Title: Oral History Interview with Frances Farenthold, December 14, 1974. Interview A-0186.
Interviewer: DeVries, Walter
Interviewee: Farenthold, Frances
Subjects: Texas--Politics and government Texas--Race relations Women in politics--Texas
Abstract: Frances Farenthold served two terms in the Texas state legislature. First elected in 1968 and then elected again in 1972, Farenthold offers an insider perspective on Texas politics during the late 1960s and early 1970s. In this interview, Farenthold describes the "reform session" of the Texas legislature during her second term in 1973 and explains the need for reform in Texas politics. In particular, Farenthold advocates for the benefits of single member districts and procedure reform. In addition, Farenthold offers her assessment of Texas politicians such as Governor Dolph Briscoe and Lloyd Bentsen. Farenthold also discusses changes in Texas politics more broadly, focusing on the years between 1948 and 1974 (the year of the interview). According to Farenthold, little had changed in state politics aside from decreasing tolerance for overt racism. Farenthold also speaks at length about the role of women in Texas politics, drawing comparisons to other southern states. Other topics addressed regarding Texas politics include the rural-urban split, the frontier tradition, the impact of suburbanization, and the role of various minority groups such as Chicanos, African Americans, and Jews, and the concept of "Texas liberals."