Texas Matters: Eavesdropping On Texas History

Feb 3, 2017

Texas history is rich with drama, action and bigger than life characters. And there are many significant events that could have gone either way – and greatly changed the Texas  that we know today.

Wouldn’t it be fascinating to let your imagination explore those pivotal moments? To wonder what really happened, what was said, who shot first, and how did justice prevail, or not?

That's the premise of the book “Eavesdropping on Texas History,” a collection of essays about these select watershed events in the state’s history.

It’s edited by Mary J. Scheer – chair of the history department at Lamar University in Beaumont, and published by the University of North Texas Press.

Mary L. Scheer has assembled fifteen contributors to explore special moments in Texas history. The contributors assembled for this anthology represent many of the “all stars” among Texas historians: two State Historians of Texas, two past presidents of TSHA, four current or past presidents of ETHA, two past presidents of WTHA, nine fellows of historical associations, two Fulbright Scholars, and seven award-winning authors. Each is an expert in his or her field and provided in some fashion an answer to the question: At what moment in Texas history would you have liked to have been a “fly on the wall” and why? The choice of a moment and the answers were both personal and individual, ranging from familiar topics to less well-known subjects.

One wanted to be at the Alamo. Another chose to explore when Sam Houston refused to take a loyalty oath to the Confederacy. One chapter follows the first twenty-four hours of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s presidency after Kennedy’s assassination. Others write about the Dust Bowl coming to Texas, or when Texas Southern University was created.