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The Department of History, Political Science, & Philosophy with the John E. Conner Museum present


R.J. Kleberg and Phi Alpha Theta

Symposium on the History of Robstown, Texas


Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | 9 AM – 4 PM

Conner Museum, 905 W. Santa Gertrudis St., Kingsville, TX 


Tentative Agenda (subject to change)


9:00-9:15 a.m. | Welcome, Introduction & Acknowledgements, Dr Dean T. Ferguson, Professor of History, Texas A&M University-Kingsville 


9:15-10:30 a.m. | Panel A: Land and Labor in Robstown

  • Krystin Kilbourn, “The Blacklanders and the Development of Agriculture in Robstown.”
  • Gabriel Fields, “The Flinn Farm and a Mixed Form of Labor Control.”
  • Eli Garces. “The Robstown Migrant Labor Camp, 1940-1970.”

Commentary: Dr. Dean T. Ferguson, Professor of History, Texas A&M University-Kingsville


10:45-12:00 p.m. | Panel B:  Robstown at War, 1940-1975

  • Noah Everett, “World War II on the Robstown Homefront.”   
  • Christopher Hernandez, “Unsung Valor of Small-Town Heroes: Robstown, Texas during World War II.”
  • Matthew Stulting. “Cotton Fields to Rice Patties: A Study of Robstown during the Vietnam War.”

​​​​​​​Commentary: Dr. Anders Greenspan, Professor of History, Texas A&M University-Kingsville


12:00 – 1:00 PM | Lunch Break


1:00-2:15 p.m. | Panel C: School Segregation in Robstown before and after Brown v. Board.

  • Alexandra Helmstetler, “Segregation and Resistance in Robstown before Brown v. Board.”
  • Shelby Zamora, “The Failures of Integration of Robstown ISD, after Delgado, 1948-1959.”

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Commentary: Dr. Thomas Spencer, Dean of the Honors College and Professor of History, Texas A&M University-Kingsville


2:30-3:45 p.m. | Panel D: Politics and Culture in Post-War Robstown

  • Brian Briones, “The Music of a Town: The Voice of the Voiceless in Robstown, Texas (1950-1990).”
  • Saray Garza, “No Change without Pressure: Student Activism in Robstown in 1972.”
  • McKinna Allen, “Unity and Amigos and Chicanos, Oh My! The Political Struggle for Power in the 1970s in Robstown, Texas.”

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Commentary: Dr. Alberto Rodriguez, Director of the Mexican American Studies Institute and Professor of History, Texas A&M University-Kingsville


3:45 p.m. | Closing Remarks: Dr. Rumaldo Juarez, Emeritus President of Texas A&M University-Kingsville and Director of the Robstown Historical Museum


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