Commissioner George P. Bush Announces 2018 Save Texas History Essay Contest

Land Office asks 4th & 7th Grade Students "What history in your community is worth saving?"

Contact: Karina Erickson, Press Secretary
(512) 463-5708
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PRESS RELEASE — Aug 31, 2018

AUSTIN — Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush is proud to announce the kick-off of the 2018 Save Texas History Essay Contest for 4th and 7th grade students.  The Save Texas History Essay Contest encourages students to answer an important question: "What history in your community is worth saving?"

"As a former history teacher, it's especially rewarding to have the opportunity to announce the 2018 Save Texas History essay contest on behalf of the General Land Office," said Bush. "Everyone is familiar with iconic historic sites in Texas like the Alamo and San Jacinto, but there are countless locations throughout the state whose meaning and importance are deeply rooted in their local communities. Local history is a source of pride to many Texas communities, but often remains unknown to many Texans. I look forward to reading the essays and congratulating the winners." 

Last year's student essays reflected the rich diversity of community history in Texas. The fourth grade grand prize winner, Allison Wade from Canyon, told the story of Tex Randall, an iconic 47-foot-tall statue of a cowboy in her hometown. The seventh grade grand prize winner, Jalynn Bristow from Wichita Falls, wrote about the Kell House Museum, observing that "if we want to learn about our community, we need to save the places that teach us about it." Other notable entries highlighted a small chapel in Raymondville built by the student's grandfather, the International Bacon Festival in Houston, and Gruene Hall in New Braunfels.

The winning entries will each receive a cash award of $500 courtesy of Chris Cantu of Edward Jones Investments and Bob Erksine of Just in Time Staffing, both from Round Rock. Grand Prize winners will also receive Texas flags that have flown over the Texas State Capitol. Five additional finalists in each grade will receive $100 courtesy of the Rotary Club of Austin and the Sons of the Republic of Texas, and a Texas flag that has flown over the northernmost point of the Republic of Texas (in present-day Wyoming). All winners and finalists will also receive Save Texas History backpacks and a replica of an historic map from the GLO Archives map collection, and a Certificate of Achievement signed by Commissioner Bush.

Entries must be postmarked by October 31, 2018. The entry form can be found online by clicking here.

4th & 7th Grade Students in public, private, and homeschool

Save Texas History Essay Contest. Answer the question, "What history in your community is worth saving?"

Contest Starts September 1. Entries must be postmarked by October 31, 2018. Winners will be announced November 15, 2018.

Across the state of Texas

Teach students about the importance of Texas history across the state, and in their own community.

Submit entries:
By Mail: Texas General Land Office, Attn: Buck Cole/STH Essay Contest, P.O. Box 12873, Austin, TX, 78711-2873
Electronically: (PDF format only)
In person: 1700 North Congress Avenue, Austin, TX, 78701

Go to for details.

About the Texas General Land Office's Save Texas History program
Created in 2004, the Save Texas History program is a statewide initiative to rally public support and private funding for the preservation and promotion of the historic maps and documents housed in the GLO Archives, and serves as a resource for teaching and digitizing Texas history. If you would like to donate to the Save Texas History program to adopt a document or collection, assist with archival acquisitions, develop educational programs, or support digital projects, please visit Follow Save Texas History on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.


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