Monday, August 07, 2006

The Texas Tower

Forty years ago last week things changed. Americans watching TV in the afternoon saw Charles Whitman gun down more than 30 people on a college campus. Whitman was the first to open fire in a public area. In 1966, it was unthinkable. It was shocking.

Thirty-nine years ago, I became a student at that same college. Here is a view of the campus taken from the tower observation deck where Charles Whitman took aim in 1966 looking down where I walked between classes a year later.
The tower is a symbol of the University of Texas. When the football team wins, the tower is lit in orange, announcing the victory to the entire Austin community. It was enough to make the students proud. Hook 'em Horns.

The tower observation deck was closed for over 20 years, but it is open now. Enjoy the view.

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Anonymous said...

Hi Vicki,

Well you did it to me again, kept me up until the wee hours reading about Charles Whitman. I was a junior in high school when it happened, but the news never went into any detail about the shooter. It was interesting to discover his family history and get step-by-step directions on how to build a monster out of a perfectly normal child.


Vicki said...

Hi AZ, welcome back

Sorry about messing with your sleep. I read the whole thing before I posted, and thought it was pretty long. It had details about Whitman's childhood I don't recall hearing before. We heard that he had pressure from his dad, but I didn't remember his reasoning for killing his mother. Wow. Parents take heed.

I wasn't sure it would be interesting to anyone but me. It has been a long time since I thought about that day.

On a lighter note, we cut fresh vincas for my desk and table just yesterday! Thanks for visiting.