On Friday afternoon, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced the finalists of the 2020 Save Texas History Essay Contest, sponsored by the Texas General Land Office’s Save Texas History Program.
The essay contest encourages students to answer the question, “What history in your community is worth saving?”
Stone Jessup of El Paso, was selected as one of four finalists in the state for the seventh-grade essay contest. Stone’s topic was Friday Night Lights and Horse Parades.
El Paso ISD officials shared that the Lincoln Middle School seventh grader delved into the history of El Paso High’s iconic stadium in answering the prompt: “What history in your community is worth saving?”
“It is about the fascinating history of the El Paso High School stadium, which includes being the staging site for American troops chasing Pancho Villa, horse parades after winning WWI, and one of the first stadiums to be equipped with lights starting ‘Friday night lights’ culture in Texas,” Stone said.
Stone will receive a $100 gift card, courtesy of the Sons of the Republic of Texas and Buck Cole along with complimentary items from the Sons of the Republic of Texas and the Texas General Land Office.
“I am proud of these students for their dedication to preserve their hometown history. Historical preservation starts in the early years of education and these students are setting a remarkable example to their peers on why history is so important,” said Commissioner Bush. “I am honored to read these young students’ perspectives and share with the rest of Texas their great work. I commend all finalists and thank all who participated in the contest this year. Sharing my enthusiasm for our state’s history is one of the most rewarding parts of my job as Texas Land Commissioner.”
All public, private and home-schooled students of appropriate age for the fourth grade or seventh grade were eligible to participate. Essays for the annual contest are judged on originality of idea, cohesiveness of thought and organization. Proper grammar, spelling and punctuation also counted.
The Texas General Land Office Save Texas History program is a statewide initiative to rally public support and private funding for the preservation and promotion of more than 35 million historic maps and documents. With the twin goals of preservation and education, the Save Texas History program seeks to conserve these documents for future generations and educate Texans about the rich heritage found in these vital records.