By Don Newsom, TSB Contributing Writer
September 23 through September 30
Events that have occurred the last week in September included the beginning of our national constitution; an attempt to have a university; and the signing of a treaty to aid in the peaceful settlement of North Texas.
In 1787, the U S Congress voted to send the Constitution to state legislatures for their approval. Two years later, Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution and sent them to the states for ratification. (Ten of the amendments became the Bill of Rights.)
In 1788, the Pennsylvania Legislature elected the first two members of the U.S. Senate – William Maclay of Harrisburg and Robert Morris of Philadelphia.
In 1843, a treaty was signed at Bird’s Fort, the area where present Birdville in Tarrant County is located, between whites and Indians to protect settlement in the Red River area of which Collin County was a part.
In 1874, the First Presbyterian Church of McKinney was organized and has conducted worship services continuously since then. The current building, located near the intersection of Redbud and White Streets in McKinney, houses the bell and many of the stained glass windows from the original building.
In 1876, a post office was established in the community of Blue Ridge in northeast Collin County.
In 1881, the Hancock post office discontinued. The following year, the Black Hill office was also closed. Residents began receiving their mail through the Millwood office and later Royce City.
In 1895, the largest four mill in Plano, a locally coop owned business, was sold to the Alliance Milling Company, which had begun in 1866 in Denton County.
In 1904, a surprise party for Miss Willie Jasper on her 15th birthday was hosted by her paternal grandparents, original settlers of the Peters Colony. The same year a meeting was held involving the most influential people of Collin County for the purpose of convincing the leaders of the Presbyterian Church to locate the Texas Presbyterian University in McKinney. The attempt failed. Highland Park was selected for the site after 100 acres of land was donated for a site. The $2,000,000 endowment was never raised and the project ended.
In 1909 the Plano public school enrollment was 348, quite a contrast to the current 55,000 students.
In 1917, a southbound passenger train left the tracks near Celina. There were no causalities, but several people were injured. The wreckage and damage to the rails prevented traffic for several days.
In 1949, the First Baptist Church of Lavon was organized. The church still conducts its worship services on Main Street in Lavon, a community east of Wylie.
In 1960, the first televised debate between presidential candidates took place in Chicago as Republican Richard M. Nixon and Democrat John F. Kennedy squared off. Many felt this was a significant factor in Nixon losing in November because of his physical appearance compared to the youthful Kennedy.
In 1968, “60 Minutes” the still running and very popular news program premiered on CBS.
In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in as the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 2008, the Dow Jones industrial average fell a record 777.68 points after the House defeated a $700 billion emergency rescue plan for the nation’s financial system.
Don Newsom is an avid historian, a member of the board of directors for the North Texas History Center and a former Superintendent of Schools for Celina ISD.