John Ben Shepperd: Graduation of Texas Southern University

May 31, 1954 Graduation of Texas Southern University (Houston, Texas) Commencement day is a great institution. It is a time when graduates are happy, parents are proud, and professors are relieved. All three are inclined to think “there’s no feeling like this feeling.” This occasion is a custom of long standing, and it has come…

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John Ben Shepperd: Graduating Class of South Texas College

June 1, 1953 Graduating Class of South Texas College (Houston, Texas) Graduation day is traditionally a day for words—words of congratulation, words of good-bye to friends and classmates, and commencement addresses full of philosophy and advice. As for philosophy, it is like molasses—sticky; and as for advice, you have reached the stage where you had…

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John Ben Shepperd: South Texas Press Association

April 24, 1953 South Texas Press Association (San Antonio, Texas) Speaking to you in my present capacity is like coming home to see Mom a couple months after enlisting in the service. I feel like laying my head on your shoulder and telling you what I’ve got myself into. I believe you ladies present will…

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John Ben Shepperd: Texas Association of Public Accountants

June 15, 1956 Texas Association of Public Accountants (Tyler, Texas) I want to talk to you about one of the most serious problems that has ever faced the people of Texas—or of this country. Last May 21 the United States Supreme Court annihilated the “right-to-work” laws of 18 states, including Texas, at least in so…

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John Ben Shepperd: 27th Annual Clinical Assembly of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons

October 31, 1954 27th Annual Clinical Assembly of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons (Dallas, Texas) There is a powerful directional force in our Federal government, entirely independent of administrations, that has sponsored and continues to sponsor a steady movement toward the socialization of American life, through the gradual assertion of Federal pre-eminence over the…

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John Ben Shepperd: Presidents of Minor Baseball Leagues

October 17, 1953 Presidents of Minor Baseball Leagues (Dallas, Texas) As a result of a lawsuit recently the Supreme Court is now considering the question of whether baseball is a sport or a business. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes ruled 30 years ago that it was a sport. I believe it is still a sport; and…

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John Ben Shepperd: Men’s Club of the First Christian Church

February 22, 1956 Men’s Club of the First Christian Church (Corpus Christi, Texas) Government is a very important factor in our lives, and there are certain things Christians ought to remember about it. It was Thomas Jefferson who first pointed out that this country was not in any sense founded upon the Christian religion. We…

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John Ben Shepperd: Bluebonnet Girls’ State

June 18, 1953 Bluebonnet Girls’ State (Austin, Texas) It does me good to see so many young women taking part in Girls’ State. I have a profound respect for girls and what they can do. According to the old saying, boys will be boys—and too often that is a static condition—they remain boys all their…

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John Ben Shepperd: Argument in State v. NAACP

October 23, 1956 Argument in State v. NAACP (Tyler, Texas) The Honorable court properly identified this action when it correctly excluded all evidence relating to segregation, stating that this is not a race action. The fact that the NAACP purports to represent the Negro race has no bearing whatever on this case. We have alleged,…

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John Ben Shepperd: Baker’s Convention

April 19, 1955 Bakers Convention (San Antonio, Texas) I’ve just come back from Washington, where we argued segregation before the Supreme Court. As you remember, on May 17 almost a year ago the Supreme Court handed down its historic decision that racial segregation in the public schools is unconstitutional. Texans are accustomed to Federal encroachment…

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John Ben Shepperd: Young Man with a System

January 21, 1957 Junior Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Awards Banquet (Monahans) Young Man with a System In the first half of our century an organization was born which was destined to become one of the most vital and significant currents in the stream of American life. At thirty-seven years of age that organization—the United…

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John Ben Shepperd: The Lawyer – Freedom’s Advocate

February 9, 1957 Illinois Bar Association Lincoln Day Luncheon (Peoria, Illinois) The Lawyers—Freedom’s Advocate Thank you for that very flattering and truthful introduction. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard anything I enjoyed so much agreed with so complete1y. However, President Thomas probably found himself in the same predicament of the Master of Ceremonies…

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John Ben Shepperd: Levelland Chamber of Commerce

February 21, 1957 Chamber of Commerce Banquet (Levelland, Texas) I do want to think with you briefly of a few matters of vital Importance to Texas and Texans. I know that you were happy to see the democratic processes restored to the people of Duval County last year after a long, hard, bitter fight of…

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John Ben Shepperd: Nacogdoches Daughters of the American Revolution

February 16, 1957 Daughters of the American Revolution luncheon (Nacogdoches, Texas) In the last half century modern communications and transportation have reduced this country to a fraction of its former size and have brought people very close together. We can fly from here to the nation’s capital in a few hours or reach it by…

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John Ben Shepperd: The Future of State Government—If Any

March 5, 1957 Joint Luncheon of the League of Women Voters and the Junior Chamber of Commerce (Odessa, Texas) The Future of State Government—If Any No two organizations have done as much to encourage the intelligent participation of citizens in public affairs as have the league of Women Voters and the Jaycees. They have both…

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John Ben Shepperd: Longview Y.M.C.A. Banquet

March 7, 1957 Kick-off Banquet for the Y.M.C.A. Fund Drive (Longview, Texas) In a dry-goods store in London in 1844 a little group of working men used to gather at lunch time for a few words of prayer. The group was led by a man named George Williams, who wanted to do something for his…

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John Ben Shepperd: Gulf Coast Press Association

April 6, 1957 Gulf Coast Press Association (Richmond, Texas) I tell you truly, it’s good to be a private citizen again—one of the nine million laughing, bragging characters who inhabit the great State of Texas. Texans continue to amaze the world with their energy and expansive living. They are drilling 25,000 oil wells a year,…

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John Ben Shepperd: Our Debt to God and Caesar

April 8, 1957 Christian Men’s Fellowship (Paris, Texas) Our Debt to God and Caesar The purpose of the Christian Church’s Christian Men’s Fellowship group is two-fold: first, to give us the opportunity to visit with and become better acquainted with our fellow members; second and even more important, to call attention to the fact that…

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John Ben Shepperd: No Place for Silent Partners

April 11, 1957 Spring Conference of the Seventeenth District of the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers (Odessa, Texas) No Place for Silent Partners I think it only proper at the outset of my thoughts with you tonight to pay tribute to the founders of the Parents and Teachers movement that has been of such…

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John Ben Shepperd: Kermit 4-H Club Awards Dinner

February 6, 1957 Annual Awards Dinner of the Area Officials, 4-H Club (Kermit, Texas) As long as men have lived on the earth, they have always tried to peer into the future. If any man could foretell the future, his fortune would be made. We used to have an old prophet back in Gladewater named…

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John Ben Shepperd: Odessa Kiwanis

January 21, 1957 Kiwanis Club (Odessa, Texas) Forty-two years ago in Detroit, Michigan, Kiwanis was born under the motto—”We Build”. And since that date, you have been building!—better youngsters—better men—better communities—a better country. Kiwanis’ greatest strength is that its ideal is far outside itself. Men are not Kiwanians for the sake of being Kiwanians. Kiwanis…

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John Ben Shepperd: Post Chamber of Commerce Banquet

January 10, 1957 Chamber of Commerce Banquet (Post, Texas) I have been vitally concerned for a number of years about the steady and unnecessary encroachment of a centralized federal bureaucracy upon the historic rights of our state and local governments. The forty-eight stars in the constellation of American states are being eclipsed by the sun…

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John Ben Shepperd: Open the Door, Blackstone

August 28, 1956 Annual Meeting the National Conference of Bar Examiners and the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar Open the Door, Blackstone (opening remarks only) Thank you for that very flattering and truthful introduction. I think he did a good job considering that he was in somewhat the same position as…

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UT Permian Basin Student Kaycie Reynolds completes Archer Fellowship Program

During the Fall 2019 semester, UT Permian Basin student Kaycie Reynolds participated in the UT System’s Archer Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C. Describing the experience, Kaycie writes: “Becoming an Archer Fellow is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made at my time at UTPB for professional development and personal memories. During my time at our…

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John Ben Shepperd: The Lawyer – Freedom’s Advocate

September 21, 1957 Oklahoma Bar Association (Lake Murray, Oklahoma) The Lawyer – Freedom’s Advocate   It’s difficult to know what things ought to be said by one lawyer to a group of others in a few brief moments like these. There is hardly time to go into a deep subject and there is no deep…

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John Ben Shepperd: National Association of Attorneys General

June 26, 1957 National Association of Attorneys General (Sun Valley, Idaho)   Thank you President Wyman for that kind introduction. Seldom have I seen such an important subject handled so well and with such masterful self-restraint and understatement. I imagine Lou found himself in the same predicament as the Master of Ceremonies who got up…

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John Ben Shepperd: Joint Civic Club Luncheon

July 2, 1957 Joint Civic Club Luncheon on the occasion of millionth person visiting the Crimemobile (Mineral Wells, Texas)   Every year in our country forty or fifty peace officers lay down their lives in the line of duty. Many thousands of others go on about the dangerous and thankless job of guarding our homes,…

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John Ben Shepperd: National Federation of Press Women

April 19, 1957 National Federation of Press Women (San Antonio, Texas)   Thank you for that very flattering and truthful introduction. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard anything I enjoyed so much or agreed with so completely. However, she probably found herself in the same predicament as the Mistress of Ceremonies who had…

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John Ben Shepperd: Texas Sheriff’s Association

July 22, 1957 Texas Sheriff’s Association and Crime Seminar (Houston, Texas)   This is the first time I have had the opportunity of appearing before you as a private citizen and not as a fellow Law Enforcement officer. I’m very flattered that you have allowed me to come back and mingle with you socially, now…

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John Ben Shepperd: The Sign on the Door

May 28, 1957 Commencement Exercises of Knox City High School (Knox City, Texas) The Sign on the Door   I have frequently observed that on the day of their graduation from high school, seniors don’t know whether they are coming or going. When I graduated, the commencement speaker noticed me in the audience and pausing…

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John Ben Shepperd: Odessa College Commencement 1957

May 30, 1957 Odessa College Commencement (Odessa, Texas)   When Dr. Fly called me in January about being with you tonight, I began worrying about my subject. I thought I would talk to about some of things you should have learned here and will need as you go out in life. I suppose that on…

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John Ben Shepperd: The Sin of Silence

August 21, 1957 Sul Ross State College Summer Commencement (Alpine, Texas) The Sin of Silence   I suppose that on such occasion as this, the Commencement speaker should make every effort to recall all of the learning that he was once exposed to under similar circumstances in order to show the graduates and the onlooking…

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John Ben Shepperd: Rapid City Chamber of Commerce

October 24, 1957 Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet (Rapid City, South Dakota)   This afternoon I stood once again and viewed with overflowing heart that gratifying scene at the National Shrine of Democracy. As I studied the faces of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln, my mind went back to their day in history, their contribution…

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John Ben Shepperd: 1957 Arizona State Bar Convention

May 24, 1957  1957 Arizona State Bar Convention   Thank you President Quail for that very flattering and truthful introduction. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard anything I enjoyed so much or agreed with so completely. However, Keith probably found himself in the same predicament of the master of ceremonies who had to…

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Press Release: JBS Leadership Institute Names 2019 Outstanding Leaders

JBS Leadership Institute Names 2019 Outstanding Leaders by Tatum Guinn – Communications Manager | August 7, 2019 The University of Texas Permian Basin is celebrating the winners of the John Ben Shepperd Leadership Institute’s highest honors during the Texas Leadership Forum in October. The John Ben Shepperd TLF is a state-wide public leadership conference that…

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John Ben Shepperd: Chamber of Commerce Installation Benefit

May 14, 1957 Chamber of Commerce Installation Benefit (Marshall, Texas)   The Legislature has managed to find plenty of problems – and their share of solutions.  They are in their 127th day – the last seven days without pay.  The Session has cost over 1 1/4 million dollars or over $10,000 a day.  Each bill…

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George’s Last Ride

This poem, by an unknown author, celebrates the struggle against Duval County Sherriff George Parr, including the role played by then-Attorney General John Ben Shepperd and Texas Governor Allan Shivers George’s Last Ride – (We Hope)   Listen, my friends, and you shall hear, Of the Duke of Duval and his reign of fear. On…

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John Ben Shepperd: “Young Man with a System”

   July 26, 1957  United States Junior Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (Tulsa, Oklahoma) Young Man with a System   Thank you for that kind introduction.  Seldom have I seen such an important subject handled so well and with such masterful self-restraint and understatement. I imagine President Shearer found himself in the same predicament…

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George Herbert Walker Bush

George H.W. Bush President of the United States: 1989-1993 Born in Massachusetts in 1924, George Herbert Walker Bush went from high school directly into the Navy and became the youngest American naval pilot of World War II. He flew 58 combat missions in the Pacific and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Bush graduated from…

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John Ben Shepperd: “Why We Are Here”

“Why We Are Here” On November 11, 1982, the Ector Country Independent School District held a ceremony in Odessa, Texas, honoring two district graduates—Alfred Wilson and Marvin Young—who had been posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their service and sacrifice in Vietnam. Former Texas Attorney General John Ben Shepperd participated in the ceremony,…

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