Texans' Commitment to Historic Sites

Texas's History is Unique

In no other state are people more proud of their past. Whether native or adopted, Texans take pride in their state's unique heritage, celebrating and protecting sites that range in age from prehistoric rock art to the Apollo Mission Control Center. We also take pride in the long history of our efforts to preserve and interpret Texas history. The Texas State Historical Association was founded in 1897 and 32 years later, in 1929, the Texas archeological Society was organized. The realization that both historical and archeological study of the past are important continues to this day. As early as 1936, the centennial of statehood, the state erected granite markers to commemorate sites and events of the republic and state-and of the thousand of years that had gone before.

As the rate of the 20th century development expanded, the state recognized the need for a public effort to preserve – not just commemorate – evidence of the past. In 1954 the Texas Historical Survey Committee (now Texas Historical Commission) was established to identify, mark, and preserve the state's historical resources. These responsibilities were expanded to include archeology when the Office of the State archeologist (established in 1965) became part of the commission in 1969. Thus we have a long tradition of both public and private, professional and amateur involvement in preserving and recording the Texas past.

Archeological sites are among our most fragile resources, and many are lost each year due to the ravages of time and nature. Many also are lost to the development that is necessary to the growth of a modern state. But many others are lost to ignorance, indifference, and even greed. Site vandals and commercial relic collectors can destroy in hours a site that contains the only evidence of thousands of years of Texas past. Please support local and statewide, private and public efforts to preserve and honor Texas's unique history.

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