Monday, March 13, 2017

Texas State Historical Association - 121st Annual Meeting

Each year the annual meeting of the Texas State Historical Association is held on the first weekend in March - as close as possible to March 2, Texas Independence Day. This year the 121st Annual Meeting was scheduled for March 2-3-4 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Houston.
With Brian Bolinger, TSHA Executive Director
Ron Chrisman, Director of UNT Press, in the Exhibit Hall

I was a day late arriving. I had accepted an invitation to provide a program on the Battle of the Alamo for a combined lunch meeting of the Tyler chapters of the DRT and the SRT on Thursday, March 2. This Texas Independence Day meeting of two patriotic Texas organizations was a splendid event - an ideal way for the State Historian to spend March 2.
Mary Scheer at the signing for Eavesdropping on Texas History
I drove to Houston the next morning. As I located the TSHA registration table, I encountered Brian Bolinger, the personable and efficient executive director of the organization. Brian informed me there were more than 700 in attendance, an outstanding crowd.

It seemed as though I saw most of the 700 nearby in the vast exhibit hall. The room was crowded with people and publishers' tables and refreshments. After talking with a number of acquaintances I made my way to the exhibit table of the University of North Texas Press. Executive Director Ron Chrisman was clearing room for a book signing. Making its debut was Eavesdropping on Texas History, an anthology conceived and edited by Mary L. Scheer, chairman of the history department at Lamar University. There are 14 chapters, including one by Mary. She asked each of us to envision ourselves as a "fly on the wall," witnessing an event of historical or cultural significance in Texas.

Mary asked me to provide a chapter on a Texas sporting event, and I chose the 1935 football game between SMU and TCU. These archrivals each boasted a 10-0 record, and the Southwest Conference and National championships rode on the outcome, along with a trip - unprecedented for a Texas team - to the storied Rose Bowl. Despite the efforts of star quarterback Sammy Baugh for the Horned Frogs, SMU won a close decision, although TCU later went on to a Sugar Bowl victory. Football in Texas now became prominent in national circles, and the pivotal nature of this dramatic game included the creation of the Cotton Bowl one year later.

On Friday there was a Fellows Luncheon. The previous day there was a Women in History Luncheon, and on Friday evening the President's Dinner was held at the Rice Hotel.

Presenting at the Webb Society session

John Michael Hoke delivered an excellent presentation on Houston's Alley Theatre

Jacksonville College Webb Society members and sponsors
(Patricia Richey and Mary Craig) received the award for
Best College Chapter
On Saturday morning there was a session sponsored by the TSHA: "History in Action - The College Classroom in 2017 and Presentation of the C.M. Caldwell Memorial Awards." This session focused on the accomplishments of Webb Society chapters in Texas colleges and universities. Two student papers were presented, by Hector Zuniga of Northeast Texas Community College and by John Michael Hoke of San Jacinto College - South. I was asked to conclude the program with a presentation on "Leadership Qualities of Sam Houston." Presider Steve Cure, aided by Charles Nugent, closed the session by handing out awards to deserving chapters and chapter sponsors.

Saturday afternoon was spent visiting the superb Bryan Museum in Galveston. It was a rich climax to a standout annual meeting of the TSHA.




  1. Elated to know about this annual meeting. Last month, I arranged my best friend’s company meeting by booking one of finest venues for corporate events Chicago. Hired a corporate caterer for this event and he prepared yummy food.