Tuesday , 26 September 2017

This Week in History, April 14: A Week of Tragedies

By Don Newsom, TSB Contributing Writer


April 14 through April 20

Positive things happened this week in our history, but the many tragedies that occurred will long be remembered.

In 1766, Collin McKinney, for whom the county and city of McKinney were named, was born in New Jersey.

In 1775, the American Revolution began with the battles of Lexington and Concord resulting in the formation of this nation.

In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln declared a state of insurrection and called out Union troops three days after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. He died nine hours later.

In 1884, the notorious Frank James, struck a senior citizen on the head with a spittoon during an altercation in a saloon in Little Elm.

In 1886, the Beth post office was closed and residents began receiving their mail through the Lebanon office until 1905 when delivery was moved to the Allen office.

In 1902, J.C. Penney opened his first store, in Kemmerer, Wyoming. One hundred and eleven years later, the business is still in the news. The same year, John Mantooth graduated from medical school in Chattanooga and returned to Collin County where he practiced medicine for over 50 years in the communities of Altoga, Melissa, Climax, Womble, Verona and Ardath.

In 1904, many of the building on the northeast side of the square in McKinney were destroyed by fire.

In 1910, the City of Plano and the Plano Schools set their combined tax rate at $1.15 per $100, a very high rate for that era.

In 1912, the Titanic sank, killing approximately 1,500 people, within hours after colliding with an iceberg in the Northern Atlantic on its maiden voyage.

In 1925, Tom Lane opened the South End Grocery in McKinney, near the present intersection of Tennessee and Industrial Streets. The same year, the third floor opened in the Commercial Hotel, built in 1900 in McKinney. Located on Virginia Street, northwest of the square, the upper two floors are now used for office space and the ground floor is the home of a restaurant.

In 1964, the Ford Motor Company, unveiled its new model, the Mustang. My wife and I, like many of you, had a 1964 “Stang” and wish we still did.

During the decade of the 1990’s, three tragic events occurred which sadden us. In 1993, the 51 day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco ended. In 1995, a truck bomb, built and detonated by a fellow American, destroyed a federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. In 1999, two students at Columbine High School in Colorado, killed themselves as well as twelve of their classmates and a teacher.

TSB contributing writer Don Newsom is an avid historian and a former Superintendent of Schools for Celina ISD. 

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