• Ms. Isabel Moor christens the Sowell's Bluff suspension bridge with a bottle of Red River water. photo courtesy of Fannin County Museum of History
  • A French family who has adopted the grave in France of a Honey Grove boy who died in World War II visited Honey Grove last Friday. They were honored at a luncheon sponsored by the Honey Grove Preservation League, the Fannin County Historical Commission and the family of J.C. Kilpatrick.
  • On January 24, 1912, the air age arrived in Bonham when famed aviator Charles F. Walsh landed his Curtis bi-plane as part of a flying exhibition. This was only nine years after the Wright brothers' flight at Kittyhawk in 1903.
  • Kathryn Gibbs Keeton, perhaps the most famous Fannin County cowgirl, passed away in July 2017 at the age of 98. A remembrance of her life also provides a history of the most northern part of Fannin County and the lives of cowboys and farmers in that area in the early part of the 20th century. photo taken by Erwin Smith on September 8, 1935, on Kathryn's 17th birthday
  • Thanks to the efforts of several good Fannin County people, the grave of Justice Earl Blalock, who died from pneumonia in October 1918 while in training camp preparing to go overseas in The Great War (World War I), now has a military marker.
  • Newly discovered negatives at the Fannin County Museum of History are of photographs made by Erwin Smith about 1906-1907 in the Bonham area.
  • The sinking of the USS Indianapolis has been called one of the most tragic disasters in Navy history. It sank in 12 minutes, and was unable to send a distress signal or deploy life saving equipment. It had just completed a secret mission delivering components of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. Only 316 of the ship's 1,196 sailors and Marines survived. One of those was Fannin County native James D. Price of Ravenna.
  • It’s a long way from Sherman, Texas to Tokyo Bay, but when Billy McKinney became a tin can sailor on a destroyer in World War 2 that was his destination, although didn’t know it when he joined the U. S. Navy in 1942. En route, he served as machinist mate on a navy repair ship in the South Pacific, and then on the USS Wren, a newly commissioned Fletcher class destroyer. It was long journey, but an interesting one. Billy McKinney died in August 2011.
  • As we round into August, the start of school is just around the corner, and a new school year requires a new lineup of school supplies. Sounds simple enough, but it’s a lot more complicated that it used to be.
  • Cotton, once a staple crop of the Red River Valley had all but faded away until a few years ago. Now cotton is back. It may not be King Cotton of days past, but it at least Earl or maybe even Duke Cotton and working its way back up.
  • Continuing with our stories about World War Two heroes who should not be forgotten, we offer the third part of the story of Charles Boughner of the 161st Regiment, 25 Infantry Division, who spent four years in the Pacific and then came home. To most of those who knew him, he simply was "the man next door." Mr. Boughner died in 2007 at the age of ninety.
  • Continuing with our stories about World War Two heroes who should not be forgotten, we offer a three part story about Charles Boughner of the 161st Regiment, 25 Infantry Division, who spent four years in the Pacific and then came home. To most of those who knew him, he simply was "the man next door." Mr. Boughner died in 2007 at the age of ninety.
  • Continuing with our stories about World War Two heroes who should not be forgotten, we offer a three part story about Charles Boughner of the 161st Regiment, 25 Infantry Division, who spent four years in the Pacific and then came home. To most of those who knew him, he simply was "the man next door." Mr.Boughner died in 2007 at the age of ninety.
  • Several months ago I got a call from Allen Rich, the publisher, editor, writer, reporter, photographer, etc. of the North Texas e-News in Bonham. The e-News is an electronic daily newspaper and a worthy lineal successor to the late lamented Bonham Daily Favorite.
  • In the jargon of American railroads, the company’s crack passenger trains were known collectively as "The Varnish." They were the shine that polished the road’s image and kept it in the public's eye. For the first road into Texas from the north The Katy Flyer, The Katy Limited, The Texas Special, and The Blubonnet were the Katy's Varnish.
  • Perhaps there was no more audacious and daring operation of World War 2 than the Doolittle Raid over mainland Japan in 1942. Sherman native John A. Hilger was Doolittle's second in command. This is his story of that first American response to the land of the Rising Sun.
  • All the world's a stage, at least it was every spring when many high schools put on their annual Senior play. In auditoriums across the land, parents and friends slipped into their seats as the house lights went down and waited with pride young Johnny or Jane to make an entrance. It was live theater of course, but it definitely off Broadway--a long way off usually.
  • What made summer when you were a kid? I suspect things have been changed by electronics, organized sports, and endless TV. Time was when summer meant something else to kids. What did it mean to you?
  • A few weeks ago the Scrapbook related the remarkable story of Denison's Jay Hoover and the Second Battalion, 131st Field Artillery of the Lone Star state's 36th Infantry Division—Texas' Lost Battalion of World War 2. No less remarkable is the story of Sherman resident Lieutenant-Colonel (Ret) William H. Reese, taken from his own account, of being shot down over occupied France in WW2.
  • A few weeks ago the Scrapbook related the remarkable story of Denison's Jay Hoover and the Second Battalion, 131st Field Artillery of the Lone Star state's 36th Infantry Division—Texas' Lost Battalion of World War 2. No less remarkable is the story of Sherman resident Lieutenant-Colonel (Ret) William H. Reese, taken from his own account, of being shot down over occupied France in WW2.
  • A few weeks ago the Scrapbook related the remarkable story of Denison's Jay Hoover and the Second Battalion, 131st Field Artillery of the Lone Star State's 36th Infantry Division—Texas’ Lost Battalion of World War 2. No less remarkable is the story of Sherman resident Lieutenant-Colonel (Ret) William H. Reese, taken from his own account, of being shot down over occupied France in WW2.
  • True heroes are a rare commodity. Sometimes they gain the accolade by daring acts in the face of danger; sometimes the daring act in the face of danger is surviving. One of these heroes was Denison's Jay Hoover, who survived some of worst conditions of World War 2 to come home and without fanfare get on with a life interrupted by World War 2. Mr. Hoover died, in Denison, at the age of ninety-one, in 2013. This is the second part of his story.
  • True heroes are a rare commodity. Sometimes they gain the accolade by daring acts in the face of danger; sometimes the daring act in the face of danger is surviving. One of these heroes was Denison's Jay Hoover, who survived some of worst conditions of World War 2 to come home and without fanfare get on with a life interrupted by World War 2. Mr. Hoover died, in Denison, at the age of ninety-one, in 2013. This is his story.
  • Where did you and your friends hang out when during the summer? If you lived in Bonham, the likely location was the state park. Built by the CCC and opened in 1936, it was the summertime destination for at least five generations of teens and kids.
  • Life in was a challenge for many Texas homemakers at the turn of the century, but there was no shortage of authors ready and willing to offer home remedy solutions for almost any problem. Of course, if home remedies weren’t your strong point, there were plenty of patent medicine purveyors out there to lend a hand, as the collection of ads used to illustrate this story makes clear.
  • In 1905 the people came in droves by train and wagon and on horseback from all along the Red River Valley and the Indian Territory to catch a glimpse of and hear a few words from the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. There had been nothing quite like it before, and nothing would match it in the future. It was once in a lifetime event for thousands.
  • The neighborhood filling station was more than just a business. It was a piece of the community that fitted in place with the other pieces—the corner grocery, the drugstore, the movie theater, the hardware store, the café, the five and dime—to complete the mosaic of daily life in small towns all across the land.
  • Today is Texas Independence Day. Perhaps because of the drama of the events that so quickly followed the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence, other memories strike more vivid chords and have overshadowed the anniversary of March 2.

    The day has never garnered the interest and attention of Texas equal to March 6 and April 21, 1836, the fall of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. That is unfortunate, for the declaration adopted 173 years ago gave rise to all that followed. It more than deserves its due.
  • Some place hold a special place in your memory. For me, Leonard, Texas in the 1950s was one of those places. The memories are still clear, the images still vibrant, and that small hankering to step back into that time if only for a day, will never really go away.
  • In most small towns, the local drugstore was a center of community activity. The stores, with the pharmacy, a soda fountain, and a wide range of goods for everyone in the family was a natural gathering place. Drug stores don't exist much anymore. There are chain pharmacies everywhere, including grocery stores, but there are no soda fountains or comic book racks--they are not the thing memories are made of.
  • One of Sherman's most distinctive landmarks for 80 plus years has been the collection of red brick buildings high on a hill off FM 1417—The Woodman Circle Home. Recently, a music video got permission to shoot at the site using the abandoned buildings as backdrop. There have also been several pieces on local and area television about the home. Here is the story of an extraordinary page in Sherman's history, that may gone, but is not forgotten.
  • One could argue that the small town newspaper was the soul of the community. Certainly it provided the framework for a town's history and memories. It was communication on a far more personal level than a big city paper, no matter how many people read it each day, could provide. So it was with The Bonham Daily Favorite during the time it was my hometown paper.
  • With the rise of instant, and often irrelevant, information available at the click of a mouse or the swipe of a cell phone, we forget how important newspapers were to small towns up until a few years ago. They still are, but no paper from the New York Times to the smallest weekly has really figured out how to deal with the changes that have come along. But there was a time...
  • The first train to connect Texas to the North was a spur of the moment thing. By the time the first official run was made the next day, rails across the Red River were almost old hat. Pat Tobin brought that second train across, and over years, he laid claim to the being in the cab on the first run as well. He probably was indulging in the recreated memories old men often construct. It didn't really matter, by Christmas Day, 1872, Texas was linked to the rest of the country by steel rails, and Denison was on its way to becoming the gateway to the Lone Star.
  • Few establishments are more evocative of small town American than the barber shop on the corner. Every town had them, and each was much like the others. The names might change, the minor details might vary, but for the most part, if you plug the name of the shop in your town into the story that follows, the recognition will be instant.
  • Long before the first Europeans and then the Texans discovered the bountiful country along the Red River, it was the home to the Caddo people who flourished in a culture build on agriculture and trade. By the time the first Anglo settlers arrived south of the river, the Caddo were gone, driven deep into the East Texas woods to escape the attacks and slave raids by the Osage of northeast Oklahoma.
  • If you hauled freight or passengers by rail from Texarkana to Sherman along the Texas side of the Red River Valley, you rode the high iron of the Texas & Pacific. The rails connected Bowie, Red River, Lamar, Fannin, and Grayson counties before dipping down through Denton to Fort Worth. By the time I signed on the boomer trail as an extra board brakeman in the summer of 1963, the passenger service along the Trans Contenential Division, as the northern leg of the T&P was called, had long since disappeared, but the freight traffic was still substantial, enough to support half a dozen or more trains daily all dispatched out of Bonham.
  • It was December 24, 1863, the third Christmas of a war that was supposed to have been over in three months. Sherman's Grande Dame, Sophia Coffee Butts, had come to town from her mansion at Glen Eden Plantation near Preston Bend for the Christmas party at Ben Christian's hotel. It was all but certain to be the event of the season. Most of the county's leading citizens were there, and the holiday revelers were having a grand good time until men with guns rudely and violently interrupted them. The interlopers were the border guerrillas of William Clarke Quantrill, come down from Kansas to winter away from the war, and...but wait, that is getting ahead of the story.
  • Is Fort Worth where the West begins? Think again. If cowboys and longhorns and the iconic Texas image of cattle herds trailing north count for anything, the West of our history and our imaginations began here, in Fannin County, in 1852 with two men from Illinois and belt full of gold.
  • Judge McMahon was in his late 70s or early 80s when I knew him. He was average height but big, like a bear. He had bushy eyebrows like John L. Lewis, a deep, gruff voice, and the charm of a bygone era that was multiplied by age and Southern gallantry.
  • In many ways, small communities are defined by people who seem larger than life. In Bonham, one of those people was Judge William E. McMahon. For reasons explained in the story that follows and another episode next week, I became the Judge's go-to driver when the choices of adults came up short.
  • "He was just a local fellow who took pictures. He never really amounted to much." If you asked the old men who gathered on the bench on the south side of the courthouse in Bonham in the 1950s to chew tobacco, whittle and tell the stories old men tell, that would have been their general recollection of Erwin Evans Smith.
  • "In the childhood memories of every good cook, there's a large kitchen, a warm stove, a simmering pot and a mom." – Barbara Cositkyan, New York Magazine: 1984. Few things trigger memories of childhood and home like food. Those memories are with us always, waiting only to be recalled by a picture or an aroma or a taste. Once remembered they unlock times past, which, real or otherwise, seem more contented and less stressful than today or tomorrow. They are as much a part of who we are and what we have done than hard names and dates and facts.
  • Clyde Barrow looked nothing like Warren Beaty. The little killer and two-bit hold up man, along with his companion, Bonnie Parker, and a rotating roster of sidekicks, ranged over Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas in the early 1930s. By the time the outlaws' spree came to an end, they had murdered twelve people. Victim number four was grocery clerk named Howard Hall who worked in a neighborhood market in Sherman.
  • For the sake of this discussion, I suggest that there are two types of history—hard and soft. Hard history is about facts—times, dates, places, people, and events as recorded or generally accepted over time. Soft history is about impressions; it is about how people view many of those same times, dates, etc. but through the prism of their own experience. Over the run of things, soft history may be more important to understanding our past than the hard variety. It has been evident over the past twenty or so years that we have of more and more of less and less, more stores, but fewer real choices. Today, most retailers look alike, offer the same merchandise, and answer not to local demand, but to faraway corporate rules and directives. What we need these days is a good Dime Store.
  • Just maybe, if you are really still of an early morning when the sky in the east is sliding from inky black into the first pale light of the dawn, just maybe, you will hear the faint rumble of drums from the long roll and catch the first notes of a bugle calling the past to fall out for reveille from the barracks of Fort Washita. It will be only an echo of course, for the soldiers are long gone. The west barracks are nothing but empty stone walls now, and on September 26, 2010, fire destroyed the south barracks, which were built as a replica of the original 1849 building to illustrate army life on the frontier during the fort’s active life. So shadows and echoes and imagination have fill in the gaps. But still, if you are quiet, you might here those bugles all the same.
  • In 1875, the Indian Territory, in what is now Oklahoma, was a no man's land ruled by murders, outlaws, thieves, and all manner of miscreants who thought they had found safe haven from the law and civilization. This changed when a new judge sent two hundred U.S. deputy marshals into the territory. One of the most acclaimed of these lawmen was a former slave from Grayson County named Bass Reeves.
  • In 1875, Issac C. Parker became the judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, which included the wild environs of the Indian Territory. He brought hard justice to this previous lawless part of the country and earned a place in the annals of the West.
  • Voting in the 1950s was not as easy as pulling a lever or making an electronic check mark. It took a big paper ballot, a good dark pencil, and a lot of people to count the votes.
  • In the summer of 1923, a man named Will H. Evans of Bonham gave a party for the citizens of Fannin County -- all 60,000 of them. And what a swell party it was. 1918 American La France pumper truck in Bonham parade, Will Evans' party for Fannin County, July 10-12, 1923 - Image Courtesy of Amon Carter Museum of American Art © Erwin E. Smith Foundation
  • Barbed wire brought the end of the open range to cattle country, but it also ushered in a new era of scientific animal husbandry that changed the industry forever. Still, for many old timers, the wire would always be "Devil's rope."
  • Before barbed wire made its appearance in the United States, another product of North Texas and the Red River Valley was the fencing material of choice for farmers all over the country--the tree called the Osage Orange or Bois d'Arc.
  • Texas governor Ross Sterling supported by Texas Rangers faced off against Oklahoma governor "Alfalfa Bill" Murray and and the Oklahoma National Guard the Red River Bridge War of 1931.
  • Though born in Grayson County, Texas, William "Alfalfa Bill" Murray loomed large in the early history of Oklahoma.

  • Centenial commemorative stamp.
    Until 1858, transportation between Texas and the rest of the United States was haphazard at best. That changed for the better when the Butterfield's Overland Mail started regular service and brought passengers and mail over the Red River and through Sherman for the first time.

  • In the fall of 1874, three soldiers and two civilian scouts made a legendary defense against 125 mounted warriors in what became known as the Fight at Buffalo Wallow.
  • In the story of the struggle for dominance on the Southern Plains and its place in the history of the Southwest, there remains one principal chapter. It is the saga of the Red River War of 1874-75, and the final wresting of the area by the U.S. Army from the Comanche, Southern Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Arapaho who had dominated the region two centuries.
  • Cavalry on the Plains - Remington
    In the story of the struggle for dominance on the Southern Plains and its place in the history of the Southwest, there remains one principal chapter. It is the saga of the Red River War of 1874-75, and the final wresting of the area by the U.S. Army from the Comanche, Southern Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Arapaho who had dominated the region two centuries.
  • In the fall of 1874, three soldiers and two civilian scouts made a legendary defense against 125 mounted warriors in what became known as the Fight at Buffalo Wallow.
  • The evolutionary clash of competing cultures was not new to the Great Plains in the 1870s. It was but another cycle in the struggles for domination of the plains that had been going on for more than two hundred years, but it was the last chapter in that long and violent story.
  • The evolutionary clash of competing cultures was not new to the Great Plains in the 1870s. It was but another cycle in the struggles for domination of the plains that had been going on for more than two hundred years, but it was the last chapter in that long and violent story.
  • For most of the Civil War, the Red River was a backwater to bigger events happening east of the Mississippi, but in the spring of 1864 that changed when Federal gunboats appeared on the river.
  • For most of the Civil War, the Red River was a backwater to bigger events happening east of the Mississippi, but in the spring of 1864 that changed when Federal gunboats appeared on the river.
  • His name was just too much for the Texans under his command, so they called him "Prince Polecat," a nickname that delighted the general. In a Confederate army officered by men of all manner of backgrounds, Camille Armand Jules Marie, Prince de Polignac was still one of a kind.
  • His name was just too much for the Texans under his command, so they called him "Prince Polecat," a nickname that delighted the general. In a Confederate army officered by men of all manner of backgrounds, Camille Armand Jules Marie, Prince de Polignac was still one of a kind.
  • Now long gone and almost forgotten, the Great Red River Raft was once a primary obstacle to settlement and transportation along the Red River in Texas and Oklahoma.
  • Now long gone and almost forgotten, the Great Red River Raft was once a primary obstacle to settlement and transportation along the Red River in Texas and Oklahoma.
  • Following the early Spanish and French forays to the Red River, it would be more than six decades before the arrival of a new group of explorers and pioneers, the Americans.
  • As Fannin County residents await a series of formal discussions regarding possible restoration of the historic 1888 courthouse, a look back at the series of courthouses used by the county offers a glimpse into the fascinating history of a county that, according to Handbook of Texas, once encompassed 22 modern-day Texas counties. all images courtesy of Fannin County Museum of History
  • It seems appropriate for a project called the Red River Scrapbook, that early on we explore, at least briefly, some of the history of the river and the events that have taken place on its waters and along its banks. So that we intend to do.
  • North Texas can lay claim to many famous men and women, but one of the most famous was also the most infamous. In a three-part series, the Red River Scrapbook looks at the life and mean times of Texas' World Champion Desperado, John Wesley Hardin.
  • John Wesley Hardin's violent career finds new opportunities for mayhem as he takes part in the Taylor-Sutton Feud in DeWitt County and then is tracked down and captured by the Texas Rangers. It's "Texas, by God!"
  • After sixteen years in prison, John Wesley Hardin gets a second chance, but is soon back to the dangerous ways that will end his life in an El Paso saloon while shooting dice with "...Four Sixes to Beat."
  • For most of the country, the Civil War ended with the surrender of Confederate forces across the South in the spring of 1865, but in Northeast Texas, these events only presaged the beginning of an informal struggle between rival factions that paid out in blood and death for another half dozen years. Starting today, the Red River Scrapbook takes two-part look at the infamous Lee-Peacock Feud. photo by David Womack
  • Following the early Spanish and French forays to the Red River, it would be more than six decades before the arrival of a new group of explorers and pioneers, the Americans.
  • The wounding of Bob Lee and the assassination of Dr. W.H. Pierce in late winter of 1867 ending nothing as Lee and Lewis Peacock and their supporters played revenge for revenge and the Lee-Peacock Feud continued. photo by David Womack
  • As Fannin County residents await a series of formal discussions regarding possible restoration of the historic 1888 courthouse, a look back at the series of courthouses used by the county offers a glimpse into the fascinating history of a county that, according to Handbook of Texas, once encompassed 22 modern-day Texas counties. all images courtesy of Fannin County Museum of History
  • Here is the text of Robert Lee's letter to The Bonham News. It has been edited and punctuated somewhat for clarity.
  • It was one thing for the Congress to declare independence from Great Britain; it was another thing to achieve it. As the word of the decisions reached in Philadelphia spread throughout the colonies, those in favor of the move, if they were not under the baleful eye of King George's soldiers, generally celebrated with gusto, but it would take six years of war and before the idea became a reality for many.
  • For more than one hundred years, the heart and soul of Trenton, Texas, current population about 700, have been embodied by the town's two oldest businesses, The First National Bank of Trenton and The Trenton Tribune, and the three generations of the two families behind those enterprises, the Donagheys and the Holmeses. (L-R) Tom Mc Holmes and Lewis Donaghey
  • It seems appropriate for a project called the Red River Scrapbook, that early on we explore, at least briefly, some of the history of the river and the events that have taken place on its waters and along its banks. So that we intend to do.
  • North Texas can lay claim to many famous men and women, but one of the most famous was also the most infamous. In a three-part series, the Red River Scrapbook looks at the life and mean times of Texas' World Champion Desperado, John Wesley Hardin.
  • John Wesley Hardin's violent career finds new opportunities for mayhem as he takes part in the Taylor-Sutton Feud in DeWitt County and then is tracked down and captured by the Texas Rangers. It's "Texas, by God!"
  • After sixteen years in prison, John Wesley Hardin gets a second chance, but is soon back to the dangerous ways that will end his life in an El Paso saloon while shooting dice with "...Four Sixes to Beat."
  • The long and often bitter debate that charged the atmosphere in the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia in the early summer of 1776 as the members of the Continental Congress thrashed out the question of independency from Great Britain, was matched outside the hall, as the vote grew near, by nature's display of crashing lightning and rolling thunder that served to reinforce the import of the moment.
  • For most of the country, the Civil War ended with the surrender of Confederate forces across the South in the spring of 1865, but in Northeast Texas, these events only presaged the beginning of an informal struggle between rival factions that paid out in blood and death for another half dozen years. Starting today, the Red River Scrapbook takes two-part look at the infamous Lee-Peacock Feud. photo by David Womack
  • The wounding of Bob Lee and the assassination of Dr. W.H. Pierce in late winter of 1867 ending nothing as Lee and Lewis Peacock and their supporters played revenge for revenge and the Lee-Peacock Feud continued.
  • Here is the text of Robert Lee's letter to The Bonham News. It has been edited and punctuated somewhat for clarity.
  • We invite you to join North Texas e-News in a new project - a scrapbook of the Red River Valley and of the people, places, and events that have made a mark on this part of Texas and Oklahoma for two hundred years and more. At e-News we often have thought that an import function of a small town newspaper is to act as a repository of the everyday things that tie one day to the next, one year to the next, one generation to those who have come before and will come after.
  • It was one thing for the Congress to declare independence from Great Britain; it was another thing to achieve it. As the word of the decisions reached in Philadelphia spread throughout the colonies, those in favor of the move, if they were not under the baleful eye of King George's soldiers, generally celebrated with gusto, but it would take six years of war and before the idea became a reality for many.
  • For more than one hundred years, the heart and soul of Trenton, Texas, current population about 700, have been embodied by the town's two oldest businesses, The First National Bank of Trenton and The Trenton Tribune, and the three generations of the two families behind those enterprises, the Donagheys and the Holmeses. (L-R) Tom Mc Holmes and Lewis Donaghey
  • Is Fort Worth where the West begins? Think again. If cowboys and longhorns and the iconic Texas image of cattle herds trailing north count for anything, the West of our history and our imaginations began here, in Fannin County, in 1852 with two men from Illinois and belt full of gold.
  • In times past, no American politician worth his salt would let Independence Day past with out rising to extol the virtues of the founding fathers, the grand old flags, and the sacrifice of the men and women who made the American Dream an American Reality for millions. These days, the speeches are more likely to be bitter, angry, and mean spirited, so here are some words from earlier times when pride and love of country were not such a negative things as it sometimes is now.
  • The long and often bitter debate that charged the atmosphere in the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia in the early summer of 1776 as the members of the Continental Congress thrashed out the question of independency from Great Britain, was matched outside the hall, as the vote grew near, by nature's display of crashing lightning and rolling thunder that served to reinforce the import of the moment.
  • During the war for independence, the new American government and the armed forces of the army and navy utilized numerous flags of different designs. Although several of these flags incorporated designs of stripes and stars, none put all the elements together in the form we recognize today, until the Continental Congress passed the first laws concerning the national banner on June 14, 1777.