Thursday, March 24, 2016

LUC Lecture Series

"Lone Star Historian 2" is a blog about the travels and activities of the State Historian of Texas during his second year. Bill O'Neal was appointed to a two-year term by Gov. Rick Perry on August 22, 2012, at an impressive ceremony in the State Capitol. Bill is headquartered at Panola College ( in Carthage, where he has taught since 1970. For more than 20 years Bill conducted the state's first Traveling Texas History class, a three-hour credit course which featured a 2,100-mile itinerary. In 2000 he was awarded a Piper Professorship, and in 2012 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wild West Historical Association. Bill has published over 40 books, almost half about Texas history subjects, and in 2007 he was named Best Living Non-Fiction Writer by True West Magazine. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by his alma mater, Texas A&M University - Commerce.

Radio station KMHT in Marshall.

Dr. Van Patterson, Director of the Longview University Center, invited me as State Historian to deliver a public address at the 2016 Lecture Series of his institution. I told him about the planned March 1 release of my latest book, Sam Houston: A Study in Leadership. Van embraced the idea of a book signing and program at the Longview University Center, and we scheduled the event for Thursday evening, March 17.
Mark McLain in his KPXI studio in Henderson.

Van and I were colleagues at Panola College for several years, before he was appointed Director of the LUC. Van is energetic and industrious, and he is highly skilled at generating publicity. Colorful flyers were widely distributed, there were newspaper articles, and two half-hour radio interviews were scheduled. Two days before the LUC event, I drove to Marshall for a morning program at KMHT-Radio. I was interviewed by James Duncan, an alum of Sam Houston State University, who added a great deal to the session.

The next morning I was in Henderson at the studios of KPXI-Radio. Mark McLain interviewed me for “The Road Show” from 8:30 to 9 AM. Mark is a native of Houston, and on days off he often had lunch at the San Jacinto Battlefield. He was enthusiastic about my book about Sam Houston, and we enjoyed a lively conversation over the air about Houston.

The next afternoon Karon and I drove to the Longview University Center. We were greeted by Van and members of his staff, who helped us carry in books and program props. By the time we had set up a book table and the props, early arrivers were beginning to find seats. I spoke with almost everyone, expressing my gratitude for their presence. There were citizens who regularly have attended these events, and a number of friends. A large group of early admission students from Kilgore College had come, and it was a pleasure to visit with these young men and women. I’ve taught such students at Panola College for more than three decades, and I was delighted to visit with them.

With Dr. Van Patterson and Mark McLain.

By 6:30 the crowd numbered over 100. Van introduced me, sand I spoke for nearly an hour about one of the most iconic figures in Texas history. The entire presentation was videotaped. (See link below.) The audience was warm and responsive, and the students busily took notes to satisfy an assignment that would benefit their history grades. Afterward there was more visiting and a lot of book signing. For the State Historian it was a wonderful evening at the Longview University Center.

To view program, click on this link: 

For more information: 
Showing the San Jacinto battle flag.

1 comment:

  1. We happen to meet a great people there and started to chat with them and drink w/them too. I had a great time here, glad we found this place by accident. Will definitely come to this venue Houston TX again as anyone will make this a regular spot easily.