On June 18, 1918, a troop train carrying soldiers from Camp MacArthur’s 80th Field Artillery left East Waco and traveled eastward on the Cotton Belt line, heading toward a southern training camp. After traveling for fifteen minutes (about seven…

During the 1890s, the city of Waco was in a period of financial growth, and citizens were in need of a place to be entertained. Waco was home to several theaters and opera houses; however, local businessmen desired a large auditorium that would bring…

One of the most infamous publicity stunts of all time, "The Crash at Crush," took place about 3 miles south of West, Texas, featuring two locomotives of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company (known as M-K-T or "Katy") intentionally set on a…

Decades before American Idol made stars out of wannabes, Waco had its own hit-maker, Mary Holliday.Holliday (1901-1969), believed to be the first female radio announcer in Texas, broadcast a thirty-minute youth talent show each Saturday for more…

Prior to local and federal efforts in the mid-twentieth century to control rivers through the construction of dams, the Brazos River routinely overflowed its banks. In 1913, the most violent flood to date overwhelmed East Waco, taking two lives and…

Before the construction of dams along Texas rivers in the mid-twentieth century, many cities experienced severe flooding. The Brazos River Basin frequently flooded, wreaking havoc upon those who lived near the banks. Although periodic flooding aided…

In the early 1950s, McLennan County voters approved a $1.2 million bond towards the construction of a new agricultural and entertainment venue. Contractors Farnsworth and Chambers of Houston, Texas, worked alongside local architect Harris H. Roberts…

On May 11, 1953, a destructive force tore through Waco and forever altered the face of the city. The tornado injured 600 people, took 114 lives, and damaged hundreds of businesses. The chaotic aftermath of this deadly storm left an indelible mark…

Shortly after the 1936 flood waters had receded and cleanup was well under way, disaster struck Waco again. On October 4, the Liberty Building on Austin Avenue and Sixth Street exploded, fatally wounding 65-year-old janitor Warren Moore and causing…

For over a century, the Baylor University Homecoming Parade has played an important role in the relationship between the institution, its alumni, and the greater Waco community. The tradition began in the fall of 1909, when Baylor alumni received a…

When Stephen F. Austin led the first Anglo-American settlers into Texas including areas along the Brazos River, they brought with them their strong agricultural tradition based on cotton-growing. From the period of annexation until well into the…