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State Historian of Texas to visit Blinn, discuss Sam Houston’s leadership style

Bill O’Neal will visit the Blinn-Bryan campus on Thursday, Oct. 20

October 12, 2016

Bill O’Neal, the State Historian of Texas, will give Blinn College students a fascinating look at the leadership stylings of the legendary Sam Houston.

Photo: Bill O'NealO’Neal will speak about the topic of his new book, “Sam Houston: A Study in Leadership,” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, in the Blinn College-Bryan Campus Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.

O’Neal is a historian and the author of more than 40 books and 300 articles on the American West. His is a history professor at Panola College, and has appeared in television documentaries on stations such as The History Channel, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and the Discovery Channel.

In 2012, O’Neal was appointed the Texas state historian by Gov. Rick Perry, and currently is concluding his second term. O’Neal’s presentation at Blinn-Bryan represents one of his final two appearances in that capacity.

O’Neal was presented with an honorary doctor of letters degree from Texas A&M University-Commerce, and was named the best living non-fiction writer by True West Magazine. In 2005, he received the National Outlaw and Lawman Association Award for “The Johnson County War.”

Sam Houston was a key leader in Texas’ battle to secure independence, and held a variety of political offices, including service as the governor of Texas, a United States senator, the first and third presidents of Texas, a member of the Texas House of Representatives, governor of Tennessee, and a U.S. Congressman representing Tennessee.

As a soldier, Houston fought in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in the War of 1812 and in the Battle of San Jacinto during the Texas Revolutionary War.

The City of Houston was named after Sam Houston, as was a memorial museum, Sam Houston State University, five U.S. naval vessels, a U.S. army base, a national forest, and a historical park.

O’Neal’s appearance is sponsored by Blinn’s Division of Social Sciences and the Central Texas Historical Society.