On this day in 1917, the Ferguson Forum, a weekly political newspaper, began publication in Temple, Texas. The paper was the organ of Governor James E. Ferguson throughout eighteen years of his stormy political life. He considered it necessary because Texas newspapers had "submarined the truth" concerning his impeachment. Ferguson and his wife, Miriam Amanda (Ma) Ferguson, used the paper to generate campaign funds as well as to present their views to the public. During Ma Ferguson's first term as governor in the 1920s, her administration was criticized for awarding lucrative highway contracts to firms that purchased expensive advertising space in the Forum. The paper continued publication until April 11, 1935.
On this day in 1874, a cavalry column under Lt. Frank D. Baldwin charged a Cheyenne encampment north of McClellan Creek, about ten miles south of the site of present-day Pampa. The surprised Indians abandoned the village and left most of their property intact. Riding through the deserted camp, Billy Dixon and other army scouts noticed movement in a pile of buffalo hides; they were astonished to find two white captives, Julia and Addie German, both emaciated and near starvation. They and their two older sisters, Catherine and Sophia, had been captured when their family was attacked on September 10, 1874. Catherine and Sophia were subsequently rescued from another band of Cheyennes, and the four German sisters were reunited at Fort Leavenworth.
On this day in 1852, the first recorded mention of the distinctive Mexican circus in Texas appeared in the San Antonio Ledger. Though the performing groups may have been in Texas prior to this date, this newspaper report marked the first documentation of the circuses in the Lone Star State. The Mexican circuses evolved over the years from sixteenth-century performers called voladores (flyers) and Spanish minstrels and jugglers to include maromeros (acrobats) by the seventeenth century and dramatic performers in the eighteenth century. By the time they got to Texas, the Mexican circuses had incorporated Italian, English, and American influences, including the English clown. Carpas (tent circuses) proved popular into the twentieth century throughout the Rio Grande Valley and South and Central Texas, and several companies made San Antonio their home base. The carpas, often family-based, delivered commentary on Tejano social life and influenced the development of Mexican-American theater.