Saturdays Lecture Series AudienceExperts on all facets of state and national history provide compelling presentations, often from their own books. Facts, statistics, rumors and tall tales provide an entertaining session for adults.

These free presentations are held in the Frisco Heritage Museum Second Floor Theater from 10 – 11 am; come a little early (9:30) for breakfast snacks and coffee.

JANUARY 7, 2017

“Civilian Conservation Corp in Texas” by John Garbutt

In the 1930s, the United States was in the throes of the Great Depression, and Texas was no exception. Both land and people were struggling. Hundreds-of-thousands were unemployed and many farms failed due to market collapse. West Texas became the southern tip of the Dust Bowl, while East Texas Lumber companies had nearly stripped the once lush pine forests from the landscape. What could help both the people and the land? The answer came in the form of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

About the presenter: John Garbutt earned a Bachelor of Science degree in History at The University of Texas at Tyler. Mr. Garbutt also holds a Master of Arts degree in History from Stephen F. Austin State University. He was a professor of history at Panola College in Carthage, Texas from 2008–2009. His teaching experience prepared him for his many public speaking engagements on behalf of the Museum of the American Railroad (MAR) in Frisco, Texas where he currently serves as Director of Programs & Services. Before joining the staff of MAR two years ago, Mr. Garbutt was on staff at the Texas Historical Commission and has had extensive experience in public history and historical site management.

APRIL 29, 2017

“In Love and War: The World War II Courtship Letters of a Nisei Couple” by Melody M. Miyamoto Walters

December 7, 1941 is a day that will live in infamy. For the residents of Hawaii, the repercussions of the bombing of Pearl Harbor lasted far beyond the end of World War II. Japanese Americans in Hawaii faced the challenge of living under martial law, but their experiences revealed the enemy at home: racism. This lecture will focus on the lives of two Japanese Americans who negotiated what it was like to be American citizens who shared a common heritage with the enemy. It is also their love story, a classic tale of twenty-somethings courting despite differences in their families’ economic status. Miyamoto Walters will use the personal writings of her grandparents to examine race, identity, and culture in World War II Hawaii.

About the presenter: Melody M. Miyamoto Walters returns to review her newest book, In Love and War: The World War II Courtship Letters of a Nisei Couple, published by the University of Oklahoma Press. She grew up in Hawaii and attended the University of Hawaii before earning her Master’s Degree and Ph.D. from Arizona State University. She is a scholar of the American West and has expanded her studies of the region into the Pacific. She currently teaches history at Collin College, Central Park Campus in McKinney.

OCTOBER 7, 2017

Washington-on-the-Brazos by Richard B. McCaslin

When most people think about Washington-on-the-Brazos, they see Independence Hall where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed in March 1836. What is missing, however, from most imaginations, and the present landscape, are the many other buildings that comprised the town, which are as invisible as most of the history of Washington. Created as a business venture, it served as a national capital (twice), county seat, and venue for state political conventions. Male residents fought in every war that involved Texas, while ladies in the community were especially involved in supporting the Confederacy. Texans love to talk about steamboats and railroads, and both had a great impact on Washington. Reconstruction looms large in the story of Washington, and the community almost faded from the map in the twentieth century. But fortunately for its legacy, Washington-on-the-Brazos became a state historic site and continues to play a vital role in preserving Texas history.

About the presenter: Richard B. McCaslin, TSHA Endowed Professor of Texas History at the University of North Texas, is the prolific author of several prize-winning books including Tainted Breeze: The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas, October 1862, which won the Tullis Prize and an AASLH commendation. His Lee in the Shadow of Washington received the Laney Prize and the Slatten Award, and was nominated for a Pulitzer. Other recognitions for his books include the Award of Merit from the Texas Philosophical Society, the Pate Award, the Bates Award, and the Freeman Award. A Fellow of the TSHA and Admiral in the Texas Navy, he has received commendations from the Civil War Round Tables in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Shreveport for his academic work on the Civil War Era.