Speaker's Reunion Day is coming up on April 12. In 2011, we wrote about the history of Speaker's Reunion Day, pointing out that it is the modern descendant of a long-standing tradition honoring the Speaker of the House for his service. In its current form, Speaker's Reunion Day is for former members of the Texas House of Representatives to gather and be honored for their service to the State of Texas.
Representative Joe Straus is the current Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. First elected in 2005, he has served as Speaker of the House since the 81st Legislature in 2009. Representative Tom Craddick served as Speaker before Rep. Straus, and at 44 years of service, is the longest-serving member in the Texas Legislature. He is surpassed only by A.M. Aikin, Jr., who served from 1933 to 1979 (almost 46 years!) The library makes a complete list of Speakers of the Texas House available at: http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/legeLeaders/members/speakerbio.cfm
This is also a good opportunity to highlight a book from our collection: The House Will Come to Order, How the Texas House Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics (University of Texas Press, 2010). Drawing from an oral history project with former Texas House Speakers Tom Craddick, Ben Barnes, Gus Mutscher, Billy Clayton, Gibson D. "Gib" Lewis, Pete Laney and others, the book charts the evolution of the Speaker's role in the history of the Texas Legislature.