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This Texas Talk aired on Monday August 15, 2016 by the Texas State Historical Association. Fort McKavett was established in 1852 by the 8th US Infantry. The fort closed briefly in 1859, but reopened in 1869 and has been designated a Texas historic site since May 17, 1968. The fort is considered one of the most intact and preserved examples of Texas-Indian Wars military post. The fort has restored structures that...
This is a lecture sponsored by Humanities Texas and published online in July 2016. David Oshinsky’s lecture was funded by the Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfires Initiative in observance of the one-hundred-year anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize. The lecture was delivered as part of Humanities Texas's 2016 "Post-War America, 1945–1960" teacher institute in Austin. Who could have imagined that Ron Chernow's fine...
This is a video documentary about one of the Harry Ransom Center's most famous and frequently borrowed art works, Frida Kahlo's Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940). The video documentary features interviews with curators and installers, the video narrates the painting's return to the Ransom Center, its unpacking and assessment, and finally, its installation on the first floor.
Listen as the accounts of 7 former slaves are brought to life through the voices of talented local actors. These recordings make up just a portion of the full stories recalled by James Grumbles, Marry Anne Patterson, Rosina Hoard, Sallie Johnson, Sallie Wroe, Sam Mason, and William Owens. Today their full recollections and those of 63 other former slaves from Austin and Travis County can be found at the Austin...
This is a video where Patrick Ettinger talked about his book, "Imaginary Lines: Border Enforcement and the Origins of Undocumented Immigration, 1882-1930", in which he shares the origins of immigrant smuggling and illicit entry on the northern and southern U.S. borders from 1882-1930, at a time when English, Irish, Chinese, Italian, Russian, Lebanese, Japanese, Greek, and, later, Mexican migrants created various “...
Frank Reaugh (1860–1945) is one of the Southwest's earliest and most distinguished artists. Working in the vein of American Impressionism, Reaugh (pronounced "Ray") devoted his career to visually documenting the immense unsettled regions of the Southwest before the turn of the twentieth century. A restless and intrepid traveler, Reaugh sketched scenes while riding with cattlemen during the height of Texas's historic...
"I was the first. Vote for Me!" is an interactive website that brings to life the important firsts in United States and Texas history who are part of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards for Texas elementary students. This website allows students to explore 21 animated historical figures who made significant contributions, paving the way to today. After viewing the animations, students vote on...
The Texian Heritage Festival's YouTube Channel is the official channel for the Texian Heritage Festival. Here you'll find a wide range of videos from previous festivals as well as promotional videos about upcoming events.
In the 1920s, writer Winifred Sanford's stories of the Texas oil boom captured the anxieties of a state on the verge of modernization. Born in Minnesota, Sanford moved to Wichita Falls in 1920, as her husband sought his fortune in the new oilfields of North Texas. At first, Sanford found the small town stifling. But she soon realized the oil boom made Texas more complex than it had first seemed. Swift change made...
Acclaimed singer and actress Etta Moten Barnett was born in Weimar, Texas, in 1901. By the age of ten, she was singing in the choir of her father’s church. Thirty-three years later, at the invitation of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, she became the first African American woman to sing at the White House. Barnett's career led her to Hollywood, where she appeared in films such as Busby Berkeley's Gold Diggers of 1933...
Emil Henry Marks, also known as E. H. Marks, was born in Addicks, Texas on October 26, 1881. He began working as a cowboy at age ten, registering the LH7 brand in Harris County in 1898. The ranch opened near Addicks in 1907, and moved to Barker in 1917. Marks was one of the first cattlemen on the Gulf Coast to cross breed Brahman bulls with common longhorn cattle. The LH7 also protected the foundation stock of Texas...
The singer who first performed the song "Ol' Man River" is an obscure figure today. Baritone Julius Bledsoe was among the first African Americans to appear on Broadway, but he made few recordings and his fame was soon eclipsed by the great Paul Robeson, who succeeded him in the role of Joe in the classic musical Show Boat. A critic from the New York Morning Telegraph described him as "a singer who can pick the heart...
As a public official, suffragist, and educator, Annie Webb Blanton devoted her life to women's rights. She said, "Everything that helps to wear away age-old prejudices contributes towards the advancement of women and of humanity." Born in Houston in 1870, Blanton pursued a career in teaching to demonstrate her independence. After graduating from The University of Texas in 1899, she worked at Denton's North Texas...
The words "Mexican immigration" are usually enough to start a vibrant, politically and emotionally charged debate. Yet, the history of Mexican migration to the U.S. involves a series of ups and down—some Mexicans were granted citizenship by treaty after their lands were annexed to the U.S., and, until the 1970s, they were considered legally white—a privilege granted to no other group. At the same time, Mexicans...
The story of the Santa Rita No. 1 is a lesson on dreams coming true because of tenacity and not giving up. The Permian Basin discovery marked the beginning of the West Texas oil boom. Because the well was on univerisity land, both UT and A and M have financially benefitted from royalties sine 1923. Cynthia Jordan visits children throughout the state of Texas, telling the Santa Rita story with music and song. For you...
Mildred Didrikson Zaharias, nicknamed "Babe" for her childhood prowess on the baseball diamond, dominated women's sports from the 1930s through the '50s. She was born in 1911 in Port Arthur, Texas, and quickly became known as not just a gifted athlete, but a fierce competitor in every arena she entered. Though best remembered for her accomplishments in golf and track and field, she also excelled in...
Born in Galveston in 1894, King Wallis Vidor grew up with the movies. Over the course of his career, he directed both silent and sound films and worked with many of Hollywood's top stars, from Charlie Chaplin to Audrey Hepburn. Vidor began his career in film as a teenager, working as a projectionist in a Galveston theater. His first hit came in 1925, with The Big Parade, the highest grossing silent film of all...
According to one of his fans, actor and Texas native Zachary Scott had an air of sophistication that made him look like he had "been born in a dinner jacket." Best known for portraying scoundrels, playboys, and villains, Scott was one of Texas's most recognizable faces during Hollywood's golden age. Born in Austin in 1914, Scott studied acting at The University of Texas. He worked in regional...
The series of pastels titled Twenty-four Hours with the Herd depicts an iconic Texas scene: the cattle drive. Artist Frank Reaugh completed the series in the 1930s, but they portray an earlier chapter of Texas history, when fences had not yet crossed the landscape, and men and cattle moved freely on the open range. Born in Illinois in 1860, Reaugh moved to Texas when he was fifteen. His family grew cotton, but young...
The Gutenberg Bible, completed in 1454, is the first substantial book printed with movable type. Of the twenty-one complete copies in existence, one is on view at The University of Texas at Austin's Harry Ransom Center. This book—and the center that houses it—are the proud legacy of Chancellor Harry Huntt Ransom, known as "The Great Acquisitor." Born in Galveston in 1908, Ransom came to UT...
Critics call Texas-born writer Katherine Anne Porter a "poet of the story." Her carefully crafted short fiction earned her the highest acclaim, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Porter was born in 1890 in Indian Creek to a family of modest means. As an adult, she lived for several years in Mexico, and later at points throughout the U.S. and Europe. But her most accomplished stories...
On June 28, 1919, Jane McCallum wrote in her diary, "Somehow I felt too thankful to be jubilant. We have a great responsibility and I pray God we may meet it squarely and successfully." The responsibility McCallum referred to was the right to vote—a right American women finally won in 1920 with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. As a leader of Texas women's fight for suffrage, McCallum...
Folklorist John Lomax spent his life collecting songs. According to one writer, Lomax would find the music among "chuck wagons, on levees and railroads, in the saloons, churches, and penitentiaries of the South and Southwest." John Lomax's lifelong commitment to preserving folksong began when he first heard cowboy ballads near the Chisholm Trail in Bosque County, Texas. He graduated from The University...
Jack Johnson was born in Galveston in 1878. He went on to become the greatest boxer in the world and one of America's most famous celebrities. Johnson won the World Colored Heavyweight Championship in 1903, but could not claim the overall title because white fighters refused to face him in the ring. That changed in 1908 when Johnson beat Tommy Burns to become the first African American World Heavyweight Champion...
Known as the “First Lady of Texas,” Ima Hogg was born in Mineola in 1882, the only daughter of Texas governor “Big Jim” Hogg. The Hoggs were a public-spirited family. So when oil was discovered on family property, Ima and her brothers used their new wealth for the public good. They believed that since the oil came from Texas land, it belonged to Texas citizens. Ima Hogg became an arts patron and a philanthropist....
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