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5 Fun Facts About February 15 In Texas History

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

1. On February 15, 1842, the Battle of Mier took place in Texas, during which Texan forces fought against a large Mexican army. Despite bravery and ferocity on both sides, the Texans were ultimately defeated and many were taken prisoner.

2. In 1876, on February 15, the Texas state legislature approved a bill to establish the Texas A&M University as a land-grant institution, focused on agriculture and the mechanical arts. Today, Texas A&M is one of the largest universities in the state, with over 60,000 students.

3. In 1911, on February 15, the first coast-to-coast long-distance telephone call was made, from New York City to San Francisco. The call was facilitated by AT&T, which had developed a network of telegraph lines and repeater stations across the country.

4. On February 15, 1961, astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American to travel into space as part of the Mercury-Redstone 3 mission. Shepard piloted the Freedom 7 spacecraft on a 15-minute suborbital flight, soaring to an altitude of 116 miles before splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean.

5. Finally, in 2003, on February 15, the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven crew members on board. The tragedy marked the second fatal accident in the history of the space shuttle program, and led to a two-year hiatus in shuttle flights while safety concerns were addressed.
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