The Texas History List: Birth of Rangerettes creator, death of a - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

The Texas History List: Birth of Rangerettes creator, death of a country star

Pecos River High Bridge (Source: Wikipedia Commons) Pecos River High Bridge (Source: Wikipedia Commons)
Gussie Nell Davis, creator of the Kilgore Rangerettes (Source: Gussie Nell Davis, creator of the Kilgore Rangerettes (Source:
(KLTV) -

Texas history has more stories than the Texas sky has stars. Here are highlights from this week in Texas history.

On November 3, 1891, construction began on the Pecos High Bridge is Val Verde County. It was completed in early 1892, located at a deep gorge of the Pecos River. The structure was an engineering marvel at that time, supported by 24 towers and spanning a total length of 2,180 feet. It rose 321 feet above the river, and was the highest railroad bridge in North America, and third highest in the world.

On November 4, 1906, Gussie Nell Davis was born in Farmersville, Texas. She went on to gain fame as the organizer and leader of the Kilgore Rangerettes at Kilgore College. The group first performed in 1940, and under her leadership performed at President Eisenhower's Inauguration and several Macy's Thanksgiving Day parades. The Rangerettes were on the covers of Life Magazine, Newsweek, the Saturday Evening Post, and others. She retired in 1979, still serving as consultant for drill teams across the U.S.

On November 5, 1960, country music star Johnny Horton died in a car accident in Milano, Texas. Horton was born in California, but grew up in East Texas, and graduated from high school in Gallatin. His hits included "When it's Springtime in Alaska," "Honky Tonk Man," and "The Battle of New Orleans."

Other historic high points this week:

November 2, 1779: Spanish Diplomat died in San Antonio after a head injury suffered in a fall from a horse, never assuming office as governor of Texas, though he'd been appointed.

November 6, 1528: Eighty survivors of the Narvaez expedition washed ashore on an island off the Texas coast, the first non-Native Americans to set foot on Texas soil.

November 7, 1835: at San Felipe, the Consultation takes a step toward the Texas Declaration of Independence.

November 8, 1852: The first recorded mention of the distinctive Mexican circus in Texas appeared in the San Antonio Ledger.

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