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5 Fun Facts About December 8 In Texas History

---Learn Every Day: TX Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history tx To: 618-270-4005---

1. On December 8, 1857, the Texas state legislature created the University of Texas at Austin as the first public university in the state. The university opened its doors in 1883 and has since become one of the largest and most prestigious universities in the country.

2. In 1863, Union troops under the command of General Nathaniel Banks captured the Confederate stronghold of Fort Esperanza on Matagorda Island, off the Texas coast. The capture of the fort was an important victory for the Union in the Civil War, as it helped to secure the critical blockade of southern ports.

3. On December 8, 1941, just one day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Governor W. Lee O'Daniel declared martial law in Texas. The state's oil refineries and manufacturing facilities were seen as potential targets for Japanese attacks, and the governor sought to protect them by restricting access and movement throughout the state.

4. On this day in 1980, the West Texas town of Monahans was hit by a devastating tornado that caused widespread damage and killed 10 people. The tornado, which was part of a larger outbreak across the southern plains, was one of the deadliest and most destructive in Texas history.

5. Finally, on December 8, 1993, the Texas legislature passed the state's first concealed carry law, allowing Texans to carry concealed handguns if they met certain requirements. The law was controversial at the time and remains so today, with proponents arguing that it promotes public safety and opponents arguing that it puts more people at risk of gun violence.
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