Baylor Professor Seeks To Interview Refinery Workers

Feb. 11, 2002
News Photo 193John Tisdale

by Nicole L. Anderson, Student Newswriter

Baylor University journalism professor Dr. John R. Tisdale is seeking to interview refinery workers about their experiences during the Port Arthur labor strikes of the 1940s and 1950s.

Tisdale, whose research is supported by a grant from the University Research Committee, will record the interviews and house them in Baylor's Institute for Oral History. "I believe the stories of the workers and their families need to be recounted and preserved for future generations," Tisdale said.

"My father started working at Texaco after World War II, and I was always fascinated by his stories of what life was like during strikes from that period," said Tisdale, who also worked at the Port Arthur plant from 1979 to 1982. " I am also content-analyzing newspaper coverage of strikes, and whether newspaper management sided with the unions or the company. I also believe it is important to interview the spouses and children of those workers in order to gain both a cultural and social perspective of post-World War II life in Port Arthur."

Tisdale began conducting interviews in 2001, and will continue through the spring and summer of 2002.

Tisdale earned a bachelor's and a master's degrees from Lamar University and a doctorate from the University of North Texas. Tisdale has been a professor at Baylor for 15 years.

For more information, contact Tisdale at (254)-756-0184 or by e-mail at John_Tisdale@baylor.edu .

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