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Coppell seventh-grader’s essay to be published in Texas Historian

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Save Texas History Texas Travels wining essay earns spot in prestigious annual publication

Contact: Jim Suydam
PRESS RELEASE — Aug 12, 2010

AUSTIN — Coppell Middle School student Ashley Dark already won a weekend get away for her family - including airline tickets and hotel accommodations - with her winning entry into the 2010 Save Texas History Texas Travels Essay Contest, sponsored by the Texas General Land Office. 

Now, her essay about the 1947 Texas City disaster has been selected for inclusion in the Texas Historian, the journal of the Junior Historians of Texas. 

"Ashley should be very proud," said Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. "Her hard work, love of Texas history and attention to detail have really paid off." 

Dark's winning essay has already earned her round-trip Southwest Airlines tickets for four to San Antonio from any destination in Texas and hotel accommodations for two nights and tickets for additional attractions provided by the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau.  

"Miss Dark's paper tells the story of the Texas City disaster in a dramatic fashion that transports the reader back to that terrible day," said  Kent Calder, Executive Director of Texas State Historical Association. "It is a timely topic and the Texas State Historical Association is proud to publish her work in Texas Historian, one of the country's few journals devoted to the publication of student historical writing." 

The Texas Travels Essay Contest is sponsored by the General Land Office Save Texas History program and Southwest Airlines. The contest fulfills the educational mission of the Save Texas History program to promote the study of Texas history and to serve as a teaching resource.  

Seventh-graders were asked to write the story of their favorite Texas city, big or small.

Students wrote about the historical significance of the place they chose and gave reasons why it was important to the development of Texas.  

The Texas General Land Office Save Texas HistoryTM program is a statewide initiative to rally public support and private funding for the preservation and promotion of more than 35 million historic maps and documents. With the twin goals of preservation and education, the Save Texas History program seeks to conserve these documents for future generations, and educate Texans about the rich heritage found in these vital records. For more details, visit 

Ashley's essay will be available for purchase in November, when the Texas Historian is published.  

To order a copy or subscribe, contact the Texas State Historical Association online at

 Individual subscriptions to Texas Historian cost $7.00 for students and $9.00 for nonstudents; club subscriptions (for five or more members of a Junior Historian chapter) cost $7.00.

The Texas Historian is a once-yearly publication. Orders received from June 1 - October will be held until the new issue is published, typically in late October. Orders received from October - May 31 will be mailed the most current issue.


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Jim Suydam
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Austin, TX 78711
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