Texas Land Commissioner encourages students to write about their communities' unique history

Contact: Karina Erickson Press Secretary Texas General Land Office
(512) 475-5144
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PRESS RELEASE — Nov 04, 2020

AUSTIN — Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush is proud to announce the kick-off of the 2020 Save Texas History Essay Contest for fourth and seventh-grade students. The Save Texas History Essay Contest encourages students to answer an important question: "What history in your community is worth saving?"

“Remembering our history as Texans is important to preserving the culture and traditions we cherish in our great state,” said Commissioner George P. Bush. “Our history makes us who we are today. The Save Texas History Essay Contest is an opportunity for students to discover the unique history in their own hometown. I’m looking forward to reading what our Texas students believe is history worth saving.”

Entries must be received or postmarked by 11:59 PM on Monday, November 30, 2020. The entry form can be found on the Save Texas History website.

Last year's student essays reflected the rich diversity of community history in Texas. The fourth-grade grand prize winner, George Vernau III, submitted NALL: The Space Baseball Community, and drew attention to the important role the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the NASA Area Little League (NAAL) played in his community. The seventh-grade grand prize winner, Aiden Williams, wrote Freedmen’s Town Bricks, which highlighted Houston’s historic Fourth Ward and the area known as Freedmen’s Town. The post-Civil War “Freedom Colony” was one of several settlements established across the state by formerly enslaved people intent on building communities for themselves.

 This year’s winning fourth and seventh grade entries will each receive a gift card of $500 each, courtesy of Chris Cantu of Edward Jones Investments. Four finalists in each grade level will also receive a $100 gift card, courtesy of Buck Cole and the Moses Austin Chapter of the Sons of the Republic of Texas. All winners and finalists will also receive Texas flags and cannonball trophies, courtesy of the Moses Austin chapter of the Sons of the Republic of Texas, Save Texas History backpacks, a replica of a historic map from the GLO Archives map collection and GLO holiday ornament, and a Certificate of Achievement signed by Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.

All public, private and home-schooled students of appropriate age for the fourth grade or seventh grade are eligible to participate. Essays for the annual contest are judged on originality of idea, cohesiveness of thought and organization. Proper grammar, spelling and punctuation are also factors.

The Texas General Land Office Save Texas History 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.

You can follow Save Texas History on Facebook and Twitter. Follow the Texas General Land Office on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

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