Texas Heritage Museum Celebrates 50 Years in the Making
The Texas Heritage Museum is honoring the museum’s 50 years of extraordinary vision in developing its mission, “to explore Texas and Texans during wartime and how those experiences affect us today”.
Texas Heritage Museum began with the personal collection of Hill College history professor Harold B. Simpson in 1963, and has continued to expand over the years. In 1997, state funding was secured to renovate the old library building and establish the Texas Heritage Museum as a state museum.
Today, Texas Heritage Museum is comprised of three divisions: Galleries and Collection, Historical Research Center and the Hill College Press. Together the three provide a learning environment that has helped Hill College establish itself as “The College for the Study of History” for students, as well as community members and the general public from all over the world.
Located at the Texas Heritage Museum is the Official State Medal of Honor Memorial to Native-Born Texans, featuring Audie Murphy (the most decorated soldier during WWII) and Samuel Dealey (the most decorated sailor during WWII).
“This memorial inspires our respect and remembrance to men and women of boldness and bravery: soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who, through the force of will, or an unexpected twist of fate saved their comrades from the unforgiving savagery of war, or inspired them to victory through unimaginable feats of sacrifice,” said John Versluis, dean of the Texas Heritage Museum.
Five additional names have been awarded the Medal of Honor, Post War and their names are presented honorably on the new addition of the memorial. Those are: Victor H. Espinoza of El Paso and Mike C. Pena of Newgulf, both of whom served in the Korean War and Candelario Garcia of Corsicana, Santiago J. Erevia of Nordheim, and Jose Rodela of Corpus Christi, all of whom served in the Vietnam War. The Medal of Honor is the United States of America's highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. With the additional five honorees, the Medal of Honor Memorial has 61 native-born Texans’ names.
Besides the new addition to the Medal of Honor, another exciting upgrade happened this summer. The museum theater auditorium has had a complete overhaul. The much needed upgrade was installed, making the theater audio/visual equipment state of the art high definition. This is a great improvement to showcase the museum’s videos and give the best HD experience for Hill College faculty to use to engage and enhance their teaching experience for their students.
The Texas Heritage Museum is open weekdays, except on holidays and admission is free. For more information about the Texas Heritage Museum, visit www.hillcollege.edu/museum