Under the terms of a major gift from Welcome W. Wilson, Sr., to the Center for Public History, the Houston History Project will be renamed the Welcome Wilson Houston History Collaborative. The Houston History magazine, the UH Oral History of Houston, the UH Houston History Archives, and UH Memories Documentary Films will become parts of the new Collaborative, which will remain under the direction of Joe Pratt.
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Days after the Confederates opened fire on Fort Sumter in April 1861, President Lincoln declared a blockade of ports in the seceded states. The blockade represented a key part of the North’s “Anaconda” strategy, designed to isolate the Confederacy from trade and foreign assistance, slowly squeezing the life out of the rebellion.
During the early twentieth century, Newport News Shipbuilding Company constructed the USS Texas (BB-35), which was commissioned on March 12, 1914. After surviving two world wars, this magnificent vessel became the last surviving dreadnaught battleship, representing an important piece of local and national history.
Two historically important seafaring monuments dating back to World War I (1914-1919) can be found in the Greater Houston area. The grander of the two is the Battleship Texas BB-35, saved from the scrap yard by donations from the people of Texas, and brought here for retirement. Few people realize, however, another World War I monument rests in Galveston Bay.
The Medal of Honor is the highest military award granted to members of the United States Armed Forces. Over 3,400 medals have been conferred upon deserving military personnel who “distinguish[ed] themselves through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.”
From the University of Houston’ s first U. S. Navy Reserve Vocational School to the thousands of service men and women who have attended UH under the G.I. Bill for the past seventy years, UH has a proud tradition of students, faculty, and staff who have served in the armed forces.
A cannon barrel aimed at the sky breaks the gently sloping plains, the steel frame of a behemoth of a tank standing guard as sentinel. Nearby, a platoon of men works frantically to restore another tank: the sound of mechanical clanging, of repair duties, of engines rumbling, and cannons firing rises through the air. Some men are wounded; a mechanic working on the tank had his finger badly mauled by metal as he worked.
In November, 2008, just two months after Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston, historian William H. Kellar drove to the island to interview Larry Gregory, president of the Lone Star Flight Museum and the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, for a “Conversations with…” feature that appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of Houston History magazine. The museum, which first opened in 1990, and its priceless collection of mainly World War II aircraft, suffered terrible damage from the effects of the hurricane.