor’s office but was defeated by George W Bush who went on to become the 43rd president of the USA. Ann was Texas’ second woman governor and was known to have an outspoken mind on issues touching on feminism.

Richards was born in McLennan, Texas to Robert Cecil and Mildred Iona. She graduated from Baylor University and later from the University of Texas. Ann’s political career has been as a Democrat.

Texas, Women

Texas has been home to some of the country’s most incredible women since its admission to the union. These have included politicians, medical practitioners, ranchers and scientists. We take a look at the top 10 Texan women who have influenced the course of history.

1.     Bessie Coleman

Bessie was born 1892 in Atlanta. Her career however spanned a relatively short period. She was the daughter of an African-American mother and a Cherokee father. She went ahead to become the first black female aviator and also the first Native American woman to achieve the feat. She learned to pilot in France since there was no one to teach women how to fly in America. At 34 years, Bessie Coleman crashed when a plane she was in malfunctioned.

2.     Angelina Eberly

Eberly was not a native Texan but she did fire cannon into the land office building to alert the city of an ongoing theft. The then Texas governor Sam Houston had a plan to secretly move some documents from Austin to Houston to influence the choice of Houston as the capital city of Texas. There is currently a statue depicting Eberly on Congress Avenue.

3.     Sarah Horton

Sarah Horton and her husband started an operational ferry service in Dallas across the Trinity River. As great businesspeople, the Hortons owned various construction and real estate businesses which were run by Sarah after her husband’s death in 1858. However, what makes her famous is that she was among Texas’ first millionaires and owned close to a quarter of the now present Dallas.

4.     Miriam Ferguson

Popularly known as Ma Ferguson, she became the first woman governor of Texas. She served for two terms (non-consecutive) in 1932 and 1924. She is also one among the only two women to ever serve as the governor of the state of Texas. The other woman was Anne Richards.

5.     Clara Driscoll

She was among the women who protected the historical sites of Texas. Together with De Zavala, they created the Texas historical sites and artifacts and prevented the Alamo from being destroyed. Without her and several other women, most of the state’s historical sites might have been destroyed.

6.     Caro Brown

Caro won the 1955 Pulitzer Prize for her journalism work that helped expose and dismantle the circles of the infamous politician George Brown. Another reporter working on investigating the Brown family had been killed during her work. Despite wanting to take town George, she once protected him from being shot by a Texas Ranger. She was among the most fearless Texan women journalists.

7.     Susana Dickinson

She was among the twelve survivors of the battle of the Alamo. She is the main person behind the Texan viewpoint of the battle. She was also instrumental in the battle of San Jacinto that led to the capture of Santa Anna.

8.     Emma Tenayuca

Emma was among the first women to feature in the labor rights movement. She first gained popularity when she was arrested in the year 1933 for picketing certain cigar factory due to its highly unfair and discriminatory labor practices. She then went on to organize various unions and at some point peaceful demonstrations against the Texan police for the beatings they carried out on Mexicans.

9.     Barbara Jordan

Barbara became the first woman elected to the Texan senate in 1966 and was also the first Africa-American elected after the events of the civil war. She represented the state in the USA house of representatives and went on to become the first black woman to be buried in the Texas state cemetery.

10.  Lizzie Johnson

Lizzie became known as one of the first Texan Cattle Queens and became the first woman to ride the famous Chisholm Trail.

10.  Lizzie Johnson

Lizzie became known as one of the first Texan Cattle Queens and became the first woman to ride the famous Chisholm Trail.