Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
Tigua leader dies
April 24, 1988

On this day in 1988, Miguel Pedraza, Sr., died at his home in Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, near El Paso. Pedraza, born in 1904, was part Tigua and part Piro. For years ethnologists had thought the Tiguas were extinct. The Compromise of 1850 had separated them from fellow Tiguas in New Mexico, thus cutting them off from government support. When other Pueblo Indians were granted reservations in 1864 the Tiguas were excluded because Texas was part of the Confederacy. Thanks in large part to Pedraza's efforts, the state finally recognized the Tiguas in 1967. The next year Pedraza delivered a dramatic appeal to the United States Congress. His successful fight was the first time in half a century that any leader had won national recognition for an Indian group. His efforts were reinforced nearly twenty years later, in 1987, when President Ronald Reagan signed the Ysleta del Sur Restoration Act, making the Tiguas eligible for various federal benefits.

Black Texas leader assassinated
April 24, 1931

On this day in 1931, O. P. DeWalt, president of the Houston NAACP, was assassinated. The 1910 graduate of Prairie View College worked as a real estate agent and school principal before opening the Lincoln Theater, the first exclusively black theater in Houston. He was heralded for standing up to the Ku Klux Klan, which was growing again. He fought against the exclusionary white primaries of the Democratic party and pushed for the establishment of a branch of the National Urban League in Houston. Funeral services were held first in Houston and then in Livingston, where he was born and is buried.

Magnolia Petroleum Company founded
April 24, 1911

On this day in 1911, the Magnolia Petroleum Company was founded as an unincorporated joint-stock association. It was a consolidation of several earlier companies, the first of which, the J. S. Cullinan Company, began operating a refinery at Corsicana in 1898. In 1909 both the Navarro Refining Company, successor to the Cullinan Company, and the Security Oil Company were purchased by the John Sealy Company, which in 1911 became the Magnolia Petroleum Company, with Sealy as president. In 1931, Magnolia became an affiliate of Socony-Vacuum Oil Company. The Magnolia Petroleum Company merged with Socony Mobil Oil Company in 1959. Its operations became part of Mobil Oil Company, an operating division of Socony Mobil.