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Guest speaker Mary Jo O'Rear to talk Hurricane of 1919 at Texas A&M-Kingsville

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            KINGSVILLE (September 4, 2019) — The Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy at Texas A&M University-Kingsville will host a special guest speaker, Mary Jo O’Rear, at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, in the Blue Room in Sam Fore Hall. O’Rear will talk about Coastal Bend Catastrophe: The 1919 Hurricane.


            O’Rear is an alumnus of Texas A&M-Kingsville earning her master’s degree in history and political science in 2001.


            Her article, “Silver-Lined Storm: The Impact of the 1919 Hurricane on the Port of Corpus Christi”, won the Keith Guthrie Memorial Award from the Nueces County Historical Association and the H. Bailey Carroll Award from the Texas State Historical Association. Another work, “Reckoning at the River: Unionists and Secessionists on the Nueces, 1862”, was part of The Seventh Star of the Confederacy, an anthology that won the A.M. Pate Jr. Award for Excellence in Civil War writing.


            O’Rear’s book, Storm over the Bay: The People of Corpus Christi and their Port, published by Texas A&M Press, came out in March 2009 and was a finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters Best Scholarly Book Award. She also contributed to two other works, Still the Arena of Civil War: Violence and Turmoil in Reconstruction Texas 1865-1874 and African Americans in Corpus Christi.


            Her most recent book, Bulwark against the Bay: The People of Corpus Christi and their Seawall, came out in 2017. Her new manuscript, Barrier against the Bays: The Islands of the Coastal Bend and their Pass, is under consideration by Texas A&M Press.


            O’Rear also received a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Prior to earning her master’s degrees, she worked as a secondary teacher in the Corpus Christi Independent School District.


            She taught United States history at Del Mar College, has been vice president and secretary of the Nueces County Historical Society and was part of the Corpus Christi Museum’s Winter Texan Series. In October 2009, she was a featured speaker at the Texas Book Festival in Austin.


            She was Women’s History Breakfast chair and member of the board of the East Texas Historical Association. In addition, the association named her a Fellow of the Association in 2016 and is currently second vice president. O’Rear also served on eight Texas State Historical Association committees.



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