This week in Texas history starts off with a note of sadness as we reflect upon the loss of Janis Joplin at the young age of 27, whose music lives on today.
On October 5, 1970, rock singer Janis Joplin died of an accidental overdose of heroin and alcohol in a Hollywood hotel. Joplin was a native of Port Arthur who had embraced the hippie counterculture at UT Austin. She played many shows at Threadgill's in Austin, as well as other venues there, before her rise to fame, which abruptly ended when she fell victim to her self-destructive manner of living. She is considered the greatest white blues singer who ever lived, according to many critics. Read more about Joplin's life at the Texas State Historical Association website.
On October 7, 1883, Susanna Wilkerson Dickinson, a survivor of the Alamo, died in Austin. She lived a long and troubled life after the events at the Alamo, marrying five times and sometimes making a living as a prostitute before achieving a measure of stability and prosperity with her last husband, Joseph William Hannig.
On October 11, 1878, Kiowa chief Santanta committed suicide by jumping out of his prison window. He had been born somewhere in Oklahoma or Kansas, historians say, in about 1820. He and two other chiefs were arrested for their part in the Warren wagontrain raid; they were forced to stand trial. They were sentenced to life, but Santanta was paroled, but was then rearrested for another attack on Lyman's wagontrain in Palo Duro canyon. He was imprisoned in Huntsville until 1878 when he took his own life.
Other stories of interest from October 5-11 over the years:
Texas quote of the week: "There is a freedom you begin to feel the closer you get to Austin, Texas." ~Willie Nelson
Featured Texas music video, in memory of Janis Joplin, is her performance of Ball and Chain in a performance at Monterey Music Festival, a performance that put her on everyone's radar and led to several years of fame before her death. Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.