Department of History

The legend of the bluebonnet

Thu, Mar 30, 2017

By Jay Wallis

TEXAS - If the state flower of Texas had a Facebook page, under relationship status, it would say “complicated.” There is plenty of history between this flower and the Lone Star State.

Today, anyone who drives down a Texas highway can see the importance of this flower. The Texas Department of Transportation even has a wildflower program that buys and sows about 30,000 pounds of wildflower each year – with a large percentage of that going toward bluebonnets.

From a social...

UNT professor hosting lecture on his book

Sat, Feb 4, 2017 - 9:47pm

University of North Texas historian and professor Andrew Torget will present a lecture based on his new book Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands at noon Wednesday.

The lecture will be in the Commissioner’s Courtroom on the second floor of the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum, at 110 W. Hickory St. in Denton, and has available handicap parking. The event is free.

Seeds of Empire will detail how the cotton revolution of the early 19th century took root in and altered northeastern Mexico into the western edge of the United States.


UNT professor uncovers seeds of Texas history

Thu, Nov 17, 2016

By Jason B. Hogan

Dr. Andrew Torget visited with Austin County residents at the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site on Saturday, Nov. 12, gave out autographed copies of his new book, “Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800-1850”.

According to Torget’s website, Seeds of Empire has won 10 book prizes and awards and has been featured on National Public Radio, Texas Monthly, and the Dallas Morning News.

“It’s about the role that cotton and slavery played in the transformation of Texas from Comanche hinterland to Mexican state to its own republic to ultimately...

Registration open for October conference

Tue, Sep 13, 2016 - 11:28pm

UNT’s Teaching of History Conference will focus on “Reconstruction and Restorations” this year during the one-day conference on Saturday, Oct. 1.

Registration is open through Sept. 25 for the conference, which will have six sessions focusing on state, national and international history.

H.W. Brands, a professor and chairman at the University of Texas at Austin, will be the luncheon speaker.

He will talk about his two books, which focus on the restoration eras under presidents Ronald Reagan and Ulysses Grant.

Registration is $30 for the general public and $20 for UNT faculty, students and staff.


The Great War: A Book List

By Kevin LaCroix

Last August, in conjunction with the centennial of the start of World War I, I re-read Barbara Tuchman’s classic account of the war’s first days, The Guns of August. Tuchman is a great writer and she tells the story of the war’s first weeks well. One thing she captures particularly well is the way that poor military planning based on fatally flawed assumptions brought on catastrophes that affected all of the combatants.

Unfortunately, Tuchman’s book has some flaws and some critical omissions. Tuchman is a great story-teller, but all too often her desire to tell the story interferes with her...