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Everybody’s Great-Grandmother

Stephenville, Tex. (SPECIAL)-The W. K. Gordon Center presents a program on 25 July 2010 by Dr. Rebecca Sharpless entitled Everybody's Great-Grandmother: Texas Farm Women before World War II. The Sunday afternoon presentation begins at 2:30 pm and is free to the public.

Most southerners lived on farms before World War II, and women had crucial roles in the survival of their families.  In addition to cooking, sewing, cleaning, and rearing children, women sometimes worked in the fields.  Sharpless will focus on women's daily lives on Texas cotton farms in the first half of the twentieth century. 

Rebecca Sharpless is associate professor of history at Texas Christian University, where she researches and teaches U.S. women's history, particularly from the South.  Her first book, Fertile Ground, Narrow Choices: Women on Texas Cotton Farms, 1900-1940, explored the lives of ordinary women in Central Texas.  With Melissa Walker, she edited Work, Family, and Faith: Rural Southern Women in the Twentieth Century.  Her newest book, Cooking in Other Women's Kitchens: Domestic Workers in the South, 1865-1960, will be published in October 2010.  Sharpless directed the Baylor University Institute for Oral History from 1993 to 2006.

This presentation enhances the temporary exhibit from Humanities Texas entitled, "Rural Texas Women at Work, 1930-1960."  The display opened at the Gordon Center on June 1, 2010 and continues through Friday, August 27, 2010. Drawn from files of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service archives at Texas A&M University, this exhibit uses photographs and explanatory texts to convey a sense of the lives of rural Texas women, helpful programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Extension Service, and the changes that swept across rural Texas from the Great Depression to World War II. For more information call the Center at 254-968-1886.