Preserving the real places and the real stories of Texas.

REAL PLACES 2019: Cocktail Reception And Thc Awards Banquet

Celebrating The 50th Anniversary Of The Moon Landing

Day/Time: Thursday, January 17, 6–9 p.m.
Location: Capitol Ballroom
Speaker: Gene Kranz, former leader of the flight team that brought Apollo 13 safely home

Registration Information
Free with conference registration
$100 without conference registration
$75 as guest of conference attendee

Following a cocktail reception from 6–7 p.m., the Texas Historical Commission Awards Banquet will feature Gene Kranz as the keynote speaker. The THC Awards Banquet will honor recipients of the 2018 Preservation Awards, which recognize worthy accomplishments and exemplary leadership in the preservation of Texas’ heritage.

  • Ruth Lester Lifetime Achievement Award
  • John Ben Shepperd County Historical Commission Leadership Award
  • George Christian Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award
  • John L. Nau, III Award of Excellence in Museums
  • Curtis D. Tunnell Lifetime Achievement Award in Archeology
  • Anice B. Read Award of Excellence in Community Heritage Development
  • Award of Excellence in Preserving History
  • Award of Excellence in Historic Architecture
  • Award of Excellence in Media Achievement



As leader of the “Tiger Team” of flight directors who brought the Apollo 13 spaceship safely back to Earth on April 17, 1970, Gene Kranz demonstrated extraordinary courage and heroism. The hit film, “Apollo 13,” chronicles his struggle to devise the plan that would safely bring the ship and its crew of three astronauts home after its oxygen system failed. Actor Ed Harris portrays Kranz in the film, which was directed by Ron Howard. After 37 years of federal service, Kranz retired from NASA in 1994 and is now a consultant and speaker. He has received many awards and honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Nixon and his designation as a Distinguished Member of the Senior Executive Service by President Reagan. In April 2000, Kranz published a memoir about his experiences in the space program, Failure is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond.