In an effort to comfort me, both Mrs. T and Melanie mentioned some Texans who have made the world a better place. I can only say, amen, sisters.
Here's one who makes me prouder than I can say.
Barbara Jordon (1936-1996) was born in Houston Texas' West End. She became a state legislator in 1966, served as president of the "ledge," became a congresswoman, gained some notoriety during the Watergate hearings, and gave the key note address at the Democratic National Convention in 1976. I was a junior in High School at the time. I remember her voice. I remember her words. I remember that we hoped that Jimmy Carter would choose Jordon as his running mate. I remember people talking about how it might someday be possible for a woman to become president. I remember thinking that it might one day be possible for an African American to be president.
She served until 1979, when multiple sclerosis caused her to retire (although she kept her illness as secret as possible). She taught political science at the University of Texas after her retirement.
Jordon gave the key note at the 1992 convention as well, and was thought to be on the short list for a nomination to the Supreme Court, but Bill Clinton did not nominate her because of her poor health.
Jordon is remembered as a woman of great courage and conviction. She is also remembered as one of the best orators of the twentieth century. This link has the full text of her 1976 key note. I urge you to listen to it rather than read it. She was amazing.
Oh, and one more thing. In my little bit of research this morning, I found out that Jordon had a companion of over twenty years, Nancy Earl, who is often trivialized or totally ignored in biographies of the great woman.