Sunday , 20 May 2018

This Week in History, Sept. 2: The Impact of War

By Don Newsom, TSB Contributing Writer

September 2 through September 8

This week holds a rich history for our area and some significant events at other levels.

In 1783, The Treaty of Paris officially ended America’s Revolutionary War.

In 1836, Sam Houston was elected president of the Republic of Texas.

In 1859, the East Fork of the Trinity River flooded 60 feet out of its banks just north of the current intersection of Highway 5 and FM 543, north of McKinney.

In 1864, Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s forces occupied Atlanta during the Civil War, completing the famous or infamous “March to the Sea”.

In 1877, a Methodist camp meeting was held on Honey Creek, north of McKinney. It was the first attempt to establish that denomination in Collin County.

In 1880, Major W. E. Penn held a revival meeting at the Rowlett Baptist Church and brought in 66 new members, resulting in it becoming the largest Christian denomination in Collin County.

In 1888, the first map was filed for Wilson’s Switch, a community named after the Wilson family and the railroad intersection. The community later became Princeton.

In 1903, the Lucas post office was discontinued. It had been established in 1888 and operated from the general store of Gabriel Lucas.

In 1904, the Plano Cotton Oil Company opened in Plano. The processing plant was erected and opened as a result of a contract with Crisco, which had begun competition with Wesson Oil as a producer of all vegetable shortening.

In 1912, thirty bales of cotton, which was about fifty percent of the cotton harvested that fall in Renner and its main source of income, burned on the railroad platform in that community.

In 1917, the American expeditionary force in France suffered its first fatalities in World War I.

In 1922, A fire in Frisco burned the majority of the downtown area. Speculation was the it was arson as the result of rivalry between city merchants.

In 1939, the gymnasium of the Chambersville Schools, north of McKinney, was destroyed by fire, shortly before the school year began. It was a tragic loss, being the largest facility for social and athletic events in the community.

In 1941, a migratory labor camp, which primarily produced onions and was located near Princeton was dedicated by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Sam Rayburn. It was part of the government program to provide jobs and shelter for the homeless. In early 1942, it was converted to a German prisoner of war camp. While there the German soldiers worked on farms in the area. In 1946, after WWII ended, it was converted back to a migratory camp. The site is located in the present Princeton Community Park.

In 1939, Britain and France declared war on Germany, two days after the Nazi invasion of Poland.

In 1945, Japan formally surrendered in ceremonies aboard the USS Missouri, ending World War II.

In 1969, the first automatic teller machine (ATM) to use magnetic-striped cards opened to the public at Chemical Bank in Rockville Centre, New York.

In 1974, President Gerald R. Ford granted an unconditional pardon to former President Richard M. Nixon. He later revealed that he felt at the time that it would probably cost him the next presidential election (which it did), but it was the best thing to do to reunite the nation after the “Watergate” scandal.

Photo: Don Newsom in historic costume

Don Newsom is an avid historian, a member of the North Collin County History Center Board of Directors and a former Superintendent of Schools for Celina ISD.  

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