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We are collecting oral histories, photographs, documents, artifacts, and other memorabilia to add to the West Texas Collection at Angelo State University. These new archives will be used in periodic exhibits and will be available to students and researchers to study this important period in our history.

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Contact us at oral.history@angelo.edu

From global stories of
heroism

To personal histories

Young girl in traditional Japanese dress

Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times

Our Shared History

The George Wesley Ricks Memorial WWII Oral History Archive, Greatest Generation Oral History Archive, and the William and Don Griffis Vietnam War Oral History Archive seek to record the history of West Texas members of the Greatest Generation, World War II, Korean War, and  Vietnam War veterans and their loved ones.

Black and white archival photo of a solider in uniform

George Wesley Ricks Memorial WWII Oral History Archive

The George Wesley Ricks Memorial WWII Oral History Archive preserves the experiences of World War II and Korean War veterans for the use of future generations of students, historians, and the public. We seek to highlight the roles that West Texas veterans played in these conflicts and further illuminate this period of history.

The project collects oral history interviews of surviving WWII and the Korean War veterans, who lived in West Texas at some point in their lives. We invite those families with surviving veterans to contact us to arrange for interviews. We also welcome those with photographs, letters, documents, and other artifacts to contact us as well. Documents may either be digitized and returned, or if the owner prefers, the physical items may be considered for inclusion in the West Texas Collection. Digital copies will be housed in the West Texas Collection via the Angelo State University Digital Repository.

The archive is named for World War II veteran George Wesley Ricks (1922-2019). A native of Abbott, Arkansas, Ricks served in the U.S. Army in the European Theater during World War II. Members of his company were some of the first troops that liberated the Dachau concentration camp just 10 miles from Munich in southern Germany. Following his military service, Ricks married and moved to San Angelo, where he was the longtime business owner of Ricks Phillips 66 until retiring in 1985. He was also a founding member and first president of the North Angelo Lions Club, a member of the San Angelo Police Academy Board, and a deacon at Lake View Baptist Church and Edmund Boulevard Baptist Church.

This project is made possible through the generous support of an anonymous donor, facilitated by the San Angelo Area Foundation.

hand written letter

Greatest Generation Oral History Archive

The Greatest Generation Oral History Archive preserves the experiences of the “greatest generation”—those born in the early 1900s to mid-1920s, grew up during the Great Depression, and experienced life during the Second World War. This project records the stories and archives the documents of civilians who lived through these historically significant eras. Future generations of students, historians, and the public will have further insight into the lives of the “greatest generation.”

This archive collects oral history interviews of surviving members of the Greatest Generation who at some point in their lives lived in West Texas. We invite those families with elders who lived through this historically significant era to contact us to arrange for interviews. We also welcome those with photographs, letters, documents, and other artifacts to contact us as well. Documents may either be digitized and returned, or if the owner prefers, the physical items may be considered for inclusion in the West Texas Collection. Digital copies will be housed in the West Texas Collection via the Angelo State University Digital Repository.

This project is made possible through the generous support of an anonymous donor, facilitated by the San Angelo Area Foundation.

William and Don Griffis Vietnam War Oral History Archive

The William and Don Griffis Vietnam War Oral History Archive of West Texas was initiated in the summer of 2021. Its mission is to capture for posterity a clear and accurate representation of how the Vietnam War affected people with ties to West Texas. While the Vietnam War’s general impact on American veterans and families has been explored in major motion pictures, books, documentaries, music, and museum exhibits, this archive is focused on taking stock of its impact on people in West Texas. The experiences of Vietnam veterans, of their families, of activists on either side of the War, and of supporters of various stripes are all of interest to the Archive.

The first round of interviews is underway, with plans to continuously acquire more stories, letters, pictures, and other artifacts for the foreseeable future. Please contact the Archive for more information if you are interested in scheduling an interview or sharing any item of potential historical significance.

This project is made possible through the generous support of an anonymous donor, facilitated by the San Angelo Area Foundation.