The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 288
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ation. Inaugurated president at El Paso in 1966, he and Bette waved
farewell to all and headed for the airport and a year in Spain. The prob-
lems of the budding organization fell to the vice president, me, but Gene
returned in time to bask in presidential glory at San Francisco in 1967.
Gene and Joe Frantz used to keep WHA audiences in an uproar heaping
calumnies on each other from the podium.
Gene belonged to that rare species, the genuine Texas liberal, political
and social. Republicans and Christian fundamentalists were twin demons.
Nor was he a closet liberal: he left no one in doubt about his views on is-
sues and personalities, expressed in colorfully explicit language. He was
better at scorning Republicans than at extolling Democrats, except for
the likes of Adlai Stevenson, for whose presidential bids he worked in
1952 and 1956.
Gene had no use for Ronald Reagan or either Bush senior or Bush jun-
ior, but for Richard Nixon he harbored an obsessively passionate
loathing. Nixon's portrait hung in his Toledo bathroom, an insurance, he
explained, against ever needing a laxative. In 1973 we were part of the
faculty for a week-long writer's course at Utah State University in Logan.
Each evening we posted ourselves in front of a television for Gene to rev-
el in the day's disclosures by Senator Sam Ervin's Watergate committee.
Both as Texan and historian, Gene Hollon was almost one of a kind.
His closest rival was Joe B. Frantz. Together and individually, they left
both state and profession immeasurably richer. We shall long remember
Gene and Joe.
Katherine DiSimoni of Copperas Cove High School won the David Van
Tassel Founder Award at the National History Day awards ceremony at the
University of Maryland, College Park, this past summer. DiSimoni quali-
fied for National History Day by winning first place at Texas History Day,
a program of the Texas State Historical Association, as part of a group ex-
hibit titled "Comrades No More." The award is a four-year, full scholar-
ship to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She intends
to major in history in college, with secondary education certification, to
help students explore history and enjoy the study of the past.
DiSimoni will be part of the corps of new history teachers that we are
training for the future. President Bush helped focus on this need in a
White House rose garden ceremony on September 17 as a part of the ob-
servations of the 215th anniversary of the signing of the United States
Constitution by announcing several new federally sponsored initiatives
designed to "improve students' knowledge of American history, increase
their civic involvement, and deepen their love for our great country." One
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/340/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.