Texas A&M History
Originally the Agricultural & Mechanical College of Texas, A&M was founded in 1876 as a land grant college under the Morrill Act, and was the first state college to operate in Texas. A&M was an all-male military school until after WWII, when veteran students were allowed to return as "non-regs." Women were admitted in the 1960s.
- Temple Lea Houston, son of Texas general, president, and state senator Sam Houston, attended A&M College in 1876.
- A&M's first known official football game took place in 1894.
- In the Spanish-American war, 89 Aggies served in the army, 63 as officers or NCO's.
- The Texas A&M yearbook, ironically, was named the Longhorn until changed to Aggieland in 1950.
- Presidential visits to A&M include a whistlestop by William Howard Taft, a visit by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937, and many by Dwight D. Eisenhower. The George Bush presidential library now graces the campus.
- A&M has long been the largest provider of military officers outside the official service academies. Of 1,472 graduates during WWI, 702 served in the military, 668 of them as officers, plus 565 students who were commissioned during the war. A&M trained almost 4000 troops during the war.
- In 1941, Texas A&M's Easterwood airport was dedicated to Jesse E. Easterwood '09, who was killed in a flying accident in the Canal Zone in 1919. Easterwood flew with the Royal Flying Corps in Europe in 1918, making 16 raids on enemy targets. He was awarded a posthumous Navy Cross.
"Give me an army of West Point graduates and I'll win a battle . . .
Give me a handful of Texas Aggies and I'll win the war."
--Gen. George S. Patton
World War II
"The men of Texas A&M can stand up to any men in the world and compare favorably their education and training for leadership -- leadership in the pursuits of peace, and if it comes to war, leadership in battle."
--Gen. Omar Bradley, 1950
- Six Aggies were among the survivors of the 131st Texas National Guard Field Artillery, known as the "Lost Battalion" because their fate was unknown until they were liberated after more than three years of hell.
The 131st was captured on Java early in 1942 by an overwhelming Japanese force, and joined the survivors of the cruiser USS Houston, which was sunk at the Battle of Sunda Strait about the same time. The Texans were transported to Burma to build the infamous "Railway of Death," best known for the Kwai River bridge portrayed in the motion picture.
The Aggie survivors were:
|Major Winthrop Rogers '28
||Capt. Charles Cates '30
|Lt. Isaac Morgan, Jr. '40
||Lt. J. B. Heinen, Jr. '34
|Cpl. B. D. Fillmore '43
||Pvt. James Smith '42
Aggies Are First into Tokyo, 1945
- Upon the surrender of the Japanese in 1945, the first vehicle to enter Tokyo was a tank bearing the words, "We've never been licked," and the Texas flag.
Texas A&M Amazing Facts
(To Counter Those 'Aggie Jokes')
- The 1917 Aggie football team was unbeaten, untied, & unscored upon for entire 8-game season. Outscored opponents 270-0. Most of the team entered the military at season's end, including coach Dana X. Bible.
- The 1919-20 football teams were unbeaten & unscored upon for 25 straight games. Only 7 points were scored on the Aggies in 3 seasons.
- The 1921 game against t.u. (that minor school in Austin) featured the first-ever live broadcast of a sports event. Play-by-play was relayed by telegraph to a local "ham" radio station.
- The 12th Man tradition originated at the Dixie Classic game in January 1922. Due to injuries, the Aggies were out of substitutes, so E. King Gill suited up & stood ready on the sidelines. A&M beat Centre College 22-14 in the nationally-acclaimed upset.
- Aggies named BEVO!   In a round-about way, the Aggies named the texas university mascot! After defeating t.u. 13-0 in 1915, A&M cadets "stole" the t.u. steer and branded him with large numerals "13-0" across his side. After regaining possession, t.u. students modified the "13-0" brand to read, "BEVO."
- Hollywood filmed the wartime motion picture, We've Never Been Licked, on the A&M campus, using Aggie cadets as actors and extras. Released in 1942, stars of the film included Robert Mitchum, Noah Beery Jr. (The Rockford Files), and William Frawley (I Love Lucy). The film depicts the adventures of two A&M cadets from their "fish" year through their heroic attack on a Japanese aircraft carrier.
- Movie stars who have portrayed A&M cadets include Audie Murphy, Robert Mitchum, and Matthew Broderick.
- Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin (of all places) is named for Capt. John A. E. Bergstrom '29, killed on Luzon, The Philippines, on Dec. 8, 1941.
- In the movie A Few Good Men, which starred Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, and Jack Nicholson, the Marine Corps Silent Drill Team was actually portrayed by former members of the Texas A&M Fish Drill Team.
- U.S. News & World Report (9/9/96) ranks A&M as the second best value in higher education in the nation. Other rankings:
||Texas A&M University
||t.u. at Austin
- Gen. J. Earl Rudder '32 led his Army Rangers up the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc at the invasion of Normandy, 1944.
- George H. Gay, Jr., lone survivor of Torpedo Squadron 8 at the Battle of Midway, portrayed by Kevin Dobson in the 1975 movie.
- Gen. Lawrence Sullivan Ross, former Texas Ranger, Confederate brigadier general, & early president of Texas A&M.
- Paul "Bear" Bryant, A&M football coach, 1954-56
- Gene Stallings '57, football coach, beat his former coach's Alabama team in the Cotton Bowl, 1967
- John David Crow '58, Heisman trophy winner, 1957
- Jack Pardee
- Curtis Dickey '80, running back, Indianapolis Colts
- Gary Kubiak, backup quarterback, Denver Broncos
- Shelby Metcalf '74, basketball coach, SWC record for most seasons (27), games (744), & victories (438)
- Lyle Lovett '79, singer / songwriter
- Sen. Phil Graham, Ph.D. in Economics, professor
- Kim Tomes, Miss USA in the 1970s.
- Michael T. Halbouty, oilman
- H. B. Zachry '22, owner, major construction company
- Sheri Ryman, Miss Texas 1981; 4th runner up to Miss American, 1982; TV Guide cover story, September 4, 1982.
© 1996-2002 Paul A. Hughes
Last updated November 2002. For more information, comments, or suggestions, write email@example.com.