By TSB Contributing Writer Don Newsom
December 16 through December 22
Significant beginnings for our nation; the introduction of some Christmas traditions; the approval of a major thoroughfare in the county; and a state football championship were among the events that happened this week in our history.
In 1620, pilgrims aboard the Mayflower went ashore for the first time at present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts.
In 1773, the Boston Tea Party initiated a revolution that would create the democracy we know today.
In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed transferring French property west of the Mississippi to the United States.
In 1838, the Congress of the Republic of Texas approved establishment and construction of a road from Austin to the Red River along a cattle trail that would become a significant supple route for the Confederates during the later stages of the Civil War and a famous cattle trail during the development of the West after the war. Preston Road/Highway 289 is a major north/south route in our area today.
Two Christmas traditions began this week. In 1843, Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol, a story that would become a Christmas classic. In 1946, the Frank Capra film “It’s A Wonderful Life” had a preview showing for charity at New York City’s Globe Theatre, a day before its official premiere.
In 1864, during the Civil War, Union General William T. Sherman sent a message to President Abraham Lincoln from Georgia, saying, “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah.”
In 1865, slavery ended in the United States as the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was declared in effect.
In 1879, Thomas Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, New Jersey.
In 1904, a fire that had started suspiciously and burned for two days destroyed every building in the block north of the square and on the east side of Tennessee Street in McKinney. The same year the town of Prosper signed a contract to purchase the machinery for a new flour mill. It was significant because it was the first major indication that wheat was beginning to compete with cotton in the county as a commercial crop rather than a product for agricultural use.
In 1905, the Masonic Lodge was chartered in Celina and began meeting on the square in that Collin County community, as it still does today.
In 1930, the Wysong Clinic formally opened in McKinney and the First National Bank of Plano was organized.
In 1979, the McKinney Lions became the Class AAA Texas State Football Champions beating Bay City, 20 – 7.
TSB contributing writer Don Newsom is an avid historian and a former Superintendent of Schools for Celina ISD.