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2011-03-10 digital edition

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2011-03-10 / General Stories

Honor Texas’ Heroines During Women’s History Month

From an influential stateswoman to a fearless West Texas rancher, the women who helped shape the Lone Star State’s real stories are recognized during Women’s History Month. March has been designated to honor women like Houston’s Barbara Jordan, an African American politician and educator who altered the political landscape in Texas. Atlanta’s Bessie Coleman also challenged boundaries by becoming the world’s first licensed African American pilot. Both Jordan and Coleman are featured in the Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) newest booklet, African Americans in Texas: A Lasting Legacy.

Other innovative Texas women include Alpine’s Hallie Stillwell, whose contributions are noted in the THC’s Texas Mountain Trail Region travel guide. Stillwell rode with the cowboys and fought to preserve West Texas’ ranching life following her husband’s death. She lectured on life as a Texas woman rancher and wrote a column for the Alpine Avalanche. She was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1992.

The THC’s thematic guide Texas in World War II highlights Col. Oveta Culp Hobby. A Killeen native, Hobby became the first commanding officer of the Women’s Army Corps. In 1953, Hobby was appointed the first female secretary of the newly developed Department of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The THC’s travel guides are a component of the agency’s heritage tourism program, which includes the nationally recognized Texas Heritage Trails Program (THTP), along with several thematic guides. The award-winning THTP encourages people to venture out and rediscover Texas’ historic and cultural marvels.

To request a free travel guide call 866.276.6219 or visit www.thc.state.tx.us.

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