Back to the Past with Doc Butler

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About Doc Butler

Question everything!
("Question everything!")

Steven R. Butler
Associate (Adjunct) Professor of History
Ph.D. University of Texas at Arlington, 2006
M.A. University of Texas at Arlington, 1999
B.A. Rhode Island College, Providence, R.I., 1976
A.A. Rhode Island Junior College, Warwick, R. I. 1974
Attended Richland College, Dallas, Texas 1972-1973

Office(s):

A-110 (Richland College)
K-239 (Collin College, SCC)

Phone(s):

972-238-6140 (Richland College)
972-881-5759 (Collin College, Spring Creek)

E-mail:

sbutler@dcccd.edu
(Richland College)
srbutler@collin.edu
(Collin College, Spring Creek Campus)

Office Hours:

By Appointment

Doc Butler at Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas
Doc Butler in London, England, 2007

Areas of Interest in History:

U.S. History, Anglo-American history (in particular, the relationship and connections between Britain and the United States), Presidential History, local, state, and regional history (Texas, particularly Dallas and Collin Counties)

I have an interest not only in U.S. history but also the history of Great Britain, where I resided (in London) from 1977 to 1982. The United Kingdom is also a country to which I still have close personal ties and to which I travel from time-to-time, most recently in May and June 2011.

Teaching Style

I teach a "warts-and-all" view of American history, with a particular emphasis on political and social struggles and issues that have engaged and in some cases, continue to engage, thoughtful and concerned American citizens.

Whenever it is relevant, I try to show my students how local history connects with larger national events.

Biography:

I trace the beginning of my lifelong interest in history to the Disneyland television series, which in December 1954 aired the first of three episodes about frontier hero Davy Crockett. I also credit my grandmother, who told me at an early age about my great-grandfather (her father), who had fought in the Civil War. By the age of eight, my love of history was noticeable. On January 24, 1958, my third grade teacher at Edwin J. Kiest Elementary School in Dallas, Mrs. Johnson, wrote in my report card for the third six weeks period: "Steven brings to class many interesting anecdotes and much historical background of famous people and places. How we enjoy these!"

I received both my M.A. in History (1999) and my Ph.D. in Transatlantic History (2006) from The University of Texas at Arlington.  I am also a graduate of Rhode Island College, where I was awarded a B.A. in History in 1976, and Rhode Island Junior College, from which I earned an Associate degree in Liberal Arts in 1974. A native of Dallas, Texas, I began my undergraduate work in 1972 as a "charter student" at Richland College, one of the two schools where I teach today. During the 1972-1973 school year, I served as Associate Editor of the Richland Mandala, forerunner of today's Richland Chronicle student newspaper. If you are interested, here is a short article I wrote, Remembering Richland College, 1972.

Doc Butler as a student at Richland College, 1972
Doc Butler as a student at Richland College, 1972

Doc Butler at Rhode Island Junior College (now Community College of Rhode Island)
Doc Butler visiting Rhode Island Junior College (now Community College of Rhode Island), June 2012

Doc Butler at Rhode Island College
Doc Butler visiting Rhode Island College, June 2012

Doc Butler at UTA
Doc Butler at the University of Texas at Arlington, December 2006

I am a veteran of the Cold War. Between 1968 and 1971 I served in the United States Navy, on land and also at sea aboard the aircraft carriers U.S.S. Yorktown (CVS-10) and U.S.S. Intrepid (CVS-11). As a Third Class Petty Officer, I participated in several NATO antisubmarine warfare exercises in the North Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, North Sea, Baltic Sea, and Arctic Ocean. The purpose of these exercises were to prevent a surprise nuclear attack upon the United States and its allies by the Soviet Union. Both of the ships I served aboard are now floating museums, the Yorktown at Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina (near Charleston), and the Intrepid in New York City. After a wait of several decades, I revisited both vessels, the Yorktown in 2010, and the Intrepid in 2012.

Doc Butler visiting the Yorktown, 2010
Doc Butler visiting the Yorktown, August 2010

Doc Butler visiting the Intrepid, 2012
Doc Butler visiting the Intrepid, June 2012

When I first started college in 1972 I intended to major in Journalism. During part of my sophomore year (1973-1974), I worked as a part-time tour guide at the Old Slater Mill Historic Site in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, the first cotton mill in America, opened in 1790 by an English immigrant named Samuel Slater. The historic site consists of three buildings: The Sylvanus Brown House, the Slater Mill, and the Wilkinson Mill. My job was take visitors through the Wilkinson Mill, where Samuel Slater's father-in-law, Oziel Wilkinson, operated a machine shop. While working here, on weekends mostly, compliments from visitors led me to give up the idea of pursuing a career in Journalsim and to change my major to History and become a teacher. Below are some photos that show me in 1973 and also 2012, when I returned to see the place where I made one of the most important decisions of my life.

Doc Butler at the Wilkinson Mill, Old Slater Mill Historic Site, 1973
Doc Butler at the Wilkinson Mill, Old Slater Mill Historic Site, 1973.

Doc Butler at the Wilkinson Mill, Old Slater Mill Historic Site, 2012
Doc Butler at the Wilkinson Mill, Old Slater Mill Historic Site, 2012.

Doc Butler at the Wilkinson Mill, Old Slater Mill Historic Site, 2012
Doc Butler at the Wilkinson Mill, Old Slater Mill Historic Site, 2012.

Old Slater Mill, 2012
Old Slater Mill, 2012.

I am married and have two adult sons and one grandson.

Hobbies and Interests: Travel, Photography, Family History (Genealogy), collecting inexpensive historical artifacts that I call "Pieces of the Past." In keeping with these interests, I also maintain several other websites, which you are invited to visit.

I have written for, or been associated in some way, with the following productions and projects:

TEXTBOOKS

U.S.: A Narrative History, Special Texas Edition 2012
(seven articles)
U.S.: A Narrative History, Special Texas Edition 2012
(nine articles)
American Past and Present Special Texas Edition 2008
(six articles)
American Past and Present Special Texas Edition 2008
(six articles)

(four articles)

(three articles)

(one article)

OTHER HISTORY BOOKS and COLLECTIONS


The U.S. and Mexico at War, edited by Donald Frazier.
(I contributed four articles to this book.)


When Art Worked:
The New Deal, Art, and Democracy

by Roger G. Kennedy, former director
of the National Park Service and director emeritus
of the National Museum of American History.
(I contributed five photographs to this book.)
Marshall Cavendish's The Old West
Marshall Cavendish--The Old West
(nine articles)

FILM, RADIO, and TELEVISION

"The U.S.-Mexican War"by PBS/KERA-TV, Dallas, Texas (1998)
(Unpaid but Credited Advisor)


"A Fair to Remember"
a documentary film about
the State Fair of Texas
by Media Projects, Inc.

(Unpaid but Credited Advisor; also appeared in this documentary.)

KERA-TV Art and Seek program
Fair Park Art Quirks
KERA-TV Think program
(Broadcast Oct. 16, 2009)
Click on link or logo to view online.
KRLD microphone
Members Of Hitlerís Army On The Shores Of White Rock Lake
KRLD 1080 AM
(Broadcast March 21, 2014)
Click on link or logo to read and listen online.

HISTORICAL JOURNALS, MAGAZINES, and NEWSPAPERS


Read my article Honoring the Past: Confederate Monuments in Dallas

Read my article Dallas Volunteers in the Mexican War

Read my article Pioneer Personified: The Life and Times of Capt. Preston Witt

Read my article From Water Supply to Urban Oasis, Part One

Read my article From Water Supply to Urban Oasis, Part Two

Read my article Reichenstein and Manley
Read my article
Read my article George Clifton Edwards and the Progressive Impulse in Dallas

Read my article Dad Garrett: The Wizard of Dallas, Texas

Read my article A Tale of Two Artists
Includes 5 of my own photographs.

Read my article Freethinkers: Religious Non-Conformity in Dallas, 1879-1904
Includes 1 of my own photographs.

Read my article The Army of Occupation at Corpus Christi

Article title:
"The Father of WRR"
Listen to WRR online

This issue of the Richland College Chronicle includes my article comparing the presidential elections of 1972 and 2008.

This issue of the Richland College Chronicle includes my article in which I relate my personal recollections of the Kennedy assassination.

MUSEUMS

White Rock Lake Museum
Visit White Rock Lake Museum online

HISTORICAL MARKERS (I initiated the placement of these Texas State Historical Commission markers and also wrote the required historical narratives, from which the marker text was derived.)

Camp Belknap marker, Cameron County, Texas
Camp Belknap marker, Cameron County, Texas (Erected 1996)
Read retails at Texas Historical Commission website

Brazos Santiago marker, Cameron County, Texas
Brazos Santiago marker, Cameron County, Texas (Erected 1996)
Read retails at Texas Historical Commission website

Historical Marker at White Rock Lake
Historical Marker at White Rock Lake Park, Dallas, Texas (Erected 2005)
Read retails at Texas Historical Commission website

CCC Marker at White Rock Lake
CCC Camp Historical Marker at White Rock Lake Park, Dallas, Texas (2006)
Read retails at Texas Historical Commission website

This website copyright © 2006-2014 (except where noted) by Steven Butler, Ph.D. All rights reserved.