University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Texas Bluebonnet Girls State Records, 1942-2012

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Texas Bluebonnet Girls State
Title: Texas Bluebonnet Girls State Records
Dates: 1942-2012
Abstract: Publications, photographs, scrapbooks, operating records, videocassettes and a documentary film trace the history of Bluebonnet Girls State, a program sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary that aims to educate high-school age girls in the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship.
Accession No.: AR 95-097; 95-172; 96-373; 97-214; 98-229; 2008-184; 2009-182; 2012-001
Extent: 9 ft., 9 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Historical Note

Sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Texas, Bluebonnet Girls State aims to educate high-school age girls in the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship. In annual weeklong sessions, participants, or “citizens,” organize their own city, county, and state governments, conducting elections, introducing and debating bills in a mock legislature, and learning the duties of government offices. Two girls are selected annually to attend Girls Nation in Washington, D. C.

Although the American Legion Auxiliary instituted Girls State in 1937, the Texas program started three years later with the first and second Bluebonnet Girls States held at Baylor University in 1941 and 1942, respectively. Meetings were suspended during World War II, recommencing in 1946. One of the most influential figures in Bluebonnet Girls State history was Frances Goff, who began working with the program in 1947 and served as Director from 1952 until her death in 1994. That year, Connie Bridges, a former Girls State citizen and 1974 Girls State governor, became Executive Director.

Scope and Contents

Publications, photographs, scrapbooks, operating records, videocassettes, and a documentary film compose the Texas Bluebonnet Girls State Records, 1942-2008. Publications in the collection include annual manuals, the summer Bluebonnet newsletter, manuals, counselor and staff guidebooks, membership directories, brochures, and sheet music. Black and white photographic prints document the Bluebonnet Girls State sessions of the 1940s and 1950s, while scrapbooks record participants’ activities from the late 1950s to 2002. Additionally, there are several photographs on compact disc of the Girls State sessions for 2003-2008. The organization’s operating records consist of schedules, programs, participant rosters, correspondence, memoranda, applications, minutes, financial reports, invoices, and clippings. In addition, the records of Connie Bridges pertain to the 1974 Girls State session, and a body of photographic material documents the annual gift shop and hospital volunteer work of the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Texas in the 1940s to 1950s.


Access Restrictions

Portions of these records are restricted due to their sensitive nature.

Use of digital materials by appointment only; please contact digital archivist for more information.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Goff, Frances, 1916-1994.
Bridges, Connie.
Trahan, Mary Ellen.
Subjects (Organizations)
Girls State. Texas.
American Legion. Auxiliary. Dept. of Texas.
Girls -- Societies and clubs -- Archival resources.
Women -- Education -- Texas.

Related Material

Forms part of the Francis Goff Papers, 1914-1994

See also the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Texas Records

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Texas Bluebonnet Girls State Records, 1942-2008, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Deborah Bloys, April 1995.

Subsequent revisions were made by Shelley Rowland, July 2008, Megan Mummey, July 2009, Laurel Rozema, August 2010, Maria Soscia, March 2012, and Stefanie Lapka, July 2013.

Detailed Description of the Papers



2.325/G139l Girls State publications:
Bluebonnet Girls State Manual, published annually:
1955-1956, 1958-1976, 1978
2.325/G145 1964, 1966-1975, 1978-1979, 1981-1983, 1986-1990, 1992-1993, 1997, 1998, 2002
Counselor and Staff Guidebook, 1969, 1997, 1998
“Training Leaders for a Free Future: A History of Girls State, 1937-1957”
“Guide for American Legion Auxiliary Girls State,” 1970, 1975
Brochures, 1970, 1979, 1981, 1984
Sheet music, “To the Auxiliary,” “For God and for Country,” “Here’s to Girls State”
“The Bluebonnet,” newsletter
1967, 1979-1985
2.325/G146 1986, 1989-1990, 1996-2000, 2002-2003
Operating records: Programs, correspondence, memoranda, rosters, applications, minutes, financial reports and clippings
Clippings, 1970
Invoices, financial records, 1979
Invoices, financial records, 1980
2.325/G147 1981-1982
Girls State transportation fee, 1982
Waiting list, 1982
Correspondence and form letters, 1982 and undated
Program and rosters, 1984
Waiting lists, 1984
Arliss Treybig, Chairman, letters received, 1986
Correspondence re. registration and waiting list, 1986
Expense account forms, 1986
Supplies received, 1986
Financial reports and accounts, 1986-1987
1988-1991, 1994
Schedule and roster, 1997
Schedule and roster, 1998
Legislation proposed in Girls State, 2004-2005
Governor’s Proclamation, House and Senate Daily Floor Reports, 2008
Rental of Girls State film, 1979-1983
Supplies ordered, 1980-1983
Expense accounts, 1983-1985
Blank certificates:
1989, 1991
2.325/C113b 1992
Collected publications:
Boys State Manual, The American Legion, Department of Texas, 1977
“Know Your America: Suggested Study Course in Americanism,” 1977
“The American Way: Stories… that rekindle pride in our country,” 1975
“Proudly We Hail: The Story of Our National Anthem,” 1965
“Americanism Manual,” The American Legion, undated
“The Key to the Constitution of the United States,” 1972
“How to Display and Respect the Flag of the United States,” 1976
“American Documents of Freedom,” American Revolution Bicentennial, circa 1976
“Bicentennial Times,” Vol. 1, No. 5, circa 1974
Girls State sessions, 1942-1976, 1996, undated
Ann Richards, Frances Goff, at Girls State, 1990, 1993
Guest speaker file photographs and biographical information, 1990-1999
Connie Grusendorf Bridges, records:
Lloyd Bentsen internship: Photographs, letters received (2 folders), 1974-1975
Photographs, Girls State sessions, 1974, 1975
Girls State, 1974: Letters received, schedules
Girls State session, 1975: Letters received, schedules, rosters, staff guide
Clippings, 1974
Department of Defense information packet, circa 1974-1975
Girls State song lyrics, circa 1970s
2.325/AA13c The Washington Post, July 12 and 13, 1974
2.325/C113b VHS videocassettes:
American Legion Mid-Winter Conference, 1993; Maryana Iskander – Governor of Texas Girls State
Inauguration 1991
American Legion Auxiliary, “Citizens of Tomorrow,” Texas Bluebonnet Girls State, 1989
Texas Bluebonnet Girls State, “The Fiftieth Session,” 1994
Girls State, 1992
2.325/F281 Scrapbooks:
2.325/F282 1958-1961
2.325/F283 1963-1967
2.325/F285a Federalist Party, 1965
2.325/F285b 1958-1963
2.325/F285c Girls Nation, 1958; Bluebonnet Girls State, 1964-1966
2.325/F286 1968-1973
2.325/F287 1974-1977
2.325/F288 1978-1985
2.325/F289 1989
2.325/F284 1990
2.325/F290 1991
2.325/F291a 1992
2.325/F291b 1993
2.325/F291c 1994-1996
2.325/D16j 1997-1999
2.325/D16k 2000
2.325/D16l 2001-2002
2/FilmD24 16mm film: Girls State documentary film, produced by the American Legion Auxiliary Unit, undated
2.325/D42b Oversize material:
“The Bluebonnet,” Special 50th Session Edition, June 14, 1994
Photograph, session participants, 1993
2.325/OD5 Photographic collage, Girls State participants, circa 1974
2.325/H11 American Legion Auxiliary Records:
Annual Gift Shop and hospital volunteer work
Veterans Administration (V.A.) Hospital, Amarillo, 1947-1955
V.A. Hospital, Big Spring, Texas, 1952-1954
U. S. Naval Hospital, Corpus Christi, 1951-1952
V.A. Hospital, Dallas, Texas, 1948-1959
Houston, 1950-1955
Legion Hospital, Kerrville, 1949-1954
V.A. Hospital, McKinney, Texas, 1948-1955
V.A. Hospital, Marlin, Texas, 1952-1954
San Antonio, 1949-1956
Temple, Texas, 1948-1954
Waco, Texas, 1948-1959
M.D. Anderson Hospital for Cancer Research, Houston, undated, and The Cancer Bulletin, 1950 and 1951
2.325/B9 Bank statements, canceled checks, financial records, 1977-1986
2.325/W96 Photographs on CD:
2003 session backups (dated 6-12&13-2007):
2003 photos Mavica
GS2006 misc. and 2003 cont. (photographs from 2003 and archive of an old Girls State website and PDF of “The Bluebonnet” newsletters from 2005 and 2006.)
2005 session:
Opening ceremony
Carol 151-153, court 279-288
Party, city, flag, directors, Gov
General Election, Church
050603 (PDF of 2003 bluebonnet, production files and photos for the 2004 Bluebonnet, and various documents related to administration.)
2007 session:
07GS Arrival
’07 Opening assembly
GS2007, 6-14-07, Staff, campaigns, flag, city off, swearing in
GS2007, 6-14-07, Party, campaign, flag
GS2007 Church, county officials, group
GS2007 Capital, R Anschutz
GS, 6-15-07, Talent, primary elections
GS2007, 6-16-07, Party sponsors, ledg staff, voire dire, dist/state speeches
GS2007, 6-16-06 (error), Groups, talent, gen election 6-18-07, Talent night
2008 session
GS2008, Staff and arrival
GS08, 6-19-6-20, Flag, H&S (House & Senate), primary, speeches, party
GS08, City off?, County officials, flag, state officials, church, gen Election
Rosters, 2008 (5 copies)
Black and white photograph of Mary Ellen Trahan, long-time staff member and director, and Dr. Peg O’Neill(?) staff member at Texas Lutheran College (now University), ca. early 1970s
Promotional materials for the Girls State program supplied to Director Connie Bridges
4Ad136 Bluebonnet Girls State Manual, published annually: 1996-2012
Counselor and Staff Guidebook, 1995-2012
Newsletters, 1971, 1995, 1999, 2002-2003
Member directories, 1995-2002
Member directories, [RESTRICTED] 2003-2012