Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of Oct 22nd - Oct 28th, 2004


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On December 29th, 1845, the US Congress approved, and President James K. Polk signed the "Joint Resolution for the Admission of the State of Texas into the Union." With this act, Texas became the 28th state.

Texas Republic The Lone Star State's existence has been highly charged right from the beginning. It is the only state which achieved the level of an independent nation before joining the Union, and was recognized by the US, France, England, Belgium and Netherlands; but while the voters of Texas overwhelmingly approved a referendum requesting annexation by the United States on Sept. 5th, 1836,

then President Martin Van Buren refused to consider it, citing fear of war with Mexico and what he called constitutional scruples. Texas would be admitted as another slave state, and would represent additional slave votes in both the Congress and Senate.

This highly independent nature is clearly indicated in the chart for Dec. 29th. A retrograde Mercury conjuncts the Sun at 3 and 7 degrees Capricorn, while Mars and Uranus conjunct each other at 4 and 6 degrees of Aries. While the pioneering spirit of this later aspect is incredibly strong, so is its fiercely confrontive and belligerent nature. It turns out Van Buren was right, and in the year following its entry into the Union, we were at war with Mexico in a mismatched two year conflict, from 1846-48.

On March 5th, 1861, the Secession Convention approved an ordinance accepting the entry of Texas into Confederate statehood, and it wasn't until March 30, 1870 that President Grant signed an act readmitting Texas to Congressional representation.

But aside from these overt confrontations with the administration, a Mars Uranus conjunction in Aries is incredibly volatile, and in running through a chronology of Texas history, I was struck by the number of rebellions, explosions and even natural disasters which have befallen this state. For instance, on Aug. 19-21, 1886, a hurricane destroyed or damaged every house in the port of Indianola, finishing the job started by another storm 11 years earlier. Texas City Disaster

Indianola was never rebuilt. On the evening of Sept. 8, 1900, the "Great Hurricane," the greatest natural disaster in human terms ever to strike North America, destroyed much of Galveston and killed 6,000 people there.

Birth Map of Texas On March 18, 1937, a massive explosion, blamed on a natural-gas leak beneath the London Consolidated School building in Rusk County, killed an estimated 311 students and teachers. In 1961 a former disgruntled student admitted he had caused the leak in order to run up the school's energy bill.

On April 16, 1947, the SS Grandcamp exploded in the Texas City harbor, which then triggered another explosion the next morning of the SS High Flyer. The disaster killed almost 600 and injured at least 4,000 more. The concussion was felt 75 and heard 150 miles away. The initial explosion created a 15 foot tidal wave.

On Nov. 22, 1963, JFK was assassinated in Dallas; on August 1, 1966 Charles Whitman killed 17 people, shooting them from a tower on the UT campus in Austin; and on April 19th, 1993 four FBI agents and 86 Branch Davidians were killed in a fire set off in a confrontation at Waco, Texas.

Down here they have a saying. "Don't mess with Texas."

Off hand, I'd say that's true.


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