On this day in 1992, Richard von Weizsaeker, the president of Germany who was in Houston on a state visit, commended the German musical tradition exemplified by the Boerne Village Band. German immigrants to Texas had a profound influence on the development of music in the state. Acclaimed as "the Oldest Continuously Organized German Band in the World outside Germany Itself," the Boerne Village Band was organized in 1860 by Karl Dienger to complement the Boerne Gesang Verein (singing club). The band practiced in barns during the difficult Civil War period. After the war it continued to practice and play at various events in and around Boerne. During World War I and World War II the band was less active but remained organized, and it has flourished since 1945. Dr. Kenneth Herbst became director of the band in 1972 and attended the luncheon at which the German leader made his remarks. For the band's 130th anniversary in 1990, Peter Fihn, a noted German composer, dedicated and presented his march, "Grüsse an Texas" ("Greetings to Texas"), to the band. In the 1990s the band continued to perform regularly at the Texas Folklife Festival, the New Braunfels Wurstfest, the Kendall County Fair, the Boerne Berges Fest, Boerne Abendkonzerte (summer evening concerts), and many other events.
On this day in 1837, Henry Martyn Robert was born in Robertville, South Carolina. As an engineer, he was involved in most of the major river and harbor improvement and fortification projects undertaken by the U.S. government in the later nineteenth century. After the Galveston hurricane of 1900 he served as consulting chairman of the board of engineers to design means of protection against future tidal waves. The result was a seawall that successfully saved the city of Galveston in two subsequent hurricanes, in 1909 and 1915. Robert also became this country's leading parliamentarian. Robert's Rules of Order, first published in February 1876, remains in print in 2001 as an authoritative reference work on parliamentary procedure.
On this day in 1874, Governor Richard Coke appointed John B. Jones to command the newly raised Frontier Battalion of Texas Rangers. Jones, a veteran of the Civil War, was well suited to execute the governor's mandate to put an end to Indian raids on the frontier and to enforce the laws of Texas in the interior. The new battalion was successful in suppressing Indian incursions against white settlements. Jones reported to Gen. William Steele that during the first six months of the battalion's service more than forty Indian raiding parties had been reported on the frontier, of which the rangers engaged fourteen. During the second six months Jones's men had only four Indian fights, and after May 1875 only six raids and one small battle were reported. During this period Jones reported an estimated thirty-seven Indians killed; the battalion lost two killed and six wounded. In the seven years of its service under his command the battalion was also responsible for the quelling of considerable civil unrest as well as the return of much stolen property recovered from the Indians.