History:  1930 to 1940
Written by Chris Dalrymple, DC   
Wednesday, January 13, 2016 12:00 PM

By 1930 the depression era was underway and lasted until the late 1930s.  The Texas Chiropractic College’s course work had increased to between 12 and 24 months by 1930, and Dr. Stone, the founder of what became the Texas Chiropractic College had “just recently retired” after over 20 years in practice.  

Early in 1930 Paul L. Myers, DC, began doing experimental work with cervical x-rays and took over 1200 x-ray films to prove how to measure the subluxation of the Atlas. It is supposed that he was the first Chiropractor in Texas to make standing x-rays.

1931 saw the construction of the Empire State Building, and the adoption of   “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the United States’s national anthem.  In 1932 the Lindbergh baby kidnapping captured the public’s imagination and in 1933 Prohibition in the United States is abolished and Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. 

Having started the process through their state association in 1917, doctors of chiropractic continued to try to pass a chiropractic licensing law.  By 1933, after 16 years of attempts they complained loudly that their bills never got any consideration.  One of the unfriendly legislators on the public health committee said, “Why don’t we refer it to the Livestock Committee with the rest of the jackasses?”  And so the chiropractic bill of that year was put into the livestock committee, duly considered, and finally voted out of committee for consideration by the whole legislature, it was a considerable victory for the chiropractors, although the bill got no farther than that.  It demonstrated the considerable influence that the medical community had in the public health committee.

By 1934 Hitler declared himself Fuhrer of Germany, both Bonnie and Clyde were shot to death in a police ambush, and John Dillinger was gunned down by the FBI.  The Texas State Chiropractic Association was reorganized about this time and its publication The Chiropractic Flash was initiated, as well as the Keeler Award, the TSCA’s most prestigious award.

By 1936 Hoover Dam was completed and doctors of chiropractic continued to be arrested for practicing medicine without a license.  Thomas O. Davis, DC was arrested and the young attorney who defended him, Price Daniel, was the same man, who ultimately in 1957, as Governor of Texas, would appoint him to serve on the Texas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

Other chiropractors continued to take a lead in both civic and scientific occupations.  In 1937 Dr. F. F. Breazeale was elected mayor of Wink, Texas, and David M. Hestand, M.D., graduate of Baylor Medical School whose sister was dying of tuberculosis and nothing being accomplished by his colleagues or himself brought his sister for treatment from a chiropractor.  His sister was so improved and Dr. Hestand so impressed that he soon entered the Carver Chiropractic College in Oklahoma City – and was a staunch supporter of chiropractic – along with the practice of medicine all the rest of his days.  

At its State Convention of 1937 in Galveston, the TSCA hired E. L. Bauknight as its executive secretary.  Bauknight was a driving force in the ultimate success of TSCAs mission to acquire professional licensure.  Also in this year the Japanese invaded China and the beginning of World War II in the Far East was under way. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the first feature-length animated movie released, and the German Zeppelin Hindenburg crashes in Lakehurst, New Jersey.

From the experience of fifteen years practice, discussions with hundreds of doctors while visiting their clinics and with the legal advice of his attorney, Mr. E. L. Bauknight, Dr. Harvey Watkins and Dr. Charlton wrote the TSCA constitution that was adopted without change in the convention in 1937.  

In 1938 Time Magazine declared Adolf Hitler Man of the Year, and DC Comics’ Superman made his first appearance.  Judge E. B. Simmons was hired as the Texas State Chiropractic Association’s defense lawyer on April 1, 1938.  

The story of Judge E. B. Simmons began one day in 1937 when Dr. James R. Drain, the early enthusiastic voice of the Texas Chiropractic College, was called to testify as an expert witness.  He asked Simmons, a San Antonio Lawyer, to go with him to the trial of Dr. A. E. Brammer of Bandera, charged with 23 counts of practicing medicine without a license.  Drain, answering Simmons' questions about the profession and its problems, began the process of filling Simmons with the desire to help. Simmons never lost a case in Texas.  Chiropractors charged with practicing medicine without a license won acquittals all over the state.  Judge Simmons made it impractical to charge chiropractors with practicing medicine without a license and taking them to court, and Bauknight’s public relations began to create positive conditions in the legislative halls that over the next decade would lead to fruition.

By 1939 the Nazi invasion of Poland triggered the beginning of World War II in Europe.  In 1940 Winston Churchill became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Battle of Britain, the first entirely aerial military campaign, becomes the first significant defeat for the Axis powers.  The same T. O. Davis, DC, arrested for practicing medicine without a license four years previously was named city councilman of Liberty, Texas. That same year, Dr. R. G. Piner of Greenville was the first Texas chiropractor to be elected to the State Legislature.

By the 1940s the requirements to become a DC were 4 years of 9 months each, and the doctors of chiropractic continued to seek professional licensure. Bills were generally submitted with each session of the legislature as deemed possible and the process was continuously stoked and fueled.  W. W. (Red) Roark, the state representative from Temple, introduced HB No. 34.  It didn’t muster enough votes to pass, but it did get widespread support in both house and senate.  By the middle of the decade such work gained traction and before the end of the decade the labors of 33 years would come to fruition.