Ed Lansford said he had never heard of Georgetown until he was an adult, but after surviving the Depression and World War II, he got here as soon as he could (to re-coin a Texas boast!). He joined the faculty at Southwestern University teaching biochemistry in 1962, becoming full time in 1966.
With both a keen intellect and an affinity for others, Lansford had a natural inclination for the arts and sciences. His early years were formed by an idyllic childhood in a family-friendly neighborhood of Houston. With its tree-lined streets and sidewalks that entreated him outdoors to play with a host of neighbor children. He excelled in school and recounts the interruption of his college years at Rice University with an abrupt draft notice in 1943.
In the intervening years, the procedures of that war have become forgotten in our culture. Hoping to defer military service until graduation, Lansford explains how he and 25 of his Rice sophomore classmates went to the Army Induction Center in December 1942, to take an oath of loyalty to the Army Air Force. Their vow to participate in the AAF Meteorology School College Reserve took a premature, circuitous, and lengthy new direction, which Lansford articulately describes. The President’s summons for all college reservists to report for active duty came as a shock.
Eventually, he received a B.A. degree in chemistry from Rice, a “spare” B.A. degree in meteorology from UCLA, and a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin, while employed as a research associate.
Lansford recalls the irony of his stateside military service being free of any violence, then being a witness to mayhem as Charles Whitman opened fire from the UT Tower.
Summary prepared by Jan Raesz, Williamson County Historical Commission appointee, 2018
Click here to listen to Ed’s story – Part I – August 15, 2014
Click here to listen to Ed’s story – Part II – August 15, 2014
Click here to listen to Ed’s story – Part III – August 15, 2014
Click here to read about Ed’s story Part I – August 15, 2014
Click here to read about Ed’s story Part II & Part III – August 15, 2014
Click here to read Ed’s summary he wrote prior to the oral history meeting – August 14, 2014