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Oral History Interview with Frances Farenthold, December 14, 1974. Interview A-0186. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • 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."
  • Texas politics from 1948 to 1974
  • Texan woman's decision to run for governor in 1972
  • Difficulty in shifting power base in Texas politics
  • Effort to establish single member districts in Texas
  • Texas ahead of other southern states regarding women in politics
  • Growing visibility of women throughout the South
  • Texas politics and culture
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Texas--Politics and government
  • Texas--Race relations
  • Women in politics--Texas
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.