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Community Events Stem from Oral History Commemorating 50th Anniversary of UT Tower Shooting

UT/Marsha Miller

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the University of Texas Tower shooting, “Texas Standard” aired an hour-long oral history, “Out of the Blue: 50 Years After the UT Tower Shooting,” the culmination of a two-year effort to locate survivors of the shooting and gather their stories.

The public is invited to participate in two community events that stem from this project.

Shots Fired: Ongoing Repercussions of the Texas Tower Shooting
Wednesday, Nov. 2, 7-8:00 p.m. (doors at 6:30)
KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, 2504 Whitis Ave.

Texas Standard, KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History present Shots Fired: The Ongoing Repercussions of the UT Tower Shooting, a community forum about the debate on gun rights and gun control since 1966.

In August that year, Charles Whitman shot and killed 14 people on campus, and wounded 32 others. In the five decades since the shooting – an event that seemed to come from out of the blue – history has shaped that morning into the start of a new chapter in American life. And after every such atrocity, the debate over guns begins again.

Join us for an interactive dialogue hosted by veteran journalist Judy Maggio with panelists including Laura Rice, producer of the Texas Standard documentary, “Out of the Blue”; historian Jeremy Suri, the Mack Brown Distinguished Professor for Global Leadership, History, and Public Policy at The University of Texas at Austin; and Megan Gilbride of the awards-winning film documentary, “Tower.”

This event is free and open to the public, but RSVP is required.
Paid parking is available in the San Antonio or the 27th Street garages located near the University of Texas at Austin campus.

Recounting History: Survivors’ Stories of the UT Tower Shooting
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
The Austin History Center, 810 Guadalupe St.

UT Tower shooting survivor Leonard Schwartz, Benjamin Wright, assistant director at the University of Texas at Austin’s Briscoe Center for American History; Susan Rittereiser, curator of Archives and Manuscripts, and curator of the exhibit “Looking Back: 50 Years After the UT Tower Shooting” at the Austin History Center; and producers from “Texas Standard” will discuss the impact of this oral history project, what it unearthed after many years of silence, and the importance of gathering and recording stories for the sake of education, healing and historical legacy. Attendees will be invited to view pieces of the Austin History Center's archive related to the tower shooting.

The discussion will range from the day of the shooting itself, to the experience of remembering the events of that day, to the process of trying to tell the story of what happened, and the importance of individual stories through a historical lens. The conversation will take place in the David Earl Holt Photo Gallery at the Austin History Center, where an exhibit about the UT Tower shootings will be displayed.

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided, and a Q&A session will follow the presentation. 

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