The first proposals for an "Outer Loop" now Loop were also made at this time. Note: I only show the overall Loop proposal during this year. The elevated "Central Expressway" section of I downtown connecting the three previously completed expressways north and south of downtown was now complete and open to traffic. I South had been completed south of New Laredo Hwy.
I West was now under construction from Loop north to Fredericksburg Rd. The earlier proposal for I disappeared during this time as it was under additional study. The final routing for I East had finally been selected. Substantial sections of freeway were now open to traffic. The western arc of Loop , from Broadway around to I South, was complete. However, only the western arc of from I West to I South carried the Interstate shield; the section east of I was marked as State Loop because it was not yet part of the national Interstate Highway plan.
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Loop on the Southside between I and Roosevelt Ave. All of I South was now complete; the previous sections of I South that had been built as access roads had now been upgraded to a full expressway. I North from Broadway to Rittiman Rd. I West was now complete from Loop north to Fredericksburg Rd. In , I had become the first metropolitan Interstate in Texas to be fully completed. I West was now complete inside Loop and under construction from Fredericksburg Rd.
All of I through Bexar County was now complete, making it the first county in Texas to complete its construction of I The routing of the North Expressway US North , which would soon become quite controversial, was now being fleshed-out. Mary's Connector, running parallel to St. It would have also featured a downtown feeder spur in conjunction with elaborate distribution ramps for the other freeways surrounding downtown.
Freeway construction continued to move forward full-steam in preparation for the World's Fair "HemisFair". By , the bulk of today's freeway system was complete or under construction. All of Loop was now done, but the section from I West to I North still carried the State Loop designation; it would not see an Interstate shield until mid SP was also complete.
I was under construction from Florida St. All of the two-lane FM north of US 90 was now complete as well. I West from Leon Springs to Boerne and beyond was complete. The Bandera Expressway proposal was unchanged. The battle over the path for US near Hildebrand Ave.
The San Pedro Ave. Mary's connectors for US appear to have been scrapped by this time. As HemisFair opened, most of the city's freeway system was in place. All of I and I were open. The controversy over the proposed US North continued on into the new decade and a fight over another freeway-- the Bandera Expressway-- was gearing-up. Work on the undisputed northern and southern parts of US had begun in , but was suspended in when the Conservation Society won a decision to revoke federal funding.
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Meanwhile, the original Bandera Expressway route had been scrapped due to city officials' concerns about its path through the "Model Cities" urban renewal area on the near West Side. A new proposal for the freeway, now officially being called the "Northwest Transportation Facility", routed it along Culebra Ave. In addition, a new route for the I bypass was proposed for the near West Side that took it closer to downtown with less impact on the Model Cities area. Amid the controversies, I had been completed downtown and south to US and work had started from there south to the Loop area.
The bitter war over US North was finally over and the freeway opened in and the last section of the original plan, from San Pedro Ave. However, the Bandera Expressway proposal had been scrapped by this time due to protests over the number of displacements it would cause. The I bypass was also cancelled; instead, plans were now underway to double-deck I The last sections of FM south of the city were now under construction and the road would soon be renamed Loop Planning to upgrade the increasingly busy and dangerous northern arc to a freeway was underway.
By the mid '80s, suburban growth was begining to reach the northern sections of Loop Plans to upgrade US from Bitters to Loop were announced, and the access roads for SH outside Loop were under construction not indicated on map. The most heavily traveled sections of Loop across the North Side had now been upgraded to a freeway, ending the days of the "Death Loop", so-called because of the high number of fatal accidents that had occurred along it.
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Plans were now in the works to extend the western end of the freeway south to Bandera Rd. Initial proposals for an "East-West Parkway"-- subsequently named Wurzbach Parkway-- to relieve traffic on Loops and had been announced. Less than half a mile away from us, at the corner of Texas State Highway 6 and US Route 90 Alternate, sat a large blue shipping container.
Alongside several others, an orange crane, and a pair of portable toilets, its presence on the edge of a bustling construction site was unremarkable. Forensic surveys revealed that they had died between and , and were buried in unmarked graves. With the help of an environmental consulting firm, the district determined that they had likely been prisoners of the state penal system, leased out to the sugar-cane barons who then dominated the region under the brutal system known as convict leasing.
Moore wanted to show me the spot where the remains were found, and pulled into the construction site cautiously. He pointed past a few muddy puddles and some black piping to a group of dirt mounds. In the s, after a recession claimed his job at the Houston Ship Channel, Moore, who is black, worked as a prison guard at the Jester State Prison Farm, several miles to the northwest of the construction site.
There were no black captains or majors in the Texas correctional system, despite a district court ruling that had led to an influx of minority guards, he said. Black guards had no one in the upper ranks to advocate for their promotion, Moore recalled. After he retired in , Moore immersed himself in the past. He pored over records of land grants to Stephen F.
A number of these settlers owed their fortunes to convict leasing , a system whose abuses Douglas Blackmon documented in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Slavery by Another Name As Blackmon wrote, although the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, ratified in , ended slavery and involuntary servitude for blacks, it included an exception for those convicted of a crime. The Texas legislature, like the rest of the postbellum South, exploited this loophole, passing laws subjecting African Americans to criminal prosecutions for offenses ranging from vagrancy to possession of weapons to failure to carry proof of employment.
Southern businessmen leased these prisoners from the state to work mines, construct railroads, and toil on plantations. Cunningham and Littleberry A. Ellis, signed a five-year contract with Texas in to lease its entire prison population to work their sugar-cane fields. Texas required lessees to house, clothe, feed, and manage inmates.
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Black prisoners were typically sent to work in swamps infested with mosquitos. An estimated 3, convict-leased prisoners in Texas died between and How did it work out for the state? On this site in May 8, , Brig. Zachary Taylor's 2, troops defeated Gen. Mariano Arista's 3, Mexicans in the first battle of the Mexican War. The visitors center, located on southwest corner of the acre park, features a minute introductory video, War on the Rio Grande and exhibits that reveal both U.
A half-mile walking trail winds past the battlefield and contains interpretive panels describing the battle. This foot, lighthouse on Texas's southernmost tip operated until During November both Union and Confederate soldiers used it as an observation tower. A replicated keeper's cottage houses the on-site visitors center and features an exhibit on the building's history. Founded in by Stephen Austin and the American families that followed him, this town was the social, economic, and political center of Texas, and site of the heated conventions of and and the Consultation of that led to the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Visitors can see monuments, historical markers, a replica dog-trot cabin, and exhibits in the J.
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Josey Store Museum. The foot-tall commemorative stone monument sits on the site of the decisive minute battle of April 21, , during which General Houston's Texans routed Santa Anna's Mexican army and paved the way for Texan independence. The 1,acre site also encompasses the San Jacinto Museum of History, which houses more than , books, documents, and artifacts. This 15,square-foot museum houses three interpretive displays and a seat theater that shows the film, Our Homes, Our Rights—Texas in the Civil War. Costumed docents guide visitors through the exhibit spaces, which feature artifacts, such as a first edition Uncle Tom's Cabin , the Victorian dress collection, weapons, and Texas regimental flags.
The two stories of exhibit space in this museum honor the African-American units that served on the western frontier. Exhibits cover the buffalo soldier's years of combat history and include artifacts such as saddles, uniforms, and a 9th Cavalry buffalo soldier's discharge papers from the state of Texas in Named for Scottish-Cherokee trader Jesse Chisholm, this mile-long trail stretched from Texas to Central Kansas, providing a route for cattle drivers and merchants from to This 12,square-foot museum of barbed wire history features several exhibits including the Warwire Exhibit, which details the damaging wire used during combat, a demonstration of barbed wire manufacture, and late 18th-early 19th-century tools used to make the specialty fences of western farms and ranches.
Visitors can also see cattle brands used by ranchers as far back as the Spanish missionaries, as well as 45 sculptures made from barbed wire. The adjacent Texas Route 66 Museum contains an old-time theater, which features videos of Old Route 66, and more than objects, including original road signs. This ,acre ranch, the "birthplace of American ranching," was originally purchased by riverboat captain Richard King in and became the first Western ranch to develop beef cattle.
Located in a nearby historic Kingsville ice factory, the museum contains exhibits on ranch life during the s, a collection of decorative saddles, and several antique carriages and automobiles, such as Congressman R. Kleberg's custom Buick hunting car. Ninety-minute guided tours begin at the visitors center and pass by a historic commissary, carriage house, horse cemetery, and Longhorn cattle barns. This new 33,square-foot art deco building presents the history of the American cowgirl with three interactive exhibit spaces, a theater, and research library. Videos and displays showcase the cowgirl's influence on fashion, pioneer spirit, and a woman's daily experience in the west.