AUSTIN, Texas — State of Texas First Lady Laura W. Bush and civil rights leader James Leonard Farmer will be featured speakers at the 102nd annual meeting of the Texas State Historical Association March 5-7 at the Renaissance Hotel in Austin. The TSHA is located at The University of Texas at Austin.
In addition, more than 100 historians will present programs on a wide variety of Texas history topics during the three-day meeting. Another highlight of the meeting is a talk by Stanley Marcus on “The Ten Most Critical Decisions that Shaped the Growth and Eventual Success of Neiman-Marcus, 1907-1997.” Marcus’ discussion is part of a program on “Neiman Marcus: Ninety Years of World Acclaim,” which will be held at 9 a.m. Friday (March 6) in the Sabine Room of the Renaissance.
Bush will speak at the Women & Texas History luncheon at noon Thursday (March 5) in Ballroom B of the hotel. A former school librarian, she serves as honorary chairman of the Texas Book Festival, which has been instrumental in focusing attention on the state’s writers, with benefits from the festival going to the state’s public libraries.
Farmer, who was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, will speak on “James Farmer and Lyndon B. Johnson: Two Texans and the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s” at the Awards luncheon Friday (March 6), also in Ballroom B. A native Texan, Farmer founded the Congress of Racial Equality in 1942 and began the use of non-violent protest. The Freedom Rides put Farmer on the cutting edge of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and made him a member of the “big four” of that movement to whom President Johnson looked as he shepherded the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 through Congress.
Farmer gave his private papers and those of his late wife, Lula, to UT Austin’s Center for American History in 1986. For more information about more specific talks and times, contact Evelyn Stehling at the TSHA, 471-1525.
NOTE TO EDITOR: There will be a press conference with James Farmer at 2:30 p.m. Thursday (March 5) in the Bosque Room at the Renaissance Hotel.