The Houston Courier January 2016

Thank you for your interest in supporting Houston history!  Please check out our calendar for upcoming events and read our featured articles for updates and information regarding HHA Community Partners.
Please read below for more information on our Fall 2016 Symposium, "The History of Houston's Musical Soul" and our upcoming Houston History Alliance Summit for Community Partners. For more information about our organization or any of our events, please visit:  Houston History Alliance
HHA Board of Directors
Symposium: The History of Houston's Musical Soul

The sixth annual HHA Symposium will be held Saturday October 1, 2016 at MATCH, 3400 Main St., Houston.  The conference will celebrate the long and diverse musical history of Houston ranging from Zydeco to Blues to Country and Tejano.

HHA is proud to partner with The Jung Center, The Houston Blues Museum, Houston Arts Alliance, and The Continental Club for the 2016 Symposium and our program lineup is sure to appeal to a variety of interests.  Our program will include musical historians Joe Nick Patoski, Rick Mitchell, Dr. Robert Morgan, and Lizette Cobb as well as panels on Sugarhill Studios, onsite musical performances, and post-conference performances at the Continental Club.

For more information on the conference, please visit: Houston History Alliance.
Community Partners: Spotlight
Rather than highlighting one of our many fantastic community partners, this month the HHA would like to take this opportunity to invite all of our Partners to our HHA Community Partners Summit to be held Saturday April 2,1016 from 10:00-1:00 at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Houston Hobby Airport.  Representatives from our Community Partners are invited to collaborate on networking, marketing, and educational opportunities and to share success stories and concerns for the Houston history community.  There is no charge to attend and light refreshments will be provided.  Organizations are encouraged to bring advertising materials to share with other community partners as well as a calendar of events that can be included in HHA resources. Please contact for more information.  We encourage you to REGISTER HERE!

Handbook of Houston 
The Handbook of Houston is now live! For articles, updates, and additional information, please visit: 

Are you interested in contributing to the Handbook of Ho
uston? W e welcome submissions from lay historians as well as professional. If you have a passion for Houston's history, we'd love to talk with you! Please contact editor Lindsay Scovil Dove at 713-828-3030 or for details on how to submit. Additional information can also be found on the HHA website,  
Houston History Matters: Phantom & Betty Rand
The Auditorium Hotel, developed by Michele DeGeorge, opened in November 1926. This photo, courtesy of The Sloane Gallery, was taken in January 1927 by Calvin Wheat. It shows actress Betty Rand (also known as Grace Roden) and her horse, Phantom, visiting the front desk in the hotel lobby. Another photo, showing Phantom reading the hotel's guest register, can be found in the Lancaster Hotel's history album, Volume II, Auditorium Hotel.
While Phantom's owners, wealthy Houstonians Betty Rand and her husband Maurice LaGarde, were guests at the hotel, Phantom probably resided in a nearby stable on the site of today's Alley Theatre or Lyric Center. Phantom and Rand were both vaudeville and silent film stars. On this trip, Phantom portrayed Goethe's diabolical Mephistopheles in a movie based on Faust and filmed in Houston and on Galveston beaches.
Originally named Prince, Phantom was sold by Mohammet Bey, an Egyptian or Indian prince, to Betty Rand. Articles described him as Syrian or Arab and part Thoroughbred, "spirited, almost human in intelligence, fearless." He "can simulate anger, joy, affection, fear and sorrow. The lines of his body are beautiful and he is kept perfectly groomed by his owner."
In January 1928, Phantom and Betty were photographed on the airport tarmac in Paris, France. Betty had chartered a WWI Vickers Vimy aircraft to fly Phantom over the English Channel to England. The "Flying Wild Horse" was the first to fly over the Channel and the first to fly in an airplane, period. In February the duo made news again, flying back from England to Paris.
Betty Rand and Phantom often made international and American news. In February 1931, when they arrived in New York City by ship from Europe, newspapers reported she was looking for a plane to fly Phantom to San Francisco. In 1932, they said she wanted a plane to fly Phantom from New York to Havana for the races. In 1933, the "Modern Pegasus" flew from Roosevelt Field, in New York to Washington, D.C. In 1934, Phantom was featured boarding his private plane to entertain in Richmond, and then continue on to Greensboro, North Carolina.
In 1947, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Phantom's death at age 30. He had spent the last 10 years with Betty at her and her-then-husband William A. Hamm's ranch near Watsonville, Larkin Valley, California, where the horse had the run of the pastures, walked in and out of their home as he pleased, and nodded to guests he knew at their parties. Phantom especially loved to go into the kitchen for sugar and never broke a bowl.
According to one reporter, Betty had a large scrapbook showing her beloved Phantom visiting the front desks of the Ansonia Hotel in New York and a hotel in Houston.                                    
By Michaelene "Miki" Lusk Norton
Thank you for your interest in HHA and supporting Houston History.  For more information on the organization or to donate, please email us at

Houston History Alliance  
Board of Directors
Cecelia Ottenweller, Co-President
Katy Butterwick, Co-President
Tanya Debose
Diana DuCroz
David Falloure
J.R. Gonzales
Abbie Grubb, PhD 
Debbie Harwell, PhD
Thomas McWhorter
Miki Lusk Norton
Gail Rosenthal 
Elizabeth Sargent
Eddie Weller, PhD 
In This Issue
Symposium 2016
Community Partners
Handbook of Houston
Houston History Matters
HHA Mission
The Houston History Association is an independent 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to promoting Houston area history and serving as a resource for existing historical, preservation and educational organizations and institutions.
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