Sam Houston Normal Institute and WWI

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“Throughout the history of Sam Houston Normal she has been an institution of service-never has she failed to take part in any worthy movement or fallen down in any great undertaking.” From the The Alcalde, 1918. World War I was no different from 1917-1919 Sam Houston sent 200 of the finest young men “over there”; to Europe to fight for the great struggle of Democracy.

At home, the Sam Houston Normal Institute established a unit of the SATC, Students Army Training Course, where students could enlist as privates and continue their education. These soldiers/students bunked in the Austin Hall Building; sleep on mattresses bought from the Texas Penitentiary, and did drills and exercises as if they were in boot camp.

The above photographs shows the SATC on campus. Note the bottom right photograph of the campus. In front on the left is the Manual Training/Agriculture Building. In the middle with three floors is Austin Hall. In the back photograph, there are the spires of the Old Main Building. The top middle photograph shows the back of Austin Hall before the new columns and extra door, were added later as the college grew to the south.

To see more WWI materials in the archives come visit us in the Newton Gresham Library, room 400.

USO Clubs, Paris, Texas 1944

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USOCLUB 1944 Mason

 

The USO (United Service Organizations) Clubs in WWII were a major component of keeping morale up for those in the military, along with their dependents. From java hour, to wives craft club, to a class called Ball and Chain for military couples, to basketball at Paris Jr. College there was something to keep everyone occupied.

This 1944 USO Club program bulletin is from Paris, Texas. The bulletin is part of the Melvin Mason Collection. Dr. Melvin Mason taught English here at Sam Houston State from 1962-1991. In he was drafted into the Army from Roxton, Texas and sent to Chicago for training. WWII ended before he was sent overseas.