On this day in 1968, HemisFair, the first officially designated international exposition in the southwestern United States, opened in San Antonio. It celebrated the cultural heritage shared by San Antonio and the nations of Latin America. It ran from April to October and attracted 6.3 million visitors. More than thirty nations participated with pavilions or exhibits. It also changed the face of the city. The outstanding structures at the fair that remained after the event included the Institute of Texan Cultures, the Convention Center and Arena, and the 622-foot Tower of the Americas.
On this day in 1911, various friends of the late sculptor Elisabet Ney met in her Austin studio to found the Texas Fine Arts Association and the Elisabet Ney Museum. Ney, born in Westphalia in 1833, came to Texas in 1872 and was one of the first professional sculptors in the state. She built her studio, which she named Formosa, in 1892, and died in 1907. Among the friends who gathered four years later to honor her memory were Bride Neill Taylor, Julia Pease, Emma Cherry, and Emma Kyle Burleson. They designated the museum as the annual meeting place for the association and the gallery for its exhibitions; it thus functioned as one of the earliest centers for artistic development in Texas. In 1941 the city of Austin assumed ownership of the museum and in subsequent years has operated it as a component of the parks and recreation department.
On this day in 1830, the Mexican government passed a law that helped foment the Texas Revolution. The law is said to be analogous to the Stamp Act, which encouraged the American Revolution. Among its provisions, it forbade the further introduction of slaves into Mexico, and apparently was intended to suspend existing empresario contracts. Article 11, the most inflammatory part, was intended to prohibit or limit immigration from the United States. Texas colonists were greatly disturbed by news of the law. Although Stephen F. Austin secured exemption from the operation of the law for his contract and for that of Green DeWitt, the measure shook his belief in the good will of the Mexican government. Enforcement of the law resulted directly in the Anahuac Disturbances of 1832 and indirectly in the battle of Velasco, the conventions of 1832 and 1833, and the accumulation of grievances that helped lead to the revolution.