ACU history class seeks rodeo participants for oral history project


For immediate release
Nov. 1, 2001

Abilene Christian University students in Dr. Vernon Williams's Texas history class aren't just clowning around with their latest project.

However, they are looking for clowns.

"Rodeo clowns, cowboys, officials, promoters, producers, anyone who was involved," said Williams, professor of history at ACU.

Williams's Texas history class project is to preserve the history of the Texas rodeo in the 1930s through 1960s, and the class is looking for anyone who was involved in the rodeo in any way.

The class is recording the history of the rodeo through video-taped interviews with those involved, which will then go to the Dublin Rodeo museum. Students are also creating exhibits and a Web site for the museum.

"They're really doing a good job," Williams said, citing one student who drove three hours to do an interview with a rodeo participant.

"If he hadn't done that, that part of history would be lost," Williams said. "There's not been many historians work on this segment of history, not a lot of effort made to preserve it."

So, instead of a class project that would just be thrown away, Williams wanted his students to actually take part in recording history.

"What they are producing is real history," Williams said. "They're gaining experience and acquiring the tools of a practicing historian."

In order for the project to successfully record the history of the rodeo more interviewees are needed.

Anyone who was involved in any way with the rodeo or knows someone who was involved can call Williams at 674-2150 or write to ACU Box 28130 Abilene, Texas 79699-8130.

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Last update: Nov. 1, 2001

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