For "Travel Tuesday": Let's visit Amarillo, TX
The cable was out again, so that is why I am posting this so late.
"It was one of those days when God was creating the earth. He was working on Texas as darkness fell at the end of the day, and He had to quit. He gave the Great Plains of West Texas a smoothing stroke and said to Himself, "In the morning I'll come back and make it pretty like the rest of the world, with lakes and streams and mountains and trees."
But the next morning when He returned, it had hardened like concrete overnight. As He thought about having to tear it all down and make it over, He had a happy thought: "I know what I'll do", He said, "I'll just make some people who like it this way."
And that is how it came about that the people who live in the Panhandle like it this way."
-George Autry 1899-1960 Lifetime Member, Panhandle-Plains Historical Society
Amarillo is one of the last places on earth where the Old West is just minutes away. Amarillo sits at the crossroads of America, almost equidistant from both coasts. Air travelers reach the city through connecting flights from every major air terminal in the central U.S. Motorists simply take I-40 -- one of the best-traveled routes in the country -- or I-27. Since the 16th century, Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle have drawn visitors from around the world. Francisco Coronado, the first European to see the vast open spaces of the American Southwest, crossed the high plains in 1541 -- nearly 80 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. He was followed by cattlemen and sheep herders from all points of the compass looking for fresh grazing grounds and a place to start a new life. Most famous of them was Charles Goodnight, inventor of the chuck wagon and a the basis of a character in Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove series.
When the oil boom hit Texas, it exploded across the Texas Panhandle. Vast fortunes were made overnight and the region's economy grew because of the lure of black gold.
Since World War II, the Panhandle economy has diversified to include heavy manufacturing, petrochemicals, farming and, of course, modern ranching. In the last decades, the ranches have been the key to a new industry--tourism. The Amarillo area is now a major destination for Old West enthusiasts from all over the globe. The lure of the Old West also draws thousands every year to attractions like the internationally-famous outdoor musical "TEXAS", and Western Breakfasts and/or Dinners.
Amarillo and the surrounding Panhandle area are a unique blend of two American eras. There are the working ranches, essentially unchanged in the day-to-day operations from the late nineteenth century, and there is a vibrant twenty-first century economy, providing leadership for the modern west. That's why we say when you step into Amarillo, you "Step Into The Real Texas."
1541: Spanish conquistador Francisco Coronado is the first European to reach the area.
1786: A portion of El Camino Real (The King's Highway) from Santa Fe, NM, to San Antonio, TX, included the Amarillo area and was widely used for exploration and trade.
1874: The first and second battle of Palo Duro, between U.S. troops and the Indians, started the demise of the Native American in the area. Learn more about the Red River War in the Texas Panhandle by clicking here.
1876: Potter Country - named after Robert Potter, Secretary of the Navy and Senator of the Republic of Texas - was created by the Texas Legislature. Rancher Col. Charles Goodnight, developer of the chuckwagon, started the local cattle industry when he settled in the area and brought 1,600 head of cattle with him.
1878: The buffalo was replaced by the Longhorn, the LX Ranch was established, and the Frying Pan was the first of the large ranches to be fenced in with barbed wire.
1883: Judge O.H. Nelson imported Hereford and Shorthorn cattle, unwittingly starting the demise of the Longhorn.
1887: Amarillo became a county seat and the first railroad freight service came to the area.
1910: West Texas A&M University was founded; today it serves the entire Texas Panhandle, a region the size of Indiana.
1913: Amarillo was the first city in Texas and only the fifth in the nation to adopt a city commission/city manager form of government.
1918: Natural gas was discovered in the Texas Panhandle.
1921: Oil was discovered in the area.
1922: The first radio concert was broadcast from an Amarillo radio station and carried by WDAG - one of the first 80 licensed stations in the country.
1929: U.S. Bureau of Mines' Amarillo Helium plant was completed, and the city was on the way to becoming the "Center of the Helium Industry." Amarillo International Airport opened.
1930: Air mail service started to Amarillo.
1948: The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) moved its headquarters to Amarillo.
1965: Lake Meredith opened and recorded 227,000 visitors the first year. President Johnson signed the act dedicating Alibates Flint Quarries as a National Monument.
1966: Paul Green's "Texas" opened; this was made possible after the sound and light show Thundering Sounds of the West drew 36,000 people the previous summer.
1992: Major renovation of Amarillo International Airport is completed.
1995: The Working Ranch Cowboy Association (WRCA), an organization entirely dedicated to the working cowboy, was created with headquarters in Amarillo.
1998: Bell Helicopter announced development of an Amarillo manufacturing center to build the V-22 Osprey, a tilt-rotor aircraft with the capabilities of both fixed-wing and helicopter aircraft.
1999: Amarillo resident Kimberly Willis Holt wins the National Book Award for her children's novel When Zachary Beaver Came to Town.
2000: Amarillo resident Brandon Slay wins wrestling gold medal at the summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
2003: Amarillo native Rick Husband commands Space Shuttle Columbia. He and his crew died during an explosion when returning to Earth.
2004: National Cutting Horse Association returns to Amarillo.
In 1893 Amarillo's population was listed as "between 500-600 humans and 50,000 head of cattle."
In 1886 the XIT Ranch ran 150,000 head of cattle and was valued at more than 1.5 million dollars; at one time the ranch extended into 10 counties.
In 1929 Amarillo was a stop along the first continuous, scheduled air passenger and mail service from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Some people maintain that during an Amarillo sunrise and sunset one can see the curvature of the earth, due to the wide open spaces of the Great Plains.
The Amarillo airport has the 3rd largest runway in the world and is designated as an alternate landing site for the space shuttle.
Amarillo ranches and feedlots produce 25% of the nation's and 88% of Texas' beef .
Amarillo was rated nationally as having some of the cleanest air in the country.
The Texas Panhandle is approximately 26,000 square miles, or about the size of West Virginia.
The Texas Panhandle (26 counties) is larger than nine other states.
There are 62 incorporated towns in the 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle.
Things to do in Amarillo:
"From outdoor activities to western heritage to a flourishing arts scene, who knew there was so much to do in Amarillo?
Take a look at the many great attractions Amarillo has to offer. Use the dropdown menu below to jump to attractions in specific areas of interest. (Go to link below to use this.)
View attractions related to... Arts & Cultural Entertainment & Shopping Facilities Golf Courses Historic Sites Museums Points of Interest Sports & Recreation Western & Outdoor Activities
Arts & Cultural
Amarillo Botanical Gardens
Amarillo Little Theatre
Amarillo Public Library
Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts
The Galleries at Sunset Center
The Lone Star Ballet
Entertainment & Shopping
Big Texan Steak Ranch, Brewery and Hotel
Georgia St. Mall
Splash Amarillo (summer)
Wolflin Square & Village
Wonderland Amusement Park
Amarillo Civic Center
Amarillo National Center
Amarillo Country Club
Canyon Country Club
Comanche Trail Golf Links
Palo Duro Creek Golf Course
Preston West Golf Course
Ross Rogers Golf Complex
Tascosa Golf Club
Polk St. Historic District
Potter County Courthouse
Route 66 District
Santa Fe Building
Amarillo Railroad Museum
American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum
AMoA-Amarillo Museum of Art
Don Harrington Discovery Center
Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian
Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum
Texas Air and Space Museum
Texas Pharmacy Museum
The RV Museum @ Jack Sisemore Traveland
Points of Interest
Bar Z Winery
Cal Farley's Boys Ranch
Hoof Prints of the American Quarter Horse
Route 66 Trolley Express
Texas Panhandle War Memorial
Vintage Autohaus & Imports
Sports & Recreation
Amarillo Bulls (hockey)
Amarillo Rock Climbing House
Amarillo Sox (baseball)
Amarillo Venom (arena football)
Rock Island Rail Trail
Route 66 Motor Speedway
Western & Outdoor Activities
Alibates Flint Quarries Nat'l Monument & Lake Meredith Nat'l. Rec Area
Amarillo Livestock Auction
Cowgirls & Cowboys in the West
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Palo Duro Stables & Six Gun City at Timber Springs
River Breaks Ranch
TEXAS (Outdoor musical drama)
Wildcat Bluff Nature Center
WRCA World Championship Ranch Rodeo
From Me: When I drafted this, all these places were links, and would have stayed that way if I could have drafted in Live Writer, but drafting in Blogger, the links disappeared. So please go to the main link to click on the places that interest you.
On This Day:
New celebration of Armistice Day proposed, May 8, 1919:
"On May 8, 1919, Edward George Honey, a journalist from Melbourne, Australia, living in London at the time, writes a letter to the London Evening News proposing that the first anniversary of the armistice ending World War I—concluded on November 11, 1918—be commemorated by several moments of silence.
Honey, who briefly served in the British army during World War I before being discharged with a leg injury, had been concerned by the way people in London had celebrated on the streets on the actual day of the armistice. In his letter to the newspaper the following May, he wrote that a silent commemoration of the sacrifices made and the lives lost during the war would be a far more appropriate way to mark the first anniversary of its end.
Five little minutes only, Honey wrote. Five silent minutes of national remembrance. A very sacred intercession. Communion with the Glorious Dead who won us peace, and from the communion new strength, hope and faith in the morrow. Church services, too, if you will, but in the street, the home, the theatre, anywhere, indeed, where Englishmen and their women chance to be, surely in this five minutes of bitter-sweet silence there will be service enough."
Though Honey's letter did not immediately bring about a change, a similar suggestion was made to Sir Percy Fitzpatrick that October and reached King George V, who on November 17, 1919, made an official proclamation that at the hour when the Armistice came into force, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, there may be for the brief space of two minutes a complete suspension of all our normal activities so that in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead." Though it is not officially recorded that the king read and was influenced by Honey's letter, the journalist was invited by the king to a palace rehearsal of the two minutes of silence, a tradition which is still honored in much of the former British empire."
V-E Day is celebrated in America and Britain, May 8, 1945:
"On this day in 1945, both Great Britain and the United States celebrate Victory in Europe Day. Cities in both nations, as well as formerly occupied cities in Western Europe, put out flags and banners, rejoicing in the defeat of the Nazi war machine.
The eighth of May spelled the day when German troops throughout Europe finally laid down their arms: In Prague, Germans surrendered to their Soviet antagonists, after the latter had lost more than 8,000 soldiers, and the Germans considerably more; in Copenhagen and Oslo; at Karlshorst, near Berlin; in northern Latvia; on the Channel Island of Sark--the German surrender was realized in a final cease-fire. More surrender documents were signed in Berlin and in eastern Germany.
The main concern of many German soldiers was to elude the grasp of Soviet forces, to keep from being taken prisoner. About 1 million Germans attempted a mass exodus to the West when the fighting in Czechoslovakia ended, but were stopped by the Russians and taken captive. The Russians took approximately 2 million prisoners in the period just before and after the German surrender.
Meanwhile, more than 13,000 British POWs were released and sent back to Great Britain.
Pockets of German-Soviet confrontation would continue into the next day. On May 9, the Soviets would lose 600 more soldiers in Silesia before the Germans finally surrendered. Consequently, V-E Day was not celebrated until the ninth in Moscow, with a radio broadcast salute from Stalin himself: "The age-long struggle of the Slav nations...has ended in victory. Your courage has defeated the Nazis. The war is over."
From Me: I remember V-J and V-E Days. (V-J= Victory Over Japan). All I could remember was "There Is a War On" on as a child. "Victory" didn't mean anything to me or my friends, but we went along with the celebrations, and put streamers on our bicycles. The rationing didn't end for quite a while though.
Misty, Prime, Bobbiecat and I stayed home with Maddie and Muffie, whose 'parents' had gone to Coushatta to gamble.
Maddie, who won't eat dog food for Jay or Claudia, relished some Nature's Choice Lamb and Rice canned dog food, and some of Misty's 'Taste Of The Wild, Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison' dry fog food, which has been soaked in Sodium Free Chicken Broth.
Misty only has four back teeth, so that is why it is soaked. She just gets a little bit in the bottom of her bowl, under her organic canned food, so that she is getting extra nutrition, and something different. And I am not going to go out and catch wild bison or venison for her!
Muffie's "Dad" had brought her some home-cooked chicken, but she liked having some lamb and rice canned dog and Taste of the Wild, too. I put some of Muffie's chicken in Maddie's bowl, and she wouldn't touch it, surprising for a dog that is just fed 'hooman' food at home.
Maddie and Muffie were picked up by their parents about 8.00PM, and Jay wouldn't believe that Maddie had eaten dog food yesterday!