God Bless Texas: Bullock and the Rise of Modern Texas Politics

This blog was written by Hannah Engstrom, museum studies graduate student.

During his announcement that he would not be campaigning for a third term as Lieutenant Governor, Bullock declared that only death could end his “love affair with Texas.”
In celebration of Bob Bullock, an exhibit is currently on display at the W. R. Poage Legislative Library that honors his long and transformational political career. Utilizing photographs, 3-D objects and archival material, this exhibit highlights Bullock’s many years as Comptroller of Public Accounts and Lieutenant Governor, as well as the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum and the State Capitol.

Robert “Bob” Douglas Bullock, Sr. was born in the small Texas community of Hillsboro on July 10, 1929.

This paperweight bears Bullock’s motto, “God Bless Texas,” a motto that describes perfectly the way he felt about the state he served.
His political career began in 1956 when he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. He resigned from the legislature in 1959 and did not return to public service until 1967 as an aide to Governor Preston Smith, who eventually appointed Bullock Secretary of State from 1971-1972.

This brick with original nails was taken from the State Capitol building during one of its renovations in the 1970’s. It will be on display along with several other pieces from the building taken during the same time.

Bullock’s most significant political achievements began when he became Comptroller of Public Accounts in 1975, a position he held for four terms. After serving as Comptroller for 16 years, Bullock was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1990, and again in 1994. Bullock is considered by many to be the last giant of Texas politics. His years in the public service sector were not without controversy; but they also serve as a powerful testament to his dedicated passion for making Texas a better place for all its citizens.

The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin
One of Bullock’s greatest contributions to the state he loved was his desire for Texas to have a museum where its history “can be properly displayed.” On San Jacinto Day – April 21, 2001 – a flag flew over the State Capitol to honor the opening of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Thanks to Bullock’s efforts “the Story of Texas” is now being told.

Please visit us from July 10th through August 18th to view an exhibit on Bullock’s story.

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