Texas Day by Day

On this day in Texas history…

Texas Institute of Letters holds first meeting

November 9th, 1936

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Image taken at random from the related Handbook of Texas entry, Texas Institute of Letters

On this day in 1936, the organizational meeting of the Texas Institute of Letters convened in the lecture room of the Hall of State on the grounds of the Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas. The idea for the organization came from William H. Vann, a professor of English at what is now the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, in Belton. He and others had been inspired by the celebration of the Texas Centennial to form an organization to promote interest in Texas literature and to recognize literary and cultural achievement. The institute, whose official address varies according to residence of the secretary-treasurer, meets each spring to present awards and transact business. The members are novelists, poets, essayists, historians, journalists, playwrights, and other writers. The requirement for membership has always been quality writing.

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