On this day in 1990, a civil action was filed in United States District Court in Dallas on behalf of a German church seeking the return of a number of medieval objets d'art that had disappeared at the end of World War II. During the war, the Lutheran Church of St. Servatius in Quedlinburg, Germany, had placed the objects in a mineshaft for safekeeping, but reported their loss in June 1945. After one of the objects appeared on the market in Europe in 1987, a German investigator traced the remaining pieces to Whitewright, Texas, where a former U.S. Army lieutenant named Joe Meador had settled. In 1945 Meador had served in the occupation of Quedlinburg. Fellow soldiers reported seeing him carrying mysterious bundles out of the mine. Meador was discharged from the army in 1946; after his death in 1980, his brother and sister began trying to sell the objects. The suit was settled in 1991, when the Germans announced that they would pay the Meador family $2.75 million for the return of the treasures. In 1998, however, the Internal Revenue Service announced it was seeking more than $50 million in federal taxes, penalties, and interest from the estate. The Meadors settled the case two years later by agreeing to pay $135,000.
On this day in 1876, Charles Goodnight and John G. Adair drew up the contract that brought the JA Ranch into being. The JA is the oldest privately owned cattle ranch in the Panhandle. Goodnight had met Adair, an English aristocrat interested in going into the cattle business, in Denver. Adair agreed to furnish the capital Goodnight needed to build up his "Home Ranch" in Armstrong County. The five-year contract provided for two-thirds of the property and profit to go to Adair and one-third to Goodnight. At Goodnight's suggestion the ranch was named for Adair's initials. The arrangement was profitable, and when the contract expired, it was extended for another five years. When Adair died in 1885 his wife continued the partnership. At the end of the twentieth century the ranch had seen many changes and was substantially fenced and cross-fenced. It was still noted for its purebred Herefords and Angus bulls.
On this day in 1971, Southwest Airlines began service from Dallas's Love Field. The airline's first flight came after three years of legal battles with rivals Braniff Airways, Continental Airlines, and Trans-Texas Airways that included a 1970 decision by the United States Supreme Court upholding Southwest's right to fly. Southwest became embroiled in yet another legal controversy in 1972, when the new Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport (now Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport) and the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth sued in an attempt to force the carrier to move to the new airport. Southwest eventually won the right to remain at Love Field as long as the field was a commercial airport, and the company's low fares continued to attract customers and force other airlines to discount their fares.