Texas Ingenuity History


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Best Texas Hotels

The Adolphus Hotel (Dallas; tel. 800/221-9083 or 214/742-8200)

Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek (Dallas; tel. 800/422-3408 or 214/599-2100)

Hotel Zaza (Dallas; tel. 800/597-8399 or 214/468-8399)

Stockyards Hotel (Fort Worth; tel. 800/423-8471 or 817/625-6427)

Four Seasons Hotel Houston (Houston; tel. 800/332-3442 or 713/650-1300)

Hotel Derek (Houston; tel. 866/292-4100 or 713/961-3000)

Lancaster Hotel (Houston; tel. 800/231-0336 or 713/228-9500)

Omni Corpus Christi Hotel (Corpus Christi; tel. 800/843-6664 or 361/887-1600)

Isla Grand Beach Resort (South Padre Island; tel. 800/292-7704 or 956/761-6511)

Omni La Mansión del Río (San Antonio; tel. 800/830-1400 or 210/518-1000)

The Watermark Hotel & Spa (San Antonio; tel. 866/605-1212 or 210/396-5800)

The Driskill (Austin; tel. 800/252-9367 or 512/474-5911)

Four Seasons Austin (Austin; tel. 800/332-3442 or 512/478-4500)

Lake Austin Spa Resort (Austin; 1705 S. Quinlan Park Rd.; tel. 800/847-5637)

Cibolo Creek Ranch (Shafter; tel. 432/229-3737)

Gage Hotel (Marathon; tel. 432/386-4205)

Historic - The Excelsior House (Jefferson; 903/665-2513 or 800/490-7270)






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World's Greatest Athlete

Many sports writers and historians consider Babe Didrikson Zaharias the best woman athlete in the world, and some consider her the greatest modern-day multi-sport athlete, male or female, bar none. The muscular Babe took on virtually every sport during her lifetime. She not only played but excelled at basketball, track, baseball, tennis, swimming, diving, boxing, volleyball, handball, bowling, billiards, skating, cycling and oh, yes, there was golf. She was once asked if there was anything she didn't play, she said, "Yeah, dolls." People talk about looking into Babe's eyes and seeing nothing but determination. She was focused on her life's goals and avoided distraction. Tough on competitors, she was adored by her fans, and she gave them plenty to cheer for.

Born Mildred Ella Didrikson in 1912 in Port Arthur, Texas, she was the sixth of seven children born to Norwegian immigrants Ole and Hanna Didrikson. The family moved to Beaumont in 1915 where the children played on homemade gymnasium equipment built by Ole in their backyard. Of all the children, Mildred excelled at sports. While playing baseball one summer, she hit five home runs in one game and people started calling her "Babe" after the great homerun king Babe Ruth. The nickname stuck.

As a teen, Babe excelled in high school basketball. (Back in those days women's basketball was one of the most popular Texas high school sports.) When she graduated she was recruited not by a sports team but by an insurance company in Dallas (Employers Casualty) to strengthen their company women's basketball team. Between 1930 and 1932, she led the company team to two national titles and was named an All-American each year. In 1932, she entered the Amateur Athletic Union Championships (track and field) and came away with five first place medals, a slew of other awards and broke four world records. In the 1932, Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, she won gold in the 80-meter hurdles and the javelin throw. On her return to Texas, Babe discovered that the Texas public had been following her exploits closely, and she received an enthusiastic welcome home.

Texas Tidbit: One of the more interesting "trophies" in the Babe Didrikson museum in Beaumont is a 250 pound, 15 foot long gold key. This "key to the city" was presented to her by the people of Denver, Colorado, (where she was living at the time) when she returned in triumph in 1947 after becoming the first American to ever win the British Women's Amateur Tournament since it began in 1893. 

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