"Lone Star Historian" is a blog about the travels and activities of the State Historian of Texas. 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 (www.panola.edu) 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 almost 40 books, half about Texas history subjects, and in 2007 he was named Best Living Non-Fiction Writer by True West Magazine.
On Saturday, August 11, 2012, I attended the "Texas History Education Summit" at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. Although I would not take the oath of office from Governor Perry until August 22, I was invited as presumptive state historian.
More than 50 individuals attended, There were representatives from a number of public schools, colleges, and universities. In addition, an impressive array of agencies and organizations were represented:
Battle of Medina Society Tejano Genealogical Society
East Texas State Historical Association Bob Bullock Museum
Former Texas Ranger Foundation Texas Navy Association
Humanities Texas San Jacinto Battlefield Conservancy
San Jacinto Descendants Sons of the Republic of Texas
Sons of the American Revolution State Bar of Texas, Law-Related Education
Texas Archaeological Society Texas Council for Economic Education
Texas Council for History Education Texas Council for the Social Studies
Texas General Land Office Texas Historical Foundation
Texas State Historical Association Texas State Preservation Board
Williamson County Museum Witte Museum
Texas Social Studies Supervisors Association
I did not know that some of these organizations existed, and I met many people I need to know. Each of us was allowed a brief statement, and listening to the variety of interests - many expressed with deep passion - was a vivid reminder of the enormous diversity of subject areas of Texas history. Informative handouts were presented to each of us.
Following the opening statements, a panel of accomplished and award-winning teachers described the problems they face - and the successes they enjoy - in teaching fourth- and seventh-graders. There was a working lunch, sponsored by the TSHA and the Texas Council for History Education. Later we divided into two groups to discuss ways of improving existing efforts or establishing new efforts.
It was an enormously informative day for me. Steve Cure, Director of Educational Services for the TSHA, chaired the event and was greatly pleased that a major step had been taken in coordinating efforts to benefit the teaching of Texas history, and future summits will be planned.
|Arizona State Historian, Marshall Trimble, snd Bill|
|Bill with a company of modern AZ Rangers|
|Karon and Bill|