Staff Spotlight: Jonathan Tomes

Today, we’re getting to know the newest addition to the Poage Library staff, Jonathan Tomes. Jonathan comes to Poage from the Baylor Libraries Research and Engagement team, and he is now the new Graduate Research Center Operations Manager. Jonathan was kind enough to answer some questions so we could get to know him a little bit better.

Where are you from and how did you end up at Baylor?

My wife and I found our way to Waco and Baylor after working for two years as house parents at a children’s home in Glen Rose. Shawna is the studio art teacher at Harmony Science Academy, and I began at the Baylor Library shortly after we arrived in Waco. We both grew up in West Texas.

Tell me about your educational journey. What did/do you study and how does that connect to your work with Baylor libraries?

I studied psychology (B.A.) at Angelo State University, and, then, theology (M.Div) at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. This past week I began a master’s in Library Science at the University of North Texas. Libraries are interdisciplinary by nature. Multiple areas of knowledge and experience feed into the work of the Library. For the past three years, I have worked reference and circulation as part of the Baylor Libraries Research and Engagement team. This has put me in close and regular contact with the academic needs of Baylor’s graduate students.

Outside of work/school, what do you enjoy doing? What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about theology, history, woodworking, and our growing family. Right now, we are building a dining room table, and then (next month) a crib.

What’s your favorite movie and what do you think your choice says about you?

Recently, I’ve greatly enjoyed the films of Whit Stillman. I like a movie that requires significant thought afterward in order to get at the purpose.

What will your responsibilities be with the GRC?

As the GRC operations manager, I will provide leadership and operational supervision for the GRC, to include the creation and execution of superior programming in consultation with the Director of the Poage Library.

What do you look most forward to when working with the GRC?

I’m excited to work closely with Baylor’s graduate students, staff, and faculty, for academic excellence and the advancement of Baylor’s mission through the unique vision of the Graduate Research Center.

“Three Musketeers” Assist Fellow Grad Students

The Poage Library’s Graduate Research Center welcomes three of its summer graduate workers. These ‘three musketeers’ (we won’t say who has which personality) will be lending their assistance to any graduate students making good use of Baylor’s GRC during evening hours and aiding in other parts of the mission at #PoageLibrary and #BCPM.

Malcolm Foley at a recent Baylor Presidential Scholar’s Luncheon
Malcolm Foley is entering into the third year of his PhD in the History of Christianity. His academic journey has progressed through many interests from the Christology of the Greek Church Fathers through the views of Calvin and the Puritans on the wonders of union with Christ. Ultimately that winding path has crested at a summit (or in many senses, the nadir) of the Church’s response to the widespread lynching of African Americans in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. When not absorbed in scholarly pursuit or presenting at academic conferences, Malcolm loves to play Guitar Hero and watch Bob’s Burgers. One fun fact about Malcolm is his mastery of impersonation. At parties, he likes to do the voices of Mufasa from the Lion King and of the Old Spice Man. It’s not a game. You can book him at www.voices.com/people/MalcolmFoley/.

Nathan Keil poses at his home’s Dodger stadium
Nathan Keil is entering his third year working on his Masters of Divinity at George W. Truett Theological Seminary. While he originally hails from Northwood, Ohio, Nathan has adopted the greater Los Angeles area as his home. Over the past year, he has applied his expertise in athletics (his degree concentration is in Sports Ministry) as sports writer for the Baylor Lariat. He looks forward to continuing his contribution to Baylor’s community as the Lariat’s new Sports Editor. He and his wife Amber, who is entering her second year of the Masters of Social Work program at the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, have a three-year-old adopted shepherd/retriever mix named Stuart. However, as a fun fact, while Nathan has no problem with canine companions, some members of the avian community seems to have it out for him. Sure his experiences have not exactly been Hitchcock’s The Birds, but an ostrich did attack him at a petting zoo, and several experiences in LA have shown that the peacocks are definitely out to get him.

Jeremy Schmuck striking the customary academic pose in front of his bookshelves.
Jeremy Schmuck is also entering his third year as a PhD student in Political Science, concentrating in International Relations. He comes from the city of Pensacola located in the northern panhandle of Florida. One of his current research interests is the role of naval power in American foreign policy and diplomacy. Like many academics, Jeremy is an ardent bibliophile who since his youth has always spent time on any vacation perusing the local bookshops. When not engaged in his day job of graduate student, Jeremy usually can be found ensconced in his favorite reading chair engrossed in a book or indulging his alter ego of armchair military historian and board/computer game strategist.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month: W.R. Poage and the Work of Agriculture

You might not have heard, but June is National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month. Throughout the month, the United States Department of Agriculture encourages consumers to eat more fresh fruits and veggies and teaches people around the nation about the benefits that come from eating healthy. It’s also a great time to think about the people who grow, pick, and distribute the fruits and vegetables we eat every day.

Even though June gives us a special opportunity to focus on fresh fruits and veggies, we at the Poage Library have fruits and veggies on our minds quite a bit. That’s because the Baylor Collection of Political Materials houses the papers (and much more) of W. R. Poage, a longtime Texas congressman, advocate for farmers in Texas and all over the U.S., and the namesake for our library. Called “Mr. Agriculture” by many, Poage focused his energy on agriculture throughout his long political career. He served on the House Committee on Agriculture and was elected chairman of the Committee in 1967, serving in this role until 1975.

Congressman W.R. Poage (far right) observing a fruit tree in Ethiopa.

Congressman Poage frequently made trips, both foreign and domestic, with the Department of Agriculture and worked as an advocate for those producing and distributing fruits and vegetables. The Bob Poage collection in our archives reveals his concern for and knowledge of all aspects of agriculture. These materials also help to show the important connection between the work of growers and distributors of fruits and vegetables and the laws passed by the federal government. By exploring the letters and memos in the Poage collection, you can see how attuned Poage and his staff were to the important role the government plays in supporting those who provide the country access to healthy food.

As the Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, Poage fielded questions and concerns from individuals and groups from all over the U.S. Moreover, the papers in the Poage collection show that a number of his colleagues directed questions to Poage for his insight into issues surrounding fruits and vegetables.

Two of the many letters Congressman Poage received in regards to fruits and vegetables.

The variety of letters Poage received about fruits and vegetables is striking. For instance, one letter from a woman in New York asks Poage to consider the price of fresh vegetables in her area. Another series of letters, correspondence between Poage’s office and the Standard Fruit and Steamship Company, discusses the proper names for bananas on government documents. In each case, Poage and those who worked for him attend to the particular needs of the person writing his office. These materials also reveal that Poage thoughtfully considered the full agricultural process. He not only worked with growers and distributors. Poage also communicated with individual consumers who were concerned about their fruits and vegetables.

The Bob Poage papers in the Baylor Collection of Political Materials provide insight into the work that goes into the consumption of fruits and vegetables, a helpful reminder when celebrating National Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Month. As the gap between production and consumption of food becomes wider, this peek into history through Poage’s papers shows that it takes the time and effort of real people to put fresh fruits and vegetables on our plates.

Congressional Centers: Connecting and Communicating

This blog was written by Debbie Davendonis-Todd, director of the Poage Library and the Bob Bullock Archivist.

Debbie Davendonis-Todd at the Library of Congress, May 2017

The Association of Centers for the Study of Congress (ACSC) was founded in 2003 as an independent alliance of organizations and institutions that promote the study of the U.S. Congress. The W. R. Poage Legislative Library is a founding member of ACSC. ACSC draws on the talents and resources of its members to promote a wide range of programs and research opportunities related to Congress. Like many of the member institutions, the Poage Library houses archival collections of former members of Congress and other related research collections.

Every spring, ACSC members gather in various locations for an annual meeting. This year, the ACSC returned to Washington, DC, and the magnificent Library of Congress (LOC). As our nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, the LOC is home to numerous congressional collections, is the primary research arm of the U.S. Congress, and the sponsor and host of many innovative programs and outreach initiatives, making the it an ideal location to meet.

I had the honor and pleasure of serving as the Program Chair for the annual meeting, so my trip to DC was the culmination of a year’s work. With the support of terrific colleagues from the Senate Historical Office and the National Archives Center for Legislative Archives, we developed a program, “Congressional Centers: Connecting and Communicating.” We focused on incorporating Library of Congress resources into our sessions and worked on strategies for reaching new audiences and strengthening existing connections.

Archivist Deborah Skaggs introduces Majority Leader of the House Mitch McConnell.
Highlights from this year’s meeting included a session featuring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his archivist, Deborah Skaggs of the McConnell Chao Archives at the University of Louisville and former Representative Barney Frank. Senator McConnell’s presence at the meeting marked the first time a sitting senator (and one with a leadership position, no less) met with our group. We also tried a couple new session formats to engage our members and shake up some of our old meeting standbys. The first was an edit to our typical keynote speaker address. This year we designed a fireside-style chat session. We were honored to have the Library of Congress’ Dr. Colleen Shogan, Deputy Director of National and International Outreach for a lively conversation. Dr. Shogan focused on the LOC’s core strategies for best practices related to the development, execution, and evaluation of outreach initiatives. Another fun element we added to the program was a speed-geeking session. Speed Geeking is a participation process used to quickly view a number of presentations within a fixed period of time. This session helped transform our member update session into a more engaged and participatory event. The meeting was a success and DC is always fun to visit, but it sure is nice to be back home at Poage!

Next year, ACSC heads to the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

Honoring the Honorable: Sam B. Hall, Jr.

Written by Sylvia Hernandez, MLIS

Today we celebrate the nomination of Sam B. Hall Jr. as United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas. On April 17, 1985, President Ronald Reagan selected Sam Hall to fill the vacancy that would return him home to his beloved Marshall, Texas. This honor, among others, studded his career as lawyer, Congressman, and Judge.

Sam B. Hall, Jr. Army Air Corps Portrait, circa 1943

Sam B. Hall Jr. led a life of service dedicated to his community and country. After completion of his studies at the College of Marshall (now East Texas Baptist University), Hall joined the Army Air Corps during World War II, serving from 1943-1945. He studied at Baylor University and obtained a Law Degree in 1948. After passing the bar, he began practicing law in his hometown of Marshall, Texas. Sam Hall spent the next 28 years building upon his local upbringing and endearing himself to the area.

In 1976, a special election for the 1st Congressional District of Texas was held after the passing of Wright Patman. Hall ran a successful campaign and was voted to further serve his country and community as United States Congressman. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, Veteran’s Affairs Committee, and several Select and Subcommittees, Hall made quite the impact throughout his tenure. This was recognized by Texas Business magazine in 1980 as he was voted “Best Conservative” for his efforts in regards to the business community.

Sam Hall (left) receives the Special President’s Award from Aubrey Bullard (right) of the National Association of State Directors of Veteran’s Affairs, 1985

As a proud Baylor University Alum, it was only fitting that Congressman Hall was selected as one of the Baylor Distinguished Alumni in 1984. Hall held his time at Baylor in high regard as he stated in his interview with the Baylor Line Magazine, “…[M]y education at Baylor sounded moral principles in harmony with my own. In the atmosphere Baylor creates, I was able to confirm the perception that religious values are not something you keep in a compartment of your life for Sunday mornings. Those values guide all your actions and words.”

Official portrait, 1991

His values consistently guided his actions. The National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs awarded his work with Veterans with the organization’s “Special President’s Award” and his constituency awarded him in five elections as Representative of the 1st Congressional District.

Hall’s consistent contact with his district, and continued interest in law, made him an ideal candidate for United States Judge for the Eastern District of Texas. He was nominated on April 17, 1985 by President Ronald Reagan and officially installed as a Federal Judge on May 10, 1985. His dedication to his community was evident in the speech he gave that day as he noted, “looking out over this audience … I see people I’ve known all my life … And there are no strangers here at all to me.” Over 250 members of his community attended a reception in his honor at the Marshall Civic Center following the installation ceremony.

Baylor once again honored Sam Hall in 1991; this time the Law School selected him as “Lawyer of the Year.” That same year he also witnessed the unveiling of his official portrait to hang in the courthouse in which he served. Sam Hall’s faith in God carried him throughout his life and career. In the moment, he was sure to give praise as he read the following passage:

I give you thanks, oh, God, for those who mean so much to me, those to whom I can go at any time, those with whom I can talk and keep nothing back, knowing that they will not laugh at my dreams or my failures, those in whose presence it is easier to be good, those who by their warnings have held me back from mistakes I might have made. Above all, I thank you for Jesus Christ, Lord of my heart, and savior of my soul.

Unveiling of the plaque naming the “Sam B. Hall, Jr. Federal Building and United States Court House. May25, 1995

Sam B. Hall, Jr. spent many years in the Marshall, Texas Court House. It was his home as he practiced law, housed his Congressional District home office, and provided a bench as he presided over court as Federal Judge. On May 25, 1995, the building was officially named the “Sam B. Hall, Jr. Federal Building and United States Court House.” A befitting honor to the man who served his community, constituents, and country until his passing on April 10, 1994.

CONGRESSWEEK APRIL 1-7, 2017

This blog was excerpted from the Congress Week website introduction written by Dr. Jay Wyatt, president of the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress (ACSC) and Director of Programs and Research, Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History & Education, Shepherd University.

Congress Week is the creation of the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress, an organization of more than 40 institutions which has a goal of promoting a better public understanding of Congress as the branch of government closest to the people. We want to encourage a focus of Congress each year during the month of April, the month in 1789 when Congress first got down to the business of governing the United States under its new Constitution.

While Congress is a co-equal branch of government, the action today seems to be embodied in the president, not Congress. We have President’s Day every year, we conduct grand inaugural events when presidents are sworn in, and the news tends to focus on the president as the one individual who should govern the nation. Yet when each new Congress convenes every two years, the public pays hardly a nod to the event. So Congress Week is a devise, a non-partisan reminder, that Congress bears co-equal responsibility for governing the nation. Its rich and colorful history needs more of the nation’s attention.

In coming years we hope Congress Week will spark a closer examination of the First Branch of government, encourage schools to develop programs to highlight the work of Congress, and stimulate more scholarly research into Congress by a wide range of disciplines.

Congressman Chet Edwards with a group of Johnson County 4-H students

Congress has governed the nation for 226 years, and we hope it will survive and thrive for centuries to come. It can only do so if the nation continues to understand and appreciate the Constitution of the United States and the meaning of representative democracy. James Madison and other founders believed strongly that an informed citizenry was the best hope for good government. We hope Congress Week will contribute to an informed citizenry.

To read more about Congress Week and see the way others around the country are celebrating it, go to www.congressweek.org.

Poage Library and the Lesson of Scope

This blog was written by Travis Snyder, PhD candidate and a Poage Library Teaching Fellow from Summer 2016. To apply for the 2017 program, go HERE.

The first day, I didn’t know anything. After being named a Poage Library Teaching Fellow, I showed up to the library at the end of June, ready to start my work—whatever it was to be. It didn’t help that I am no scholar of politics; I was an English major and am an English graduate student, here as a Teaching Fellow because I teach composition. The first day there I was oriented, given a desk and then left to my devices. A brief overview of all the material available to me did not help me narrow my ideas. My desk itself was situated so I could see the materials stretching all the way to other side of the room. Where to even start?

Some context: I have been teaching English 1302 and 1304 at Baylor for three years. ENG 1302 is a neatly packaged class; I can look at every individual day and tell you how it corresponds with course goals. ENG 1304 is a bit more shaggy, with room to improvise and make connections at will. ENG 1304 deals with research writing, and my students set their own topics. Given this, there are many more variables in how I plan the curriculum throughout the semester.

One of the difficulties of ENG 1304 is helping first-time researchers pick topics. They tend to be intimidated by the idea of a ten-page paper and try to pick topics that they think will help them write that much. This sends them to familiar topics: they want to write about gun control or abortion or paying student athletes—all worthy intellectual pursuits, but they are in fact much too large to attempt in ten pages. That’s what they don’t know, and that’s what the archive can demonstrate to them.

Trying to confront a large topic is like staring down a hall of boxes, like I was on my first day in Poage. If you want to write a paper about a topic like gun control, you have to imagine the largest room imaginable and then imagine it filled with boxes full of fascinating material on the subject. Confronted with this fact, you realize you have to narrow down and pick a more specific starting place. Good research is focused.

The challenge for students is that they don’t get this physical experience of being overwhelmed. There is no actual big room of boxes for them. Their experience is opposite. They plug their topic into a search engine and are met with relief when “gun control” turns up millions of hits—surely they will be able to get ten pages out of this. What I realized, overwhelmed on that first day, was that the archive can help me turn it around for them. That is when I got to work.

What I did was this: I split my students into pairs and gave them one small research question to answer. Each research question had a few boxes of material from the Poage Library that went along with it. They had only an hour to sort through gobs of material to gather information that would help them answer the question. It is quite literally an impossible task. The students realized quickly that they wouldn’t be able to cover everything, so they zeroed on a few specific materials and sought to understand them more fully. They turned in reports about what they were able to find in their time in the archive.

As I see it, my students were taught the following lessons: a lot can be said about a very specific thing; research can be overwhelming, and that this is a good thing; topics that sound uninteresting can still turn up interesting material; physical material has some advantages over digital materials; and—finally—they got to see first hand what it is to be researchers.

A HOUSING CRISIS, BROWN BAG MAIL, AND TWO TEXAS CONGRESSMEN

This blog post was written by Jake Hiserman, graduate assistant working on Congressman Alan Steelman’s papers.

Mark Twain, the illustrious American journalist and satirist, once quipped: “It is not worthwhile to try to keep history from repeating itself, for man’s character will always make the preventing of the repetitions impossible.”[1] A constant theme in American political life is the push-and-pull of different interests. After all, tension between state interests or the federal concerns continually define the governing process. This remains particularly evident in the 2008 housing crisis, which parallels a 1974 crisis.  Congressional papers provide dual insight——from the governed and the government—into the complex housing crises of 1974 and 2008.

One part of the housing crises for Congressman Alan Steelman in 1974 and for Congressman Chet Edwards in 2008 was the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA). What was RESPA? It was a law that enforced “more effective advance disclosure to home buyers and sellers of settlement costs” and “elimination of kickbacks or referral fees that tend to increase unnecessarily the costs of certain settlement services,” among other reforms.[2]  Basically, this rule made hidden fees transparent and cut back excessive signing fees for home buyers.

The larger volume of constituent and government correspondence on RESPA in Steelman’s collection suggests its great salience in his district in 1974. There were 24 pieces of mail from constituents (including three from realtors) to Steelman.  One realtor wrote him on a brown paper bag—and mailed it! The realtor lamented the financial and economic burden inherent in compliance with RESPA.  The large volume of mail for Steelman seems to indicate RESPA’s wide bearing upon Steelman’s district.  Nevertheless, this narrative does not hold up.

Steelman wrote in his reply to constituents: “I realize that settlement costs and attorney fees are minimal in Texas, and therefore, federal guidelines are not needed. Yet, in other parts of the country, state and local mechanisms have either failed to maintain reasonable fees or do not exist.” In this case, Steelman guarded struggling homebuyers in other states even though his constituency was not affected.

Chet Edwards’ communication on RESPA was in the form of one letter from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which implemented and governed RESPA.  He originally wrote the HUD on August 7, 2008, inquiring about “the Department’s efforts to simply and improve disclosures under. . .RESPA.” The response of the Assistant Secretary indicates what the HUD sees as the heart of the issue ——”consumers not fully understanding their loan terms and costs.”  Here, Edwards advocates for greater transparency about fees for all American homebuyers and HUD agrees.

Consequently, Steelman and Edwards both demonstrate concern for their Texas constituents but also attend to their broader constituency, the American people as a whole.  The housing crises illustrate the intricacy of representation and federalism: a tension between the nation and the state or locale. Steelman and Edwards both demonstrate their balanced representation of the national interest, a vital part of the local and national dialectic demanded of a Congressional representative. Their words and actions remain a model for Congressmen today facing similar constituent concerns.

[1] http://marktwainhouse.blogspot.com/2009_02_01_archive.html

[2] https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/12/2601

 

In Memoriam: Robert Platt

This blog was written and photographed by Alyssa Chariva, the Poage Library Graduate student in Museum Studies.

Bob Platt passed away February 23. We at the Poage Library express our deepest condolences to his wife Ruth and his family. This blog is dedicated to him with gratitude for his love of political memorabilia and the history it tells.

As an archive, the Baylor Collections of Political Materials (BCPM) at the W. R. Poage Legislative Library is a wonderful repository of bills, correspondence, speeches and other objects of political significance from local, state, and congressional politicians.  But the Collection also holds some rather unique political materials, like Dr. Robert “Bob” Platt’s collection of campaign memorabilia. Bob Platt’s collection consists of some remarkable and rare items from Russian nesting dolls to FDR campaign buttons to a beetle-shaped pin supporting William McKinley for president. Platt’s collection is truly amazing and tells a really unique story about an avid collector.

William McKinley Beetle Pin

Platt’s story and collection starts in 1936 when he was a young boy. His grandfather gave him an “Alf Landon for President” button, who ran against Franklin Delano Roosevelt that year. The button sparked the collector’s spirit in Platt and soon he began collecting campaign buttons and other political memorabilia. His collection would eventually grow to include items like canes, plates, ribbons, and mugs from every general election since 1928, as well as campaign buttons from every major party presidential candidate since 1896; enough memorabilia to fill his 3 bedroom guest house. In 1990, Platt opened his book and campaign button store Books, Etc. at the Fort Worth Stockyards. Platt started donating some of his materials to the Library in 2004, and additional materials in 2010 after he closed his bookstore. Poage Library purchased his prized Presidential Memorabilia Collection with a generous gift from the John and JD Dowdy Family Foundation.

Alf Landon Campaign Materials

Although Platt’s collection contains a plethora of materials from different candidates and presidents, Platt always had a special focus on collecting FDR related materials.  Platt said he chose to focus on Roosevelt for a variety of reasons:

“He [Roosevelt] was president when I started to school in the first grade and he was president my senior year in high school. He was a very charismatic person. I used to listen to him when he gave his fireside chats over the radio.”

Platt’s fondness of FDR led to some really interesting pieces, like these FDR clocks. The first clock shows FDR behind a ship’s wheel, which in Platt’s own words, “suggests a firm and experienced hand at the helm guiding the ship of state.” The second clock has a bust of FDR in the center with Miss Frances Perkins, the secretary of Labor, on the lower right and General Hugh Samuel Johnson, head of the National Recovery Administration, on the lower left.

Helping FDR guide the ship of state are Presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, on the left and right respectively.

 

FDR with Miss Frances Perkins and General Hugh Samuel Johnson

In addition to collecting FDR materials, Platt also collected the political materials of his opponents. Platt has campaign buttons and stamps from every campaign that ran against FDR, including Alf Landon in 1936, Wendell Willkie in 1940, and John Dewey in 1944.

Willkie’s buttons in particular show how some people did not find FDR or his fireside chats so charismatic.

For more information about this truly unique collection, please stop by our Reading Room or peruse these treasured resources from the comfort of your own home at http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/po-bobplatt .

Rest in Peace, Mr. Platt.

 

Bob Bullock and Black History

The United States government officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, but did you know the celebration actually has its roots much earlier? In 1926 historian Carter G. Woodson, co-founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), declared the second week of February to be “Negro History Week.” Woodson explained his reasoning behind the creation of the week of reflection in Volume 11, No. 2 of The Journal of Negro History:

The fact is, however, that one race has not accomplished any more good than any other race, for God could not be just and at the same time make one race the inferior of the other. But if you leave it to the one to set forth his own virtues while disparaging those of others, it will not require many generations before all credit for human achievement will be ascribed to one particular stock. Such is the history taught [to] the youth today.

The week was a great success, sparking waves of interest in African American history and contributions to the American Dream. In 1969, the Black United Students organization at Kent State University proposed extending the celebration from one week to one month, adopting this in 1970.[1] At the 1976 United States Bicentennial, President Gerald Ford officially recognized the expansion of Black History Month to the entire month of February and claimed, “In celebrating Black History Month, we can take satisfaction from this recent progress in the realization of the ideals envisioned by our Founding Fathers.”[2]

In our neck of the woods, we turn to the Bullock Collection for ways legislators have championed the rights of African Americans. Bob Bullock, former Comptroller of Public Accounts and Lt. Governor, was an ally for the inclusivity and hiring of African Americans. Throughout his tenure as a public servant he supported redistricting to assist minorities, voluntarily implemented fair hiring practices, promoted equality in public school funding, and supported free public education for the children of undocumented workers. Bullock became well known for his support of minorities, and the Bullock Texas State History Museum continues his legacy by educating visitors on the role of African Americans in American history through their permanent and temporary exhibits. Their most recent travelling exhibit, “Purchased Lives,” discusses the impact of the American slave trade from 1808 to 1865 through oral histories and original artifacts.[3]

Advertisement from Bob Bullock’s 1990 campaign to be Lt. Governor of TX.

As a legislative library, we are interested in the ways citizens interact with government.  For a more in-depth examination on African Americans in the legislative process we recommend, the United States House of Representatives Office of History, Art, and Archives, “Black Americans in Congress,”  online exhibition.  http://history.house.gov/Exhibitions-and-Publications/BAIC/Black-Americans-in-Congress/

Award given to Bob Bullock from the NAACP for his role in supporting Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) practices.
Black History Month award given to Bob Bullock from African American employees of Texas.

[1] Scott, Daryl M. “Origins of Black History Month.” Founders of Black History Month. Association for the Study of African American Life and History, 09 Aug. 2016. Web. 20 Feb. 2017. <https://asalh100.org/origins-of-black-history-month/>.

[1] Ford, Gerald R. “President Gerald R. Ford’s Message on the Observance of Black History Month.” Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, 1 Feb. 2002. Web. 20 Feb. 2017. <https://fordlibrarymuseum.gov/library/speeches/760074.htm>.

[1] “Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865.” The Bullock Texas State History Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2017. <http://www.thestoryoftexas.com/press/media-kits/purchased-lives>.