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Bicentennial Symposium

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Victoria Bicentennial History Symposium
April 11-12, 2024

The Victoria Texas Bicentennial History Symposium is a two-day exploration of Victoria's history designed to coincide with the city's Bicentennial Celebrations. The event will feature two keynote addresses: an opening address by Carolina Castillo Crimm, a history professor emeritus from Sam Houston State University, and a closing address by Karl Jacoby, Karl Jacoby, the Allan Nevins Professor of American History at Columbia University. Each keynote will be followed by light reception and book-signing. The remainder of the program involves four panels investigating different aspects of Victoria's history. Attendance is free and does not require advance registration. Please find a campus map here.

Thursday, April 11

6:00pm: Opening Keynote (UHV North, Walker Auditorium)

  • Carolina Castillo Crimm, Sam Houston State University (Emeritus), “The Power of Family: The De León family and the settlement of Victoria”

7:00pm: Opening Reception (UHV North, Multi-Purpose Room)

Prehistoric Arrowhead

Friday, April 12

9:00: Breakfast Snacks (Museum of the Coastal Bend)

9:30: Panel 1: Excavating Prehistoric Victoria (Museum of the Coastal Bend)

  • Heather Para, The Museum of the Coastal Bend, "Theories in Stone: Mysterious Artifacts of Prehistory"
  • O.C. Garza, The Coastal Bend Archaeological Logistics Team, "Twenty Years of Archaeology at the McNeill Ranch Site"
  • Tamra Walter, Texas Tech, “Mission Accomplished: Insights from the Archaeological Investigations at Mission Espiritu Santo in Mission Valley Texas"

11:30am: Victoria’s Early History (UHV Commons, Multi-Purpose Room)

  • Tim Seiter, SMU, “Persistent Peoples: Tracing the Karankawas from Their Supposed Extinction to the Present”
  • Esther Cuenca, UHV, “At the Crossroads of Identity: The Jewish Community in 19th-Century Victoria, Texas”
  • Ron Tyler, Amon Carter Museum of American Art (retired) / University of Texas, “Victoria, Texas—1873: A Moment in Time”
Historic Karankawa hut
Foster Field Historical Marker

2:30pm: Postwar Victoria (UHV Commons, Multi-Purpose Room)

  • Karen Hagan, Victoria College, “Sky and Shadow:  What It Took to Train at Foster Field
  • Asif Siddiqi, Fordham University “‘Victoria, We Have a Problem’: Victoria, Texas and the Selection of NASA’s New Manned Spacecraft Center in 1961”
  • Joan C. Browning, Independent Scholar, “Victoria’s Role in Shaping Civil Rights Activist Casey Hayden”

4:00pm: Remembering Victoria’s History (UHV Commons, Multi-Purpose Room)

  • Jeff Wright, Victoria Preservation Inc., “Historical Preservation in Victoria”
  • Alfredo Aguilar, Victoria College, “Preserving Reformative Structures: Who Preserves These Architectural Spaces?”
  • Joe Locke, UHV, “Centennials, Statues, and Silences: History, Commemoration, and Public Memory in Victoria”
Historic Victoria

6:00pm: Closing Keynote (UHV North, Multi-Purpose Room)

  • Karl Jacoby, Columbia University, “The Man from Nowhere: The Strange Career of William Ellis”

7:00pm: Closing Reception (UHV North, Multi-Purpose Room)