Texas has a unique military history reflecting its stages of growth and the governments that have contributed to its development. The Texas Historical Commission (THC) recognizes the importance of this heritage by supporting efforts to preserve historically important military sites.
The Military Sites Program (Military History) was developed to help provide the proper tools and support for these special places in Texas history. Since 1997, the program has conducted multiple long-term projects to increase the documentation and interpretation of the state's military history. These programs include: the Texas in World War II Initiative, the Texas Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Initiative, the Texas Civil War Monuments Fund, and a national award winning oral history training workshop series. In the course of these projects, the Military History program has researched and produced multiple travel brochures that highlight Texas' military sites.
An ongoing project for the Military History Program has been an effort to extensively research, document, and produce onsite interpretation and online materials detailing the historic context of Department of Justice and U.S. Army internment camps that held Japanese and German Americans; Japanese, German, and Italian Enemy Aliens; and Latin American internees of the aforementioned ancestry at five sites in Texas during World War II. Please explore the undertold history of these confinement camps by clicking on links on the righthand side of this webpage.
Following World War II, in small and large Texas towns alike, many feared nuclear annihilation and grappled with the need to build a bomb shelter in the back yard during the Arms Race. Learn more about Texas in the Cold War, an oral history training workshop series.
In 2017, the Texas centennial of the First World War will be observed across the state. The THC is currently working on centennial commemoration ideas. Check back in the future for more details.
1st in Texas
World War II-era Enemy Alien Internment Camp (Crystal City) listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Texas WWI Centennial Planning Conference (Austin - March 2, 2018)
A free conference for those organizing WWI events during the centennial
Crystal City (Family) Internment Camp
The first such site in Texas, listed on the National Register of Historic Places