Blanco County News
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Remember When...
A Look Back at Blanco County History
Wednesday, January 26, 2011 • Posted January 25, 2011 10:00 PM

January 25, 1963

The Blanco community was within sight of the goals set by the bonding company for the number of sewer connections necessary to assure the construction of the sewer system in the community. A total of 208 applications were received in the city office, 171 of those residential. The goal of residential applications was 200, and the city wanted 37 commercial applications. • The Blanco Free Library was given 48 fine books from Mr. and Mrs. George Harris. Among them were several very good children’s books. There were four more books on the “Memorial Shelf”- “Last of the Plantagenets” (a history of Richard III), Thomas’ Abraham Lincoln, The Trapp Family Singers, and an autobiography of the life of Helen Keller. The Garden Book Shelf got one or two new books on “Place Settings” and a new encyclopedia on gardening in dictionary form. • Due to the continuous efforts of a number of Texas Department of Corrections officials and the hard work of 220 specially-assigned inmates of the Huntsville Unit, car owners of Texas were able to purchase their license plates on time in 1963. The last of the 11,094,268 vehicle plates were shipped to the distributing centers on January 15, one full month ahead of schedule.

January 26, 1973

“Our friend, our neighbor, we’ll miss you very much,” was the heartfelt sentiment of the area when the announcement was made of the death of former President Lyndon B. Johnson. Stricken at his beloved Stonewall ranch, he suffered another of the series of heart attacks which had afflicted him in recent years.

Pronounced dead after a plane flight to Brooke General Hospital in San Antonio, his body was taken to the LBJ Library. An estimated 30,000 friends visited the Library to express their sympathy to the family.

The body was transferred to the National Capitol in Washington and laid in state in the rotunda of the Capitol. Services were conducted at National City Christian Church and the body returned to the LBJ Ranch for burial in the family cemetery there. John Connally and Billy Graham spoke at the graveside service.

Lyndon B. Johnson, who died at the age of 64, was the only Texan to ever become President of the United States. Johnson’s distinguished public career led him to seats in both houses of Congress, to the powerful post of Senate Democratic Leader which earned him his reputation as a masterful politician, to the Vice Presidency and finally to the Presidency after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963.

As the first Southerner to hold the Presidency since Andrew Jackson, his accomplishments in the domestic field of civil rights, social security, education and housing were highly praised.

To pay honor to the memory of the great fellow Texan, federal, state, and municipal offices and schools were closed Thursday as a day of mourning. Blanco County schools were closed as a part of this observation.

Born and raised in the Johnson City area, Lyndon Johnson felt a deep love for his Hill Country and the LBJ Ranch. Throughout his career, spanning 34 years as Congressman, Senator, Vice President and President, he never forgot his friends and neighbors and in many ways helped to better the section of Texas where he lived.

He was never happier than when he could leave some of his burdens behind and escape to his ranch.

After declining to run for another term of office as President in 1968, he came home to enjoy life as a Texas rancher while completing a variety of projects. The best known of these perhaps is the LBJ Library in Austin.

A part of the tribute was paid by Governor Dolph Briscoe when he said, “He was a great leader, a great President, a great tactician, but most of all, he was a man who cared for the people. And his legacy to people is written large in the laws of the nation. His programs broke more shackles, educated more children, cared for more sick and did more to improve the quality of life than any other President in history.”

January 27, 1983

Plans were finalized for the gala event of the season being planned by the Citizens for County Unity to benefit the Johnson City and Blanco Fire Departments. A variety of ballroom, country and western, and big bound sound music would be heard by the Harold Wood Orchestra at Ed’s 281 Club on February 11 from 8-12 pm. A meal of barbeque brisket, sausage, potato salad and beans would be served from 7-8 pm. • Blanco County was on its way to having a new organization dedicated to the promotion of responsible pet ownership and the prevention of cruelty to animals. It was the general consensus of those present at a meeting that the formation of a private, non-profit humane society could be the first step in assisting city and county officials with their responsibilities toward animal control.

January 27, 1993

Approximately five gallons of the narcotic substance known as “Speed” (methamphetamine) was recovered in Blanco County. Norman Gourley of the Texas Highway Department found containers left by the roadside on RR 32 approximately a quarter mile east of Highway 281. • Florine and Harold Lord donated a trophy case for the new high school. In the lunchroom, it displays trophies and awards earned by former and present BHS students. Mrs. Lord has also raised over $5000 for landscaping. • The Panther Boys Varsity Basketball team met Junction at home. Although the Panthers only scored 26 points in the first half, with Mason scoring 13, excellent defense led by Billy Upshaw proved to be the winning factor. After many steals by Upshaw, rebounds by Chris Jones, and blocked shots by Jason Wagenfehr, the Panthers pulled ahead of the Punchers 70-39.

January 29, 2003

A slice of Blanco life was revealed to the nation on National Public Radio’s program, “The Splendid Table.” The culinary radio program featured the Blanco Bowling Club Café in its opening report from Jane and Michael Stern. The Sterns, who also author the monthly column “Two for the Road” in Gourmet magazine, touted the Blanco icon’s meringue pies on the Jan. 25 program. They regularly start “The Splendid Table” with gourmet gems that they discover on their travels throughout the country. Jane gushed over the Blanco Bowling Club Café’s coconut meringue pie. Michael chose the Blanco café’s “really dark, super chocolaty” fudge pie as his favorite.

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