2011-07-14 / General Stories

Texas Historical Commission’s World War II Initiative Wins Prestigious National Award

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) recently announced that the Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) Texas in World War II Initiative will receive a Leadership in History Award for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. The Leadership in History Awards, now in its 66th year, is the nation’s most prestigious competition for recognition of work associated with the preservation of state and local history, with winners representing the best in the field.

The THC’s Texas in World War II initiative is a program that honors and preserves the memories of Texans who served in the armed forces during World War II and the contributions they made to the home front’s war effort. The comprehensive initiative includes historical markers; a commemorative brochure; oral history training workshops; two National Park Service grant projects associated with Japanese, German, and Italian internment in Texas during World War II; and a statewide military home front sites survey.

“All of us at the Texas Historical Commission are very pleased to receive this prestigious award for our Texas In World War II initiative,” said Commissioner Tom Alexander, who was instrumental in its development and progress. “This award serves to further underscore the major role the Lone Star State played in that epic conflict.”

The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. They not only honor significant achievement, but also bring public recognition of the opportunities for organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions to this important arena.

“We’re very proud of our team of experts who work diligently to record and share the real stories of the people and places that were part of this significant chapter of state, national, and world history,” said THC Executive Director Mark Wolfe. “The Texas in World War II initiative is an ambitious effort that has met with great success, and this is yet another example.”

Partners in the initiative include THC Military Sites Program Coordinator William McWhorter; THC Marker Program Coordinator Bob Brinkman; Dr. Stephen Sloan, Lois Myers, and Elinor Mazé of Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History; and Lara Newcomer of the Austin cultural resources firm Ecological Communications Corporation. The official awards will be presented at a special banquet in Richmond, Va. on September 16.

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