[Narrator 1:] The graduate student at Harvard was hard at work when a woman said to him, "Mr. Dale, you look as though you've spent your life bending over dusty documents." He didn't tell her that he got that bend in his shoulders from sitting days and nights in the saddle. The lady viewed him as a scholar and she was right. But on the other hand, there were people who knew him only as a tall, lanky, blue eyed cowboy. He was a cowboy alright but one who was well on his way to becoming the pioneer historian of Oklahoma's frontier.
[Narrator 2:]They came to Oklahoma from many nations. Newcomers to a new land, looking for better opportunities, a chance to begin again and what remains is their heritage. A rich heritage, that has become the Oklahoma image.
[Cowboy music plays]
[Narrator 1:] Dale was Texas born of English ancestry but tempered with generations of frontier living. Dale's father had to have a go at the California gold fields before he could come back to Texas to settle on a homestead. This was where Ed was born, on that homestead in the log cabin that his father had built. He remembers that, even at the age of five, he worked at his father's side clearing brush and trying to pull a productive farm from a post-oak, black-jack jungle that covered a thin, sandy soil.
[Narrator 1:] When Ed's father decided to become a cattleman, Ed liked this freer life and he quickly learned the techniques of handling range cattle and horses. Later, Ed homesteaded on the Kiowa/Comanche/Apache reservation near Mountain Park and supplemented his income as a Deputy Sheriff. At the age of 26, he faced squarely the decision of whether to punch cattle or go to college. His friends scorned the idea of college and reminded him that he would be 31 by the time he graduated. Dale thought about that and with his usual simple, direct logic he figured that in five years he would be 31 anyway and the real question was whether he wished to reach that age with a college degree. He did, and made a colorful Harvard student to say the least.
[Narrator 1:] At Harvard, he studied with Frederick Jackson Turner who helped him view the common man as a hero in the making of this nation. Dale returned to his native state and held a faculty position in the Department of History at the University of Oklahoma for 30 years. In those years, his enthusiasm for the history he loved, lived, taught and wrote was contagious. As he talked to trappers and traders, cattlemen and homesteaders and Indians and soldiers, he held students spellbound. He inspired countless students to pursue history as a profession and loudly applauded their efforts.
[Narrator 1:] His writings, including 18 books and 60 essays and articles which are still widely read and respected, reflect a blend of professional ability and intense desire to share his love of the past. Dale's interest in preserving visual records led to the creation of the Phillip's Collection, the core of the University of Oklahoma's Western History Collections. As a lasting tribute to its pioneer historian, the University of Oklahoma named its social science building Edward Everett Dale Hall.
[Narrator 2:] This program was produced by the Oklahoma Image Project, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and brought to you as a public service by this station. Oklahoma Image is sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and the Oklahoma Library Association.
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Part of the Oklahoma Image Statewide Humanities Project, Promoting Newcomers to a New Land book series.
Copyright of this digital resource, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, 2008. For further information regarding use please consult the Rights and Permissions page, http://www.crossroads.odl.state.ok.us/shell/rights.php or contact the holding institution of the digital resource.
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