Good morning, it’s Thursday, March 7, the 66th day of 2013. There are 299 days left in the year. Temperatures will be in the upper 30s at the start of the day, but should rise into the upper 60s this afternoon under a mostly sunny sky. Lows overnight will be in the upper 40s.
On March 7, 1901—112 years ago today--the 27th Texas Legislature adopted the bluebonnet as the official state flower. Passing on other options including the cotton boll and the cactus, lawmakers approved Lupinus subcarnosus as the state flower without any recorded opposition, according to an article by Jerry M. Parsons, Steve George and Greg Grant of the Texas Cooperative Extension. But not everyone agreed Lupinus subcarnosus was the best choice. Some wanted the showier Lupinus texensis. The issue finally came to a head in 1971 and in response, lawmakers passed a bill that gave the state flower designation to both species plus “ any other variety of bluebonnet not heretofore recorded.
The three authors say lawmakers evidently didn’t realize that Texas was home to at least three other species and under the broader umbrella clause, all of them technically qualify as the official state flower.
(2013 Wildflower Forecast: The senior botanist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin says the drier than normal conditions since last fall mean early wildflowers won’t fare as well this year, but the rain that’s fallen since January should boost later blooms)
The Five State Flowers Of Texas
(Source: Texas Cooperative Extension)
The original champion and still co-holder of the title, grows naturally in deep sandy loams from Leon County southwest to LaSalle County and down to the northern part of Hidalgo County in the Valley. It is often referred to as the sandy land bluebonnet. The plant's leaflets are blunt, sometimes notched with silky undersides. This species, which reaches peak bloom in late March, is not easy to maintain in clay soils.
The favorite of tourists and artists, it provides the blue spring carpet of Central Texas. It is widely known as THE Texas bluebonnet. It has pointed leaflets, the flowering stalk is tipped with white (like a bunny's tail) and hits its peak bloom in late March and early April. It is the easiest of all the species to grow.
Also known as the Big Bend or Chisos Bluebonnet, is the most majestic of the Texas bluebonnet tribe with flowering spikes up to three feet. It is found on the flats of the Big Bend country in early spring, usually has seven leaflets and is difficult to cultivate outside its natural habitat.
It’s an inconspicuous little lupine, from 2 to 7 inches, with flowers which combine elements of white, rosy purple and lavender. Commonly known as the annual lupine, it is found sparingly in the Trans-Pecos region, blooming in early spring.
It sneaks down from the north into the Texas Panhandle's sandy dunes. It is the only perennial species in the state and grows to about two feet tall. It normally blooms in mid to late spring and is also known as the dune bluebonnet, the plains bluebonnet and the Nebraska Lupine.
Today's Highlight in Local History:
On March 7, 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas law that prohibited blacks from voting in primary elections.
On Marcy 7, 1989, Westminster College in Tehuacana was sold.
Today's Highlight in History:
On March 7, 1965, a march by civil rights demonstrators was violently broken up at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., by state troopers and a sheriff's posse in what came to be known as "Bloody Sunday."
On This Date:
In 1793, during the French Revolutionary Wars, France declared war on Spain.
In 1850, in a three-hour speech to the U.S. Senate, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts endorsed the Compromise of 1850 as a means of preserving the Union.
In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for his telephone.
In 1912, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen arrived in Hobart, Australia, where he dispatched telegrams announcing his success in leading the first expedition to the South Pole the previous December.
In 1926, the first successful trans-Atlantic radio-telephone conversations took place between New York and London.
In 1936, Adolf Hitler ordered his troops to march into the Rhineland, thereby breaking the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pact.
In 1945, during World War II, U.S. forces crossed the Rhine River at Remagen, Germany, using the damaged but still usable Ludendorff Bridge.
In 1960, Jack Paar returned as host of NBC's "Tonight Show" nearly a month after walking off in a censorship dispute with the network.
In 1963, the Pan Am Building (today the MetLife Building) first opened in midtown Manhattan.
In 1975, the U.S. Senate revised its filibuster rule, allowing 60 senators to limit debate in most cases, instead of the previously required two-thirds of senators present.
In 1983, the original version of The Nashville Network (now Spike) made its debut.
In 1994, the Supreme Court, in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music Inc., unanimously ruled that a parody that pokes fun at an original work can be considered "fair use" that doesn't require permission from the copyright holder. (The ruling concerned a parody of the song "Pretty Woman" by the rap group 2 Live Crew.)
Ten years ago:
Virtually every musical on Broadway shut down as musicians went on strike and actors and stagehands said they wouldn't cross their picket lines; the walkout lasted four days.
Five years ago:
On the heels of a gloomy report that 63,000 jobs were lost in February 2008, President George W. Bush said "it's clear our economy has slowed" as he tried to reassure an anxious public that the long-term outlook was good. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Samantha Power, who was acting as an adviser to Barack Obama, resigned after calling rival Hillary Rodham Clinton "a monster." Leon Greenman, the only Englishman sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, died in London at age 97.
One year ago:
President Barack Obama, speaking at a Daimler truck plant in Mount Holly, N.C., made his most urgent appeal to date for the nation to wean itself from oil, calling it a "fuel of the past" and demanding that the United States broaden its approach to energy. The Indianapolis Colts cut injured star Peyton Manning.
Photographer Lord Snowdon is 83. TV personality Willard Scott is 79. Auto racer Janet Guthrie is 75. Actor Daniel J. Travanti is 73. Entertainment executive Michael Eisner is 71. Rock musician Chris White (The Zombies) is 70. Actor John Heard is 67. Rock singer Peter Wolf is 67. Rock musician Matthew Fisher (Procol Harum) is 67. Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Franco Harris is 63. Pro and College Football Hall-of-Famer Lynn Swann is 61. Rhythm-and-blues singer-musician Ernie Isley (The Isley Brothers) is 61. Actor Bryan Cranston is 57. Actress Donna Murphy is 54. Actor Nick Searcy is 54. Golfer Tom Lehman is 54. International Tennis Hall-of-Famer Ivan Lendl is 53. Actress Mary Beth Evans is 52. Singer-actress Taylor Dayne is 51. Actor Bill Brochtrup is 50. Opera singer Denyce Graves is 49. Comedian Wanda Sykes is 49. Actor Jonathan Del Arco is 47. Rock musician Randy Guss (Toad the Wet Sprocket) is 46. Actor Peter Sarsgaard is 42. Actress Rachel Weisz is 42. Classical singer Sebastien Izambard (Il Divo) is 40. Rock singer Hugo Ferreira (Tantric) is 39. Actress Jenna Fischer is 39. Actress Sarayu Rao (TV: "Monday Mornings") is 38. Actress Audrey Marie Anderson is 38. Actor TJ Thyne (TV: "Bones") is 38. Actress Laura Prepon is 33.
Thought for Today:
"The telephone book is full of facts, but it doesn't contain a single idea." - Mortimer J. Adler, American philosopher (1902-2001).