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How Food Caused Santa Anna to Lose His Leg (Twice)

This week, we're bringing you an excerpt from our permanent exhibit on Santa Anna's chair, located in the northwest corner of the library. In addition to his chair, Santa Anna left behind another relic - his wooden leg.  
 
The story of Santa Anna's wooden leg begins in 1838 with the brief conflict between Mexico and France known as the "Pastry War." Angry about unpaid Mexican debts incurred during the Texas Revolution, French officials demanded compensation from the Mexican government, including 60,000 pesos for damage to a bakery owned by a French pastry chef. Mexico refused to respond to the ultimatum for payment, and the French navy answered with a blockade of key Mexican ports. The "Pastry War" was born.
 
When French marines raided Veracruz, Santa Anna had the opportunity to come out of his disgraced retirement caused by the loss of Texas. He rallied his troops and the French were forced out of the city. Unfortunately for Santa Anna, cannon fire took his horse out from under him and horribly wounded his leg. Doctors amputated the limb and Santa Anna buried it at his hacienda.
 
With his victory against the French, Santa Anna was able to rise again to prominence in Mexico - after all, he had sacrificed a limb for his country. In 1842, his countrymen elevated him to the presidency again. As if to remind his country of his sacrifice, the shriveled leg was exhumed, paraded to Mexico City in an ornate coach, and buried in an elagant state funeral.
 
Sadly, there was no eternal rest for his leg. In 1844, the popular sentiment turned against him again, and rioters dug up his leg and dragged it through the streets shouting, "Death to the cripple!"
 
Santa Anna's story still had several more acts. After another exile, he was called back to the military for service in the Mexican-American War. At the Battle of Cerro Gordo in 1847, Santa Anna was breaking for a lunch of roast chicken and had removed his artificial leg. Surprised by the 4th Regiment Illinois Volunteers, he escaped on a horse, leaving behind his lunch and his cork-and-wooden leg. The Illinois soldiers ate the chicken, gave the gold they found to their superiors, but kept the leg as a prize of war. Today the wooden leg is housed in the Illinois State Military Museum, despite attempts to relocate it to Texas
 
Images from "Texas fighting for Santa Anna's leg," Houston Chronicle, May 16, 2014.
 

Week in Review, June 23

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Read about trauma care and advances in military trauma care that could be adapted to civilian trauma care. (The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, June 17, 2016)
  • Consider the costs of diabetes care. (Health Care Cost Institute, June 2016)
  • See how more older Americans are working more than prior to the Great Recession. (Pew Research Center, June 20, 2016)
  • Explore aspects of walkable urban environments. (The George Washington University School of Business, ©2016)
 

New & Noteworthy List for June 2016

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the six titles from our June 2016 New & Noteworthy list.
 
Check out and delivery of New & Noteworthy titles is available to legislative staff in Capitol and District offices. To arrange check out of any of these items, you can submit an online request through the New & Noteworthy page on our website, or contact the library at 512-463-1252.
 

1. Governors Who Have Been, and Other Public Men of Texas By Norman G. Kittrell, Sr.
Provides a record of incidents and events relating to the lives of several remarkable Texans including governors, state legislators and other public figures drawn from the memories of Norman G. Kittrell, Sr., a former state legislator from Houston. Provides a look into the Texas political and judicial arenas during 1846-1921.
Texas, Dealy-Adey-Elgin Company, 1921. 301 pages.
923 K658G 1921


 

 

2. Broken But Unbowed: The Fight to Fix a Broken America By Greg Abbott
Presents the life story of Governor Greg Abbott, along with his blueprint for limiting the role of the federal government and restoring power to the states. Draws from his role as Texas attorney general and his challenging recovery from a paralyzing accident to chart a path to mend what he considers is a broken U.S. Constitution and to revive America's greatness.
Threshold Editions, 2016. 275 pages.
976.4 AB26B 2016

 



 

3. A Month of Sundays: Kent Biffle's Texana By Kent Biffle
Provides a sample of Dallas Morning News columnist Kent Biffle's Sunday columns - A Month of Sundays - outtakes from travel adventures and misadventures across the state in search of the "color and drama" of Texas' past. Organizes entries into three parts: Texas History, Texas Outlaws, and Texas Folk and Folklore. Includes an index to quickly pinpoint historical figures and events of interest to the reader.
University of North Texas Press, 1993. 261 pages.
976.4 B479M 1993


 

4. Heads Above Water: The Inside Story of the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program By Robert L. Gulley
Chronicles the competing water and landowner interests in the Edwards Aquifer region since the 1950's. Documents the cast of characters, attempts to resolve differences, shifting alliances, litigation relating to the Endangered Species Act, and ultimately the creation of the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) and the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (EARIP).
Texas A&M University Press, 2015. 234 pages.
333.91 G951H 2015

 



 

5. Unruly Waters: A Social and Environmental History of the Brazos River By Kenna Lang Archer
Explores the cultural, political, and geological history of the Brazos River. Documents the broad range of projects undertaken to understand and tame the river, from Civil War era mapping and early settlement, through a series of planned improvement projects left incomplete due to a lack of funding and harsh realities of the landscape. Profiles the persistence of those who live along the Brazos, working through the river's drought/flood cycles and continually striving to develop the Brazos Basin.
University of New Mexico Press, 2015. 260 pages.
976.4 AR23U 2016


 

6. Rough Road to Justice: The Journey of Women Lawyers in Texas By Betty Trapp Chapman
Examines how the legal profession has been the hardest of all professions for women to break into, due to sexual discrimination that was historically rooted in the legal system. Describes the challenges and limitations women endured in 1902, the year the first woman was allowed to practice law in Texas. Highlights the courage all of these women exhibited facing men who were unwelcoming even into the 21st century. Profiles a number of pioneering women who were also among the first women to be elected into the Texas Legislature, among them Barbara Jordan, Irma Rangel, Sissy Farenthold and Kay Bailey Hutchison. Points out that despite the obstacles, women lawyers today comprise more than 31 percent of the State Bar of Texas and 48 percent of law students in the state.
State Bar of Texas, 2008. 267 pages.
340.092 C366R 2008

 

 

LRL's State Budget Diagram

The library's state budget diagram charts the budget-making process in Texas month-by-month. The diagram is a helpful way to understand where we are in the budget process and what lies ahead. Users will learn about legislative appropriations requests, budget hearings, the process of writing the budget bill during session, and the variety of reports created during the budget process. The library updates the diagram as the process moves forward, so continue to check back.  
 

Week in Review, June 16

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Compare electricity prices in Texas in deregulated areas and areas exempt from deregulation. (Texas Coalition for Affordable Power, June 2016)
  • Consider what might result if the Affordable Care Act were repealed. (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, June 2016)
  • Find over a thousand park maps on one site. (National Park Maps, ©2013-2016)
  • Explore resources related to terrorism and mass shootings. (Congressional Research Service, June 13, 2016)
 

New Report on Texas Water Regulation

The Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M has just released an extensive new report on groundwater regulation in Texas. The report examines the regulatory structure of Groundwater Conservation Districts (GCD) in Texas, as well as the Rule of Capture, which governs landowners' rights to groundwater. The authors' findings lead them to conclude that there is a relative abundance of groundwater in all but two of the state's major aquifers, and that Texas has a regulation-induced shortage of groundwater.
Copies of the report are available in the library. Please call us at (512) 463-1252.
 
In related news, the 2017 State Water Plan was adopted in May. You can access it here
 
 

Interim Hearings - Week of June 20

Interim Hearings - Week of June 20
Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of interim committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming Interim Hearings.
 
June 20   Top
Charge: State Water Plan
June 21  Top
House Committee on Higher Education
Charge 6: Educational opportunities for non-traditional students, adult learners
June 23  Top
Overview of Sunset process and schedule; approval of operating budget and rules; discussion and approval of changes to across-the-board recommendations
Staff presentation and public testimony (public input form for agencies under review)
 

Week in Review, June 9

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Read about proposed rules relating to the payday loan industry. (The Washington Post, June 2, 2016)
  • Search for rate review information about health insurance plans. (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, accessed June 8, 2016)
  • See whether the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion affects individual personal finances. (Federal Reserve Bank of New York, June 6, 2016)
  • Explore ways you can improve your digital privacy and security. (American Civil Liberties Union, June 7, 2016)
 

LRL website ranks high in recent survey

A recent report by VisibleThread examined how well Texas state agencies communicate through their websites. Sites were evaluated in terms of their readability, average sentence length, use of passive voice, and use of complex language. Out of 54 Texas government websites, the Legislative Reference Library site ranked 6th overall, and out of all sites used the least amount of passive voice. The report emphasized the importance of clear, concise, well-organized web content to better foster citizen engagement.

 

Cover image by Elena Hruleva via Barnimages.com

 

Interim Hearings - Week of June 13

Interim Hearings - Week of June 13
Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of interim committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming Interim Hearings.
 
June 13
House Committee on Pensions
Topic: Houston pension funds
Charge 4: Structural reforms to state public pension plans, feasibility of one-time funding increases
June 16
Charge 7: Shared economy growth
Charge 9: Legislative oversight and monitoring of agencies, including updates regarding transfer of duties and services from health and human services agencies to the Texas Workforce Commission, and impact of incentive reform legislation
Senate Committee on Health & Human Services
Charge: Collaborative partnerships between state-owned mental health hospitals and university health science centers
Charge: Diversion of individuals with serious mental illness from criminal justice settings, recidivism prevention
Charge: Tele-monitoring and telemedicine services for adults and children with complex medical needs, correctional facilities, rural areas
 

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