Works Cited: Oscars Edition

By Caroline Jones, Reference Archivist

Works Cited is a series showcasing publications and other products of research where the creator used collections housed at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC). We trace citations and pull sources from the stacks for a look at the original. Explore publications with a TSLAC connection by visiting Titles that cite TSLAC Collections under Newly Added Titles in our library catalog.

The movie Killers of the Flower Moon, based on the book, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann, was nominated in multiple categories, including Best Picture, at this year’s Academy Awards. The work tells the story of the “Reign of Terror” against the Osage in 1920s Oklahoma and its lasting effect. The author conducted research in libraries and archives to find information and develop the story of this episode in American history. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission is named among the many “Archival and Unpublished Sources” listed in the back pages of his book.

The 2023 film, Killers of the Flower Moon was based on this book by David Grann, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, 2017. TSLAC Main 976.6004 G766k.

Unlike the film, the publication focuses more on Tom White, the agent sent to investigate the situation in Oklahoma. Given that White was a former Texas Ranger, Grann’s research included TSLAC archival records from the the Texas Adjutant General Department, a rich resource in ranger history. In his notes section, Grann cites two archival documents at TSLAC:

148 “proved an excellent”: Adjutant General to Tom Ross, Feb. 10, 1909

149 “One wagon sheet”: Adjutant General to J. D. Fortenberry, Aug. 1, 1918

What exactly did the Adjutant General write to Tom Ross and J.D. Fortenberry? I conducted a little research of my own to find out.

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Based in Texas: World War II Military Sites

Stephanie Brown, Reference Archivist

black and white photo of about 136 military officers in uniform sitting in elevated rows posing for the picture. In the background, there is one long, one-story building on the left.
Photograph of Officer’s Communication Class #14 at Camp Hood (now Fort Cavazos), January 1943. Military Places collection 2019/053-8. Click image for larger version.

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the United States officially entered World War II and the size and number of military posts in Texas grew in support the war effort. The state’s central location and temperate climate made Texas an ideal place for airfields, training facilities, and naval stations. There were more than 150 installations across the state, and more than 1.5 million military personnel came to Texas during the war. (More than 750,000 Texans served in World War II.)

black and white photo spread of soldiers training on various military equipment.
Photo spread from Picture Parade of Fort Bliss, Texas, showing anti-aircraft training at Fort Bliss during World War II. Military Places collection 2019/053-6. Click image for larger version.

Military installations in the state included 65 Army airfields, 35 Army forts and camps, and seven naval air stations and bases. Built in 1848, El Paso’s Fort Bliss expanded to one million acres during WWII and became an artillery training facility. Sheppard Field (Sheppard Air Force Base) near Wichita Falls trained glider mechanics and B-29 Superfortress flight engineers while Pampa Airfield in the Texas panhandle trained more than 6,000 aviation cadets and 3,500 mechanics in just three years. Beginning in 1942, up to 100,000 troops learned anti-tank, field artillery, and infantry tactics at Camp Hood (now called Fort Cavazos) in Killeen.

Cover of booklet titled Camp Hood, Texas with orange background behind image of soldiers on the ground in a village with the name Gestapo on one building.
Cover of booklet titled Sheppard field, Texas and a black and white image of a mechanic posing in front an airplane propeller.
Cover of booklet featuring a the cartoon face of a man peering down at a card with the text in a written font that reads, Strictly G.I. is intended to give you an idea of what Pampa Army Air Field looks like to enlisted men and incidentally, G.I. stands for government issue. At the bottom is the sketch of barracks and a tower.

Booklets published for new soldiers arriving for training in Texas at what was then Camp Hood (Fort Cavazos), Sheppard Field (Sheppard Air Force Base), and Pampa Airfield. Military Places collection, 2019/053-6. Click image for larger version.

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Japanese Police Visit the Texas Rangers

By Clinton Drake, Reference Librarian

Blue-gloved hand holding a black and white photo of two Japanese men outdoors wearing suits. One man is standing and one man sits on a horse.
Texas Department of Public Safety photo of two visitors from Japan.

As we will soon open an exhibit on records related to the Texas Rangers, we are taking an in-depth look at a group of negatives and photographs in the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) photographs collection held at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) that caught our interest. A series of photos show several Japanese police workers observing law enforcement practices of the Texas Rangers, such as smashing gambling machines with hatchets and using a polygraph machine. The seemingly friendly nature of this cultural exchange so shortly after World War II, when the U.S. and Japan were avowed enemies, left us wanting to know more. The last federal internment camp located in Texas that housed Japanese Americans closed just two years before these photos were taken. Typed notations on the upper left-hand corner of two manila envelopes provide clues about the story behind the photos. The notes read as follows:

8-4×5 negatives of
Ranger Capt. Olson and Truman Stone
showing two Japanese how the Rangers
distroy [sic] gambling equipment. Also showing
tear gas gun and cartridge
March 14, 1950

1-4×5 negative of
Kinzo Kimura, Jap[anese] police
lab technician, being
shown the polygraph by
Dee Wheeler.
February 5, 1951

Image of several black and white photos, only one in full view, with the return address portion of a manilla envelope in the bottom right corner. The photo has three men surrounding a viewfinder on a desk. From left to right, Japanese man standing, another Japanese man bent down looking through viewfinder, a white man in uniform is also bent down pointing something out. In partial view, photo shows a Texas Ranger in uniform holding an ax over two gambling machines. A Japanese man in a suit stands behind the machines on the ground.
Texas Department of Public Safety photos and envelope.
a white envelope on a table with  a photo negative sitting on top at an angle. The negative image is of a Japanese man and a Texas Ranger looking at a polygraph machine.
Texas Department of Public Safety negative and envelope.
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Life in the Texas Governor’s Mansion

By Alec Head, Reference Librarian

Many Austin landmarks are associated with Texas government, but few are so distinguished or iconic as the Texas Governor’s Mansion. The mansion was designed and built by Abner Cook after a $14,500 appropriation by the Texas Legislature in 1854. From its picturesque setting overlooking Colorado Street, the mansion has been the home of every Texas governor since Governor Elisha Pease and his family arrived in 1856. Many collections at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) tell the story of this historic home and its legendary inhabitants who shaped the course of Texas history.

Governor’s Mansion, Luck Bros., about 1919. Places Collection, 1/103-80. Prints and Photographs.

Selections from TSLAC archival collections comprise the exhibit Texas Governors and Their Times, 1846-1946, on view in the TSLAC lobby through May 15. The exhibit includes photographs and records of former governors and archival artifacts from the mansion itself. The image below, from TSLAC’s prints and photograph collection, captured the view of the Governor’s Mansion and grounds as seen from the Texas Capitol in 1894.

View of the Governor’s Mansion and fenced-in grounds in 1894. Southwest from the Capitol, 1894. Art Work of Austin, 1/002-27. Prints and Photographs.

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