T.R. Fehrenbach, 1925-2013
T.R. Fehrenbach of San Antonio, former chair of the Texas Historical Commission (THC) from 1987-1991 who served on the commission for three terms from 1983-2001, died Sunday, December 1. He was appointed commissioner emeritus by Gov. Rick Perry in 2001.
"T.R. Fehrenbach was the embodiment of the Texas Historical Commission's mission to preserve Texas history and to tell the real stories of the real places of the Lone Star State," said THC Executive Director Mark Wolfe. "His knowledge of Texas was unsurpassed and recognized the world over. He was a true Texas treasure that will be greatly missed."
Fehrenbach published 18 nonfiction books including Lone Star (1968, 1999), the most widely read history of Texas and the basis for the 1986 PBS miniseries. His book This Kind of War (1963, 1995) is considered the classic military history of the Korean War. He served on the Texas 2000 Commission, chaired the Texas Antiquities Committee, and was a trustee of the State History Museum Foundation. The THC's T.R. Fehrenbach Book Award was presented annually until 2012 to recognize exemplary writing about Texas history.
See more from the San Antonio Express News: T.R. Fehrenbach made history read like the news.
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Native American cultures, the arrival of Spanish and French colonists, the development of missions, pioneer settlement, Goliad, the Alamo and San Jacinto, statehood and civil war, the cattle trails, the discovery of oil, even the space race, all of these stories have their roots in Texas.
And these "real" stories of Texas history mean so much more when we can tell them in the places where they actually happened. The capture of Fannin's men at Coleto Creek and what followed at Goliad is a harrowing tale when you read it in a textbook. But it takes on new meaning when you're standing in the battlefield itself on a cool March morning, watching the sun come up and imagining what it must have been like to realize that the Mexican reinforcements arrived under cover of darkness and that the Texians were outnumbered four to one. As Texans, we live in places like this, where stories come to life. But all too often these places are threatened, by development or by neglect. That's why the historic places of Texas need Friends like you!
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