Beijing in the Snow


On September 3, 1930, Col. John W. Thomason arrived in Beijing, China to take a position as a commanding officer of a machine gun company within the United States Legation Guard. The Legation Quarter, which was created in 1861, was the area of Beijing that housed several nations’ diplomatic officers. The area had its own banks, hotels, stores, and security forces, as well as a baseball diamond and polo grounds. The area was independent of Chinese control and approximated a defended military zone.


Thomason would spend 3 years in China. He documented his time through his drawings and photographs. Many of these photographs capture the Legation and its inhabitants during the winter months. These photographs show members of the United States Legation Guard marching in formation in the snow.

We are currently digitizing the John W. Thomason collection, so hopefully we will have more pictures to show you in the future.


Dr. Jack Horner of Jurassic Park Fame Coming to SHSU

On Tuesday, April 2, 2013, Dr. Jack Horner, Regents Professor of Paleontology at Montana State University, will be speaking here in Huntsville as part of Sam Houston State University’s Distinguished Lecturer Series. Dr. Horner is a renowned paleontologist. He is the first to discover dinosaur eggs in the western hemisphere and has identified some of the first dinosaur embryos. He has discovered and even named a few species, such as the Maiasaura. Not to diminish any of those accomplishments, but he may be best known for serving as a technical adviser for all three Jurassic Park movies and was the inspiration for the Dr. Alan Grant characters in the novels and subsequent movies. Needless to say we are very excited to be hosting Dr. Horner on campus NEXT WEEK!

Dr. Jack Horner and SHSU Distinguished Lecturer Series

Dr. Jack Horner and SHSU Distinguished Lecturer Series

Dr. Horner’s speech will be on “Where are the Baby Dinosaurs”. It will be held in the Lowman Student Center, Theatre from 11:00-12:00 on Tuesday, April 2.

We hope you will be able to come!

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today is International Women’s Day!

To celebrate, we thought we would introduce you to a number of great and inspiring women that have set foot on the Sam Houston State University Campus.

Anna J. Hardwicke Pennybacker

 Ann J. Pennybacker

Graduate of 1st class of 1880, Sam Houston Normal Institute – Woman’s Suffrage Advocate, Author, and Lecturer

She authored the book A New History of Texas.

For more information:

Jewel Henson Gibson

Jewel Henson Gibson

Graduate with a BS in 1932 and a MS in 1950 – Novelist, Professor, and Playwright

Her novels include Joshua Beene and God , a satirical work about fictitious Church of Christ prophet in a small Texas town and Black Gold, a tale about a booming oil town.
For more information:

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt with Anna Hardwicke and Harry Estill                                                          (Eleanor with Anna J. Hardwicke Pennybacker and Dr. Harry Estill

Mrs. Roosevelt never attended Sam Houston but did visit the campus on March 7, 1937. She was friends with Anna J. Hardwicke Pennybacker through her work with the Democratic party.

(credit to University archives for Pictures)                                                                       (credit the Handbook of Texas for information)