On this day in 1922, radio station WFAA in Dallas began transmitting. The A. H. Belo Corporation, publisher of the Dallas Morning News and the Texas Almanac, owned WFAA. Initially operating up to 150 watts, the station held many firsts in radio broadcasting in Texas. It pioneered the transmission of educational programs and was the first to produce a radio drama series, “Dramatic Moments in Texas History.” WFAA also became the first radio station in the state to link up with other stations across the country to broadcast nationally a speech given by Calvin Coolidge in 1923. In 1934, WFAA helped form the Texas Quality Group Network with three other Texas stations. As a part of this group, it shared a combined nighttime power of 101,000 watts and carried popular simulcasts such as the Light Crust Doughboys western swing show.
On this day in 1832, the Mexican fort at Velasco surrendered to Texas colonists in the battle of Velasco, probably the first occasion of bloodshed in relations between Texas and Mexico. Between 100 and 150 Texans, under the command of Henry Smith and John Austin, had gone to Brazoria to secure a cannon for use against Mexican forces at Anahuac; Domingo de Ugartechea, commander of the fort at Velasco, tried to prevent the passage of their vessel. As a result of the ensuing eleven-hour battle, one writer called Velasco the "Boston harbor of the Texas Revolution." The estimated 91 to 200 Mexicans under Ugartechea were forced to surrender when their ammunition was exhausted. A conservative estimate of casualties suggests that seven Texans were killed and fourteen wounded, of whom three later died, while the Mexicans suffered five killed and sixteen wounded. Final terms allowed Ugartechea to surrender with honor and return to Mexico aboard a ship furnished by the Texans. The final document of surrender was signed by Texas representatives William H. Wharton and William J. Russell.
On this day in 1935, the National Youth Administration was established under the general auspices of the WPA. The national director for the eight years of operation was Aubrey Williams of Alabama. The purpose of the depression-era organization was to provide jobs, education, recreation, and counseling for youths between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five. As a result, jobless young people who had dropped out of school or graduated were offered part-time jobs working on highways and roadside parks, playgrounds and schools, recreational parks, and public buildings all over Texas. State directors of the NYA were Lyndon Johnson and Jesse Kellam. There was an agricultural training center in Luling, and a teaching program in stenography and general office practices at Blinn College in Brenham. During World War II, Texas had eleven resident training programs that gave instruction vital to the war effort. The NYA continued to function until it was voted out of existence in 1943.