State Historian of Texas, Bill O’Neal, is an author, historian, and Texas scholar. In 1970, he became a full-time faculty member at Panola College, a position that he held for thirty-three years. O’Neal has written 42 books on a variety of historical topics, as well as 300 articles and book reviews. True West Magazine named Bill the “Best Living Non-Fiction Writer” in 2007, and in 2012 the Wild West History Association presented him its Lifetime Achievement Award. In August 2012 he was sworn in as State Historian of Texas by Governor Rick Perry. He presents his talk on the history of Gunfighters in Texas. Bill O’Neal provides a fascinating summary of the data and offers new insights into the nature of the western gunmen and of the feuds and fights that bloodied the West. For example, he relates how a large number of the gunfighters used guns as tools of their trades, legitimate and otherwise—lawmen and detectives, buffalo hunters, army scouts, thieves, hired killers, and the like. Of the gunfighters included here 108 served as law officers at some time in their careers. The average lifespan, including those who died of natural causes, was forty-seven years, and more than 50 percent of the gunmen died from gunshot wounds.
Texas Christian University Historian Dr. Gregg Cantrell gives a talk on Stephen F. Austin, the man known by some as the "Father of Texas." In this talk, Dr. Cantrell lays out Austin's accomplishments in life and how historians remember him today.
At the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, on March 22, 2016, Dr. Jean Stuntz spoke to a live audience on the experiences of pioneer women in Texas, from the Spanish era to the early 20th century in Texas. The footage was rebroadcasted on March 31 for an online audience. Stuntz themes her talk around the major 6 flags of Texas and focuses on the particular experiences of women in the Panhandle. Using newspapers and memories for her research, Stuntz describes a number of unique experiences that women faced in the tough, isolating frontier space.
Debra Winegarten. sociologist, lecturer and author of the biography "Oveta Culp Hobby - Colonel, Cabinet Member, Philanthropist," sits down to discuss Oveta's unique story and impact on Texas and the U.S. during WWII. Oveta Culp Hobby (1905–1995) had a lifetime of stellar achievement. During World War II, she was asked to build a women’s army from scratch—and did. Hobby became Director of the Women’s Army Corps and the first Army woman to earn the rank of colonel. President Eisenhower chose her as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, making her the second woman in history to be appointed to a president’s cabinet. When she wasn’t serving in the government, Hobby worked with her husband, former Texas governor William P. Hobby, to lead a media empire that included the Houston Post newspaper and radio and TV stations. She also supported the Houston community in many ways, from advocating for civil rights for African Americans to donating generously to the Houston Symphony and the Museum of Fine Arts.
Gregg Dimmick, MD, avocational archaeologist and expert on the Mexican Army in Texas, discusses the story of the 'Come and Take It' cannon from the Mexican viewpoint. Discover which cannon at Gonzales was of interest to the Mexican Army. Through examination of the Bexar County Archives, Dimmick presents his argument in this very interesting webinar.
Dr. Crimm's full Texas Talks on two Tejano women: Patricia de Leon and Petra Vela Kenedy, recorded in December 2015, contrasts these women's experiences in 19th century Texas. Patricia de la Garza de Leon was born in 1775 from a prominent Mexican family. She inherited a fortune from her father, which she used, along with her empresario husband, Martin de Leon’s money earned from the sale of livestock to establish the de Leon Colony in Texas. Patricia was an influential figure in the founding of the city of Victoria. She gave birth to 10 children. In 1824, Patricia, Martin and their children moved to the land granted to them by the newly independent Mexican government. There, on the bank of the Guadalupe River in southwest Texas, they established the city Guadalupe Victoria in honor of Mexico’s first president. She also helped found a church, Nuestra Senora de Guadalpue, and was also actively engaged in helping the family’s wealth increase. In 1833, she became a widow, but managed the family’s property quite successfully. After the Texas Revolution, the family became victims of anti-Mexican sentiments and had to move to Louisiana. She returned to Texas in 1844 to sell some of her 25,000 acres of land, to re-claim her scattered belongings, and resume her work with the Church. Petra Vela Vidal Kenedy was the matriarch of one of the most important families in Texas history. She was born in 1825 in Mier, Mexico to an upper class family. In December 1840, at age sixteen, she met a colonel in the Mexican army, Luis Vidal, with whom she had eight children before he died in 1849. Petra later met and married Mifflin Kenedy in 1852 in Mier, Mexico and, shortly thereafter, moved to Brownsville where she dedicated her life to childbearing, child rearing, and domestic endeavors. Petra was a devout Catholic and donated generous contributions to the Church in Brownsville. She died at age 62 in 1885 in Corpus Christi. Both women experienced different treatment under Mexican and Anglo rule and their legacies and indomitable spirits endure.
On November 2, 2015, Dr. Caroline Castillo Crimm presented “Bernardo de Galvez and the Impact of the American Revolution on Texas.” Galvez is the namesake for Galveston Island and he was a governor, general and viceroy of Mexico. During his lifetime his family was one of the most distinguished in the royal service of Spain. Following family tradition, Bernardo chose a military career. Before Spain entered the American Revolutionary War, Gálvez did much to aid the American patriots. He corresponded directly with Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and Charles Henry Lee, personally received their emissaries, Oliver Pollock and Capt. George Gibson, and responded to their pleas by securing the port of New Orleans so that only American, Spanish, and French ships could move up and down the Mississippi River. Without Galvez the United States may not have won the American Revolution. Also, the first cattle drive took place in Texas due to Galvez’s orders to feed Spanish forces in Louisiana. More than 10,000 cattle were rounded up on ranches and missions in Bexar and La Bahia. Texas rancheros and vaqueros trailed herds to Nacogdoches, Natchitoches, and Opelousas for distribution to feed Gálvez's forces. Crimm's rebroadcast also includes the Q&A live program along with smaller topical segments.
Dr. McCaslin presents "Mending Fences: The Marqués de Rubí in 1767 and the Spanish in Texas." After King Carlos III of Spain appointed the Marqués de Rubí as the inspector of frontier presidios and commissioned him to remedy economic abuses and other urgent matters, Rubí began his inspection of the Spanish presidios in July 1767. He visited a number of missions and presidios in Texas before leaving in 1767. In all, Rubí's inspection of the northern frontier from the Gulf of California to Louisiana occupied him for twenty-three months, during which he traveled an estimated 7,600 miles. As a result of his inspection, Rubí recommended that Spain reorganize its frontier defenses along a cordon of fifteen presidios, each about 100 miles apart, which stretched from the Gulf of California to the mouth of the Guadalupe River in Texas. Above this "real" frontier, which closely approximated the present international boundary between the United States and Mexico, Rubí advised that only San Antonio and Santa Fe be maintained, and he urged the complete abandonment of East Texas. Finally, because of their perfidy and duplicity, Rubí recommended a war of extermination against the Lipan Apaches. His inspection and subsequent recommendations to the Spanish Crown had a tremendous impact on future of Texas and the Spanish rule in the New World in the 18th century and beyond. McCaslin presented a live presentation on October 14, 2015. The rebroadcast includes the Q&A live program along with smaller topical segments.
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