Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Three Museums, including the El Paso Museum of History, win major national award

Santa Fe (June 21, 2011) – The American Association for State and Local History has given The Threads of Memory: Spain and the United States a 2011 Award of Merit by the group’s Leadership in History Awards Committee. The awards are the nation’s most prestigious competition for recognition of achievement in state and local history.

The New Mexico History Museum, El Paso Museum of History, and The Historic New Orleans Collection collaborated on bringing the exhibition of rare documents, paintings and maps from Spain, developing a robust series of public programs, and publishing a bilingual companion catalogue. The exhibition made its U.S. debut at the New Mexico History Museum from Oct. 17, 2010 to Jan. 9, 2011. It then traveled to El Paso through April 24, and is on exhibit in New Orleans through July 10.

“This award means so much to all of us on our international team—in New Mexico, Texas, New Orleans, and Spain,” said Dr. Frances Levine, director of the New Mexico History Museum. “I’m especially proud of the History Museum’s exhibition design team and the way our team members and partners at the University of New Mexico’s Spanish and Portuguese and Education departments melded their best efforts with those of our partners’ staffs. Such a collaboration was the only way that an exhibition of this caliber could have been accomplished. We are honored by the recognition.”

Consisting of nearly 140 documents spanning Ponce de León’s first contact in Florida through New Mexico’s incorporation as a U.S. Territory, The Threads of Memory: Spain and the United States (El Hilo de la Memoria: España y los Estados Unidos) drew more than 20,000 visitors to the History Museum during its tenure. Visitors included numerous school groups focused on learning more about U.S. history and the Spanish language.

The exhibition, presented in Spanish and English, featured such documents as Pedro de Peralta’s orders to establish Santa Fe, a letter signed by Francisco Vázquez de Coronado detailing his travels through the Tiguex province, and documents that detailed the aid given by Spain to the United States during the American Revolution. A small illustration of a buffalo, drawn in 1598 by Vicente Zaldivar, introduced Europeans to an animal whose herds then covered hundreds of miles.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The THSA's Great Texas Land Rush for the Texas Almanac

Here is a great thing for you to do!

Offering Texans the unprecedented opportunity to stake a claim to their own special part of Texas, The Texas Almanac, a publication dubbed the "Source for All Things Texan Since 1857," is launching the Great Land Rush program. Adopters will put their personal stamp on a Texas county or town and will have the added satisfaction of knowing they helped make this valuable resource, The Texas Almanac, available to Texans worldwide.

Perhaps the best part of this particular land rush is that it is tax deductible, and all donations are used to support the Texas Almanac and the Texas State Historical Association.

Remarkably affordable, a donation of just $200 gets your name on the county of your choice, and only $15 gets you your own town.

Here’s how it works. Select the county or town that you would like to adopt by visiting www.TexasAlmanac.com/adopt and click the “Find your county” or “Find your town” links. The county or town can represent you or your family and can be dedicated to a loved one or used to promote a business. Additionally, you will receive a certificate recognizing your adoption. There are print and online options for each county, though towns can be adopted online only.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Alexander Hogue Exhibit Moves from Corpus Christi to Abilene

Earlier this spring I visited the Art Museum of South Texas at
Corpus Christi, where I the chance to tour an impressive special exhibition entitled Alexandre Hogue: An American Visionary/Paintings and Works on Paper. Houge, who painted from the 1920s until his passing just a few years ago, is considered to be one of the preeminent artists of the southwest.  This exhibition is comprised of 157 oil paintings, works on paper and field sketches, organized by the Art Museum of South Texas.  The works are on loan from 63 institutions, museums and collectors located around the country and abroad. This exhibit is also marked by the publication of an important new book Alexandre Hogue: An American Visionary. It is authored by Houston art critic and curator Susie Kalil, who knew Houge personally and interviewed him extensively during his lifetime. One of the highlights of the exhibition is the availability of one of these interviews for viewing by the public. This exhibition was at the Art Museum of South Texas from January 4 to April 3, 2011.

The Houge exhibition now opens today at the Grace Museum in Abilene. It is complemented by two other exhibits that provide an additional window into Texas Art. The first exhibit is entitled "Texas Paintings from the Schoen Collection." The second, touching on the career of a noted photographer, is "June Van Cleef: Texas Outback,"

Click HERE for information of these exhibitions at the Grace Museum in Abilene.

For a short YouTube video narrated by Susie Kalil, click HERE.

Friday, April 15, 2011

An Appearance on "Think" at KERA Radio

Light Cummins, Austin College professor of history and current Texas State Historian, was interviewed on the KERA “THINK” program April 14. As Patrick Duffey, dean of Humanities, described it, “The interview is a tour de force. It is Light at his best–lots of fascinating, entertaining, and eloquent responses to good questions, and Austin College was at the center of it all.”
Click HERE to access the podcast.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Austin College Honors Me as State Historian

The Austin College community honored me with a special day of festivities as Texas State Historian. Friends, former students, collegaues, and members of the public came to the campus to hear two presentations by me. My first talk, at which I was introduced by my former student Dallas Cothrum, was entitled “Travels with the State Historian of Texas. It recounted highlights of my experiences as the State Historian. Later in the day, I gave a class session, “Teaching and Writing the History of Austin College.” Ty Cashion, a former student and distinguished alumnus of the college, introduced me. I talked about the project my students and I undertook to research and write a history of Austin College. In the late afternoon, I went  to the Johnson Gallery of Wright Campus Center where I signed copies of two recent books: Emily Austin of Texas and Austin College: A History. The day concluded with a reception and dinner. John Crain, Ron Tyler, and Kent Calder all spoke, saying very nice things about my activities as State Historian. My former students Robin Tippett, Jay Dew, and Meg Hacker also talked about me. All in all, it was a very memorable day for me.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Light Cummins Receives City of Sherman Proclamation

Sherman Mayor Bill Majors presents Proclamation to Light Cummins
as Council Member Willie Steele looks on.

From Austin College News, April 5 2011 -- Sherman, TX:

"Austin College Professor of History Dr. Light T. Cummins was honored by the City of Sherman in an official proclamation Monday, April 4, during the City Council meeting. Mayor Bill Magers, a 1985 graduate of Austin College, recognized Dr. Cummins for his service as the Texas State Historian and for his dedication in advancing the cause of a greater understanding of history across the state.

“As a student at Austin College, I remember Dr. Cummins’ classes,” Magers said. “His lectures were enthusiastic and energetic. Through his insight and passion, I have a greater understanding of history and the impact on our communities today.”

In receiving the award, Dr. Cummins was asked to share about his experience the past two years. ”I have travelled over 35,000 miles during the last two years as the State Historian,” he said. “I have stood on the far southeastern corner of Texas at Sabine Pass and looked across at Louisiana. I have been to the furthest reaches of the Texas Panhandle and looked across at Oklahoma. I have been to the Rio Grande Valley and seen Mexico across the river, and I have been to El Paso and looked west to see New Mexico. The size of Texas is almost too much to contemplate, as is its natural beauty and diversity.”

Magers encouraged all citizens to join with him in this appreciation and extended an invitation to the community to be a part of a special day of recognition for Cummins on the Austin College campus on Thursday, April 7."

Monday, March 21, 2011

Texas Institute of Letters Celebrates 75th Anniversary

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Texas Institute of Letters, of which I am a member. The year 1936 marked the one hundred year celebration of the Texas Revolution with a series of events, expositions, and special programs across the state. As one of many activities during the Texas Centennial, Governor James V. Allred proclaimed the first week of November as Texas Literature Week. That week saw the founding of a new literary organization created for the purpose of furthering and advancing the cause of Texas letters. As The Handbook of Texas notes: "The organizational meeting of the Texas Institute of Letters convened in the lecture room of the Hall of State on the grounds of the Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas on November 9, 1936. The idea for the organization came from William H. Vann, a professor of English at what is now the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, in Belton. He and others had been inspired by the celebration of the Texas Centennial to form an organization to promote interest in Texas literature and to recognize literary and cultural achievement." Fifty Texas writers and poets composed the list of charter members. Today, induction into the TIL is based on literary achievement. Application for membership is not accepted. Instead, a proposed member must be nominated and seconded by a member and then voted upon by the entire membership. Members must be authors associated wtih Texas. The TIL each year offers a series of literary prizes for works of fiction, non-fiction, short stories, poetry, children's books, and excellence in book production. Later this spring, the Texas Institute of Letters will induct the following authors as new members:

Kathi Appelt. She is the author of more than thirty books – novels, picture books, poetry, and nonfiction for children and young adults. She has won numerous awards, among them the PEN USA award.

Alwyn Barr is professor of history at Texas Tech University He is a former president of the Texas State Historical Association and a former board member of Humanities Texas.

Douglas Brinkley is the fellow in history at the Baker Institute and a professor of history at Rice University. He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and American Heritage, as well as a frequent contributor to the New York Times, the New Yorker and the Atlantic Monthly.

Bryan Burrough is a special correspondent at Vanity Fair and the author of numerous bestselling books. A former reporter for the Wall Street Journal, he is a three-time winner of the John Hancock Award for excellence in financial journalism.

Annette Gordon-Reed is the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for History. On February 25, 2010, President Barack Obama honored Gordon-Reed with the National Humanities Medal at a White House ceremony.

S.C. Gwynne is an award-winning journalist and author whose work has appeared extensively in Time, for which he worked as bureau chief, national correspondent and senior editor from 1988 to 2000, and in Texas Monthly, where he was executive editor.

Russell L. Martin III is director of the DeGolyer Library at Southern Methodist University.He has been published in a number of professional journals.

Karla Morton is the 2010 Texas Poet Laureate. As an author, she has won numerous prizes, including the Betsy Colquitt Award and the Indie National Book Award.

Jake Silverstein is editor of Texas Monthly. His work has appeared in a number of anthologies  He is the author of Nothing Happened, And Then It Did.

James Smallwood received his Ph.D. in history from Texas Tech University in 1974. He is a fellow of the Texas State Historical Association and is a member of various other professional societies. His Time of Hope, Time of Despair: Black Texans During Reconstruction won the Texas Historical Association's Coral H. Tullis Award for being the best Texas history book to appear in 1981.

Dominic Smith  is a visiting professor at SMU. He holds an MFA in writing from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. His short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including the "Atlantic Monthly."

Jerry Thompson is Regents Professor at Texas A&M International University and is considered to be among the best and most prolific historians of the Southwestern campaigns of the American Civil War. He has edited and written twenty books on the history of Texas and the Southwest, in addition to numerous articles in national and regional journals.

John Waugh is a journalist turned historical reporter. He is the author of at least eleven books, including "The Class of 1846" and "On the Brink of Civil War."

Robert Wooster is professor of history at Texas A&M Univesity Corpus Christi, where he has taught for more than twenty years. He is a recognized authority on Texas and United States history and an expert on the U.S. Military and the Civil War.

For more information about the Texas Institute of Letters, visit its website at http://texasinstituteofletters.org/

The TIL also offers a writer-in-residence fellowship at Paisano Ranch, the rural retreat near Austin once owned by Texas author J. Frank Dobie. For more informaitoin, see http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/Paisano/til/

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Texas Historian Lonn Taylor Reports on the Annual Meeting of the Texas State Historical Association

Texas Historian Lonn Taylor
Texas Historian Lonn Taylor is one of the most respected historical experts and commentators in the Lone Star state. He is a specialist in material culture, especially furniture. His expertise commands the admiration of academic historians who publish books filled with footnotes, some of which he has written. Members of the general public interested in the history of the Lone Star state also hold him in high regard. At present, he lives in Fort Davis, Texas where he has retired from an active career in history, including many years on the staff of the Smithsonian Institution. He writes a regular newspaper column while he serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas State Historical Association.

Like many other Texans, Lonn Taylor is concerned about the current status of the historical community in the state. In his March 10th newspaper column, which appears in Big Bend area outlets, he writes: "History is taking a beating in Texas this spring. In the name of economy, Governor Rick Perry has called for the abolition of the Texas Historical Commission, a state agency that since 1953 has promoted heritage tourism in Texas by putting up historical markers, preserving historic courthouses (including those in Marfa and Fort Davis), creating Heritage Trails, and sponsoring Main Street programs."

Taylor nonetheless notes: "Heritage tourism is the fastest-growing segment of Texas’s tourism industry, which generates $44 billion and half a million jobs each year. The governor says that the Texas Historical Commission does not contribute to his mission for state government: bringing more money and jobs into the state. Go figure."

In a related matter about the status of American history in Texas public schools, Lonn Taylor continues: "At the same time, the new history curriculum for Texas public schools adopted last year by the State Board of Education was given a grade of 'D' last month by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative think tank that focuses on public education. The Institute summarized its point-by-point critique of the curriculum by saying 'history is distorted throughout the document in the interest of political talking points.' The curriculum, the subject of a huge public fight last year over its right-wing bias (Thomas Jefferson was too liberal to be included in a list of important political philosophers), turned out to be too conservative, or maybe just too nutty, for the conservatives."

In spite of these problems for the enterprise of Texas history, Lonn Taylor nevertheless is very pleased and encouraged with the current status of the Texas State Historical Association. He notes in his column of two days ago "In the face of all of this, I am happy to report that the 115th annual meeting of the Texas State Historical Association in El Paso, which I mentioned in a column a few weeks ago, took place in El Paso last week and was a great success. Five hundred and sixty academics and lay historians with an interest in the Southwest gathered from all over the country to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Texas independence and the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution by sampling the latest scholarship on both subjects and related southwestern topics".

It is well worth reading Lonn Taylor's entire report regarding the recent meeting in El Paso of the Texas State Historical Association. His assessment of this successful meeting provides encouragement to all of us who are concerned about the status of Texas history in these difficult times.

Click Here for Lonn Taylor's report on the March 3-5 meeting of the Texas State Historical Association, which appears on the site Big Bend Now, the online presence of the "Big Bend Sentinel" and the "Presidio International." To learn more about Lonn Taylor and his career as an historian, click here.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Austin College Marks My Term as State Historian of Texas

I had the pleasure of being appointed the Texas State Historian in the spring of 2009, taking the oath of office in May of that year. My two year term in that post will be coming to an end at the conclusion of this spring semester. Austin College will be marking my term as the State Historian with a special day of events on Thursday, April 7th, to include a series of on-campus talks, along with a reception and a banquet. At 11:00 am, I will give a talk in the Hoxie Thompson Auditorium of Sherman Hall recounting some of my activities and historical adventures as the State Historian. At 3:00 pm, in the same place, I will talk about the project my students and I undertook to research and write a history of Austin College. Then, at 5:30 pm in the Johnson Gallery of the Wright Campus Center, I will be signing copies of my recent books "Emily Austin of Texas" and "Austin College: A Pictorial History." A reception in the Mabee Hall of the Campus Center will follow at 6:30 pm with a banquet starting at 7:00 pm. All events are open to the public and also for all students, faculty, alumni, and friends of the college. There is no charge for any of the events except for the banquet, which requires the purchase of a $25 ticket. Registration information can be found at this link.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Jacqueline M. Moore Receives the T. R. Fehrenbach Award

Jacqueline M. Moore and Her Prize-Winning Book
Congratulations to my colleague Jacqueline M. Moore, who is a professor in the history department at Austin College. Her book Cow Boys and Cattle Men: Class and Masculinities on the Texas Frontier, 1865-1900 has just been named as the winner of the 2010 T. R. Fehrenbach Award given by the Texas Historical Commission. This book was published by the New York University Press in cooperation with the Clements Center for the Study of the Southwest at Southern Methodist University. The T.R. Fehrenbach Book Award is a prestigious award that was established by the Texas Historical Commission in the 1960s. It recognizes outstanding original research, study, and publication in the field of Texas history. The award is named in honor of internationally recognized author-historian T.R. Fehrenbach of San Antonio. Fehrenbach is the author of 18 nonfiction books, including Lone Star, the most widely read history of Texas and the basis for the PBS miniseries. Jackie's book is a ground-breaking study of the relationship between cowboys and cattlemen in late nineteenth century Texas.  She explains how, in contrast to the mythic image of the cowboy as a romantic icon in our culture, the real cowboys of Texas in the late nineteenth century faced increasing demands from the people around them to rein in the very traits that Americans considered the most masculine. They worked as part of a complicated labor/management system that had its parallels in other, analogous parts of the industrial complex of the nation during that era. As one commentary on her book has noted: "As working-class men, cowboys showed their masculinity through their skills at work as well as public displays in town. But what cowboys thought was manly behavior did not always match those ideas of the business-minded cattlemen, who largely absorbed middle-class masculine ideals of restraint." Jackie received news of this award at her temporary home in Hong Kong, where she is spending the year as a Fulbright Scholar. Again, congratulations to Jackie Moore for receiving this signal honor.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards, Texas State University--San Marcos

Past and Present Distinguished Alumni Award Winners
Me with Dr. James Pohl
Last night I had the honor of receiving a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the College of Liberal Arts at Texas State University--San Marcos. I have both a bachellor's and master's degree from there back when that university was known as Southwest Texas State University. Three other people also received awards with me as it is the custom of the college to have four recepients each year. My fellow awardees were Dr. Melba Vasquez, who is currently the President of the American Psychological Association; Houston attorney Kelly Frels who is a former President of the Texas Bar Association; and John Sharp, who has served as a state Senator, chair of the Texas Railroad Commission, and Comptroller for the State of Texas. Dean Ann Marie Ellis presented us with our awards at a gala banquet held at Austin's Headliners Club, giving each of us the opportunity to speak about our student memories. Several hundred people attended, including friends of mine who were students with me on the Hill so many years ago. The evening was of special significance to me because two of my former professors attended, Dr. James Pohl and Dr. Dennis Dunn. I was also impressed that a considerable number faculty members from the current history department were also on hand to congratulate me.

Click Here for more information about the award recipients.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Marshall, Texas is discovering its Boogie Woogie past

Marshall, Texas has a long, rich history. It is the court house seat of Harrison County. Early residents laid out the basic street plan in 1839 and named the town for U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall. During the antebellum era, Marshall found itself at the center of the biggest cotton plantation district in Texas. After the Civil War it became one of the major railroad towns in the state when the Texas and Pacific Railroad placed its headquarters and shops in the city. Today, among its other distinctions, Marshall is known for its lavish civic light display at Christmas time that draws tens of thousands of visitors each year. It is also the home to East Texas Baptist University and Wiley College, the latter being the historically Black school whose 1920s and 1930s debate teams led by Melvin B. Tolson served as the subject for the powerful 2007 motion picture "The Great Debaters." Art historians and artists know Marshall as the hometown of Don Adair Brown, one of the great southwestern regional artists of the 1930s and 1940s. It is also the home of the modern Michelson Museum of Art.

Few people today, however, know that Marshall also has a very strong claim to being the birthplace of the popular and distinctive brand of American music called "Boogie Woogie." That civic distinction will not long remain unknown if a group of Texans led by Dr. John Tennison and composed of Boogie Woogie fans, along with various Harrison County residents, have their way. They are hatching big plans to insure that Marshall achieves what they believe to be its rightful recognition as the place where Boogie Woogie got its start. 

Music historians have long known that the piney woods and forests of east Texas produced in the late nineteenth century the rhythms that emerged as Boogie Woogie. Atlhough not popular nationally and internationally until the 1940s, the various musical lines and rhythms that constitute this style of music run much deeper into the past here in Texas. Among many other early musicians, Lead Belly, for example, played music with a Boogie Woogie bass line in the decades after World War One. In some musical quarters, U.S. Highway 59, which runs across east Texas from Houston to Texarkana, is known as the "Boogie Woogie" highway.

Dr. John Tennison, a San Antonio physician and Boogie Woogie authority, has spent a considerable amount of time and effort over the years researching the history of this music. He has concluded that Marshall, Texas was the exact place and very real location where Boogie Woogie first came into existence, largely due to the town's location as an important railroad center in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Texas musicians who crafted these rhythms, almost all of them African-American, regularly passed through Marshall and the town became their common ground. 

Dr. Tennison has not, however, rested on the laurels of his music history research. In May of 2010, the Marshall City Commission, based on information compiled and presented by Dr. Tennison, passed a resolution officially declaring the town to be the historical birthplace of Boogie Woogie. That resolution has created a flurry of civic activity in recent months as Marshall residents, along with Boogie Woogie enthusiasts from all parts of the nation, have been engaging in an ever-expanding series of activities designed to rebrand the town as the Birthplace of Boogie Woogie. There is a now Facebook page that has attracted hundred of members.

A significant step forward in these efforts occurred when the mayor of Marshall invited back to town one of its African-American native sons,  David Alexander Elam, a famed Boogie Woogie piano player who had been living in California for over a half-century. Elam, who changed his name to Omar Sharriff after leaving Texas, had departed Marshall as a 17 year-old boy seeking a new musical life for himself in the San Francisco area. Sharriff, a musician of great renown in the Boogie Woogie world, returned to Marshall to give a special concert in June of last year. He played to a sold out crowd and is now moving back to his native Marshall from California, where he will assume the role of being the town's Ambassador of Boogie Woogie.

Several weeks ago Omar Sharriff gave a special Boogie Woogie Christmas concert to another packed house of people who had come to Marshall from far and wide to hear his music. Boogie Woogie legends Bob Seeley and Bob Baldori joined him for this concert. A local Marshall restaurant is now sponsoring a regular once-a-week evening of live music billed as "Boogie Woogie Wednesdays." And, just this week, National Public Radio aired a special feature highlighting Marshall as the birthplace of Boogie Woogie. The Dallas Morning News has also brought Marshall's newly discovered musical history to the attention of its readers.

To learn more about all of this, see:

The Facebook Page Marshall, Texas The Birthplace of Boogie Woogie

Two webpages of Dr. John Tennison: The History of Boogie Woogie and The Boogie Woogie Foundation.

A portion of Omar Sharriff's Christmas 2010 concert on You Tube.

Listen to the NPR Broadcast on Marshall as the Birthplace of Boogie Woogie.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Texas State Historical Association's Annual Meeting Is On the Horizon

It is time to make plans to attend the annual meeting of the Texas State Historical Association. The meeting will be held in El Paso later in the spring from March 3 to 5th. And, even if you don't usually attend this fine organization's annual meeting, its certainly worth taking a look at the online program to see the impressive array of research and writing that is taking place today on the subject of Texas history. Founded in 1890s, the Texas State Historical Association in the oldest learned society in the Lone Star State. It has been holding an annual conference for well over a century. The annual meeting is always a lively and exciting time for those people who follow the development of Texas history and what people write about it. This year dozens of historians and authors will be presenting the results of their work in a series of over three dozens sessions. Organized around themes, each of these sessions feature several historians giving talks and presentations on their work, after which other historians provide commentary and context for the papers just presented. In addition, there are plenary sessions, along with luncheons and dinners, at which outstanding writers and authors talk about larger aspects of the Texas historical experience. Those who love history books are always attracted to the meeting by the extensive and rather large displays annually mounted by publishers and book-sellers. First-run academic presses proudly display their latest books on Texas history at the exhibition hall, while used and rare book dealers operate booths where book-lovers can purchase literary treasures about the Texas past. For many years, as well, the T.S.H.A. featured a live auction of particularly noteworthy rare or desirable books. In recent years, this auction has been resurrected to become one of the highlights of the meeting.

If you want more information about the T.S.HA. meeting, including hotels and travel information, please click here:

If you have an interest in the latest research on Texas history, take a look at the annual program by clicking here.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Texas at the Movies

The cast of Pigskin Parade, 1936
 This January Term at Austin College, I am teaching a course on the representation of Texas in the movies. Films can bring history and culture alive by using sound and visual images to represent people, places, and events in the past.  Films, especially feature films, can also distort the past by stereotyping, idealizing, or changing the fact base to meet the dramatic or cinematic needs of the film maker. This course is an experiential examination of the major themes, myths, and stereotypes held in culture within the context of southwestern and Mexican regionalism, as seen motion pictures. “Pigskin Parade” is the first film that I showed in the class this week. This zany and madcap musical farce dealing with football in Texas was filmed during 1936 at the Paramount Studios in Hollywood with exterior locations shot at Occidental College, the Los Angeles Coliseum, and the Rose Bowl. The film had its roots in the national attention that came to Texas that year because of the state's Centennial Celebration and also by the fact that Southern Methodist University played Stanford in the January, 1936 Rose Bowl game. SMU lost but garnered much respect and acclaim in the sport's world. As a sidelight, one of the spectators at that fabled 1936 Rose Bowl game was Texas oilman J. Curtis Sanford who wondered why a similar football bowl competition could not be played in Dallas, so he decided to create the Cotton Bowl Classic, first played in 1937 and which today has its roots in events that also helped to motivate this film. Paramount's goofy "Pigskin Parade" is filled to the brim with syncopated 1930s collegiate music, a good deal of football mayhem, corn pone Texas humor, and a shallow plot that manages nonetheless to say a great deal about the role of football in Texas and the popular stereotypes of Texas from that era. The film notably features a several second un-credited cameo appearance by former Texas Governor Miriam A. "Ma" Ferguson. Today, outside of Texas film history circles, this film is chiefly remembered as the then 14 year-old Judy Garland's first major screen appearance.