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The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor educates, entertains and inspires with brief facts and poetry related to each day's date. It celebrates the birthdays and works of poets, writers, composers, philosophers and historical figures.  It is heard Monday through Friday evenings at 8:01 p.m. on KUT 90.5. On weekends you can find the Writer’s Almanac right here on KUT.org each morning at 8. Find more information and other shows at http://writersalmanac.org/

  

The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor educates, entertains and inspires with brief facts and poetry related to each day's date. It celebrates the birthdays and works of poets, writers, composers, philosophers and historical figures.  It is heard Monday through Friday evenings at 8:01 p.m. on KUT 90.5. On weekends you can find the Writer’s Almanac right here on KUT.org each morning at 8. Find more information and other shows at http://writersalmanac.org/

  

Screengrab White House/YouTube

President Donald Trump is holding a joint press conference at 2:50 p.m. CT with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni at the White House.

Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

The Texas Legislature is in full swing. And, while lawmakers typically wait until the waning weeks of the session to get anything done, we're answering some of your questions about what goes on under the granite dome for our TXDecides project.

Today's question comes from Jane Shaughness: 

What is the best way for the average citizen to get engaged with redistricting?

KUT

Officers with the University of Texas Police Department have started using body cameras, the university said in a statement Thursday.

The university entered into a five-year contract worth $450,000 to buy body cameras and video storage space from Axon, the technology company formerly known as Taser International. UTPD Police Chief David Carter said the contract has been in the works since he came to the department in 2013.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Texas lawmakers intended to discriminate when they passed a strict voter ID law in 2011, a federal judge has ruled.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Ford Williams / Department of Defense

Last night, President Donald Trump authorized a missile strike on a Syrian airbase.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

In November, Austin Mayor Steve Adler announced the formation of a group of local leaders tasked with suggesting city policy that could begin to ensure equity throughout the city. On Tuesday, the Mayor’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and System Equities published its nearly 70-page final report.

Nathan Bernier / KUT

After nearly six hours, the Austin School Board passed its 25-year Facility Master Plan at around 3 a.m. today. The $4.6 billion plan passed on a 6-3 vote.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency arrested 153 undocumented immigrants in the South and Central Texas regions during its most recent round of immigration enforcement. 

When Bessie Coleman wanted to become a pilot, no flying school would admit her because she was black and a woman. Undeterred, Coleman—who was born in Atlanta, Texas, and grew up in a poor sharecropper family in Waxahachie—obtained a sponsor and went to France for training. In 1921, she became the first black woman in the world to earn a pilot’s license. She returned to the U.S. and flew in a series of airshows, performing stunts whenever she could borrow an airplane. Her dream was to earn enough money to buy her own plane and to establish a flying school for African-Americans.

Zelma Watson excelled in many diverse areas of life. She was a scholar, civic leader, peace advocate and the first black woman to sing a white role on Broadway.

Watson was born in 1903 in the former cotton-plantation town of Hearne, Texas. As the daughter of a Baptist minister, she remembered such leaders as W.E.B. DuBois and Mary Branch Terrell visiting her father’s Dallas church. The family left Texas after being threatened by vigilantes. 

In the early 18th century, 15 families from the Canary Islands immigrated to Texas as part of an effort by the Spanish government to settle a group of its citizens in the military outpost of San Fernando de Béxar. After sailing to Veracruz, Mexico, the travelers, including María Robaína Betancour, a widow with five children, endured a difficult overland journey to arrive in present-day San Antonio in March 1731. Making a home for her family in a new land, Betancour acquired a large property that became a dowry when she married her second husband, Martín Lorenzo de Armas.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The Texas Legislature is in full swing. And, while lawmakers typically wait until the waning weeks of the session to get anything done, we're answering some of your questions about what goes on under the granite dome for our TXDecides project.

Today's question, submitted by Charles Douglas III:

What is a typical ratio between the number of bills proposed versus the number of bills voted on during a legislative session?

Archeological records revealed the existence of a strong tradition of pottery-making by Caddo women dating back to about 800 in the Common Era. For hundreds of years, Caddo women made pottery for daily use, as well as for decorative uses and cultural rites and rituals. The extraordinary skill and creativity of Caddo potters is confirmed by the tens of thousands of pottery fragments or near-complete ceramics found at Caddo archeological sites.

 Talented musician, writer, and activist Maud Cuney-Hare rose to prominence in the Northeast, but she never gave up her Texas heritage.

Born in Galveston in 1874, she was the daughter of Adelina and Norris Wright Cuney, one of the state’s most influential African-American politicians and civil rights leaders of the post-Civil War era. She grew up in an upper-class home filled with music and literature, and after graduating from high school studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

When white students tried to have her barred from living on campus, she stood her ground and won the right to remain in her dormitory. She cultivated relationships with prominent black leaders, including W.E.B. DuBois, to whom she was briefly engaged and with whom she remained close both personally and professionally throughout her life. 

The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor educates, entertains and inspires with brief facts and poetry related to each day's date. It celebrates the birthdays and works of poets, writers, composers, philosophers and historical figures.  It is heard Monday through Friday evenings at 8:01 p.m. on KUT 90.5. On weekends you can find the Writer’s Almanac right here on KUT.org each morning at 8. Find more information and other shows at http://writersalmanac.org/

  

  

 

 Allie Victoria Tennant was one of the most accomplished sculptors in Texas during a career that spanned more than five decades. Tennant became a prominent artist in the Regionalist style during the 1930s, joining a circle of artists who chose Texas themes as their subject matter. Many of her sculptures are now displayed in the Dallas Museum of Art. Her best-known public work is the monumental Tejas Warrior, which still stands at the Hall of State at Fair Park.

  

The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor educates, entertains and inspires with brief facts and poetry related to each day's date. It celebrates the birthdays and works of poets, writers, composers, philosophers and historical figures.  It is heard Monday through Friday evenings at 8:01 p.m. on KUT 90.5. On weekends you can find the Writer’s Almanac right here on KUT.org each morning at 8. Find more information and other shows at http://writersalmanac.org/

  

 In 1923, Mary Couts Burnett gave more than $3 million to Texas Christian University, one of the largest gifts to a Texas institution.  A native of Weatherford, Burnett married wealthy cattleman and oil baron Burk Burnett about 1892. After the death of their only child in 1917, Mary Burnett feared that her husband was trying to kill her. In response, he had her declared insane and confined to a private house in her hometown.  

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