Brazos County Historical Timeline
1940-1959

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   Date   
      Location      
Event
1940
Brazos Co 1940 Census reports Brazos Co population is 26,977.
Bryan 1940 Census reports Bryan's population is 11,842.
College Station 1940 Census reports College Station's population is 2,184.
Jan 1 New Orleans #1 ranked A&M defeated #4 Tulane 14 13 in the Sugar Bowl to win the National Championship in football.
Bryan   A&M College and Bryan Electric Power Cooperative began.
Nov 5 National Election Day
Franklin Roosevelt re-elected President of the United States.
Texas votes for (D) Roosevelt.
1941
A&M College The Aggie Class of 1941 entered military service en masse.
A&M College Dedication of Easterwood Air Field
A&M College Area resident Mrs. Lil Munnerlyn writes The Twelfth Man, a song that quickly becomes part of Aggie traditions.
1942
Bryan Air Base activated.
A&M College Completion of four dormitories; Moses, Moore, Crocker, and Davis Gary Halls.
A&M College USDA Office Building completed at a cost of $270,000. Named for H.C. Dulie Bell. (Class of'39)
April Bryan Groundbreaking for Negro Catholic Church in Bryan is held.
Apr 21 Philippines Maj.Gen George F. Moore and 25 Aggies held a muster under the guns of Japanese attackers 15 days before the fall of Corregidor in the Philippines. Muster was held at the same site on April 21, 1946.
May A&M College The regular summer sessions are disbanded due to the war and thus for the first time since 1909 women are not in attendance during the summer. Women, however, attend various special training courses on campus during the war years.
1943
Bryan L. K. Williams Memorial Park dedicated.
A&M College The first all log Bonfire was built. It stood 25 feet high and was featured in the Hollywood motion picture "We've Never Been Licked".
Aug 7 A&M College President Thomas Walton resigned.
Aug 9 A&M College Frank Cleveland Bolton appointed acting president.
1944
Jan 18 A&M College A&M mascot Reveille I dies. Military funeral held the next day in Kyle Field.
Apr 21 A&M College E.E. McQuillen addresses the first Aggie Muster ceremony held on campus; 2,200 attended the program.
May 27 A&M College Gibb Gilchrist appointed president of the college.
Nov 7 National Election Day
Franklin Roosevelt re-elected President of the United States.
Texas votes for (D) Roosevelt.
1945
Apr 12 Warm Springs GA President Roosevelt dies suddenly. Vice-President Harry Truman is sworn in as the 33rd President of the United States.
Apr 25 Europe Lt. Albert "Buck" Kotzebue (A&M Class of'45) is the first american to make contact with Russian forces at the Elbe River in Germany.
A&M College The first bonfire center pole was raised. Bonfire was constructed entirely of logs and arranged in a tepee configuration. Although doubtless part of some earlier Bonfires, an out house at the top of the stack was also included in the 1945 Bonfire.
Oct 31 Bryan Air Base deactivated
1946
Bryan Industrial Foundation organized.
Jan A&M College Beginning with the spring semester, students' wives are allowed to take "extension" courses during the regular semesters. This practice continues until about 1951.
Apr 21 A&M College Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower addresses WWII Homecoming Muster ceremonies on the A&M campus.
May A&M College Regular summer school reopens for the first time in four years. Women return as summer students. Mrs. Ruby Bauer enrolls for summer school. A former Private First Class in the WAC, she is the first woman veteran to enroll at A&M on the GI Bill. Her husband is studying veterinary medicine.
Oct A&M College In an effort to deal with the growing number of married students, most of them WWII veterans, three dorms are designated for married couples.
1947
College Station Meeting in closed session in College Station, the Federation of Mother's Clubs calls for the resignation of President Gibb Gilchrist as well as all other "persons whose holding office at A&M College is detrimental to the welfare of the college." The campus is attracting statewide and legislative scrutiny over hazing incidents, new policies accommodating the growing numbers of non Cadet students, many of whom are World War II veterans and also married, and charges of the misuse of state funds. The newly formed Veterans Students Association also calls for Gilchrist's resignation.
A&M College South end zone stands erected at the football stadium. Capacity now 40,000.
A&M College The first Bonfire spliced center pole, 50 feet tall, used.
1948
Sep 1 A&M College The A&M College System established. It included John Tarleton Agricultural College, North Texas Agricultural College, Prairie View College, A&M College, the two experiment stations, the two extension services, and the Texas Forestry Service.
A&M College Gibb Gilchrist appointed chancellor of the A&M System and Frank Cleveland Bolton as President of the college.
Nov 2 National Election Day
Harry Truman re-elected President of the United States.
Texas votes for (D) Truman.
1949
A&M College Bonfire reaches 65 feet high.
1950
Brazos Co 1950 Census reports Brazos Co population is 38,390.
Bryan 1950 Census reports Bryan's population is 18,102.
College Station 1950 Census reports College Station's population is 7,925.
Bryan Main Street repaved with grade change to eliminate steps to sidewalks and a center median was added.
A&M College Opening of 18 hole golf course on campus.
A&M College College Archives established.
Jun 3 A&M College Marion Thomas Harrington appointed president of the college.
Oct 4 A&M College A&M College 75th Anniversary Celebration at Kyle Field.
1951
Bryan Air Base re-activated.
A&M College Richard Coke Building completed at a cost of $460,000.
A&M College Foster Hall, built in 1899, is demolished.
College Station Development of water system for the college and the City of College Station.
Apr 21 A&M College The Memorial Student Center is dedicated to all Aggies that gave their lives in war.
1952
Jan 12 A&M College New mascot Reveille II arrives on campus.
Nov 4 National Election Day
Dwight Eisenhower elected 35th President of the United States.
Texas votes for (R) Eisenhower
1953
A&M College Assembly Hall, built in 1923, razed.
A&M College West side second deck erected (between the 30 yard lines) at the football stadium along with new press box with room for 150 writers. Capacity now 41,500.
A&M College Veterinary Hospital completed at a cost of $600,000.
Mar 3 Austin State Senator William T. Moore, graduate of the class of 1940, introduces a resolution to force the A&M Board to admit women. The measure is first approved by a voice vote without debate or objection.
Mar 5 Austin The measure in the State Senaye to admit women is voted down 27 to 1. Mrs. Neveille H. Colson, who had attended A&M as an unofficial student and is the only female State Senator, votes against the resolution. Moore announces that he will take the matter to the courts and engages the services of John M. Barron, an A&M alumnus, but no actions immediately develop.
Sep 1 A&M College M.T. Harrington appointed chancellor of the A&M System and David Hitchens Morgan appointed president of the college.  Morgan's support of coeducation angers fellow administrators. Shortly after taking office, Morgan joins Harrington and others on a fund raising tour of alumni clubs around the state. While others use the meetings to speak about the traditions of A&M, Morgan uses the tour as a forum to discuss enrollment difficulties and the feasibility of coeducation.
Dec Bryan Air Base Hospital reported 35 babies were born in its new OB Ward.
1954
Texas Texas women are finally allowed to serve on juries.
Bryan Cafe and drug store owners upset with consumer reaction to their efforts to raise the price of a cup of coffee from a nickel to a dime.
A&M College Bonfire reaches 73 feet high.
A&M College Veterinary Sciences Building completed at a cost of $881,000.
A&M College Ross Hall, built in 1892, is declared unsafe and worn out. The wreckers moved in to tear it down board by board and brick by brick.
A&M College Pfeuffer Hall, built in 1887, demolished.
A&M College G. Rollie White Coliseum completed at a cost of $670,000.
A&M College Fish Camp program for incoming freshmen initiated by YMCA director J. Gordon Gay.
A&M College In response to stagnating enrollment rates, President Morgan asks the Academic Council of the A&M faculty to critically evaluate the College. In a confidential report, the Council recommends to the Board that women be admitted and military training be made voluntary. The Board also reviews a report from the Sociology department on student attitudes. The study notes that approximately 40% of freshmen leave the College within a year, many citing disaffection with the all male character of the school. In September, the Board makes military training optional. One third of the student body (upperclassman, graduate students, and those otherwise excused) is already not participating in the Corps. The ban on women continues.
1955
A&M College Bonfire moved from Simpson Drill Field in front of the Memorial Student Center to Duncan Field on the south edge of the campus where it was held for 37 years.
A&M College Austin Hall & Ross Hall razed.
1956
Bryan City purchased 27 acres for Travis Ball Park, home of Bryan Bombers, and for Williamson Park.
Apr A&M College President Morgan sends Chancellor Harrington a memorandum asking for the Board to reconsider the issue of coeducation. Harrington refuses to submit the matter to the Board.
Apr 28 A&M College Board of Directors officially names the football stadium Kyle Field after Edwin Jackson Kyle, Class of 1899.
Nov 6 National Election Day
Dwight Eisenhower re-elected President of the United States.
Texas votes for (R) Eisenhower.
Dec 21 A&M College President David Morgan resigns but offers to stay on until May to give the Board time to search for a replacement. The Board accepts his resignation, effective immediately.
Dec 22 A&M College David Willard Williams appointed acting president of the college.
1957
Bryan Parks and Recreation Department created.
A&M College All Faiths Chapel completed at a cost of $257,000.
A&M College Biochemistry Building completed at a cost of $1,057,000.
A&M College Nuclear training reactor installed west of Easterwood Field.
Feb A&M College President Williams is contacted by L. S. Richardson, superintendent of the local school district. Richardson notes that the district is having increasing difficulty filling open teaching positions and wonders if A&M can play a role in solving the problem. Also in February, the Aggie Wives Council writes to Williams with a formal request that women be allowed to attend college credit night courses at A&M during the regular academic year. They emphasize, however, that it is not their "desire or intention to make A&M coeducational, for we are too proud of its traditions" (Knippa, 63). Williams is sympathetic to these requests and recommends the admission of all eligible women as degree candidates. The recommendation is rejected by the Board in July.
Sep 1 A&M College M.T. Harrington (Class of 1922) appointed President of the College and President of the A&M System. "Chancellor" designation dropped.
Nov A&M College Against strong faculty objections, the Board reinstates compulsory military training.
1958
A&M College Henderson Hall completed at a cost of $476,000.  Originally used as an athletic dormitory. Converted to use by Texas Engineering Extension Service in 1974.
Jan Bryan The Eagle endorses the admission of women to A&M.
Jan A&M College The Battalion goes on record in support of coeducation and voluntary military training. The Student Senate calls for the resignation of the editor.
Jan A&M College William Boyd Metts establishes the Aggie Association for the Advancement of Coeducation. Metts withdraws the AAAC charter from the Office of Student Activities after a homemade ammonia bomb is thrown into his dorm room. An Eagle headline reads, "Co Educational 'War' Breaks Out on Campus."
Jan A&M College Myrna Gray, a local nurse, personally delivers her formal application for admission to the Registrar's office. Her application is rejected. Gray enlists the services of attorney John Barron. The Eagle sets up a charitable fund for her legal expenses. Soon after Gray's application, Lena Ann Bristol and Barbara Gilkey Tittle are denied admission. Bristol and Tittle join in a lawsuit charging Harrington, Registrar H. L. Heaton, and the Board with unlawful discrimination.
Feb A&M College The YMCA sponsors a debate on the question of coeducation at A&M. The debate precedes a student vote on the question.  The vote is 2 to 1 against coeducation. A&M is the only land grant college in the country that is not coeducational. At this time, A&M offers 17 majors that are not available elsewhere in the state.
Mar 18 Bryan Judge William T. McDonald, class of 1933, finds on behalf of the plaintiffs and orders A&M opened to women. His ruling is the first of its kind in the country. Never before has a publicly funded, single gender school been ordered by court to open its doors to all students.
A&M College The Student Senate forms a committee to consider changing name of the school and redesigning the Aggie ring. The Association of Former Students issues a press release against coeducation. Judge McDonald is hanged twice in effigy on the A&M campus. Both effigies carry a sign that reads: "Judge McDonald A True Aggie?" Attorney John Barron requests police protection for his home and family.
Aug 1 Bryan Townshire shopping center opens. It is the first shopping center with a large parking lot.
Sep Waco Judge McDonald's ruling is reversed in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court cites the sovereignty of the Board in the admissions policy as the reason for the reversal. With continued backing from the Eagle, Bristol and Tittle press on to the Texas Supreme Court where the reversal is upheld. The case is appealed to the Supreme Court but is not heard.
Nov 21 A&M College According to the Houston Post of November 21, 1958, the 1958 Bonfire (with a reported height of 70 feet) incorporated individual logs 75 feet long.
1959
A&M College Anchor Hall, built in 1936, razed.
Bryan Sadie E. Thomas Memorial Park dedicated.
Bryan Air Base phased out.
Jul 1 A&M College M.T. Harrington (Class of 1922) appointed Chancellor of the A&M System and James Earl Rudder (Class of '32) appointed president of the College.
Jul A&M College Three more women apply for admission to A&M, Mary Ann Parker, Sara Creed Hutto, and Margaret Allred, and are denied.  Parker and Hutto, unlike the earlier litigants, apply to pursue majors that are only offered at A&M. In February the case goes to Judge McDonald's court. Citing the earlier case, he states he has no choice but to find for the defense. The case is appealed up through the Texas Supreme Court and is not overturned. Again, the Supreme Court declines to hear the case. Sterling C. Evans, class of 1921, joins the Board of Directors. Evans openly supports the admission of women and will eventually become President of the Board.

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