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William Brann, publisher of Iconoclast, is killed in Waco


On this day in 1898, controversial journalist William Cowper Brann was fatally shot in the back by Tom E. Davis on a Waco street. Brann managed to pull his own gun and kill Davis. Earlier in the decade Brann's newspaper, the Iconoclast, had launched a series of vitriolic attacks, especially on Baptists, Episcopalians, blacks, women, and anything British. He also went after nearby Baylor University, which he called "that great storm-center of misinformation." Brann was subsequently kidnapped on one occasion and beaten on another, and his supporters had a deadly gunfight with Baylor partisans. Davis, who killed Brann, was an irate supporter of Baylor.

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