That’s a Wrap! — Looking Back at the 2016 Save Texas History Symposium
When discussing Texas history, the number 300 is celebrated because of Stephen F. Austin’s “Old 300,” referencing the first 300 Anglo families that came to Texas from the United States. Another reason to celebrate the number 300 in Texas history is because that is the number of people who registered for the 7th 0Annual Save Texas History Symposium, smashing previous attendance records! This was a record-breaking year for the Symposium, and it is thanks to all of the Texans interested in our state’s tremendous history, specifically the past, present, and future of the Alamo.
The symposium featured fifteen speakers throughout the day. Topics ranged from the Tejano contributions at the Alamo, to slavery in early Texas, to remembering the legendary tales of two early pioneers in Texas preservation — Daughters of the Republic of Texas members Adina de Zavala and Clara Driscoll. Discussions also included Franciscan Missionaries in San Antonio and the Native Americans who inhabited the missions, as well as preservation projects that are happening today, and those that are planned for the future.
Twenty-eight vendors were on site to sell books and maps, and discuss topics ranging from archival collections, to careers in surveying, to genealogical research, and plenty in between. For those adventurous enough to brave the heat, the Pioneer Surveying demonstration on the Alamo grounds let attendees walk in the footsteps of nineteenth century surveyors, using antique tools to survey part of the Alamo grounds. The event had something for everyone who is interested in the rich history of the Alamo and the promising future of the “Cradle of Texas Liberty.”
Feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, with praise given to the speakers, vendors, and the host site, the historic Menger Hotel, as well as the host of the Symposium’s reception, the Witte Museum. Many attendees noted a sense of a community of historians coming together to share in the stories and history surrounding the Alamo. Attendees had this to say:
“I thought the whole experience was first rate. I felt that the presenters were very interesting, and excited about what they were telling us. The recognition of the need for a diversity of viewpoints and experiences when sharing the story of the Alamo with the general public was very important, and it was also interesting to hear about all of the preservation work that has been completed up to this point.”
“Excellent speakers — the variety/depth of topics was appreciated. Very good selection of vendors to choose from.”
“I liked all the speakers, the food, meeting new historical preservation lovers, the book I received in my tote bag (which will make a nice grocery bag), the location — I was just overall pleased with the Symposium!”
“The presentations were outstanding and I went away with the feeling that the Alamo is in good hands. ‘Remember the Alamo!’ has both metaphorical and literal meaning for us now.”
“The surveying lesson and explanation at the Alamo was really interesting — it was great to be able to use the tools surveyors had back in the day.”
“Love the Menger Hotel! And getting to see the maps up close at the Witte Museum was a wonderful experience.”
To all those who attended this year’s Symposium, once again we at the GLO would like to extend our gratitude. We hope that you enjoyed yourselves as much as we enjoy hosting the event and bringing together a community of Texas history lovers from diverse backgrounds. For those who couldn’t attend the Symposium, or those who want to hear the presentations again, videos of all of the speakers have been uploaded to the GLO’s YouTube page.
Thanks to our generous sponsors:
Diamond Level Sponsors
Gold Level Sponsors
Silver Level Sponsors
Center for the Study of the Southwest, Texas State University
Friends of Clayton Library
David Furlow, P.C.
Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas-Austin
Frank & Carol Holcomb
Lyn & Tom Phillips
San Angelo Genealogical and Historical Society
Texas Society of Professional Surveyors
The San Antonio Conservation Society
University of Texas Press