Austin History Quiz Answer 3
What's the origin of the term "City of the Violet Crown" referring to Austin? Did it really originate with O. Henry?
The earliest mention of the term "The City of the Violet Crown" that the Austin History Center has found is from an article published in the Austin Daily Statesman on Friday July 3, 1891. An article titled "The City of the Violet Crown" describes growth in the city including a new dam under construction and the addition of new railway lines among other changes to the city.
Another article,"The Best of News," from the Austin Daily Statesman on Wednesday, August 8, 1894 begins: "May 5,1890, was a memorable day in Austin. It was memorable for the reason that on that day the citizens of the City of the Violet Crown voted to build a granite dam across the Colorado River ..."
For a long time, it was believed that the first published use of the phrase is found in O. Henry's short story "Tictocq" in the Rolling Stones collection of O. Henry short stories. It was originally published in his local newspaper The Rolling Stone on October 27, 1894. The phrase is used in Chapter Two: "The drawing-rooms of one of the most magnificent private residences in Austin are a blaze of lights. Carriages line the streets in front, and from gate to doorway is spread a velvet carpet, on which the delicate feet of the guests may tread. The occasion is the entre into society of one of the fairest buds in the City of the Violet Crown."
What are the Moonlight Towers?
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